Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)
TITLE: Arjun's concentration
By ThresiaPaulose varghese
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Immediately when I read the challenge topic for this week in our Faith writer’s website, my memory brought before me the childhood days I spent with my great grand mother who always insisted me to concentrate on everything that I do.
I still remember the story she told to insist about the success of concentration. For a child of three years her stories had always been journeys to various places of paradise on the white winged horse with golden visor belts!
Everyday after night prayers and dinner she would make me sit on her lap and tell me stories of wonderlands. Every one of her stories would carry morals of indelible memory.
In those days there were no schools. My great grandma never attended any school. But she had plenty of stories which she learned only by hearing. Her son, my maternal grandfather studied only the alphabets and numbers. He attended a school only for two years. He learnt alphabets and numbers by practicing and writing them on the sand which he had to bring and spread on the cow dunged floor of his class room.
One day she told the story of how Arjun and his brothers learnt Vedas and warfare from an ascetic teacher or Guru. Only the princes from palaces and children of higher caste people were taught in those traditional schools called gurukulam. They would stay in the gurukulam or ashram of the guru for years and obey him doing all sorts of works like carrying water from the river, cleaning the surroundings, fetching firewood for cooking, etc. It was practically an ascetic life of learning arts!
Arjun attended the gurukulam along with his Pandava and Kaurava brothers and other princes, sons of various kings. Dhrona was their experienced and learned guru who had many spiritual powers.
Guru Dhrona taught them all kinds of warfare, i.e., riding, fighting, shooting arrows, wrestling, etc along with the Vedic lessons. He taught them the ways of successful living. He took them to various places to give them direct experience. He conducted various tests to check their knowledge.
One day he called all his students and tested their aptitude in shooting arrows. One b one came the students and tried shooting after answering the questions the guru had asked them.
The test was to shoot a parrot sitting on a tree. Before shooting the guru asked them what they saw on the tree. Some said they saw the leaves and some the branches and others the green parrot sitting on the tree. Arjun’s turn came.
“What do you see, Arjun?”
“I see only an eye, guruji, the eye of the parrot,” readily came the reply from Arjun.
“Very good, Arjun! Your answer itself reveals how concentrated you are in your task. Go ahead!” In no time Arjun shot the parrot and it fell on the ground! Such was his accurate aim in shooting arrows.
When others said they could see so many things near the parrot, Arjun was fully concentrated on the parrot’s eye.
This story of my great grandma about concentration helped me in so many ways. She added her own comments about this story how we should live on this earth looking at the hands of our heavenly father.
It enabled me to understand the deeper meaning of St. Paul to the Philippians, “I press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Concentrating on the loving hands of our heavenly Father we are running to reach Him. He gets full control of our spirits. He nourishes our souls.
We just concentrate more fully on the Lord in the midst of our busy life. We stay preoccupied with Him. We think His thoughts. We feed our souls His manna!
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