Birth of Dhrishtadyumna and Draupadi

King Drupada, desiring a worthy heir (son), wandered among Brahmanas in search of those proficient in all rites. Ultimately, he succeeded in having Dhrishtadyumna and Draupadi as offspring. They were born from the grand sacrifice of Drupada. 

Consumed by grief and thoughts of revenge against Drona, Drupada’s sorrowful journey continued as he couldn’t find a way to counter Drona’s influence and accomplishments with his Kshatriya powers. While wandering, he arrived at a sacred hermitage of highly virtuous Brahmanas on the banks of the Ganga. There, he encountered two revered brahmarshis named Yaja and Upayaja, known for their strict vows and profound knowledge. Recognizing their potential to help him, the king served them diligently, showing greater reverence to Upayaja due to his perceived strength.

King Drupada offered Upayaja immense wealth and whatever else he desired in exchange for performing a sacrifice to grant him a son capable of defeating Drona. Despite the tempting offer, Upayaja initially refused. However, after a year, he revealed to the king that his elder brother, Yaja, who had fewer scruples about purity, could fulfill his desire. Upayaja explained that Yaja’s actions indicated a desire for material gains. Though Drupada had a low opinion of Yaja, he approached him upon Upayaja’s recommendation.

King Draupada offered him thousands of cows to perform a sacrifice to grant him a son capable of defeating Drona. Drupada expressed his intense enmity towards Drona, highlighting Drona’s unmatched warfare prowess and mastery of the Brahmastra. He described Drona’s abilities as formidable, emphasizing the need for a son who could rival him. Drupada acknowledged Drona’s Brahmana powers and his superiority over Kshatriyas, expressing his desire for a son with similar or greater powers. He pleaded with him to perform the sacrifice. Despite initially refusing, Yaja eventually agreed and began preparations for the ritual.

Upayaja was also called upon to assist his elder brother, Yaja. Yaja promised King Drupada that Drona would be destroyed through the sacrificial rites they would perform. Upayaja, the great ascetic, instructed the king to conduct the ritual to ensure the birth of a son possessing immense valor, energy, and strength. King Drupada, determined to have a son capable of defeating Bharadvaja’s son (Drona), diligently made preparations to ensure the endeavor’s success.

Yaja poured offerings into the sacrificial fire and called upon Queen Prishati to participate in the ritual. However, the queen expressed her unpreparedness, stating that her body was not ready for the consummation required to conceive a son. Yaja insisted that the sanctified offerings prepared by Upayaja had already been made, indicating that the sacrifice should proceed regardless of the queen’s readiness. Thus, Yaja proceeded to pour the sanctified offerings into the fire.

From the sacrificial flames emerged a divine-like youth with a fiery complexion and a fearsome appearance adorned with armor and wielding weapons. Instantly, he mounted a magnificent chariot and set out. The people of Panchala rejoiced at his birth, considering it a blessing. A celestial voice from the heavens proclaimed that this formidable prince was born to destroy Drona, bring glory to the Panchalas, and alleviate the king’s sorrow.

After some time, a young maiden named Panchali emerged from the center of the altar, blessed with extraordinary beauty and fortune. She was described as having a waist shaped like an altar, a dark complexion, lotus-like eyes, and dark blue, curly hair, but she exuded a divine aura. Her mere presence spread the fragrance of blue lotuses for miles around. It was prophesied that she would be unparalleled in beauty and play a pivotal role in destroying the Kshatriyas. The Panchalas erupted in jubilation at her birth, causing the earth to tremble with their joy.

Upon seeing the newborn twins, Prashati expressed her desire to be their sole mother, and Yaja, eager to please the king, agreed. The Brahmanas, delighted with their desires, named the boy Dhrishtadyumna due to his great courage and birth from the luster and the girl Krishna because of her dark complexion. 

Bharadvaja’s son, Drona, took the young prince Dhrishtadyumna under his wing, teaching him the art of warfare. This ensured that Drona’s own actions would become renowned, as he knew that destiny would unfold as it was meant to.


Debroy, Bibek, translator. The Mahabharata. Critical Edition by Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune, Penguin Random House India, 2015. ISBN: 978-0-143-42523-6

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