In the previous episode, we had witnessed the children going for their formal education at the age of twelve, and it is Sage Kripaachaarya who is doing the needful for the children. We’ve also witnessed the background of Sage Kripachaarya’s birth in yesterday’s episode. We had witnessed that Kripa and Kripi were the children of Sharadwaan, who was in turn the son of Sage Goutama. Sage Kripaachaarya’s sister, Kripi was married to Dhronaachaarya, who in turn had a son by name Ashwatthaama. This Ashwatthaama is going to play an extremely crucial role until the end of the Mahaabhaarata story, and eventually we would see how and what was his contribution. For now, Ashwatthaama was also a child of equal age as that of the Paandava and Kaurava children and was also playing with all of them. It is to be noted here by the readers that the event of Sage Kripachaarya’s birth also took place precisely during the same time as that of Dhirdiraashtra and Paandu. This is why we’re witnessing that Ashwatthaama is also of an equivalent age of that of the Paandava and Kaurava children.
Moving on thus, as the children were learning their lessons under Sage Kripachaarya, during the same time, Dhronaachaarya was under extreme poverty. He did not have any source of income of any sorts to protect his family and child. It was very difficult for Dhronaachaarya to meet the basic requirement of three meals a day. Even it was difficult for him to feed milk to Ashwatthaama. It is at this time, Dhronaachaarya remembers one of his classmates with whom he had learnt all his lessons. He was none other than King Drupata. When they were children, Drupata had once said to Dhronaachaarya that when he becomes a king later on in his life after his father, he would give half the kingdom to Dhronaachaarya. Of course, at that point in time, they were children of twelve or thirteen years of age, and they did not realize what they were talking to each other. Also since the two were very close companions, little Drupata did not know what he was talking, and thus, he had told such things to little Dhronaachaarya. However, after so many years of finishing the education, Dhronaachaarya remembers this word that Drupata had given him.
Accordingly, one day, unable to bear the intense effect of the poverty situation, Dhronaachaarya sets out to meet King Drupata. Meanwhile, Dhronaachaarya also learnt that his friend Drupata had succeeded his father to the throne. With this knowledge, he goes straight to Sage Kripachaarya’s house first, and from there, he sets off to meet King Drupata. As King Drupata sees Dhronaachaarya coming, he was very excited to welcome him and offer a seat for his pal. As the two were talking and recollecting their old childhood memories together, Dhronaachaarya slowly asks King Drupada thus, “Oh Drupada! Do you remember? Once, when we were children, you had promised me that you would give me half of your kingdom when you become the king, so that we shall share the responsibilities together as friends! So now, because I’m also in a very bad situation currently, can you please share your kingdom with me, so that, it would be helpful for me to come out of my poverty!”
As Drupada hears thus from his friend, he initially did not understand and remember the words that he had given! He immediately fumes at Dhronaachaarya thus, “Oh Dhronachaarya! I would have said so many things while being a child. At that time, both of us lacked maturity and understanding of the real world. How can you keep that as a base and come and ask me for my kingdom? So now I understand the real purpose of your visit! It is not to meet me! It is to take away my kingdom, isn’t it? Moreover, you are a “Braahmana Rishi”, and how can you rule a kingdom if you are not a “Kshatrya”? Isn’t this something that you do not know? Perhaps, since you’ve come all the way, I shall give you a sumptuous meal and respect. Beyond this, I cannot give you anything else!”
As Drupata explains his stance thus, Dhronaachaarya gets extremely angry and feels insulted! He replies back in extreme anger thus, “Oh Drupata! You’ve forgotten the promise that you had made to me earlier! Moreover, you’ve insulted a Brahmana Rishi who had taken all the pain to come and visit you! With this, you’ve committed a great mistake and you would repent for this one day! I hereby take a pledge that I shall avenge this insult that you’ve given to me today in some way or the other!” Saying thus, Dhronaachaarya hurried out of King Drupada’s palace. He straightaway made his way back to Sage Kripachaarya’s place and explained the entire set of events that had conspired at King Drupada’s palace!
So here, we’re seeing one of the most important pledges made in the Mahabharata story – Dhronaachaarya’s pledge to King Drupada that he would avenge the insult! We’ve already witnessed one such pledge against Bhishmaachaarya and like this, we’re going to witness many more such pledges taken by different people against each other and how they’re going to avenge each other! The entire Mahabharata story would be filled with such things moving forward, and we’re going to see how “Adharma” is going to build up enormously from this point onwards, according to Sage Vyaasa’s words to his mother Satyavati! We shall continue this discussion further with regards to how Dhronaachaarya went about with things from this point onwards! Stay tuned! 🙂