Aruni and Dhoumya – teacher and student example

Aruni – the real disciple of his teacher

We find many examples highlighting teacher and pupil’s relationship or depicting the devotion of the disciple towards its teacher. Ekalavya, Karna, Ram, Krishna all great gods of Indian mythology were great pupils as well. One such disciple is Aruni.

Aruni was in gurukul – The teacher’s abode

Aruni was a disciple of the ancient sage Dhoumya. In olden days a student had to stay with the teacher and help in the teacher’s daily chores in order to attain the knowledge he sought.
It was winter. Aruni was carrying the firewood he had collected for the sage’s household. As he was passing by the field, which belonged to the sage, he noticed a breach in the embankment that was holding water in his teacher’s field. He realized that the water would drain away and the field’s crops would die with no water.

Aruni – another example of teacher – disciple relationship

Aruni decides to tend to the field

He was in a dilemma If he stops to build the embankment,  there will be a delay as there is no firewood at the teacher’s place to keep it warm. He thought its better to rush to the hermitage with the firewood and then come back to take care of the breach.
Meanwhile the sage and his disciples had assembled for the day’s lesson. Aruni was missing.
Soon Aruni rushed in, dropped the firewood in the courtyard, and informed the teacher about the breach of the embankment. Then he quickly rushed out.
His teacher Dhoumya felt proud of his disciple, “It is hard to get such a responsible pupil.”

Aruni ran all the way back to the troubled spot and tried to stop the leakage of water by putting some logs and mud. However, this did not stop the leak. The heavy pressure of water washed away the dam Aruni made. He felt helpless. It seemed impossible for him to stop the leakage without help. He thought for a while and then made a plan.
When it turned dark, the teacher became worried. He called his disciples and set out looking for Aruni. As he called out for Aruni, he heard a faint voice, “Here I am!”

Aruni was found freezing

The teacher and his disciples rushed to the spot and saw Aruni lying on the breach, trying to cover the gap. The disciples quickly pulled Aruni out from the freezing water. He was repeatedly muttering, “The water is flowing out, the crops will die.”
“Don’t worry Aruni! We will take care of the breach,” said the disciples.
“Never mind my son! You are more precious than the crop,” said the teacher.
Aruni was covered in a blanket and brought home. Sage Dhoumya himself tended to Aruni. The sage then blessed his disciple with pride, “You shall, forever, be renowned for your unmatched devotion and obedience to your guru.

Aruni - The devoted student

Thus Aruni presented a notable example of his devotion towards his teacher. This indian story is taken from Mahabharat, a Hindu mythology epic.


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