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Dronacharya : The Teacher

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At a glance

Description
Origin Indian Mythology
Classification Mortals
Family Members Bharadwaja (Father), Kripi (Wife), Ashwathama (Son)
Region Indian
Associated With Teaching, Warfare, Divine Weapons

Dronacharya

Introduction

Drona was a royal preceptor and teacher to the Pandavas and Kauravas, and he is one of the main characters in the epic Mahabharata in Indian mythology. He was also a friend of Guru Sukracharya, who is the guru of Asuras. Dronacharya’s legend as a great teacher and warrior exceeds Hindu mythology by strongly influencing Indian social traditions. Drona inspires great debates about morality and dharma in the Mahābhārata epic.

He was the son of Bharadwaja, a descendant of Angirasa, and the second commanding officer of the Kaurava army during the 11th to 15th days of the war. He was also skilled in various military arts, such as the use of divine weapons. He was beheaded by Dhrishtadyumna while he was meditating on the battlefield. It was believed that he was the incarnation of Lord Brihaspati. He was the Guru of the Pandavas, Kauravas, Jaydrath, and Aswathama.

Physical Traits

Mostly found wearing the saffron robes of a brahmin, he has also been depicted as preferring the colour white in many representations. He is a battle hardened brahmin with scars galore rather than the soft features of other worship and wisdom oriented brahmins of his time.

Family

Drona’s father Sage Bharadwaja was on a river when he saw Ghritachi, an apsara whose beauty completely captivated him. He was overwhelmed with desire and ejaculated into a pot, inside which the child Drona developed and was then brought to the ashram. Dhronachrya married Kripi, the sister of Kripa who was the royal teacher of the princes of Hastinapura. Dronacharya’s strained relationship with his childhood friend King Draupada, his preference for Arjuna and his strong caste based ideals eventually led to his downfall.

Other Names

He was born Drona but was given the suffix ‘acharya’ after he proved himself as the teacher of the royal families of Hastinapura. Ever since, he was referred to as Dronacharya.

Powers and Abilities

Dronacharya was trained in warfare by the great Parashurama itself. When Drona learned that Parasurama had been giving away his fruits of penance to other brahmanas, he decided to approach him. Unfortunately, after arriving, Drona learnt that Parasurama had already given away most of his belongings. He took pity on Drona and decided to teach him about fighting and weaponry instead.

Dronacharya was also a great teacher and imparted training in combat, strategy, use of various weapons and divine incantations for celestial weapons. This allowed his students to become among the greatest warriors among all at that point in time

Modern Day Influence

Despite his shortcomings and personality flaws, Dronacharya is considered to be a great teacher in the Indian mythology even today. The Indian government bestows the best coaches in the country across multiple sports division with the Dronacharya Award every year.

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