Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stories of Guru Dakshinaa

In the last blog I wrote about ancient Guru and modern teachers, and wrote that those disciples did not pay fees like today's students pay. Today the parents pay the fees for their children, each month and if they don't pay it they are expelled from the school. But in those days students did not pay like this. In fact paying fees was not a regular affair. It was paid only once - at the end of the education. Besides the disciple himself had to pay his fees and it was not paid by the disciple just like that, it was asked by the Guru what he wanted in lieu of his fees. That was called Guru Dakshinaa.

Why was that fees called Guru Dakshinaa? Guru Dakshinaa term is made up two words - Guru and Dakshinaa. Guru means teacher and Dakshinaa means fees which is normally given to Braahman; so Guru Dakshinaa means the fees which is paid to a Braahman. In those days normally all Guru used to be Braahman, as society was more or less strictly distributed in four Varn - Braahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shoodra. All these four Varn had been assigned their own duties - a Braahman's duty was to study and teach Ved, and to do religious activities for himself and for his Yajamaan (client); a Kshatriya's duty was to protect the society; a Vaishya's duty was to trade, rear animals and farming (to feed and to provide all things to all); and a Shoodra's duty was to serve all the three Varn. That is why all Guru used to be Braahman (because that was their duty), and it was customary to pay fees for their duties rendered to the society. That fees was called Dakshinaa. No duty of Braahman rendered to the society was considered complete without giving Dakshinaa to him. When a Braahman was paid a fee for educating the child, it was called Guru Dakshinaa and the fee paid for all other duties was called only Dakshinaa. Normally all Dakshinaa were paid by Yajamaan according his own will and status; but the funny thing was that Guru Dakshinaa was paid not by Yajamaan, but by the disciple himself and was paid only after his education was finished. Guru Dakshinaa not paid by the disciple at his own will, but was asked  by the Guru.

In our history many Guru Dakshinaa are famous. Today I am going to write about those Guru Dakshinaa.

Krishn's Guru Dakshinaa
Krishn was Bhagvaan. He did not need any education, still He was sent to Saandeepan Muni. He finished His education in a very little time. After he had finished it, He said to His Guru to ask Guru Dakshinaa. Guru Jee said - "Krishn, You did not any kind of education. You came her only to give me the honor of being your Guru. Only fortunate Guru gets a disciple like you. I don't need any Guru Dakshinaa from you. I feel most fortunate in this world that I am the Guru of a disciple like you." Krishn said - "I cannot go from here without paying Guru Dakshinaa, because without paying it my education is incomplete, so please tell me what should I pay to you?" Guru Jee said - "I still don't need anything. If you are insisting to pay something, then go and ask your Guru Maataa (Guru's wife) if she needs anything.

So Krishn went to Guru Maataa and said - "Maa, Our education is finished. Guru Jee has permitted us to go home. Now we want to pay Guru Dakshinaa. Guru Jee told that we should ask you if you need anything. Hearing this Guru Maataa broke into tears. They had a son who was lost on the sea coast and since then she was very sad and remembered him very much. In fact he died there, Guru Jee had reconciled with his death but Guru Maataa could not, and she still thought that her son had got lost and would come back after some time. But as he was already dead he did not come back. Seeing Krishn, she started loving Him as her own son. And now when He wanted to go, she could not tolerate His separation. She said - "Krishn, If you can bring my lost son back..." Krishn said - "Sure, Maataa."

So they both, Krishn and Balaraam, went to the sea and asked him if he had seen His Guru's son. The sea told Him that there lived a Daitya named Panchjan in his waters in the conch form, maybe he had taken him. So Krishn went there, killed the Daitya, but could not find his Guru's son in his stomach, so He took his body (conch - His Paanchjanya Shankh) and went to Yam Raaj. He got the dead son from him and came to His Guru Maataa and handed over her son to her. Guru Maataa was so so happy to see her lost son back. Krishn wanted to give that conch to His Guru Jee but he did  not take it saying - "This is yours, you keep it." This was Krishn's Guru Dakshinaa.

Eklavya's Guru Dakshinaa
Eklavya is a Mahaabhaarat (MBH) character. He was the son of a Bheel tribal king. He always wanted to be a very good archer, so he used to practice it very diligently. Once he saw Dronaachaarya teaching archery to Kaurav and Paandav. He found it useful, so he often went to the place where he taught them the archery and watched them learning archery for hours. After coming back he practiced it. Since he was learning all these skills from Dronaachaaraya, though indirectly, he regarded him as his Guru. So he had made an idol of Dronaachaarya and he worshiped him considering him his Guru.

