Single Mindedness

The Pandavas and Kauravas, when they were young boys, were taught the art of warfare by their teacher Drona.

One day, he organised a mini-competition for all of them. They were to string a bow and aim the arrow at the eye of an imitation bird hanging on one of the branches of a huge banyan tree.

Yudhisthira Maharaj stepped up first and aimed the arrow, when Drona asked him, "Before you shoot, son, tell me what do you see as you aim". Yudhisthira said, "Gurudev, I see the tree, the branch and the bird hanging on the branch". Drona then surprisingly ordered Yudhisthira not to shoot, and called for the next Pandava, Bhimasena, asking the same question.

Bhimasena thought, "Ah, my brother was not thorough
enough", – and said, "Master, I see the leaves, the tree, the branch, the bird and its eye". He too was given the boot. One by one all the young princes were asked the same question and none were allowed to shoot.

Duryodhana even described the sky and the clouds and the sun, but was given the same treatment.

Finally, it was Arjuna’s turn, and Drona smiled and asked the same question. Arjuna simply replied, "Gurudev I see the eye of the bird and nothing else". Drona teased, "Do you see the tree, the branch or at least the rope that hangs the bird"? Arjuna said, all this while aiming, "No Gurudev, I only see the eye of the bird, and nothing else". Drona then roared and said, "Now shoot my boy, for you are bound to hit your target"! And Arjuna shot a steady arrow that flew by and hit the target.

This story describes the undeviated nature that a devotee must have when he is on the path of devotional service. No matter what forms of harassment he may face, no matter what ill-treatment society may dish out, the devotee must be focused on his service to Krishna, and nothing else.

The others saw so many items besides the eye of the bird, and that is why Drona knew they would be unable to hit the target.

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