Vested interests of Dronacharya reflected in his Students

Are students from top universities in the world really capable of facing the world during tough times? Or are they people with high potential who break down or resort to ill means during bad times like Drona’s students?

Take a look at leading universities around the world. One key question to ask here is whether there are vested interests behind their functioning or is Education being seen as a noble cause alone? For the time being, let us forget the profit motives here – as it is obvious that good infrastructure do costs and corresponding fees must be charged. But, the ideologies and philosophy behind education that is granted to students and the consequent mind frames with which students graduate should be looked at.


(Image Credit: Abhishek Nagar)

Dark side of Drona

In this context, let us look at Dronacharya from Mahabharata. Dronacharya was a Brahmin by birth and hence he did have a good hold on Shastras. Considering the fact that he learned with Rishi Bharadwaj do give the benefit of having learned the Dharma in detail. There is no doubt about the War Techniques of Drona, as is seen in the techniques and strategy of his students – the Kauravas and Pandavas. But, even after spending more than 12 years together, why was Drona not able to address the differences between Kauravas and Pandavas? Why was not the message of love between cousins not addressed? Why did he reject Karna and Ekalavya in spite of the boys being top class in their art?

Vested Interests of Drona in establishing himself as a powerhouse and then seeking revenge from his own classmate King Drupada of Panchala is key in Drona’s actions. The very purpose of taking Kuru Princes (Kauravas and Pandavas) of Hastinapura as his disciples was to prove a point to King Drupada and defeat him for the insult that Drona had to face at Drupada’s court. So, education here was not meant to raise the level of consciousness and valour of seeking scholars. He claimed he will have only one batch of students in his career – the Kuru Princes. Nobody other than these Princes will be entertained. Also, his own son Aswathama will join the princes in education. He wanted to defeat Drupada and install Aswathama in the Panchala Kingdom. So, it was necessary for the boy to socialise with the Princes and learn from them as well. How do you transform an innocent boy into a very ambitious Throne seeker? Put him in company of similar people day and night, year after year.

Students who faltered

  1. Arjun, his favourite student, fell into confusion and despair just before the Kurukshetra war. There was the Bhagavad Gita to raise Arjun to his natural potential of a World Class Archer from Krishna at that point. Why did Arjun need Gita from Krishna? Why couldn’t Drona instill that learning in him?
  2. Aswathama, Drona’s son and student went against the moral code and killed Draupadi’s sons while they were sleeping. He even sent his Brahmastra at Uttara’s womb in order to eliminate that race completely. Do people resort to corruption at heights of tension? Why couldn’t Drona educate his son enough not to resort to bad means when odds are against him?
  3. Dushasana insulted Draupadi in court of Hastinapura and no one, including Drona himself could raise a finger against him. Except for the Kaurava, Vikarna, none of Drona’s students could talk against such a folly.

At all these instances, there was a need of Krishna to come up and address these issues. So, isn’t Krishna’s teacher, Sandeepani better than Dronacharya?  

A key conclusion that comes here is how do our present day universities rate? Are the students of the top universities of the world performing like Dronacharya’s students at critical instances of life or are they strong enough to face adversities?

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