Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India

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Read about Drona at Wikipedia or the Urday website (also: Urday: Drona and Ekalavya).

DRONA. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] `A bucket.' A Brahman so named from his having been generated by his father, Bharadwaja, in a bucket.

He married Kripa, half-sister of Bhishma, and by her was father of Aswatthaman. He was acharya, or teacher of the military art, both to the Kaurava and Pandava princes, and so he was called Dronacharya.

He had been slighted by Drupada, king of Panchala, and became his enemy. Through the instrumentality of the Pandavas he made Drupada prisoner, and took from him half of his kingdom; but he spared his life and gave him back the other half of his country. But the old animosity rankled, and ended in the death of both.

In the Great War Drona sided with the Kauravas, and after the death of Bhishma he became their commander-in-chief. On the fourth day of his command he killed Drupada, and in his turn he was unfairly slain in combat by Dhrishtadyumna, who had sworn to avenge his father's death.

In the midst of this combat Drona was told that his son was dead, which so unnerved him that he laid down his arms and his opponent decapitated him. But Drona was a Brahman and an Acharya, and the crime of killing him was enormous, so it is glossed over by the statement that Drona "transported himself to heaven in a glittering state like the sun, and Dhrishtadyumna decapitated merely his lifeless body."

Drona was also called Kutaja. The common meaning of Kuta is `mountain-top,' but one of its many other meanings is `water-jar.' His patronymic is Bharadwaja.

ACHARYA. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] A spiritual teacher or guide. A title of Drona, the teacher of the pandavas.  

Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. The textual material made available at this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. No claims are made regarding the status of images used at this website; if you own the copyright privileges to any of these images and believe your copyright privileges have been violated, please contact the webmaster. Page last updated: October 16, 2007 12:22 PM