Such an attitude does not bring good to a person in the long run. Sri Krishna says in the Gita,
Durena hyavaram karma buddhi yogat dhananjaya
Buddhau saranamanviccha krpanaa phalahetava
Work performed with desire is far inferior to that performed with the mind undisturbed by thought of results. Dhananjaya, take refuge in this Buddhi Yoga, which is evenness of mind. Pitiable are those whose actions are oriented to results
Gita II 49
Drona and his disciple Arjuna clearly show the difference between a person who does an action for its own sake and a person who performs an action so that he may derive a benefit from it.
Once when they were children, Arjuna found Bhima eating in the dark. He asked him, “How do you manage to eat in the dark?” Bhima replied, “I know where my mouth is and I know where the food is. So with my mind I connect the two.”
This set Arjuna thinking. He decided that if it was possible to eat in the dark, it should be possible to shoot in the dark. From then on he practised shooting in the night and further sharpened his skills. If Arjuna became the foremost archer of all ages, it was because he was constantly improving his skills and conscious that it is possible to improve always. This is the most important necessity in sadhana, the knowledge that one is not perfect and the desire to perfect oneself. Sri Sarada Devi used to pray, “Even the moon has a blemish. But let me be blemishless.”
Nothing in this world comes for free. But it is an eternal dream of human beings that they can get something for free. This is the reason why even today in this 21st century people approach astrologers to ask whether they can find an hidden treasure, why lotteries are ever popular and why get-rich-quick schemes are always patronized.
People want advancement but they are unwilling to work hard for it. When Dronacharya and his pupils saw the prowess of Ekalavya, they were amazed. Arjuna angrily reminded Dronacharya of his promise to make him (Arjuna) the greatest archer in the world. Instead of improving Arjuna’s skills further and teaching him how to become a better archer than Ekalavya, Dronacharya took the easy way out and asked Ekalavya to cut off his thumb and offer it to him as Gurudakshina. By doing this Dronacharya created a lifelong enemy for Arjuna for Ekalavya taught himself to shoot with his left hand, and though not as brilliant as he used to be, still was a formidable warrior and died in Kurukshetra fighting on Duryodhana’s side.
Dronacharya could have either told Arjuna to appreciate Ekalavya’s archery and try to surpass it by his own efforts or he could have taught him further lessons of archery not known to Ekalavya. But he wanted to make the prince happy and make him happy immediately for Arjuna was the vehicle to the realization of all Drona’s dreams.
Another example of Drona’s lack of commitment as a true teacher is his treatment of his disciples. His son Asvathaman was also a disciple of his. Now all Drona’s life was wrapped up in Asvathaman; he went to Drupada’s court especially for his son’s sake. Asvathaman was basically an evil person though there were many good qualities in him. The Mahabharata says that Asvathaman was made up of portions of Mahadeva, Yama, Kama and Anger which merged into one and even as a boy excelled in all types of black magic. Drona was aware of his lack of ability in military matters but yet wanted him to excel all his other disciples. When all the disciples went to collect water he gave Asvathaman a wide mouthed vessel and gave all the others narrow mouthed vessels. Asvathaman used to finish filling water much before the other disciples and in the time gap Drona used to teach him mantras. This was to enable him to stay ahead of the other disciples. Since Arjuna filled up his vessel with the help of the astra presided over by Varuna, he reached along with Asvathaman and learnt the mantras along with him. One such was the Brahma astra. Though he knew that Asvathaman did not have the requisite mental and moral qualifications to learn the Brahma astra mantras, out of paternal affection Drona taught it to him.