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Posts Tagged ‘Bheeshma’

The famed Guru of the Pandavas- Dronacharya was the son of the hermit Bharadwaj. Once when he heard that Parasurama was giving away wealth and places he had taken from the Kshatriyas, Drona too went to meet him. At that time only weapons were left with Parasurama who had already given away the rest of the loot. Parasurama not only gifted the weapons to Drona but also taught him the art of weaponry and how to use them. This helped Drona in later years when he became the guru of the Kauravas and Pandavas.
Once Drona went to meet King Drupada who was his classmate and good friend. But King Drupada refused to accept a poor man as his friend and insulted him. Drona had visited Drupada with the intention of spreading his knowledge with the next generation and thought his friend would help him in this endeavour and together they could make a difference in the lives of youngsters. But that was not to be. Saddened by this, Drona returned to Krupacharya along with his wife (Krupacharya’s sister) and son Ashwathama.
Hearing about Drona’s prowess with weapons Bheeshma approached Drona to teach the Pandavas and Kauravas. Though Drona taught the Pandavas and Kauravas, he showed special interest in Ashwathama and trained him to be a good archer. Arjuna noticed this and wanted to be the supreme disciple of Drona. One day while having food in the dark as the lights went out, Arjuna wondered that when one could so easily eat in the dark the same way one could practice archery in the dark. This paved way for him to practice archery even in the dark and with his hardwork and became the most skilled archer. Thus he became the special pupil of Drona. So in the end when they were passing out of Drona’s
school, as gurudakshina (fees) Drona demanded that Arjuna defeat King Drupada and bring him before Drona. Arjuna defeated and brought King Drupada before Drona. Drona told Drupada “You said you would be friends only with a king. Now that I have your kingdom in my hands I am a king too, would you care to be friends with me now?” Duly insulted Drupada returned to his kingdom. He wanted to avenge this insult so he began propitiating Lord Agni through a yagna. Pleased with his devotion, Lord Agni presents him with a son Drishtadyumna.
When the Mahabharata war commenced, Drona led the Kaurava army. He proclaimed that he would not kill Drupada or Dhrishtadyumna who were on the Pandava side. However, with his different skills in warfare, Drona used the chakravyuh and the Padmavyuh and other tricks to defeat the Pandava army. Seeing that Drona was using trickery to quell the pandavas, the hermits went and told him not to use trickery and that he should return with them from the battlefield.
Meanwhile, Krishna thought that until Ashwathama was in the battlefield things will not go right for the Pandavas. So he asked Bheema to kill Ashwathama. He also asked Yudhishtra to shout “Ashwathama has been killed” . Hearing that his son had been killed, Drona dropped his weapons. Seizing this moment Dhrishtadyumna killed Drona.
This story is teaches one that anger led to the downfall of a friendship. If Drona had let bygones be bygones Drupada would have not killed Drona, who chose anger over love.

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When talks for peace failed during the Kurukshetra war, Krishna returned to Virat nagar. On the way, his charioteer said “Krishna, you have unnerved the Kauravas. Also, by staying in Vidura’s house, you have made him happy. Krishna said “There is another reason behind my stay at Vidura’s house. Time will tell.”
Days passed and there was discussion about war strategy in the Kaurava camp. Duryodhana refused to have Vidhura lead the army. Vidhura was angered by this and said “Duryodhana, you have belittled me. I will not take part in the war. ” So saying he broke his bow and arrow and left the camp in a huff.
After Vidura left, Bheeshma said in a worried tone “Duryodhana, you fell for Krishna’s clever tactic.”
“What do you mean by that?” asked Duryodhana.
“If you had known of Vidhura’s past you would not have insulted him,” said Bheeshma.
So saying Bheeshma narrated the story of Vidhura.
Once upon a time there lived a sage by name Mandavya. He was once punished for something he never did. He prayed to God asking what was it that he did to deserve such a punishment. Hearing his plea the God of Dharma appeared in front of him and said that he had killed a small insect in his previous birth and that was the reason behind his present predicament.
Sage Mandavya was livid. “For a mistake committed during one’s childhood unknowingly this is too harsh a punishment. Is this your sense of justice?, ” he asked. So saying he cursed the Lord of Dharma to be born as Vidura and son of the holy Sage Vyasa.
Bheeshma continued, “So Duryodhana you have insulted Vidhura, who is Dharma himself. This is what Krishna was expecting too.”
“How does Krishna figure in this?” asked Duryodhana.
“Why did you refuse to let Vidura lead the army? asked Bheeshma.
“How can I? Vidhura hosted Krishna in his house. He would have shared our secrets with him,” said Duryodhana.
“Krishna knew your suspicious nature. That is why he stayed in Vidhura’s house, so that in your suspicion you would not let him lead the army,” said Bheeshma. Thus in suspicion you let go of Vidhura whose strength would have supported you in the war.

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