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Mahabharat - Episode 23 - Guru Dakshina

2021-12-24

Recap

The princes train under drona while Bhishma worries about the kingdom's future.

Guru Dakshina

Irshya manushya ke guno ko dimak ke bhaati khaa jati hai.

Synopsis

Eklavya is introduced as an archer equal to Arjun in terms of skill, but is promptly disabled by Drona by asking for his right thumb as Guru Dakshina. Karna trains under Parshuram after being denied by Drona. Shri Krishna finishes his education under Guru Sandipani and starts a new era by blowing his titular conch, panchjanya. Everyone prepares for the return of royal princes.

Discussion

After a slew of filler episodes with same theme of "Pandav good, Kaurav bad", we can finally see the plot moving forward. Albeit slower than an overloaded truck on a single lane road. We are getting away from blacks and whites and moving more into grey territory. Eklavya, an archer equal to Arjun is denied a chance at a life as an archer just because Drona wanted Arjun to succeed. Again I would like to mention the spread of misinformation that Drona took away Eklavya's thumb because he was not a Kshatriya. Drona did it only for political reason and his affection for Arjun. Nothing else. While this was happening, Karna is learning under the watchful eye of Parshuram, the same Parshuram who we shall meet again when I review Ramayan. He is a legend in Hindu epics, and for good reason.

Eklavya meets Drona

Speaking of legends, we will now be able to witness one of the most legendary performances in Indian TV history by Nitish Bhardwaj. The iconic role of Shri Krishna played beautifully by NB will never be matched by contemporaries. Every word uttered, every act performed is a testament to the fact that he was made for this part. Moving on, we saw two apt metaphors in the scene with Dhritrashtra and Shakuni. When Shakuni meets Dhritrashtra in the chamber of his room, Dhritrashtra is alone in the darkness. A blind man meets a snake in a dark room. What could go wrong? Dhritrashtra tells Shakuni that he didn't hear him come in, to which Shakuni replies that he should learn to do that since he can't listen to the sound of the royal throne being pulled away from Duryodhan. In reality, Dhritrashtra can't hear the sound of his eventual downfall as Shakuni keeps playing him for ulterior motives. Dhritrashtra chooses to remain in the dark because he knows that he is not strong enough to bear the truth. His love for his son is stronger than his morality.

Nitish Bhardwaj as Shri Krishna

Another big topic in this episode was Guru Dakshina. We witness three Dakshinas, two to Dronacharya and one to Guru Sandipani. First is obviously by Eklavya, which Dronacharya took to ensure Arjun's supremacy as the best archer in the world. Second was offered by Dhritrashtra to Drona for educating the princes, in the form a palaces and gold and all sorts of riches. This second Dakshina was denied by Drona, as he educated them on the fact that a Guru doesn't receive a Dakshina but rather asks for it. He will ask for it in due time. (hmm, I wonder if this is foreshadowing...) The third was given by Krishna to Sandipani in the form of his son who was kidnapped as a child by demons and rescued by Krishna and Balram. From there Shri Krishna found Panchjanya, his conch which he blows to signal the beginning of a new era. All Dakshina's are given with different motives. All three are taken with different feelings. But in the end, all three are Dakshinas, and a shiksha is not over until the student gives his Dakshina.

Blind man and the snake in a dark room

In the end, the princes are due to return, and I suspect they will be all grown up in the next episode. Everyone is ready to see them display their skill and prowess in the ceremony that is being held. All the Thus ends this episode which seems to have ended streak of filler episodes in this epic series.

Notable dialogue:

Mujhe guru dakshina me tumhare dahine haath ka angutha chahiye

Ye gurukul hai, ghar ka aangan nahi.

Arjun to vo nar hai Ashwathhama, jiske kaaran hame narayan ke darshan honge.

Arjun, kya dikhai de raha hai?

Mujhe to keval pakshi ki aankh dikhai de rahi hai gurudev

Dhanurdhar ko uske lakshya ke atirikt aur kuch nahi dikhna chahiye

Drona ke uttaradikari tum ho, parantu Dronacharya ka sarvashreshth dhanurdhar Arjun hai.

Guru Dakshina diye bagair, shishya ka vidya par koi adhikaar hi nahi hota.

Maa ke hriday ki peeda to swayam narayan bhi nahi samajh sakte, kyunki ve param pita hai, param maata to nahi hai na?

To be continued

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