In ancient times, there lived a boy named Ekalavya.
After his father’s death in a war, Ekalavya became the head of the forest.
One day, he heard loud cries of the cattle who had been killed by the wild wolves.
The wolves used to hide behind the bushes and attack suddenly and Ekalavya could not attack them on time.
He went to his mother and asked what he could do in order to save the innocent cattle. His mother answered that the skill of shooting someone without even seeing them was extraordinary and could be achieved only through thorough practice and training by a skilled teacher.
She said that nobody in the forest was learned enough to teach this skill to Ekalavya and that in the whole kingdom there was only one teacher who could do this.
Ekalavya keenly asked his mother who he was. His mother said it was Guru Dronacharya but he was the Guru of the princes of Hastinapur and accordingly might not teach Ekalavya as he was a Shudra (name of a caste).
Instead of getting disheartened, Ekalavya built an idol of Guru Dronacharya and decorated it with garlands. He started practicing archery in front of the idol with great determination and devotion. Whenever he came across any trouble, he meditated in front of the idol and sought a solution to it.
One day, Arjun, the third Pandava was roaming in the forest with his dog. The dog could not be seen after sometime. It had reached the place where Ekalavya was practicing archery and started to bark and disturb him.
Ekalavya tried many times to stop the dog but couldn’t and then fired seven arrows in an instant to stop the dog from barking without hurting it.
The dog went back to Arjun and he was shocked to see this. He knew that this could only be done by a skilled archer. But who was this skilled archer in the forest?
His dog guided him to Ekalavya. There, Arjun asked Ekalavya, who he was and who was his Guru.
Ekalavya answered with his identity and named Guru Dronacharya as his guru.
Dronacharya saw the exceptional skills of Ekalavya. He could see that Ekalavya had surpassed Ar
He moved towards Ekalavya and said “Now that you have claimed me as your Guru and learnt archery, you would have to give me Guru Dakshina (fee for training). I want the thumb of your right hand.”
Without wasting a moment, Ekalavya cut his right thumb and offered it to Guru Dronacharya.
Thus even today, when we talk about devotion, Ekalavya is considered as the best example.