Have you introduced your kid to the fables and other Indian stories that have been popular for ages? Do you and your kids have a bedtime ritual where you read out stories to them? Or does your kid prefer reading on her own and is always interested in new books? Do you only read out stories from a book or do you sometimes narrate a story to her as you may have read as well?
If storytelling is something you love to do with your kids, or if you would like to read out a new story to her, read on to and retell your little one the story of Eklavya and Dronacharya.
Eklavya Story For Kids:
Almost five thousand years ago, in the country of India, there was a boy whose name was Eklavya. His father was the tribal chief of the kingdom of Hastinapura. Eklavya was a very brave boy and was always honest and fair. Even though everyone who knew loved him, he was not a happy boy.
Soon his father noticed that something was bothering Eklavya. He would often find his son lost deep in thoughts, even th
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Eklavya was quiet for a while, and then he said, Father, I want to be an archer and want to be tutored by the great archery tutor of Hastinapura, Dronacharya. His Gurukul is a place of magic, where he teaches simple boys like me and soon transforms them into brave warriors.
Eklavya’s father was quiet. So he said, Father, I know what you are thinking. We are from the hunting tribe, but I do not want to remain a hunter all my life. I want to be a fierce warrior. Will you please allow me to leave home and go and stay with Dronacharya at the Gurukul itself?
Eklavya’s father was worried. He knew that what his son dreamed of becoming would not be something easy. In fact, it could also be something he could never have. But he loved his son dearly and did not want to refuse his wish. So he blessed his son to be successful and sent Eklavya to the gurukul to learn from Dronacharya himself.
Eklavya set out for the gurukul and soon reached the space in the forest where Dronacharya was teaching archery to the princes of the kingdom of Hastinapura.
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In those earlier years, a gurukul was the most sacred place of learning. There were no schools or colleges, and a gurukul was the place where the teachers and the disciples live together. As Eklavya reached the Gurukul, he could see a few huts that were surrounded by some trees and had a yard that was meant for archery. Dronacharya’s disciples were practicing how to shoot arrows using their bows inside the practice yard. Eklavya was spellbound at the sight but he was still looking around for Dronacharya. Where could the teacher be? Would he be able to meet the best archer in the kingdom finally? Unless he could meet Dronacharya, it would mean nothing for Eklavya to be in the gurukul. Even as Eklavya was worried with these thoughts, his anxiety came to a stop as he spotted the teacher. Dronacharya was standing quietly near a tree. He was giving instructions to one of his disciples. The disciple, even though Eklavya did not know it at the time, was prince Arjuna, who was the third of the Pandava princes. Eklavya headed towards Dronacharya, and once there, he bowed down to the teacher.
Dronacharya was very surprised to see a stranger boy at the gurukul. He asked him ‘who are you?’
Eklavya replied, ‘I am Eklavya, and I am the tribal chief’s son. My father is the chief of the western parts of the forests of Hastinapura. I have come here to learn from you, so please accept me as your student and teach me how to be a master of archery.
But Dronacharya was not impressed. ‘Eklavya,’ he said, ‘if you are the son of the tribal chief, it means you are from the Shudra caste. It is the lowest caste of humans as per the Hindu caste system. I am a Brahmin, and as I am of the highest caste, I cannot teach you, who is of the lowest.
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