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Drona’s birth

Drona means born out of a vessel. The sage Bharadwaja, one who observed the most rigid vows and was well versed in arms, once went to the River Ganga to bathe. There he saw the beautiful apsara, Gritachi, and momentarily lost his concentration. His vital energy was held in a vessel, out of which Drona was born. As he grew up Drona learnt all the Vedas and the science of warfare under various teachers. Bharadwaja had knowledge of an astra (arrow) called Agneya, which was all-powerful. This knowledge was imparted by him to a sage, Agnivesa by name. Agnivesa, in turn, taught this astra to Drona.
Drona’s sire, Bharadwaja, was a friend of the Panchala king, Prishata, father of King Drupada. As children, Drona and Drupada used to play together. Drupada, once in play, offered Drona his kingdom, whenever he became king. When Prishata died Drupada became monarch of the powerful kingdom.
Bharadwaja soon attained heaven. Drona grew up to marry Kripi, the twin sister of Kripa. To them was born a son, who, as soon as he was born, gave a cry which resembled the neighing of a horse. Those who heard the sound compared it to the neighing of the divine steed Ucchaisravas. The child was therefore named Aswatthama (horse-voiced). This son of Drona was endowed with immense strength and intelligence

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