Friday, November 21, 2014

Focus Only On Your Target!

Dronacharya was one of the greatest warriors of his time. He had learned the secret of powerful weapons from the great Parashuram himself. 

Parashuram (Left) and Dhronacharya (Right)

 When he arrived at Hastinapur, Bheeshma entrusted the Pandavas and the Kauravas to his care and asked him to teach the art of weaponry to them. The Pandavas and the Kauravas were quick to learn and soon picked up various skills.

The Pandavas and the Kauravas were cousins but they grew with intense rivalry since childhood. Especially the Kauravas were very jealous of the Pandavas.

Dronacharya was an impartial teacher and treated all the students equally but could not help admiring Arjun the most. Arjun was not only the finest archer, he was also the most focused, enthusiastic and resolute amongst all students. However, the Kauravas misinterpreted this admiration as favoritism and they continually complained about it.

Dronacharya decided that it was time to prove Arjun's uniqueness to the rest of the students and remove their misunderstanding. He organized a 'concentration test' for his students. He ordered them to gather on the ground near the ashram. There on the tree he had placed a wooden bird with a prominently painted eye. He then addressed all the students, “Young princes, today I want you to show me your skill in archery. On that tree is a wooden bird with a painted eye. All you need to do is to strike the eye of that wooden bird.
All the Pandav and Kaurav princes held their bows and aimed their arrows at the target before them. Dronacharya first called Duryodhan and asked him, “What do you see?” Duryodhan started to list off everything that met his eyes, “I see the bird, its eye, the tree, branches of the tree, its moving leaves, fruits on the tree, the sky, the river...”

Dronacharya told him “You cannot strike the eye of the bird, go back.” Then he called Bheem and asked him, “What do you see?” Bheem replied, “Gurudev, I see the bird, its eye, the tree, its fruits etc..” Dronacharya told him to go back. Then he called Yudhisthir, “What do You see, Yudhisthir?” He said, “Gurudev, I see the bird and its eye!” Dronacharya sent him back.
The same pattern was followed for every students but Dronacharya was not satisfied with the any of their answers.

Finally, he turned to Arjun and asked, “What do you see?” “I can see only the eye of the bird,” replied Arjun without breaking his eye contact with his target.

“Can't you see the trees and the sky or even the branches?” Dronacharya asked.

“No Gurudev, all I can see is the eye of the bird and nothing else,” he said, holding his bow steady and maintaining his unwavering gaze.

Dronacharya said, “Now hit the target!” Arjun shot the arrow and hit the mark.

Dronacharya turned to the other princes and said, “Did you understand the point of this test? When you aim at a target, you must concentrate all your attention on it. Intense absorption of your physical and mental faculties on the task you perform is the key to success. When I asked you all to aim at the eye of the bird, the rest of you were seeing other things as well, like tree, its fruits and leaves, and people around, because you were not concentrating singularly on your target. Only Arjun was totally focused. Now you know why I am so fond of Arjun.” Dronacharya's test silenced the Kauravas and all understood that Arjun was indeed the best student.

1. Concentration is an important quality for us to inculcate. Whether it is study, sports or art.

2. To achieve the goal which is given by our Guru to attain God and His divine love, we unfailingly have to single-mindedly concentrate on God. There are many other distractions in the world which will try to tempt us or disturb our focus from God, but just like Arjun, we need to concentrate on God only and nothing else!!