Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Drupada included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Drupada

(Saumaki,* Yajñasena). Father of Pāñcālī. 1) Genealogy. Descended from Viṣṇu in the following order:—BrahmāAtriCandraBudhaPurūravasĀyusNahuṣaYayātiPūruJanamejaya—Prāciuvān—PravīraNamasyu—Vītabhaya—Śuṇḍu—BahuvidhaSaṃyāti—Rahovādi—RaudrāśvaMatināra—Santurodha—DuṣyantaBharata—Suhottra—Suhotā—Gala—Gardda—SuketuBṛhatkṣatraHasti—Ajamīḍhā—NīlaŚāntiSuśāntiPurujaArkaBharmyāśvaPāñcālaMudgalaDivodāsaMitreyuPṛṣataSudāsaSahadevaSomaka—Yajñasena (Drupada).

Education and kingship.

Yajñasena went to the hermitage of Bharadvāja for education. Droṇa, who became a great teacher in archery later, was also a student and disciple of Bharadvāja at that time. Thus during the time of education both Drupada and Droṇa became fast friends. After receiving education Drupada returned to his country. At that time Pāñcāla was ruled by Pṛṣata. When Yajñasena returned on completion of his education, Pṛṣata died and Yajñasena was anointed as King of Uttara-Pāñcāla. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 129).

Yajñasena reproaches Droṇa.

It has already been said that during the period of education Droṇa and Yajñasena were fast friends. Once Drupada said to Droṇa: "My dear friend. My father has told me that I would be made the King of Uttara Pāñcāla on completing my education. Thus if I become a King, the treasury of the King will be at your disposal."

After the education both returned to their places. Not much later Droṇa got married. A son born to him was named Aśvatthāmā. Droṇa was so poor that he could not even buy milk for his child. Once the friends of Aśvatthāmā mixed flour in water and made him drink it saying that it was milk. Aśvatthāmā drank it without knowing that it was not milk. Thinking that he had become energetic by drinking milk he began to run with the other boys. At last they told him the truth and teased him.

With his wife and child Droṇa went to Drupada who did not care to recognize him as a friend. Droṇa tried to remind him of their former friendship. But Drupada shunned him and said, "If I had friendship with you, it was to achieve certain ends. There is no friendship between the rich and the poor, the learned and the illiterate, the brave and the coward. So if there was any friendship at all it was not real. You, who are slow of brain! Kings of high status cannot have friendship with such people especially the poor. A Brahmin learned in Vedas won't befriend a Brahmin who is not learned in Vedas, a man seated in a chariot cannot befriend a man who is not seated in a chariot and a King cannot befriend one who is not a King. So a friendship of bygone days is no friendship at all".

Drupada’s reproaches aroused a storm of anger in Droṇa. He vowed that he would avenge the insult. With his wife and child he got out of the palace. He wandered about in search of disciples who were capable of confronting with Drupada. At last he came to Hastināpura and became the teacher of the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 130).

The revenge of Droṇa.

Droṇa told Bhīṣma about his dealings with Drupada. Bhīṣma consoled Droṇa. Before the commencement of the training in archery, Droṇa told his disciples: "When your training in archery is completed you will have to do a favour to your teacher". All stood agape. But Arjuna came forward and said: "I will do". Droṇa embraced Arjuna. The training commenced. The Andhakas, Vṛṣṇis and others joined his school of archery.

The training in archery came to an end. Droṇa called his disciples and told them that Drupada should be tied with a rope and placed before him. When they heard the words of the teacher, Duryodhana, Karṇa, Yuyutsu, Duśśāsana, Vikarṇa, Jarāsandha and Sulocana led the Kauravas to Pāñcāla. Arjuna knew that the Kauravas would not be able to defeat Drupada. He told the teacher that when the Kauravas returned without achieving the task, he himself would go and bring Drupada. After a terrible battle the Kauravas were defeated by the Pāñcālas. After that Arjuna confronted Drupada. Nakula and Sahadeva stood as guards of the wheels. Bhīmasena with his club stood in front of the army. Arjuna drove the chariot right in the midst of the Pāñcāla army. Bhīma took his club and a terrible battle ensued. Arjuna shattered the Pāñcāla army, bound Drupada and took him to Droṇa. The teacher looked at Drupada and reproached him with scornful word: "I have destroyed your country. Now you are at my mercy. Is not the former friendship a friendship?" Drupada requested that they should be friends in future. Accordingly Drupada was set free. The country of Pāñcāla was divided into two, and giving Uttara Pāñcāla to Drupada, Droṇa took Dakṣiṇa Pāñcāla. Thus because of the revenge of Droṇa, Drupada lost half of his kingdom. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 137).

