A student's distinction lies in his devout pursuit of knowledge,
and not merely in his heritage. This manifests in a splendid manner in Ekalavya's life. He
worshipped an idol of his 'Guru', learnt his lessons in archery in the Master's absence,
and mastered the art. When his master desired the thumb of Ekalavya's right hand as a fee,
which might cripple him, Ekalavya smilingly sacrificed it. A boy who had grown up in the
forest thus developed into a great personality - a fine example for others to emulate.
Tasmai sri gurave namah'
In our land the teacher who imparts training is held in very high esteem. The teacher
is respected like a father. As the above saying describes, the teacher is considered as
the 'trimurtis'- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva - all rolled into one.
In olden times, children who sought learning had to live with their teacher faithfully
attend to the chores assigned to them and pursue their studies with concentration as he
taught them. Such stay of the pupil with his teacher was known as 'Gurukulavasa'
(staying and learning at the abode of the master').
The teacher was not merely teaching his pupil some subjects in a parrotlike manner. He
would actually shape the boy's character and personality too by instilling in him an
awareness of the world around him, and how to lead a life useful to the society and face
various problems one comes across in life. Thus the tutor, who trains young boys to face
life in future with success, came to be accorded a revered place in our culture.