It is very strange – Dronacharya was not ready to give instruction to Eklavya, but he had come to ask for a gift for being his master! But Eklavya must have been an amazing disciple: he did not refuse to give the gift to the man who had refused to initiate him. A disciple like Eklavya is a real disciple. He immediately cut off his thumb and gave it to Dronacharya. Dronacharya had asked for the thumb of the right hand – it was cunning politics to have him cut off his thumb: then Eklavya’s archery would be useless.
This Dronacharya certainly must have been a cruel, evil-natured person. Far from him being a master, it is not easy to call him human. What a low trick he played! And played it on such a simple-hearted disciple. And still Hindus consider Dronacharya a master, they go on calling him a guru. One does not become a real brahmin just by being born a brahmin.
Eklavya was a real brahmin and Dronacharya just a sudra. His mentality is low. This brahmin Eklavya cut off his thumb; he didn’t hesitate a bit. He didn’t even say, “What are you asking? When I asked for instruction you refused to give it. I have not learned anything from you.” No, although the whole affair was wrong, it never even occurred to him.
He said, “I have learned from you. What difference does it make that you refused me? I have learned this art from you. You went on refusing, but still I learned from you. Look, I have made your statue, so I am indebted to you. You ask for a thumb; even if you ask for my life I would give it.” He gave him his thumb.
To be a disciple depends on you. It is not a question of anyone’s agreement or disagreement.
If you feel that you have received much, then it has happened. Let this feeling go on deepening. Don’t lose the feeling of being a disciple and your growth will be tremendous. You will go on and on receiving. Discipleship is nothing but the art of learning.
The fourth question:
I had heard that wine is bitter and burns in the chest; but the taste of your wine is something else.
Then the wine you are familiar with is not real wine, because wine is neither bitter nor burns in the chest. And what burns in the chest and is bitter is fake wine, not real wine. This is the first time you have come to know the taste of wine. Don’t bother with false wine anymore. You have entered the tavern for the first time. Now make your heart a vessel and drink to your heart’s content, because this drinking will bring transformation. This wine will not bring forgetfulness, this wine will bring remembrance.
Is it really wine that makes you unconscious? This wine is that which brings you consciousness. This wine will wake you up. This wine will acquaint you with the one who sits hidden inside of you. This wine will make you “you.”