Birth of Children.

Though Droṇa and Drupada were on friendly terms Drupada did not forget the defeat he had incurred at the hands of Droṇa. So, Drupada desired to have a son who would become powerful enough to take revenge on Droṇa. He began to think of ways and means. He consulted several learned Brahmins. At that time two hermit brothers yāja and Upayāja lived on the bank of the Ganges. The King approached them and requested their help to obtain a son, who would kill Droṇa, and promised to give them cows and other precious things in return. At first they refused to help him. The King served Upayāja for a year, and pleased him. He sent the King to the hermitage of Yāja. They accepted the request of the King. Both the hermits performed a sacrifice for Drupada. A boy and a girl arose from the sacrificial fire. The boy was named Dhṛṣṭadyumna and the girl was named Kṛṣṇā (Pāñcālī). There was a celestial voice that the boy would kill Droṇa when he grew up. (Mahābhārata Ādi parva, Chapter 167).

The marriage of Pāñcālī.

Pāñcālī grew up. Drupada desired to give her in marriage to Arjuna. But at that time the lac-house caught fire and the Pāṇḍavas disappeared. Drupada set certain tests in the Svayaṃvara of Pāñcālī with a view to ascertain if Arjuna was alive. The Pāṇḍavas came to the svayaṃvara and Drupada found out Arjuna. But Drupada did not like the idea of his daughter becoming the wife of more than one husband. Then Vyāsa appeared there and informed Drupada of the previous births of the Pāṇḍavas and Pāñcālī. Drupada was much pleased and he gave the Pāṇḍavas a good deal of wealth and sent Pāñcālī with them. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 196).

Other details

(1) Drupada was present at the marriage of Abhimanyu, celebrated at the city of Upaplavya (Mahābhārata Virāṭa Parva, Chapter 72, Stanza 17).

(2) Drupada gave the Pāṇḍavas an akṣauhiṇī, (division 21870 elephants, 21870 chariots, 65610 horses, 109350 footmen) of army for the battle of Bhārata. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 57).

(3) At the battle of Bhārata, Drupada was anointed as one of the seven commanders on the side of the Pāṇḍavas. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 157, Stanza 11).

(4) Drupada fought with Jayadratha on the first day of the battle of Kurukṣetra. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 55).

(5) Drupada was defeated in a combat with Droṇa the teacher. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 7, Stanza 48).

(6) Drupada combated with Aśvatthāmā. (Mahābhārata Bhīsma Parva, Chapter 110, Stanza 16).

(7) He fought with Bhagadatta. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 14, Stanza 40).

(8) He fought with Bālhīka. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 25, Stanza 18).

(9) He was defeated by Pṛṣata. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 138, Stanza 24).

(10) Droṇa the teacher killed Drupada. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 186, Stanza 43).

(11) The Pāṇḍavas gave offerings to the manes for Drupada. (Mahābhārata Śānti Parva, Chapter 42, Stanza 5).

(12) Vyāsa evoked the spirits of the dead to the surface of the Ganges, after the Battle of Bhārata came to an end. Drupada also was there among the spirits which appeared on the Ganges. (Mahābhārata Āśramavāsika Parva, Chapter 32, Stanza 8).

(13) After death Drupada entered heaven and was absorbed in Viśvadevas. (Mahābhārata Svargārohaṇa Parva, Chapter 5, Stanza 15).

(14) It is stated in Mahābhārata, Ādi Parva, Chapter 67, Stanza 68, that Drupada was born from a portion of the Marudgaṇas.

Synonyms of Drupada.

Pāñcāla, Pāñcālya, Pāñcālarāja, Pārṣata, Pṛṣatātmaja, Saumaki, Yajñasena, Drupada are his synonyms.

*) Mahāb hārata, Ādi Parva, Chapter 66, Stanza 68 states that the original name of Drupada was Yajñasena. Mahābhārata, Ādi Parva, Chapter 129, Stanza 41, states that Drupada was the son of Pṛṣata. But according to other purānas Pṛṣata was the father of Drupada’s great grandfather. In Mahābhārata, Ādi Parva, Chapter 131, Stanza 6, Drupada is addressed as 'Saumaki; the son of Somaka.

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