Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mahabharata/Jaya - Drona

"Friendship exists among equals. I am king and you are a poor brahmin (priest). Ask anything as a charity and I will give it to you. But don't claim it as friendship". Thus spoke King Dhrupada to Sage Drona when the latter had asked the king for 1 cow. Little did he know that he had provided just another reason to ensure the Great war happens.

Drona and Dhrupad had studied at the same Gurukul during their chidhood. Dhrupad had then declared to Drona that they are friends and whatever belongs to him belongs to Drona.

Drona had grown onto a poor priest. He was married to Kripi. They were so poor that Kripi used to give their son Ashwathama rice water as milk. Seeing this plight, Drona had gone to Dhrupad for help. But Dhrupad's arrogance and insults angered Drona. Drona left and learnt martial arts and warfare from Sage Parshuram. Drona had his own ideas as to how to avenge his insult while promising Parshuram that he will never impart this knowledge to a Kshatriya ( warrior caste).

Was Dhrupad right in this? If you take the written word of the law, Dhrupad was on the right side. But it did not have any meaning in the eyes of love. Maybe, that is why Mahabharata/Jaya also speaks about the friendship of Krishna and Sudama. Krishna, like Dhrupad, was a rich warrior while Sudama, like Drona, was a poor priest. Krishna shared everything he had with Sudama even without asked. This again shows the law as per Krishna. In his eyes as in the eyes of love, everyone is equal. Love cannot be given and help cannot be lent based on someone's caste. So Dhrupad though sticking to the word of Dharma was still maybe unrighteous. Krishna on the other hand shared his love with anyone who came to him thereby, being worshipped and loved in return.

Kripi's brother was Kripa who was employed with Hastinapur as a family priest and teacher. Now, Dhritharashtra knew that his children had a headstart already with education before Kunti brought her children to the palace. He used to invite Kripa for small pretext or otherwise always interfering with the Pandavas' studies. So it was decided that Drona will help in educating the Kauravas and Pandavas.

Once when the princes were playing, the ball fell into a pit. They saw an old man next to the pit. This old man pulled up the ball by pinning a glade of grass against each other. Surprised, the children went to Bhishma who realized it was none other than Drona. 

1 comment:

  1. Drona did the same injustice to Ekalavya what Dhrupad did to him. Drona was agitated by how he was treated by Dhrupad, but didn't seem to have learnt anything from that experience. Casteism then and casteism now too. Nothing has changed with this aspect. It is present everywhere.. just the category varies: Religion, Race, Gender, etc etc..