Jai Sriman Narayana !!
The great epic Mahabharath was composed by Maharishi Veda Vyasa/Krishna Dwaipayana, son of Sage Parasara and Sathyavati, a woman from fishermen clan. Mahabharath describes the legend of Bharatha Dynasty. It was written in 18 Parva such as Adhi Parva, Sabha Parva, Vana Parva, Virada Parva, Udhyoga Parva, Bhishma Parva, Drona Parva, Karna Parva, Shalya Parva, Soupthika Parva, Stri Parva, Shanthi Parva, Anushasana Parva, Ashwamedha Parva, Ashramavasika Parva, Musala Parva, Mahaprasthanika Parva and Swargarohana Parva and each Parva has divided into many Upaparva and has chapters in detail. Adhi Parva depicts the life of King Dushyantha and his wife Shakunthala and their son Sarvadhamanan, who was famously known as Bharatha, a righteous ruler of Bharatha Empior.
Lord Brahma created deities, Sages and Prajapathis. It was the beginning of the growth of human race from the sixty daughters of Daksha Prajapathi. Pururavass, Yayathi, Puru, Dushyantha, Bharatha, Shanthanu were born in the family of Dithi, one of the daughters of Daksha Prajapathi.
King Janamejaya, son of King Pareekshit conducted a grand Yagna to please serpent Gods. There were a huge number of Rishis & Sages were present in the magnificent Yagna, Maharishi Veda Vyasa along with his disciple Rishi Vaishampayana and Sage Ugrasrava Sauti was also amongst them. Rishi Vaishampayana narrated the stories of Kuru Dynasty to King Janamejaya at the time of Naga Yagna. Later, this anecdote was described to the Sages and Rishis assembled in Naimisharanya by Sage Sauti, son of Sage Romaharshana/Lomaharshana, disciple of Maharishi Veda Vyasa.
Rishi Vaishampayana narrates the greatness of Dronacharya praised by Bhishma Pithamaha. Dronacharya, son of Sage Bharadhwaja was offered with invaluable riches and settled in Hasthinapura An enormous hermitage was constructed out of the city, with all the facilities to teach and practice the Astra & Shastra Vidya and to accommodate the grand children of Bhishma. Dronacharya ordered the children of Pandu & Drutharashtra to prostrate before him and addressed ‘Oh! Sinless children from the clan of Kuru, I have a long cherished desire in my heart, I wish you all should promise me and collectively work to fulfill my particular desire after attaining immense knowledge in the Astra & Sastra from me’. The Kauravas remained silent after listening to the strange command from Dronacharya, but Arjuna enthusiastically stated that he will sincerely work for the fulfillment of the desire of his Acharya and promised to Dronacharya, it brought tears of joy and he affectionately embraced Arjuna. Later, the children of King Pandu were immersed in the study of powerful as well as divine weapons. In the meantime, there were many disciples from the different Kingdom and neighboring cities were assembled to learn the science of weapons from the celebrated Dronacharya.
Dronacharya’s disciples were Vrishnis, Brahmins and princes from various neighboring countries and Karna, son of Radha from Sootha clan. Karna was always resentful towards Arjun for his excellence in the performance of archery. The Pandavas were often ill-treated and humiliated by the Kauravas and Karna. Arjuna outshined everyone with his devotion and dedication to Dronacharya and thorough knowledge in the science of arms, hard work and with his powerful arms. In a short period of time, Arjuna proved himself as the most intelligent and resourceful disciple in the science of archery, it elevated the confidence in Dronacharya and affirmed that no one in the Universe would surpass Arjuna in the art of archery.
The disciples in the hermitage of Dronacharya were allocated to fetch water from the pond. Dronacharya purposefully handed his disciples with a narrow mouthed vessels to bring water that would consume fair time of their studies, except Ashwathama, son of Dronacharya was offered with a wide mouthed vessel that would ease his work and provide fair time to learn. In this way, Ashwathama attained intricate knowledge in the study of armaments from his father. Arjuna came to know about this practice, he has the knowledge of Varunastra, with this he finished his work at ease and present before Acharya along with Ashwathama. In a short period of time, Arjuna, the most intelligent son of Prutha was excelled in Astra & Sastra was become favorite disciple of Dronacharya and was equally capable as Ashwathama. Seeing Arjuna’s dedication and devotion to his studies, Dronacharya furtively ordered his assistants not to serve food to Arjuna in the darkness. Once, Arjuna was having food in the light of earthen lamp, due to the sudden wind the lamp went off Arjuna continued, his hand naturally moved to his mouth, from this act Arjuna learnt the power of practice and decided to perform the practice of archery in the night hours as well. Dronacharya who was fast asleep in the hours of darkness realized the sound of bow of Arjuna, he rushed to his feet and embraced Arjuna, declared that there will be no one in the Universe to conquer Arjuna in the science of Archery. Arjuna learnt profound knowledge in Satra Vidya settling on Chariot, Horse, and Elephant and other great techniques of war field, he learnt fighting with Sword, Maze, Spear and various weapons from Dronacharya.
