On this day Dronacharya awards, which was instituted in 1985, are given away to those achievers in the field of sports.
Dronacharya was the acharya, teacher of the Pandava and Kaurava.
Parasurama as Guru
He had Parasurama as his Guru, from whom he obtained all great weapons, as also the art of using them. Dronacharya soon became one of the foremost teachers in military strategies warfare of his times. He was called to train the royal princes of Hastinapura, the Pandava and Kaurava.
He had his teaching centre, between Indraprashtha and Kurusketra. This place through the ages was called Guru Grama, the village where the Guru had set up his training academy. Even in the times of Takshashila, this place was famous in warfare training. Later through times, the word grama was referred to a gaon. This place is today’s Gurugaon, in North India.
Dronacharya training the royal princes
How did this acharya get the name ‘Drona’?
Dronam means a pot and Dronar is the one born from a pot. He was called Drona as he was born from a pot, which in modern parlance, can be viewed as a test tube.
Test Tube baby?
Probably he was a test tube baby. His birth, in this land, is counted among those Vichitra Janana, extraordinary birth.
Dehradun, house of Drona
Dronacharya married Kripi, sister of Kripacharya, the royal preceptor of Hastinapura.
Dronacharya used to live with his wife near a cave in Dehradun, Uttarkhand. The word Dehra is derived from the word Griha, meaning house. Dun, Doon, Dron, refers to Drona, who lived here. Dehradun thus literally means, “the house of Drona”.
Dronacharya cave, also known as Tapkeshwar Cave
At the cave, also known as Drona Gufa, is located the Tapkeshwar temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Idol of Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple in a natural, Dehradun
Ashwathama was born to Drona and Kripi near this cave. When Ashwathama was born, he cried like an Ashwa, horse and so he was named Ashwathama, meaning horse voiced.
Chiranjivi, physically immortal
Ashwathama propitiated Lord Shiva and secured many powers, including the boon of Chiranjivi, immortality, from the Lord. It is believed that, Ashwathama lives even today.
In Kurukshetra battle
Dronacharya fought the Kurukshetra battle which commences 22nd Nov 3067 BCE. from the side of the Kaurava army headed by Duryodhana. He was made the commander-in-chief of the army after Bhishma was mortally wounded.
Dronacharya as commander-in-chief of the Kaurava Army
Img courtesy: Wikipedia
Dronacharya was killed in this battle by Dhrishtadhyuma of the Pandava army.
As he was a great teacher in the field of archery, the government of India, department of sports has instituted the sports award in the name of Dronacharya.
Even today, when the names of ancient acharya of this land are recalled, the name of Dronacharya is taken with reverence.
More on Dronacharya in our book, Historical Krishna.