Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Of Gurus and Ustaads

The other day I watched a recording of an old programme on DD Bharati, featuring Prakash Kaur, a noted Punjabi singer and the elder sister of Surinder Kaur , another singing genius . The singer, when asked about the first remuneration she received as a professional singer, told that it was an amount of Rs. Five and she had given this to her Ustaad as an offering. The Ustaad , obviously moved by this honour , in his turn , told every body about this .

Years ago, while in school, I read a book – The Untold Story – by Lt.Gen. B .M . Kaul, in which , he had showered praise and expressed his gratitude to one of his teachers- himself making both ends meet with difficulty - for giving him a hundred rupee note, signed by him , wishing him good luck. .

Both these incidents present Gurus or teachers or Ustaads in full glow and glory.

In sharp contrast, is the incident of Eklavya , whom Dronacharya had refused to take as a disciple and , who by dint of sheer grit and determination himself practised and mastered archery , keeping alongside a small statue of Dronacharya , made of straw treating and revering it as a Guru.

It is common knowledge that seeing in Eklavya , a possible threat to number one position that his favourite disciple Arjun enjoyed in archery, Dronacharya had demanded Eklavya’s thumb as guru dakshina and the latter had obliged . Again the same Dronacharya , taking sides with the Kauravas had fought against the Pandavas , in the Mahabharat war.


  1. भांति-भांति के लोग ! गुरु द्रोणाचार्य की बात कभी जमती नहीं ...लगता है जैसे गुरु ने अपनी महिमा नहीं रखी..... शिष्य का कल्याण करने के विपरीत उसके साथ घोर अन्याय किया !

  2. Rightly said Zeal ! The entire saga of Mahabharat is one , of treachery , deceit , injustice, intolerance and what not.The episodes of Abhimanyu, Hidimba , Barbareek , Lakshagriha bear ample testimony to this .

  3. I am not impressed by Dronacharya's character in Mahabharta. He refused to reach Karan also and in the end Karan was better than Arjuna though Arujun won the final battle.

  4. @A
    ...... and how Lord Krishna tactfully or rather by deceit got from Karan his kavach-kundal . Despite Krishna being Arjun's charioteer, Karan gave tough fight. Even Krishna had admitted that Karan was a better and superior warrior than Arjun.

  5. Dronacharya was not Guru he was tutor. He did not have his gurukul he came to Bharatvanshi king to have money and they made him agree to become tutor. A tutor does not have any choice but to follow the masters orders. Biggest fault of Dronacharya was this that is to accept the offer. So we cannot compare him to Gurus. द्रोण को गुरू कहना भी गुरूओं का अपमान है।

  6. @ Akhilesh Bharti :
    Yes, Bharti ji, you are right in making this distinction between a tutor and a Guru.. But then this is how he is referred to every where - Guru Dron. We have even a place called Dron- nagar , named after him. As already said, his is not an example to emulate, whatever the limitations. Certain questions will remain unanswered . Let things rest at that .

  7. U have touched the right string. And have spoken my mind.U have not visited my blog for long ?

  8. GURU GURU hota hai...chahe koi kuch bhi kahe..
    Eklavya ne jab dron ko guru sweekar kiya to phir shayad koi baat hi nahi....

  9. I wrote this last year. Hope you like it.

    I gifted him my talent divine,
    And lost the gift fine.
    They lauded my sacrifice supreme;
    Ignoring my pain and screams.
    My brave facade is peeling off;
    I ask for comfort from my bed of rocks.
    Did I make a mistake?
    And did I saw a smirk on his favorites face.
    I am the man who could had been a King;
    They robbed me and clipped my wings.
    Today, the world talks of me with passion,
    As the man who gifted this world the greatest lesson.
    I regret each time I see a fine bow;
    My heart weeps but it doesn’t show.

  10. @Kamal Sharma:
    I liked all your poems,especially this one and "The lost Fight".
    Both Eklavya and Karan are remembered and revered .
    All glory to them !