Prof. Sundar Sarukkai - Ekalavya and the Possibility of Learning
Updated: Jan 23, 2021
Prof Sarukkai began with a very basic comment on Reading a Text and particularly on reading a text like Mahābhārata as a complex text like Mahābhārata can be read in different ways. He then says that his reading of the Ekalavya story is extremely important because there are numerous significant lessons that comes when one engages with Ekalavya. He further dabble with questions of pedagogy, learning, and education in ancient and contemporary times.
Attesting to the philosophical relevance of the epics Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa, Prof. Sarukkai claims they are present and paramount to every nook and corner of India. In further explaining and exploring the conception of Ekalavya and the possibility of learning Prof. Sarukkai addressed various stories and instances from the Mahābhārata and explored some basic yet profound questions such as Why did Drona asks for Ekalavya’s thumb? Why does Drona wanted Arjuna to be the best archer? What does the relation of Drona and Ekalavya teaches us about the relationship between the student and a teacher? What is the ethical relationship between a student and a teacher? By exploring insightful question like these and many Prof. Sarukkai said that since these questions are so deep and thus becomes philosophically significant to be studied as they primarily talks about theories of action.
Prof. Sarukkai then in the closing of his lecture again shed light on the question of Drona asking for Ekalavya’s thumb and explained a significant area of interpretation of asking for the ego. Explaining vital areas of social position, power and authority from the illustration of this interpretation was highly enlightening.Prof. Sarukkai’s exploration of significant question from this vital area of Mahābhārata brought to us an explanation of a theme which is extremely significant in the contemporary times as well.
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