Why did Drona despite being virtuous come up with the unfair scheme to kill Abhimanyu?

by May 4, 2014

Answer Podcast

Transcribed by: Shalini Ahluwalia

Question: When Drona wassuch a great teacher why did he come up with the plan to kill Abhimanyu in such an unfair way with six Maharathas attacking him simultaneously?

Answer: There are multiple reasons for this. First of all is that Drona had a mistaken sense of his responsibility as a commander. He thought that as a commander his first duty was to protect his army no matter what happened. No matter what way he chose to protect it. That is not the duty of the commander. Certainly the commander has to protect but virtue, duty and dharma are also important. So he had that mistaken sense of duty and he felt that whatever it takes I have to do to protect the army. And another thing is that he also became somewhat contaminated by the association of Duryodhana. Not that he ever became evil like Duryodhana but that he also got affected in terms of somehow or the other wanting to make sure that during his commandership the army did not face an embarrassment. It was a big embarrassment that a sixteen-year old boy was not only upsetting his plan – now when he had made the Chakravyuh he had told Duyodhana that I will either capture Yudhishthira or I will capture some other formidable warrior and kill him. Actually this happened on the thirteenth day so both eleventh and twelveth days – on the eleventh day when he became the commander he at the request of Duryodhana promised that I will arrest Yudhishthira. First day he failed because Arjuna came in between, second day he tried although Arjuna had been sidetracked in fighting Susharma and Sansthapakas?? but still he could not. So he was already mortified so on the third day when Abhimanyu started not only unraveling his plans by preventing the arrest of Yudhishthira but he after penetrating the Chakravyuh threatened to destroy the army from within, he felt that he could not tolerate the humiliation, the disgrace and he felt whatever it takes I have to do. So that was also the subtle effect of the pressurizing of Duryodhana, so wanting to save his face and also the contamination of Duryodhana’s bad association. And the Mahabharata also describes that this was a war between the devas and the danavas ultimately. So infact Duryodhana also has a dream at one time when he sees himself being transported to the danavas, the danavas tell him that he is their agent and they have performed austerities to have him be born?? on the earth and through him the danavas are going to fulfill their mission of conquering the earth. And he will become the ruler on behalf of the danavas. And then he says that at the time of the war we will enter into the bodies of the warriors on your side and they will fight with the demonic fury. So later on when Drona fights on the last day, on the fifteenth day just before he is killed, Drona starts unleashing celestial weapons against ordinary warriors. And this is completely uncharacteristic of the great receptor who has stopped warfare to practically all the ?? warriors on both sides of the battlefield. (meaning of this sentence is unclear).So basically The Mahabharata indicates that Drona was also affected by the influence of the danavas. So in his own character Drona was a virtous person but at that particular time he got so affected that he felt that somehow or the other I have to protect my army and if that means that multiple warriors have to attack one warrior – Abhimanyu – then if that’s what it takes, that’s what we will do. So that’s how Dronacharya made that terrible decision of conspiring to attack Abhimanyu with six Maharathas.

Thank you, Hare Krishna !


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