Dronacharya

Dronacharya and Eklavya
  • Dronacharya was the son of Bhardwaj. He was married to Kripi, the sister of Kripacharya and by her he had a son named Ashvatthama.
  • He was a pupil of the Rishi Agnivesh, from whom he learnt the Agneyastra and mastered the skill of archery.
  • Here he met Drupad, the prince of Panchal, who was also a pupil of Agnivesh. They became good friends. Not having enough to feed his family, he went to Parshuram, who, he had heard, was distributing his wealth among the Brahmans.
  • Dron returned with Parshuram's knowledge of war-fare. He then went to Drupad, on Kripi's suggestion, hoping to get some wealth for his family, but when Drupad refused to acknowledge their prior friendship, Dron left, promising to teach Drupad a lesson. He and his family went to live with his brother-in-law Kripacharya in Hastinapur, where Dron was hoping to get employment.
  • One day, when the Pandavs were playing with a ball, it fell into a well, along with Yudhishthir's ring.
  • Dron, who was standing nearby, helped them. He retrieved the ball with blades of grass and with a string tied to an arrow, brought up the ring from the well. The princes were thrilled and mentioned it to Bhishma.
  • Bhishma immediately engaged Dron to teach the princes the use of arms. Among all his pupils, Arjun was the favourite of Dron.
  • He even obtained from Eklavya, the latter's right thumb as Gurudakshina, ruling out any possibility of opposition, After the princes finished their study, he sent his pupils to conquer king Drupad of Panchal. When Drupad was brought before him, he returned half of his kingdom to Drupad and kept the remaining half, making himself Drupad's equal.
  • In the Mahabharat, he was obliged to fight on the side of the Kauravs. After Bhishma, he was made the commander-in-chief of the Kaurav army, at the suggestion of Karna. Dron fought bravely on the battle-field, but Duryodhan kept doubting his loyalty.
  • When Duryodhan asked him to capture Yudhishthir alive, Dron was pleased, because he thought that Duryodhan intended to return to the Pandav their share of the kingdom. He there-fore ordered the Kaurav army to form the Chakravyuh array, in which Abhimanyu, son of Arjun, was killed. When Dron heard a false report of the death of his son Ashvatthama, he asked Yudhishthir to confirm it. On Yudhishthir's confirmation, Dron lost all interest in life, lay down his weapons and sat down to meditate in the middle of the battle-field.
  • It was at this moment, that Dhrishtadyumna, son of Drupad, ignoring the protests of Arjun and others, cut of Dron's head and avenged his father's insult.

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