Story on Focus : Dronarcharya The Great Posted on February 22, 2018

By Rameshon



Picture 1 – Dronacharya was the best teacher for Archery 

Once, Dronacharya (Drona is a name, Acharya means teacher) was having lessons on archery and he found that some of the people learning under him looked very unhappy with the treatment that they were given. These people were mainly the Kauravas, a hundred in total. They were also having the vices like anger, greed, attachment and ego. At the same time, there were also 5 Pandavas in the archery group who were were brothers themselves and they were good in their character. The Pandavas usually trusted Dronacharya more than the Kauravas. The Pandavas and the Kauravas were in actual fact relations.

Within the Pandavas, Dronacharya was very fond of Arjuna (the name means man without the 5 vices). Arjuna was diligent in archery and was able to master it fast. Arjuna had very high regard for his master, Dronacharya. For him, his master’s word was everything. He never doubted his master even once. He had absolute faith and trust in Dronacharya.

Dronacharya, over time, seeing the unhappiness that was taking place remained unperturbed by his actions and stayed confident as their master as he felt that he was doing the correct thing. He wanted the group to learn some lessons on life. He decided to call the Pandavas and the Kauravas together.

He told the group to stand in one line and stand a distant from a big tree. The Kauravas and the Pandavas followed this instruction implicitly. Dronacharya told each of them to come to the front towards him and take a bow and arrow. Subsequently, they are to look at the tree where there was a toy bird and shoot at the stationary bird.

One by one, the people came in front. Dronacharya asked one by one what they can see before the shot is taken. However, he gave specific instruction and said, “Look up at the tree and focus on the bird and shoot it!”. One of the Kauravas was asked, “What do you really see?” The first person said that he can see the bird. Drona asked, “What else can you see?” The first person was very happy in answering as the question was easy to answer and said, ” I can also see the tree leaves, the surrounding trees, the grass.” Drona questioned one by one and asked the rest of them the same question again and again. The tedious process went for some time. The Kauravas were giving the same kind of answers, even the Pandavas were doing the same, likewise.

After 100 of the Kuavaras and 4 of the Pandavas had finished answering, finally Arjuna was called upon by Master Drona to come forward to the forefront and carry the bow and arrow. Drona asked, ” Arjuna, can you see the bird?.” Arjuna, with a lot of reverence said,” Yes Master, I can see the bird’. Drona questioned,” What else can you see ?”. Arjuna replied, “I can only see the bird”. Drona repeated asked, ” What else can you see, besides the bird, Arjuna?”.  Arjuna, again answered confidently,” My obesience to you Master, I can see only the bird.” Drona asked him whether he could see anything besides the bird. He asked, ” How about the surrounding, the grass, the sky”. To this Arjuna told, ” Master, you told me to see only the bird, I can only see the bird and nothing else.


Picture 2 – Arjuna could only see the bird and nothing else in front of him.

With this statement, Drona told Arjuna to shoot the bird. Arjuna, shot the arrow and the it went straight towards where the small toy bird was and hit it right on the spot. With this, the rest of them realised that the mistake for their not improving in archery lies in themselves in not being focused and it also showed that Arjuna was a very focused person and a willing learner. Most of the Kauravas realised their mistake of not having a focused mind. This episode taught them why Arjuna was close at heart to Master Dronacharya.

Moral of the Story
A focused person can accomplish anything if they put their heart, mind and soul in it. Focus is simply staying on the direction of achieving our goal. Another way to say this is to stay away from the distractions which are outside us. In this world, there are many things to distract us away from the goal and will just make us stray away from our ultimate goals. A focused mind reminds us of taking a car ride on the highway and reaching a place earlier and distraction is like taking a bus which stops at every single bus stop and reach the destination later. This matters to us most when you want to know who reached the destination earlier by coming in first and who comes in second. The story also shows how devoted Arjuna was towards Master Dronacharya.

Edited By Tan Mariviv