Drawing Lessons from Epics – How Arjuna defeated Dhrupad?


Arjun defeated Dhrupad in a war as an honororium to Drona. Dhrupad had biggest fleet of army and his commander is invincible. 

Krishna (on meeting Arjun) : I have heard stories of your bravery. You also defeated the most powerful king Dhrupad.

Arjun : But I couldn’t have done it without your help Lord.

Krishna : What did I do?

Arjun : The stones that you gifted me had ‘eye’ carved on it which helped me target the real dhrupad among his many forms and capture him. I thought you were trying to convey a message through the eye carved stones – the one whose eyes are as still as stone is the real Dhrupad – hence I was able to defeat him.

Krishna : But I never meant it to be like that. I just sent those stones as gift to you. It was your wisdom and the demand of the situation which helped you get the right message. Many times we are communicated various messages and information. Only wise people are able to get the right message and act on the same. Most of the times the message is either ignored or misinterpreted.

This small episode from Mahabharat outlines great learnings for communication and making it effective.

  1. The sender should be as clear as possible to get the message across. Not many people are able to get the right message otherwise.
  2. Receiver should always try to derive the right message approriate to the context to get the best results.

This is also substantiated by Murphy’s laws of Communication :

  • Communication usually fails – except by chance
  • If any message can be understood in many ways, it will usually be understood in the way that can cause the most harm

This explains the importance of effective communication in every sphere of our life – personal as well as professional. As a sender of any message, it is our responsibility to be as clear, concise, complete, comprehensive, courteous, correct and consider our audience’s position. As a receiver of any message, we need to look at the context and objective of the communication to derive accurate message.

–          Rashmi Priya, Consultant, the Catalyst


One thought on “Drawing Lessons from Epics – How Arjuna defeated Dhrupad?

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