Drona awakened from his emotional state and remembering his
objective instructed Ashwatthama to go out and make arrangements for their return journey.
He was concerned that his son might oppose him.
After Ashwatthama went out, Drona, in a low voice, summoned Ekalavya.
'Your learning has been enormous, son. I am deeply satisfied. With utter devotion and
practice, you have achievedsomething magnificent. May your achievement become an ideal for
all to emulate.' Drona blessed his disciple whole-heartedly.
Ekalavya was overwhelmed. 'Thank you, 0 Gurudeva! I only wish my mother had heard your
noble words. But, Sir, you blessed me with this training. You asked me in Hastinavati to
pursue my training in my forest and said I too was a disciple of yours. Otherwise, I do
not know whether I could have accomplished this much. May your kind blessings protect me
for all time, Acharya!'
Drona said - 'If you accept me as your Master, you are obliged to pay my fee
('guru-dakshina'). Think it over.'
Ekalavya smilingly replied: 'What is there to think over, Sir? I am your disciple and
you are my 'Guru'. This is as true as the existence of my mother, my forest here and my
dear animal friends. Should I hesitate to pay my obeisance to you? Please say what you
wish, Sir. I will fulfil it even if I have to sacrifice my life in the effort.'
Words failed Drona. He could hardly respond to the glorious devotion of the boy. He
felt utterly helpless and was obliged to tell him: 'Ekalavya, your achievement is
unparalleled. Any master should feel proud of such a disciple. But, son, now it has fallen
to my lot to promise I made.' 'Oh, Master what are you saying? You have to break a
promise? Impossible it will not happen. And that too because I got trained in this art?
Bhagavan! Please tell me how I can help you solve this problem. Everything that is mine,
my whole being is at your disposal.'