The story of three disciples: #3 Veda

Posted on May 26, 2010


Áyodha Dhaumya had another disciple, Veda, who remained with his Guru and toiled like an ox under harsh conditions for a long time. Veda often forsook food and comfort to take care of his Guru’s needs.

Finally, Veda completed his studies with his teacher’s blessings and returned home.

* * *

The story about the third disciple seems to end uncharacteristically, but one has to assess this in conjunction with what happened in the case of other two disciples.

Áruni went beyond the call of duty in using his body to stop the flow of water from the dyke. In a way, this dedication enabled Áruni ‘graduate’ with the blessings of his Guru much earlier.

Upamanyu, on the other hand, was initially content to follow the words of his teacher ‘in letter but not in spirit’ .  However, he displayed Aruni’s level of dedication at the toughest of times – when Aswins urged and tempted him to eat the Prasada without sharing it with his Guru. Upamanyu’s refusal (as he has to share any food received in alms) led to his enlightenment.

Veda, however, is not shown to do anything extraordinary. His experience is a reminder that the path to enlightenment demands discipline, dedication and patience.

As for the teacher, it is to be noticed that Dhaumya never cursed or lost faith in Upamanyu . The teacher displayed patience and stood by his student which ultimately resulted in the latter’s benefit. This shows how a teacher ought to be.