5 Role Models Who Were Excellent Students

You've probably heard of them during your bedtime stories as a child. They were the role models that took dedication and focused learning to another level with their feats. Here's our list of 5 such people who were excellent students during their time:

1. Eklavya

Eklavya wanted to learn archery from Dronacharya but was turned down by the priest warrior. Not deterred by this, Eklavya made a statue of Dronacharya from mud and considered it to be his master. He trained himself in the art of archery and due to his consistent practice and devotion, Eklavya surpassed Dronacharya’s favorite disciple, Arjuna, in the skills of archery. When Dronacharya asked for his guru dakshina, Eklavya gave away his right thumb without hesitating.

2. Arjuna

While studying at the gurukul, Dronacharaya asked each of his students what they could see on the nearby tree. While some said leaves and fruits, Arjuna said that he could only see the eye of the bird sitting on a tree branch. This story shows how focused Arjuna was, right from his childhood, and thus Dronacharya’s favorite.

3. Surdas

To help him overcome anger and grow spiritually, Surdas’ guru asked him to chant God’s name for a month and return to him after taking a bath. Surdas failed twice when he shouted on a sweeper for dirtying his clothes on his way to meet the guru. The third time he kept quite even as the sweeper threw all his garbage on him, thus letting Surdas break free from the anger that withheld him on the path of spirituality.

4. Swami Vivekananda

A spiritually inclined Narendranath wanted to ensure that his family was well-fed and clothed before he left his worldly duties and pursue his inner calling. Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa put him in a situation where every time he could ask the Divine Mother only for higher spiritual knowledge and nothing else. Eventually Swami Vivekananda realized that this was his master’s plan and was convinced that his family will be taken care of. Narendranath went on to become Swami Vivekananda - one of the most popular spiritual masters of the 20th century.

5. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

The young prince of Marathas was highly devoted to his guru, Samarth Ramdas Swami. The other disciples were jealous of the guru’s liking for the prince and so the guru decided to teach them a lesson. He told Shivaji that he was unwell and could be cured only by drinking a tigress’ milk. Shivaji ventured into the jungle, found a tigress with two cubs, and prayed to her that she may let him milk her. The mighty creature obliged and the prince returned with her milk, thus silencing the other disciples about his capabilities.

Though we may not have been as exceptional students as these people were, we can still be grateful to our teachers and mentors for making us what we are today. Let us celebrate this Guru Purnima by honoring them for their infinite patience and dedication.