Probably one of the most famous characters in this great epic, Arjuna has taught us many lessons throughout the Mahabharata. Being the third eldest Pandava, Arjuna was a vital part of their success in the battle of Kurukshetra. He is truly a person to admire.
One of his greatest strengths is his dedication as a pupil, devotee, and kshatriya. As a pupil to his teacher, Dronacharya, Arjuna excelled in his studies beyond Dronacharya’s own son. As a devotee, Arjuna faithfully served the Lord in every circumstance, including on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, when the Bhagavad Gita was spoken. He chose love for God over otherworldly materialistic objects. As a kshatriya, Arjuna understood his duty, and, despite the difficult circumstances of fighting his loved ones, he put his duty first. Arjuna’s dedication is something very admirable, and, in the same way, we must have the same hard-working attitude and dedication that he does in our daily and spiritual lives.
Another important trait that we see in Arjuna is his attentiveness and focus. There is one famous story that proves this. Dronacharya asked each of his students to shoot the eye of a bird perched in the tree. He asked each one what they saw. They all answered with similar answers, like the tree, leaves, branches, and the bird. But Arjuna said he could only see his target, the eye of the bird. And he alone was able to successfully hit the target.
Finally, we can also admire Arjuna’s humility. Despite being a very skilled archer, and of high status, Arjuna never boasted. He simply served the Lord, the Brahmins, and did his duty as a kshatriya. He was not attached to worldly desires but only wanted to serve anyone he possibly could. And this is a very admirable trait, because today, few people have this strong service attitude.
Overall, Arjuna is an incredible devotee, friend, student, and kshatriya. There are countless more things we could learn from him, but these are just the few that really stick out. His devotion and dedication, as well as his focus on a task, and his humility are what makes him a truly amazing personality.
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Gunarnava Sitaram Das for ISKCON Sacramento
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Archbishop Eric Escala, Continuing Anglican Church