The Kurukhestra war was a decisive battle between truth and untruth, light and darkness, dharma and adharma. The war did not begin like an ordinary war. Before the war began, history witnessed a scene which it had never seen before. After Krishna’s preaching of Gita, Arjuna’s chariot returned in Pandava camp and grandsire Bhisma was waiting for someone.
Yudhishthira got down from his chariot and marched towards the enemy camp, leaving both sides questioning on the motif and reasoning of him walking towards the enemy camp.
It looks like Yudhisthira wants to surrender. He is not in his chariot, he has not blew his conch and he is walking straight towards our camp. He is coming here to plead for a truce. And if not, he is certainly coming to plead for his life.
Learn to be patient Duryodhana, learn to be patient. As far as I know Yudhisthira, he is not coming to plead or negotiate a truce. Be patient and you will know why he is coming towards our camp.
When Yudhishthira arrived at the Kaurava camp, he first went to Bhisma to offer his respects.
Oh Grandsire, I have come here to ask for your permission to start this battle. May I fight this war with you and your army as our opponent?
Be victorious. I am pleased by your humility. Anyone who desires success must be humble. In particular, those who fight their elders. Had you not done this, I would have cursed you of defeat.
Without your permission, I wouldn’t even fight with an enemy. And this war is with you.
I am entangled in my oath to protect the Hastinapura throne and hence I do not have a choice. Be happy my child, and be victorious.
Yudhishthira then walks to seek Dronacharya’s blessings and it is when his teacher gave him the final lesson.
Please accept my respects O great sage Drona.
May you live long o Yudhishthira. Do you have some time for a final lesson?
Sure O teacher, I would consider your words as a final lesson before the war begins.
When the war starts, don’t think of me as your teacher. I too will not think of you as my disciple. This war is not between a teacher and his disciples. A war is always fought between opponents.
One last lesson for you. Today I want to teach you that.
A warrior who sells his weapons is not a real warrior or a khastriya. He is a dancer, a servant, and a selfish man. A man must not lust for wealth, should not be weak to his emotions and towards material pleasures. A warrior who sells his weapons and is weak to his emotions is just a slave. He fights only for wealth, a slave of the riches. Such a warrior is never to be respected.
O son of kunti, in this war, or any war for that matter, there are no relatives. We are all opponents in this battlefield so to fight me and this army is your duty. I expect you and the other 4 brothers, that you will fight me with all your might and will not insult your teacher by showing emotional weakness towards me. Also, tell Arjuna, if I see that he is not fighting with all his force, I will return him his gurudakshina (tution fee).
Dronacharya’s words translated in Hindi
हे कुंती नंदन, जब युद्ध आरंभ हो जाए तो यह मत सोचना मै तुम्हारा गुरु हूँ| मैं भी यह नही सोचूँगा की तुम मेरे शीष्य हो| युद्ध गुरु और शिष्या के बीच नही होता| युध हमेशा प्रतिद्वंदियों के बीच होता है.
एक अंतिम पाठ रह गया है. आज वह भी सीखा देता हूँ| वो योद्धा योद्धा नही है जो शस्त्र बेच देता है. वो एक नृतक है, एक चाकर है, एक स्वार्थी है | धन के लिए युद्ध करता है, अर्थ का दास है | ऐसा योद्धा आदर्निय नही है | हे कुंती नंदन, युद्ध में अपना पराया कोई नही होता, इस रणभूमि में हम प्रतिद्वंदी हैं इसलिए मुझसे युद्ध करना तुम्हारा कर्तव्य है | मैं आशा करता हूँ की तुम आर तुम्हारे भाई मेरी शिक्षा का अपमान नही होने दोगे | और अर्जुन से कह देना यदि मेरी छाती को भेदने वेल बान मुझे उसके बान ना लगे, तो मै उसकी गुरुदक्षिणा लौटा दूँगा !