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A. This is a story from the great epic Mahabharata, in which Dronacharya teaches archery to the royal princes. Dronacharya, the great archer of his times, had been appointed to teach archery to the royal princes. Being a man of great determination, it was his aim and goal to make the princes the best bowmen in the entire country or nation. One day, he led the princes, along with their attendants, to an open stretch of meadow beside a forest. Dronacharya carried with him a wooden toy bird, about a foot tall and measuring fourteen inches from beak to tail. He asked one of the attendants to accompany him to the forest. At the edge of the forest, he selected a tree, and asked the attendant to climb up and place the wooden bird on a bare branch, clearly in view of the princes standing some three hundred yards away. When he had returned and joined the princes, Dronacharya explained what was expected of them in this lesson.
B. With a piece of wood, he scratched a line through the grass, and told his pupils they would have to toe the line when they aimed at the bird. He also told them that as expert archers they were expected to hit the bird in the head. The eldest of the Pandava princes, Yudhishthira, was asked to come forward and start the competition. Yudhishthira stepped forward, removing his bow from the left shoulder, and toed the line. Selecting an arrow from the quiver behind his right shoulder, he placed it correctly and began to aim at the target and draw on the bow. Dronacharya checked the prince’s stance and the position of his bow and arrow. He then asked Yudhishthira whether he could see him or not. The prince nodded his head and said, “Yes, my lord, I can see you clearly.” “Put down your bow,” said Dronacharya with a smile, “You cannot hit the target.” Yudhishthira was disappointed and went back to join the other princes.
C. One by one each prince came forward and took up his stance, preparing to draw his bow. At which point Dronacharya would interrupt with the same question he had asked Yudhishthira. Each of the princes gave the same reply as Yudhishthira that they could see him clearly. And they were each asked to go back without shooting their arrows. Finally it was Arjuna’s turn. He took his stance and began to draw on the bow, when Dronacharya enquired, “Arjuna, do you see me?” “No, my Lord,” was the reply. “Do you see the tree and the branch on which the bird is kept?” “No, sir.” The other princes were surprised. If Arjuna couldn’t see the branch, how could he shoot the bird? Dronacharya smiled and asked Arjuna, “What do you see, Arjuna.” Arjuna replied, “I see only my target, the head of the bird.” Dronacharya nodded his head and said, “Good, Arjuna, now shoot.” With the bow drawn tight, Arjuna released the arrow. The shaft zipped through the air, piercing the head of the wooden bird. Dronacharya was smiling n delight. The princes also cheered Arjuna’s deed. They now understood the great concentration needed to become an expert archer. Moral- The above story clearly specifies that without self-confidence and determination, one can never succeed in life. This is a story from the book written by Dr. Puneet Chawla “ Moral Stories for better tomorrow ”.
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