On day Kaurav and Paandav came to the same place where he lived, and started sporting there. They had a dog also with them. By chance that dog came to the same spot where Eklavya was standing. As he saw the dog, he shot a few arrows aiming at his mouth and filled his mouth with arrows. the dog ran away from there and came to Kaurav's camp. Arjun saw that dog and was filled with surprise. He showed it to his Guru Jee. Guru Jee was also surprised to see it. Guru Jee wanted to know who did this to the dog. So they all came to the place where Eklavya was standing, searching for the person who did it to the dog.

They asked him who shot those arrows at the dog's mouth. Eklavya said - "I did." and told the whole story on asking how did he learn that archery. Guru Jee said - "When you have learnt archery from me then you have to give me Guru Dakshinaa too." Eklavya said - "Sure, It is sure that I have learnt archery from you only. Ask Guru Jee whatever your want in Guru Dakshinaa. There is  nothing in this world which I cannot give to you." Dronaachaarya foresaw the seed of a  better archer in Eklavya than Arjun, and he had already declared that Arjun would be the best archer of the world, so it became necessary to uproot that seed. He said - "Give me your right hand thumb." All Kaurav and Paandav stood wondering "what Guru has asked from" but Eklavya didn't take even a moment. He picked up a knife, cut his right hand thumb and kept near his Guru's feet. This was Eklavya's Guru Dakshinaa.

Kaurav and Paandav's Guru Dakshinaa
When Kaurav and Paandav had finished their education, the time came to pay Guru Dakshinaa to their Guru Dronaachaarya. Drone had been nurturing an enmity towards Drupad from the day he could not afford even some milk for his son Ashwatthaamaa. They were educated under the same Guru. They were very fast friends. At that time Drupad used to say whatever is mine, its half is yours. Drone kept it in his mind. After they finished their education, Drupad became the king of Paanchaal kingdom and Drone started his own life. He could not get enough money to survive. He told his wife that he was going to bring a cow for Ashwatthaamaa's milk and till he will not get a cow he wouldn't come back home.

At the same time he heard that Parashuraam Jee was donating his everything, so he went to him, but when he met him, he came to know that he had already donated everything, even this Prithvi, and he did not have anything to give to him. He had only some weapons and warfare techniques, which if he wished to learn, he could teach him. So he lived with him for some time and learnt some unusual weapons and war techniques. But this could not buy him food. So he remembered his friend Drupad and went to him and said - "When we were in Gurukul, you told me that whatever was yours its half was mine, so today I have come to take only one cow from that half share of mine." But Drupad told him that all those things were only childhood talks and he could not be a friend of his at any cost. Drone came back with a sharp thorn in his heart.

When he was coming back, he heard that Bheeshm was looking for a Guru for their grandchildren - Kaurav and Paandav. So he set off towards Hastinaapur. On the he saw Kaurav and Paandav playing ball. Their ball fell in a dry wall and they were unable to take it out. Drone saw this and asked them what was the matter. They told him about the fallen ball in the well and their inability to take it out. Drone said - "If you cannot take out a small ball out of the well, how will you manage a kingdom?" Arjun asked - "Can you take it out?" "Yes" and Drone took it out within no time. Not only ball, but he took out Yudhishthir's ring also from the well. All were surprised to see this. Arjun asked him what was his name, Drone replied "tell this incident and they will understand". When Arjun reported this to Bheeshm. Bheeshm understood that it was Drone and appointed him as the Guru of Kaurav and Paandav. Drone waited for the day when his army will be prepared to defeat Drupad.

So when the time came to take Guru Dakshinaa, he asked both Kaurav and Paandav to bring Drupad tied with a rope behind their chariot. First kaurav went but the came back without Drupad. Then went Paandav and they brought Drupad tied with a rope behind their chariot. Tus Paandav paid their Guru Dakshhinaa, but Kaurav's education remained incomplete as they could not pay their Guru Dakshinaa.

To be continued......

Sushma Gupta

1 comment:

  1. GURU DAKSHINA; Krishna paid it; Eklavaya paid it; and Kaurav Pandavas paid it; not in ordinary ways but in a very special way; nice stories to read;