Reflections on The Gita – Chapter 1, Verse 3

This is an ongoing series on my reflections on The Bhagavad Gita. I will post 2-5 posts a week, each post talking about 1 verse. You can find links for the entire series here.

Chapter 1 – Arjun Viṣhād Yog (अर्जुन विषाद योग) – Lamenting the Consequence of War – Verse 3

This post talks about the third verse of the first chapter.

Verse:

पश्यैतां पाण्डुपुत्राणामाचार्य महतीं चमूम् ।

व्यूढां द्रुपदपुत्रेण तव शिष्येण धीमता ।। 3।।

Translation:

Please behold this my teacher, the sons of Pandu’s mighty army arranged in military formation by your brilliant disciple, the son of Drupada.

Reflection:

This verse is spoken by King Duryodhana to Acharya Drona. When Duryodhana got unsettled by seeing the unexpected might of the Pandava’s army, he went to his teacher Drona and spoke these words, taunting him.

These words were spoken by Duryodhana to ensure that Drona does not show any leniency to his pupils, the Pandavas as well as Dhristadyumna, the son of Drupada. Duryodhana was also taunting Drona for teaching Dhristadyumna. Even though Dhristadyumna was born with the boon that he would slay Drona, Drona still gave him an education without any bias and taught him the military formation that was being used by the Pandavas.

To ensure that Drona gets reminded of his fight with Drupada, Duryodhana purposely used the word “Drupada’s son” instead of Dhristadyumna. This would ensure that Drona did not show any mercy towards his pupils and was unyielding.


Note –

Drona and Drupada’s story

Drupada was Draupadi’s father and Arjuna’s father-in-law. He and Drona were both disciples of Rishi Bhardwaja, Drona’s father.  As students, Drupada promised Drona half his kingdom on the day he would become the king. But when he actually became the king, he called Drona a beggar and refused to have anything to do to him.

Drona went his own way and later on became teacher to Kurus and Pandavas. As gurudakshina (guru’s gift), he asked them to defeat Drupada. The Kurus attacked first but failed. Then, Arjuna led Pandavas attacked and defeated Drupada, presenting him before Dronacharya in ropes. Drona set Drupada free but took half the kingdom as was promised to him.

These events angered Drupada and he swore revenge on Drona. To defeat Drona, he performed the Putrakameshti yajna to sire a son who could defeat Dronacharya. This yajna resulted in the birth of twins, Draupadi and Dhristadyumna. Dhristadyumna was born with the boon that he would be the one to kill Drona.

This is a leaf from a palm leaf manuscript book, held together by a thin rope (seen going down in the photo) in Grantha script from Tamil Nadu, India

Image Credits –

Ms Sarah Welch, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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