In the epic Mahabharata, Droṇāchārya was the 3rd incarnation of Brahma, an avatar of Brihaspati and was the royal preceptor to the Kauravas and Pandavas. He was a master of advanced military arts, including the divine weapons or Astras.
Some consider Droṇāchārya as a casteist due to his pervert behavior towards Ekalavya, the son of a Nishadha chief, who came to him for instruction. Droṇāchārya refused to train Ekalavya along with the kshatriya princes because Ekalavya was not a kshatriya prince but hailed from a lower caste.
Holding Droṇāchārya in high esteem as his virtual guru, Ekalavya made a clay idol of Droṇāchārya, and began his study of archery by himself in front of the idol. Through his steadfast determination and practice Ekalavya became a warrior of exceptional prowess and proclaimed that he was a pupil of Droṇāchārya.
But Droṇāchārya had a strong bias in favor of Arjuna, his favourite pupil and.had promised him that he would train him as the world’s greatest archer. So, to prevent Ekalavya from excelling Arjun, the perverted Droṇāchārya demanded that Ekalavya cut off the thumb of his right hand and offer it as Guru Dakshina (fee) for proclaiming that he, Droṇāchārya, was his teacher. Immediately, Ekalavya severed his thumb and offered it to Droṇāchārya, his evered guru though he was aware that by doing so, he would lose his prowess as an archer.
Ironically, the Indian Government now presents the Dronacharya Award for excellence in “Sports Coaching” in the name of Droṇāchārya, the biased casteist guru.
- Drona (en.wikipedia.org)
- Bṛhaspati (en.wikipedia.org)
- Mahabharata (en.wikipedia.org)
- Ekalavya (en.wikipedia.org)