Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Gurus of Hastinapur - Part 2

King Prishata, the king of Panchala, watched his son Drupada run across into the hermitage of the Sage Bharadwaja. He followed his son as he saw the great sage. He bowed to the sage and turned to hear a happy shout of joy from Drupada as Drupada found another boy, his own age, in the hermitage.
'Who is he?' The king asked looking at the serious looking dark boy with whom his son was talking.
'He is Drona! My son!' Bharadwaja said quietly.
'Your son?' The king looked surprised. 'Why do you call him 'Drona'?' [In Sanskrit 'Drona' meant vessel or pot.]
'Yes!' Sage Bharadwaja said. 'Many years ago, I fell in love with an apsara Ghritachi! It was because of my desire for her that I was able to develop this baby from a pot! Drona was not born inside the womb of a woman, but from a pot! That was the reason I named him Drona!'
The king nodded as he smiled as he saw the two boys now playing around the hermitage.

The two boys had a very happy children in the ashram of Sage Bharadwaj.
'My friend!' Drupada said hugging Drona, once after Drona had helped him in a particularly difficult task. 'I am a prince! And there will be a time when I am the king of Panchala! At that time, I will do anything for you! Just come to me and I will help you!' Drupada said with a shining smile.
Drona smiled and took no notice of the words....

Fate took its course as King Prishata died and his son, Drupada ascended the throne. Drona being the son of a sage, engaged himself in penance and meditation.
When Drona grew up, he married Kripi, the daughter of Sarwadat. The two of them had a son. As soon as the son was born, it is said that the baby's crying resembled the neighing of a horse! And so it was decided that the baby should be called as Ashwattaman (Ashwattaman in Sanskrit means 'the one whose voice is like a horse')
But then despite being brought up as a sage, like his father-in-law – Sarwadat, Drona had a natural interest in weapons. Drona practiced with his weapons regularly, in his hermitage. It was even said that when Drona was younger he even learnt to control the use of the powerful weapon – Agneya, from his father.
After Ashwattaman was born, Drona came to know that Sage Parashurama who was one of the greatest warriors of his times was giving away all his wealth.
Drona hurriedly left his hermitage and went to see the sage, who was at that time living in the Mahendra mountains. However the journey was a long one and Drona was late by the time he reached the place, where Parashurama was staying. By this time, the warrior sage Parashurama had given away most of the possessions. 
Seeing Drona, Parashurama looked dismayed. 'I have given away all my gold and money! I have only two more things to body or my weapons! What do you want?'
Drona smiled to himself. 'I am not late! I came here to learn about all the advanced weapons that you know!'
Sage Parashurama smiled. 
Sage Parashurama taught Drona all that he knew about weapons. And Drona was a very good student and he learnt it all. After teaching Drona, Sage Parashurama left the place and went to the mountains to meditate.
Armed with his knowledge Drona went back to his hermitage, happy.
However till now, Drona only had knowledge. He had not yet used it.
Being the son of the sage, Drona was poor. Drona had no interest in making money and he became more poor. Their condition was so bad that they did not have even a cow with them. Once Ashwattaman seeing some rich children drinking milk threw a tantrum about wanting to drink milk....
However that was not the last straw. 
Once when Ashwattaman was playing with the boys...he looked at the boys as they drank milk. 'Can I have some?' Ashwattaman asked his friends.
The boys however played a prank on the young Ashwattaman. They mixed some powdered rice with some water and gave it to the boy.
The rice powder was dripping from his mouth as Ashwattaman ran home to his father. 
'FATHER!' Ashwattaman shouted.'I have tasted milk! I have finally tasted real milk!' he said with innocent eyes....
It was at that minute that Drona decided that he would go to see his childhood friend Drupada. He would go and ask help from the king of Panchala. Drona had no doubt in his mind that King Drupada would help him....
They were after all best friends....