Content of The Offering
The Indian epic Mahabharata is an enduring collection of tales about the ancient period and particularly focuses on the feud between Pandavasand Kauravas over the royal Kuru throne. Conventionally, the Pandavas are considered to be representing the force of good, but there is one particular tale in the epic that casts an ungraceful shadow on that belief, which is the story of Eklavya.
Eklavya was a skilled archer whose immense talent in handling the bow and arrow could have provided much needed support to the Kauravas and rescued them from defeat. Eklavya had sacrificed his most valuable asset as Guru Dakshina, which is paid as a tribute to the teacher, to his Guru Dronacharya. It was done so that Guru-Shishya Parampara, an ancient Indian tradition, was not let down. The Offering: The Story of Eklavya and Dronacharya stresses on this particular tale of devotion and sacrifice.
The character of Eklavya is introduced in Mahabharata many years before the war of Kurukshetra that lasted for 18 days. The story is set in the period when the Pandavas were still young and were attaining training in various forms of warfare from Guru Dronacharya. Eklavya was a tribal Prince was wanted to learn from the highly respected teacher Guru Dronacharya, but this provoked a strong sense of jealousy from Arjuna. As Eklavya was better than Arjuna in archery, Dronacharya asks for such a Guru Dakshina from Eklavya that will render hi useless in warfare.
The great Rishi Narada, who despised lies but adored trouble, became determined to make the tale of Eklavya and Guru Dronacharya live on. Moreover in the battle of Kurukshetra, the injustice was eventually rectified and the story was retold.
The graphic novel The Offering: The Story of Eklavya and Dronacharya is published only in English and targeted at the urban youth in India.