Upyaz showing his elder brother to Drupada
|Children||Shikhandi, Dhrishtadyumna, Draupadi|
Drupada (Sanskrit: द्रुपद, lit. firm-footed or pillar), also known as Yajnasena (Sanskrit: यज्ञसेन, lit. father of Draupadi), is a character in the Mahābhārata. The son of King Prishata, he was the king of the land of Southern Panchala. His capital was known as Kampilya.
Conflict with Drona
Drupada, son of King Prishata, and Drona study together under the tutelage of Rishi Bhardwaja, Drona's father. They become great friends and Drupada assures Drona that once he becomes king, he will share half of his kingdom with Drona. While Drupada becomes a king after the death of his father, Drona lives a life of poverty. Drona approaches Drupada for help; Drupada, now conscious of the difference of status between them, refuses to acknowledge Drona's friendship and shuns Drona, calling him a beggar. Drona is later employed by Bhishma to train the Kuru princes. After the military education of the Kauravas and the Pandavas ends, as his gurudakshina, Drona asks the princes to defeat and capture Drupada. Firstly, all the Kauravas, along with Karna, attack Drupada, but Drupada defeats all the Kauravas and Karna. Then the Pandavas led by Arjuna defeat Drupada, binding him in ropes and bringing him to Drona. Drona sets Drupada free, but retains half of the kingdom that had been promised to him. Humiliated, Drupada seeks vengeance but he realizes that he cannot match Drona's might. So, Drupada performed the Putrakameshti yajna to beget a son who could slay Drona. From the fire of the yajna, twins Dhrishtadyumna and Draupadi are born. Years later, Draupadi married Arjuna and later in the Mahabharata war, Dhrishtadyumna beheaded Drona.
Svayamvara of Draupadi
King Drupada arranges a svayamvara for his daughter Draupadi. To win Draupadi's hand, the king's invitees, all of them royalty themselves, have to string an enormous bow and shoot five arrows simultaneously through a revolving ring onto the eye of a revolving fish. All the kings including Shalya and Karna fail to even string the bow. The five sons of the late King Pandu of Hastinapur are present at the Svayamvara, dressed as holy men. Arjuna succeeds in the event and Draupadi accepts him as her husband, with Drupada somewhat reluctantly giving his permission. When Draupadi is taken back to Kunti, they decide to play a prank on her by announcing that they had brought some alms. Kunti asks her sons to share whatever had been brought. The imperative of acting on their mother's words and the propriety of marriage to five husbands is discussed at Drupada's palace, with Drupada and Dhristadyumna fiercely opposed to Draupadi marrying anyone other than Arjuna. However, Sage Vyasa supports Kunti's proposal and sanctions the marriage, assuaging Drupada's fears.
Different versions of the Mahabharata portray Drupada's family differently. Most versions name Satyajit, Dhristadyumna, Shikhandi (or Shikhandini), and Draupadi as his children. Uttamaujas and Yudhamanyu are often mentioned as two sons of Drupada who are the protectors of Arjuna's chariot. The Chatahurduri compilation mentions that Drupada has twelve sons, naming in addition to the aforementioned children: Kumar, Vrika, Panchalya, Suratha, Shatrunjaya, and Janamejaya. Notably, Satyajit's eventually ascends to Panchal's throne having eschewed the Kurukshetra War (some versions have Satyajit fighting and dying in the war with his son ascending the throne), Shikhandi was instrumental in the death of Bhishma, and Uttamaujas and Yudhamanyu protected Arjuna's chariot throughout the war. Dhrishtadyumna, Shikandi, Yudhamanyu, and Uttamaujas are killed by Ashwatthama on the last day of the war.
Role in Kurukshetra War
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