Updated: Feb 27
Blog # 10 -
How do you find the real expert in any trade of choice? Look for the student in them. Here is Arjuna, the greatest archer in the Mahabharata who, in the battlefield, learned to center his mind from God himself. Surrounded by all this chaos, gore and destruction, Arjuna himself focussed on the victory of Dharma, not for himself during the war. This is the reason he defeated King Karna.
Arjuna, the key protagonist is the third Pandava brother. Learning weaponry from Drona, he quickly became the greatest archer in the lands, and has many sub-stories about him. A keen student, he learns to invoke the Divyastras, the divine weapons, at will and is an unstoppable force in battle. This is evidenced by his singlehanded victory over the key Kaurava antagonists in a small battle that occurs prior to the 15 day war. Seeing his relatives standing against him at the start of the 15-day war, he lays down his weapons and refuses to fight his relatives. Lord Krishna, who commands his chariot, then proceeds to teach Arjuna the Bhagavad Gita, the essence of all Hindu scripture. This teaching allows Arjuna to center his mind and he proceeds to play his part in the war with individual victories over Bhishma and Karna.
Our null hypothesis of the Arjuna persona:
Arjuna is portrayed as a subject matter expert in archery. However, he is always learning. He learns to focus very early in his archery studies under Drona's tutelage. He continues his quest for expertise and adds the celestial weapons to his arsenal after extended prayers to Lord Shiva. His final learning that he receives from Lord Krishna prepares him mentally on the objectives of battle, particularly with his loved relatives. This thirst for knowledge, and constant student mindset are key attributes to Arjuna's persona. He was also an accomplished musician and dancer and disguised as a woman during the one year of hiding from the Kauravas.
So how does one become an expert at anything? By being a superb student. Don't rest on your current knowledge, keep building on it as a student. Whether it is 10,000 hours of practice a la Gladwell's Outliers, or taking a course, or obtaining a degree, learning has no ending. It is a journey, one that is enjoyed and experienced by the curious-at-heart. The knowledge is the outcome; the learning is the process; the curiosity is the driving force.