Tuesday, 29 May 2012

It is now Drona's turn. Mahabharata 154

There is full moon early in the morning and in its light the war begins. Soon, Drona kills Drupada, Virata and more. Dhristdhyumna advances to face  Drona, while Duryodhana and Karna move to protect him. Drona, very hurt by Duryodhana's criticism, is fighting with a vengeance. In this state it seems impossibe to defeat Drona. 

 Unless Drona drops his bow and sits quiet, there is no hope of victory for pandavas. This sets Krishna thinking. 'Let someone declare that Aswatthma is dead, Drona will then stop fighting.' No one is willing to do this. Meanwhile Bheema  kills an elephant named Ashwatthama and shouts   'Ashwatthma is dead', making sure that Drona hears him. As soon as Drona hears the shout, he becomes very dejected, but as he suspects its veracity, he knows his son's ability as a warrior, he recovers quickly and attacks Drishtadyumna with a renewed vigour.

Looking at the situation, Krishna advises Yudhisthira, 'If Drona continues to fight  this way, very soon there will be no army left. It is the truth. A lie is now more important  now than truth. There is no sin if  you speak a lie to save your life.'  Bheema supports Krishna and tells him about what he did  just then, 'Drona did not believe me, listen to Govinda so that we can win.  If he hears this news from your mouth, he will believe you. You are known to be a truthful person.'

Yudhisthira yields to Bheema's request and shouts अश्वत्थाम हत:  and softly कुञ्जर: (Ashwatthama the elephant is dead!). Hearing this and believing it this time, Drona looses interest in the fight. In spite of the sudden drop in his energy, he kills the charioteer of Dhristadyumna breaks his bow. Both Satyaki and Arjuna come to support and Bheema takes Dhristhadyumna on his chariot and addresses Drona, 'If Brahmins do not learn the skills of an archer and engage in wars,  Khsatriyas will be saved.  Non-violence is a supreme dharma and Brahmins are the basis for this dharma. Among brahmins you are the greatest. The person for whom you took to teaching the use of arms is now lying down dead! 

Drona reacting to Bheema's words, gives up the fight, 'Kripa, Karna, Duryodhana you take over now. Let both you and the pandavas be blessed. I am keeping down my arms'. and cries  'Oh Ashwatthama!'  And after blessing every being he goes into a yogic trance. As he starts meditating a bright light leaves his body.

Drhristadhyumna then jumps down from the chariot and strides close to the inert body of Drona and holds his tuft and quickly cuts off his head. Thus ends the life of a man, who at eighty five fought like a sixteen year old! 

Drona was the Royal guru and one wonders whether it was necessary for him get involved directly in the war. As I read about him in Wikipedia, I was surprised with some of the details, some strange, but not during those times!

Whoever contributed to wikipedia, was highly critical of Drona, the Brahmin guru!

Drona was born a Bharadwaja  brahmin in 9000BC Dehradun. Drona implies that he was not gestated in a womb, but outside the human body in a droon (vessel). The story of Drona's birth is recounted dramatically in Mahābhārata, Book I: Adi Parva, and Sambhava Parva.
Bharadwaja went with his companions to the Ganges to perform his ablutions. There he beheld a beautiful apsara named Ghritachi who had come to bathe. The sage was overcome by desire, causing him to produce a reproductive fluid. Bharadwaja captured the fluid in a vessel called a drona, and Drona/Dronacharya himself sprang from the fluid thus preserved. Drona would later boast that he had sprung from Bharadwaja without ever having been in a womb.

Drona married Kripi, the sister of Kripa, the royal teacher of the princes and other children of the kings born out of maidservants in Hastinapura. Like Drona himself, Kripi and her brother had not been gestated in a womb, but outside the human body (see Kripa page). Kripi and Drona had a son, Ashwathama.

The strongest criticism of Drona springs from his behavior towards Ekalavya and his strong bias in favor of Arjuna. Drona similarly rejected Karna, as he did not belong to the kshatriya caste. Thus, Drona inadvertently laid the foundation for Karna's great rivalry with Arjuna. 

It was Drona's own greed, snobbery and lust for power, position, name and fame as a teacher of rich and high-born pupils that led to his betrayal of his dharma as a teacher, for teachers are bound to teach those who are the fittest to learn, and not those who have the most power and wealth.

It may also be concluded that he was responsible for the devious murder of Abhimanyu, as it was he who had suggested simultaneously attacking and disabling the tired, outnumbered and trapped warrior.

The Government of India annually awards the Dronacharya Award for excellence in sports tutelage to the best sports teachers and coaches in India.

It is believed that the city of Gurgaon (literally - "Village of the Guru") was founded as "Guru Gram" by Drona on land given to him by Dhritarashtra, the king of Hastinapur in recognition of his teachings of martial arts to the princes, and the 'Dronacharya Tank', still exists within the Gurgaon city, along with a village called Gurgaon.

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