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Droṇa


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A protagonist in several key episodes in the first half of the Mahābhārata. A great brahmin warrior (the son of the ṛṣi Bharadvāja), Droṇa is the teacher of both the Kauravas and the Pāṇḍavas, including his great favourite, Arjuna. In the war, Droṇa fights on the Kaurava side, and succeeds Bhīṣma as the commander of their army. By his own account he can only be defeated if tricked. This comes about when he is told by Yudhiṣṭhira that ‘Aśvatthāman’, his son, is dead, although this ‘Aśvatthāman’ is in fact an elephant. Believing Yudhiṣṭhira, a renowned man of truth, Droṇa allows himself to die in a yogic pose, and is subsequently beheaded by Drupada's son, Dhṛṣṭadyumna, in revenge for Droṇa's killing of his father. The real Aśvatthāman swears to destroy both the Pāñcālas and the Pāṇḍavas for these adharmic acts.

Subjects: Hinduism.


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