This is the Story of a teacher who was known for his outstanding ability in every field and every discipline. In fact, in the field of sports, we do have an award on the name of Dronacharya given to the best coach. Ramakant Archekar and Mahavir Singh Phogat are the famous ones who got this award.
The Early life of Drona
The birth of Dronacharya itself is miraculous to us. Dronacharya was not born out of Mother’s womb but he does have father Rishi Bharadwaj. Rishi Bharadwaj one day had gone to the river to perform his regular rituals and he then sees women taking bath. Her beauty pulls Rishi Bharadwaj into desire and just watching her, sage goes through sexual feeling. He then collects his semen and puts into a vessel called Drona. Out of this is born Dronacharya.
He was born and lived in poverty all through his childhood. But somehow managed to go forward. He then moves to a kingdom called Drupad. Luckily to him, the prince of Drupad was also a small kid. Drona and Drupad played together and learnt the lessons together. Drona complains of not having anything in life and Drupad promises half of his kingdom to Drona and all this happens in their childhood.
Drona’s Connection with Parashuram
After a few years, one day Drona gets to know that Parashuram is giving away his kingdom and wealth to Brahmins. Drona goes there with a want to get something, but by the time he reaches, everything is already given. So Parashuram decided to transfers all his knowledge to Dronacharya. That’s when Dronacharya becomes the wealthiest with all his knowledge. Drona now moves to Kingdom called as Hastinapur.
Long Life in Hastinapur
In Hastinapur Drona meets Krupacharya. He is the Raja guru of Hastinapur. Krupacharya is the teacher for Kuru, Dhritarashtra and Pandu. Krupa after looking at Dronacharya ability and knowledge gets inspired and makes him married to his sister Krupi. This establishes a connection with Hastinapur and Kuru Dynasty. Krupacharya introduces Drona to Bhishma. Bhishma then hands over the learning of Kauravas and Pandavas to Dronacharya.
That’s how he develops a special bond with Arjuna. He starts to treat Arjuna as his favourite student. Meanwhile, Dronacharya is blessed with a boy and he names him Ashwathama. Ashwathama also gets trained under Drona and decides to get close to Duryodhana.
Then arrives the Dharma Yudham for Dronacharya
Ekalavya – a shudra by caste comes to Drona seeking his teaching in Archery. Dronacharya refuses to teach him sighting his caste. But Ekalavya filled with passion and dedication decides to capture the image of Drona and scriptures him into an image. Looking at the image and silently observing the teaching of Drona to Arjuna, Ekalavya captures them and masters the art of Archery. He turns himself into an excellent archer with pure determination.
On a day, Arjuna was practising archery just listening to sounds of barking dogs. Arjuna was asked to hit the barking dogs which he fails. Arrives Ekalavya and asks Drona for permission to try. Ekalavya successfully completes the test. Stunned by this, Dronacharya takes an explanation from him on his performance. After listening to him that Drona himself was his invincible teacher, Drona asks for Gurudakshina. Drona asks the right thumb of Ekalavya in return for his education and Ekalavya with no option accepts the request. This action by Dronacharya killed the best archer in those times.
There is obvious controversy around this on how can Dronacharya stop Ekalavya in such manner from becoming World’s best archer. Vyasa in his writing clearly states how Ekalavya was wrong in stealing the knowledge without the approval of Dronacharya and he had suffered the punishment as a result.
And then arrives the Karma-Dharma Yudham for Dronacharya
Arjuna and Dronacharya meet again but this time on the battlefield. Arjuna on the side of Pandava and Drona on Kauravas side. Dronacharya completely knew his dharma and with no big deal of confusion, he fought hard against Arjuna and an intense battle. On the 13th day of the battle, he traps Arjuna’s favourite son Abhimanyu who was just a teenager in a Chakra vyuh and was instrumental in his death. As he is the guru of all Pandavas he was a step ahead and it became difficult for Pandavas to tame Drona. This is when Krishna hatches a plan of telling a lie to Drona that his son, Ashwatthama is dead. Drona refuses to believe and wants Yudhistir to speak the same. Yudhistir is known for living life with Honesty and Dharma.
Krishna gets an elephant named Ashwathama killed and makes Yudhistir to tell the same to Dronacharya. While Yudhistir is about to complete his sentence, the trumpet sounds disturb the speech and Dronacharya goes to shock mode for seconds listening that his son is died. With no delay he gets pounded with arrows and Dronacharya leaves this world.
The story of Dronacharya is a story of a teacher who stuck to his dharma, his preferences and choices when it comes to teaching his students. He lived an exemplary life where he taught his favourite student Arjuna more than his own son Ashwatthama. This story is taken out of Mahabharata just to give a glimpse of the life of one of the greatest teachers to walk this planet.