Princes from neighboring countries poured to the hermitage of Dronacharya to learn Astra & Sastra Vidya after listening to the prominence of him. There was Ekalavya, born in the clan of hunters; son of Nishada King Hiranyadhanuss was also one amongst them. Ekalavya had high reverence to Dronacharya and mentally worshipped him as his Acharya. Dronacharya who had profound knowledge in Dharma Sastra alarmed at the proficiency of Ekalavya and his brilliance in the science of archery. Dronacharya worried and thought that the intelligence of Ekalavya should not rise above the superior clan of Kurus. Dronacharya refused to accept Ekalavya as his disciple. Ekalavya gravely prostrated before Dronacharya and returned to woodland. Ekalavya constructed an idol of Dronacharya with the raw sand and prostrated before him, worshipped the idol as his Acharya and started learning lessons of archery. Thus, Ekalavya devoted all his energy and time in practicing lessons of archery before the idol of Dronacharya. Ekalavya’s dedication and devotion towards his Master Dronacharya and determination shaped him as a brilliant archer.
Once, Dronacharya took Pandavas and Kauravas into woodland for a hunting expedition. An assistant from the hermitage carried necessary items and a dog with him. All the disciples were occupied in their search for prey, the dog wandered through the lands and reached at the place of Ekalavya and it started barking endlessly after witnessing Ekalavya who was dark complexioned, attired in black and mucky clothes and a shunt in forehead. Ekalavya was annoyed and shot seven arrows at the mouth of the dog in order to stop its howl, dog rushed to Pandavas with shriek. All the children looked at the dog and were surprised at the performance of shot of arrow. They felt ashamed of their knowledge in archery; they highly praised the tactics of the unknown person and his brilliance in this subject. They all set out on the search of the talented archer. Shortly, Pandavas reached the place of Ekalavya where he was incessantly releasing arrows from his bow. Pandavas enquired Ekalavya about his place of existence, he graciously replied to them as the son of Nishada King Hiranyadhanuss and disciple of Dronacharya. Pandavas and Kauravas returned to the hermitage of Dronacharya and informed to their Acharya about the enthralling archery performance of Ekalavya. Later, Arjuna met Dronacharya in solitude and passionately enquired how Ekalavya succeeded him? Dronacharya engrossed in various thoughts, further he took Arjuna to the woodlands the place where Eklavya lived. They found Ekalavya in a mucky clothes, shunt on forehead and he was continuously releasing arrows. Ekalavya respectfully approached Dronacharya and prostrated before him and introduced him as the disciple of him. Dronacharya shot a question to him ‘Oh ! warrior, If you are my disciple, provide my tuition fees/Dakshina right now.” Ekalavya was extremely pleased to hear the command of Dronacharya. Ekalavya enthusiastically moved forward and addressed Dronacharya ‘Oh ! Master of Vedas, what shall I provide you as Dakshina?’ and announced that there is nothing on Earth which is unfeasible to provide him as Dakshina. Dronacharya declared that if Ekalavya was sincerely wished to provide Dakshina, he should cut his right hand thumb and offer it as Dakshina. Ekalavya was least affected by the demand of Dronacharya, he sincerely followed the instructions of his Master and offered his right hand thumb as Dakshina. Soon, Ekalavya realized the fact that he had lost all the efficiency in the archery. Consequently Arjuna got rid of the poison of covetousness from the above incident.
Duryodhana and Bhima had constant conflict due to their envious nature towards each other. Ashwathama outshined everyone with the complex knowledge in the Sastra Vidya. Nakula and Sahadeva excelled in the knowledge of sword fight and Yudhishtira outclassed in chariot fight. Arjuna established his supremacy over all the weapons with his profound knowledge, hard work, and proper utilization of available weapons, prowess and determination. Arjuna was the most celebrated amongst warriors and his fame spread all over the world. He selflessly served his Master Dronacharya, praised him Athiratha (who is capable to fight against 60,000 warriors at a time). The children of Drutharashtra envied at the immense prowess of Bhima and Arjuna’s proficiency in numerous weapons.
One day Dronacharya called out all the disciples immediately after their practice, conducted a test in order to identify their ability in the usage of armaments. They dutifully assembled under a tree to follow the instructions of Acharya. Dronacharya installed a wooden idol of bird on a tree, ordered them to be ready with their bow and arrow and stand in line, each disciple will have a single chance to cut off the head of the wooden idol of bird installed on the tree. Dronacharya, born in the clan of Maharishi Angirass, ordered Yudhishtira to come forward and cut off the head of the bird at his instruction. Dronacharya enquired Yudhishtira what was that he witnessed; he sincerely replied that he had observed tree, himself, his brothers and the bird. Dronacharya was annoyed at the reply of Yudhishtira and ordered him to stand away. Dronacharya called out for Duryodhana and his brothers, Bhima, princes from neighboring countries and the question was repeated and surprisingly the answers were same like Yudhistira.
Jai Sriman Narayana !!