Pandavas and Kauravas were cousins.
Dronacharya was their common Guru.
One day Dronacharya set them a test in archery. The Master kept a toy bird on a branch of a tree. He asked his pupils to shoot it down.
He called Duryodhana first.
Duryodhana came forward with his bow and arrows. He stood by the Master.
“What do you see above, other than the bird?” asked Dronacharya. “I see the blue sky,” replied Duryodhana.
Telling him to step aside, the Master asked Karna the same question.
Karna replied, “I see the tree and the leaves.”
Dronacharya asked him also, to step aside. He next called Arjuna.
The Master asked him, “What do you see, other than the bird?
Arjuna peered keenly above, and said, “I see the toy bird and nothing else.”
“Very good!’ said Dronacharya, patting Arjuna on the back.
“Now, shoot ‘ ” he ordered.
Arjuna did so, and the toy bird dropped down.
The Master explained, “An archer must see the target and nothing else.”
Archery – Science of the use of bow and arrows.
Cousins – Sons of father’s brother.
Guru – Teacher
Peered – Looked at.
Keenly – Sharply.
Target – Thing aimed at.