Who Was Ekalavya and Why did Drona Refuse to Teach Him?
Eklavya is another character who is often evoked to highlight the castiest nature of society during Mahabharata time. The usual depiction of Ekalavya in popular narratives is of this poor kid who wanted to study under Drona and was refused by Drona because of his lower caste.
This is what Ved Vyas had to say about this incident.
Two things are clear from this, one - Ekalavya was not some poor child. He was the son of Hiranyadhanu, the King of Nishads, and two - Dronacharya refused to teach him because of Kaurava.
If we take references from Pauranik literature, we can also establish that he was no child when he approached Drona, instead he must have been an adult.
Further examination would make the second part much clearer. Nishad’s were allies of Jarasandha and had participated with him in his many raids on Mathura. Jarasandh was an enemy of Hastinapur. Drona’s academy was funded by Hastinapur throne, hence it would not have been advisable for Drona to take one of their enemies as his student.
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