Drona however, did not believe Bhima's words and approached Yudhisthira. {5}The words of Yudhishthira, did play a role in Dronacharya keeping his weapons down. His insistence on the truth was noble, indubitably, but at times it grated. This half-lie of Yudhishthira’s in Drona Parva haunts him at the end of the Mahabharata. Angrily rebuking him, Bhima shatters Drona's chariot with his mace. The plan was set in motion when Bhima killed an elephant named Ashwathama, and loudly proclaimed that Ashwathama was dead. Yudhisthira told him: "Ashwathama has died". He was trained in politics by Kripa and spear fighting by Drona. The great war had consumed yet another Kaurava general. Yudhishthira would say that ashwatthama was dead and say that they actually killed an elephant named the same but trumpets would play having Drona only hear the first part of ashwatthama being dead. Yudhishthira is the first among the five Pandavas. Having thought that he lost his son on the battlefield, Drona would step off … However, amidst all of this glory, Drona was obliged to choose the side of unrighteousness. The story goes, Krishna, feeling Drona would annihilate their army, advised Yudhishthira -‘falsehood is better than truth.’ Bhima slew a mighty elephant named Aswatthaman, belonging to Indravarman, the chief of the Malavas, and then told Drona, that his son had been slain! An avatar of Brihaspati and a student of Parshuram, Drona was a true master of arms. Drona asked him to shoot, and Arjuna did strike the bird down in the eye. Kudos! It is because of multiple versions of mahabharata. In the epic, he becomes the emperor of Indraprastha and later of Hastinapura (Kuru). But when Arjuna stepped forth, he could only see the eye of the bird and nothing else. When Yudhishthira later sends Bhima, Drona recounts what happened with Arjuna and Satyaki, and hence makes sure he does not allow Bhima also to circumvent him. The answer given by Quora User is extremely detailed! But, that was not the “only reason” why Dronacharya, placed his weapons down. Drona enquired Yudhishthira about the veracity of the rumour. He taught renowned Mahabharata heroes such as Arjuna and Karna. Drona knew of Yudhisthira's firm adherence to Dharma and that he would never ever utter a lie. Yudhishthira’s character was forever marred by this affirmation. Yudhishthira’s wisdom was what revived his brothers during the famous Yaksha prashna samvad in the Aranyaka Parva. Even as those around Drona felt his soul had gone to the realms beyond, leaving his inert body behind, Dhrishtadyumna cut off the head of the 85-year-old guru and threw it before his soldiers. Dronacharya was filled with quilt, because he had invoked into existence the “weapon of God Brahma” and learned that he was a great offender against the high-souled Pandavas. The Pratismriti mantras enabled Arjuna to travel at the speed of light and reach the desired destination in a fraction of a second. The others, even Ashwatthama, gave similar replies, and Dronacharya was disappointed with all. He fought in the Mahabharata … Drona: The Teacher of Heroes Read More » Drona, respected as “Dronacharya”, was the preceptor of heroes. However, the moment Yudhishthira replied to Drona affirming the death of Ashwathama, his chariot dipped by 2 inches. From his childhood, Yudhishthira was greatly influenced by his uncle Vidura and his great - granduncle Bhishma, and believed in Dharma. Though Yudhisthira’s affirmation was truthful, it was not complete truth for Drona. Drona, knowing that only Yudhisthira, with his firm adherence to the truth, could tell him for sure if his son had died, approached Yudhisthira for confirmation. This is what i heard, and I believe it adds to what Murari Das said. 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