History of Guru Dronacharya of Mahabharata

You must have heard or come across the name of Dronacharya. He is one of the pivotal characters of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Vedic texts, mythological shows, dramas, and TV adaptations of the epic have a mention of him, time and time again. And if you do not know about Dronacharya or want some recollection, this is a perfect article for you.

Drona, also known as Guru Dronacharya, is considered to be one of the most prominent figures in Hindu Mythology. This is because he has a major contribution in giving the Mahabharata its essence. After all, he still continues to be a source of spiritual and moral inspiration for many. Let us know some interesting facts about him.

Who was Dronacharya?

Dronacharya, primarily, was a royal preceptor (or teacher) of Kauravas and Pandavas. In addition, he was a master of various forms of military arts and had knowledge of celestial weapons.

He imparted valuable war lessons to both the Kshatriya clans. As it was a moral and Dharmic responsibility of Pandavas and Kshatriyas to learn how to be a warrior, Drona became a valuable part of their lives.


Dronacharya taught them the code of conduct of a Kshatriya, the principles of war, the spirit of a warrior and trained them at weaponry.

Even though the knowledge he imparted to the Kauravas and Pandavas was substantial and played a huge role in grooming them as warriors, it ends up being fatal for both the clans as they turn against each other.

Dronacharya provides equal care and attention to all of his students. However, Arjuna becomes one of the most impeccable warriors, with an almost natural flair for weaponry and wars. Being truthful and dignified, he became a role model for all the Kshatriyas.

Believed to be an incarnation of Lord Brihaspati, he was considered a transcendental figure in Mahabharata. He was taught by Parashuram the art of weaponry. Through constant training and persistence, he became a spiritual entity.

In fact, he was the only one in the battle of Kurukshetra who knew how to use Brahmashastra, the biggest celestial weapon of all.

Father of Dronacharya

Dronacharya was a son of Bharadvaja, one of the Saptarishis or the seven great sages. Bharadvaja is one of the prominent authors of the sixth book of Rigveda and has his influence on Charaka Samhita, the ancient medical scripture.

He was garnered with love and admiration throughout his life for being one of the greatest sages. He also appears in Ramayana just before Ram, Sita, and Lakshaman set off to Chitrakoot for their fourteen-year exile.

Being a father of Dronacharya, he, alongside Parashuram, provided Drona with the knowledge of Dharma.

Dronacharya Son

Dronacharya has a son named Aswathama, who became a great warrior and a Maharathi. Aswathama was imparted with the same training as Kauravas and Pandavas. Drona trained him alongside other students.

Aswathama went on to fight in the battle of Kurukshetra against the Pandavas. He fought for the Kauravas with brave spirits. However, he was cursed by Lord Krishna to become an immortal.

Dronacharya was deceived by the fake news of Aswathams’s demise on the battlefield, which was a plot by Krishna to defeat the Kauravas. In the grief of his son’s apparent demise, he surrendered himself unto meditation.

Dronacharya and Eklavya

Eklavya was a great disciplined warrior with immense respect for Guru Dronacharya. Even though he was refused to be given instruction and training by Drona, being a lower caste, he went on to learn the arts of military and archery, all by himself.

Through the constant determination and worship of Drona’s idol, he became an exceptional archer.

When Drona learns of Eklavya’s exceptional skills as a warrior, he enquires him about his master. Eklavya shows him the idol of Dronacharya. Drona then becomes fearful of the fact that Eklavya might become more advanced as a warrior than Arjuna. Therefore, in return, he asks for his right thumb.

As a result, he cuts off his thumb and offers to Dronacharya in the form of Guru Dakshina. He sacrifices his thumb out of his love for Drona. In return, Drona offers him the blessings of becoming an even bigger warrior. However, by no means did he become more qualified than Arjuna because of losing a thumb.

Who Killed Dronacharya?

On the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Lord Krishna hatched a plan against the Kauravas to help Arjuna to gain victory. However, as Dronacharya was the most experienced and learned warrior himself, it was becoming more difficult to defeat the Kauravas.

As a part of the plan, Dronocharya was given the fake news of Aswathama’s demise. He was informed about the death of Aswathama.

Bheem had killed an elephant named Aswathama, but Drona was not given this information. Even though the news was not true, it made Dronacharya extremely helpless and sorrowful.

As a result, he chose to surrender himself. On the battlefield itself, he sat down in a meditative pose, being extremely sorrowful on hearing the loss of his son. While he was in meditation, Dhrishtadyumna took this golden opportunity and beheaded him then and there.

The whole incident was a carefully laid out plan by Krishna to make his devotee and friend Arjuna win the battle. Thus, Dronacharya died out of his misconception and the hamartia of being so gullible.

In Conclusion,

Dronacharya played a major role in giving the Mahabharata its essence. Moreover, he plays a pivotal role in giving effect to Mahabharata’s cores, principles, and teachings.

Even though he was an extremely learned figure and one of the most respectable ones, his character flaw of getting easily convinced by others proved fatal for him and the Kaurava clan.

Nevertheless, his qualification as a teacher, warrior, instructor, preceptor, and a civilized person of the society, he set many benchmarks and provided valuable lessons to his students. The knowledge and values he provided to the Kauravas and Pandavas, in turn, prove to be extremely rewarding for both parties.

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