STORIES OF BHARAT: The Secret of Focusing

The Pandavas and Kauravas used to learn at the feet of Dronacharya, their teacher. The subjects were as varied as Statecraft, Sciences, Maths, use of weapons like the mace, the bow and arrow, the spear among others, Cooking, Shlokas and so much more. Those days students had to learn the 64 kalas to become a cultured person, an Arya. Even girl students would learn it all. That is how we had princess and queens also so adept in warfare and statecraft. You would be interested in knowing that Bheema was a very good cook!

One day Dronacharya wanted to test his students for concentration. He took all the Pandavas and Kauravas to an orchard where there were parrots. There, he told the princes to take their bow and arrows and make any parrot their target. All the children were eager to please their teacher. All of them did it immediately and were ready to shoot an arrow.

Then Dronacharya asked Duryodhan, “What do you see?” Duryodhan said, “I see the trees, the birds and the sky.” Next, Dronacharya asked Bheema, “What do you see?” Bheema said, “I can see the entire flock of birds on the tree.”

Then Dronacharya asked Arjuna, “What do you see?” Arjuna, who had pulled the string of the bow, with the arrow on the mark, said, “I can see the eye of the parrot.”

Dronacharya said, “Only Arjuna’s arrow will find its mark. Do you know why?” He then continued, “When you have a task to achieve, you should concentrate only on the task. Looking at all other things accompanying the task is a hindrance. Focus on the task, have full concentration on the work to be done.”

Note: In Yoga, there are 2 asanas especially good for students to increase their concentration

  • Surya Namaskar. This is even more useful if done in an open environment, facing the Sun.
  • Tratakasan. In this asana, a lit candle is kept in front of the student and the student has to gaze the lit candle for at least 2 minutes. People using spectacles are not supposed to do this asana. Another way to do this asana is to gaze at the Sun within one hour of Sun-rise or within one hour before Sun-set. One should not gaze for more than one minute. After that, do rub your palms and cup your eyes for relief.

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