19-Sep-03 (Created: 19-Sep-03) | More in '05.10-Letters To My Daughter'

Ekagratha - Focus

The Pandava prince Arjuna is known for his wisdom of weaponary. In sanskrit in which Mahabharatha was written the word "weapon" rhymes with the word "science". A weapon does not exist with out a serious study of science. Weapons have personal names. Each weapon seem to have been a perosnification of years of study and knowledge. The tales of Mahabharatha are ripe with such abstractions. Perhaps that is a subject on its own.

Back to the original story. So the art of weapons being a science, Arjuna as a child was being taught by Drona.charya, the renowned teacher of the Kaurava Court. On a certain occasion the grand old man of the dynasty Bhishma drops by to check on his grand children. A demonstration of their skills ensued. The test of the time is to take aim at the eye of a bird sitting on a tall Oak.

The five of the Pandava princes and the 100 of the Kaurava Princes are lined up for the task with Arjuna being lined at the last intentionally although he was the middle of the 5 of the Pandava princes. As each of the students take aim, each one has a different interpretation of what they saw while aiming at the bird. One saw the blue sky, and one saw the branches and the leaves and one saw the bird itself etc.

When it is Arjunas turn, I am certain to his apparent dismay, saw nothing, that ofcourse except the eye in its complete magnificence. A transcendental vision perhaps. While he watches his aim the rest of the physical world seem to disolve into nothingness.

This unbridled focus is the essence of study. Intelligence is nothing but a manifestation of all absorbing interest in your subject. Everything else is bound to follow.

There is another important element to this story. It is not often that the attention gets drawn to the fact that Arjuna FORGOT the world. So focus and forgetfullness go hand in hand. Unless you are capable of forgetting you won't be able to focus. Not knowing this principle of forgetfullness seem to be the bane of many learners. To ignore the small and many for the big and one is important.

I am not an expert on sanskrit. But "Ekagratha" literally might mean "Focus or mind on ONE" (Eka - means one in sanskrit)