Drona

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In the epic Mahābhārata, Drona (, ) or Dronacharya (, ) was the royal guru to Kauravas and Pandavas. He was a master of advanced military arts, including the devastras. Arjuna was his favorite student. Drona's love for Arjuna was second only to his love for his son Ashwatthama. He was considered to be a partial incarnation of Brihaspathi.

Birth and early life

Drona was born a Bharadwaja brahmin, in a place considered to be modern day Dehradun. Drona implies that he was not gestated in a womb, but outside the human body in a droon (vessel).

The story of Drona's birth is recounted dramatically in Mahābhārata, Book I: Adi Parva, Sambhava Parva, Section CXXXI. Bharadwaja went with his companions to the Ganga to perform his ablutions. There he beheld a beautiful apsara named Ghritachi who had come to bathe. The sage was overcome by desire, causing him to produce a reproductive fluid. Bharadwaja captured the fluid in a vessel called a drona, and Drona/Dronacharya himself sprang from the fluid thus preserved. Drona would later boast that he had sprung from Bharadwaja without ever having been in a womb.

Drona spent his youth in poverty, but studied religion and military arts such as archery which he was known to have expertisedtogether with the then prince of Panchala, Drupada. Drupada and Drona became close friends and Drupada, in his childish playfulness, promised to give Drona half his kingdom...
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