In the epic fable, the Mahabharata, Dronacharya and Arjun shared a special bond as teacher and pupil. Serving as a teacher for the royal princes, Dronacharya found that Arjun was an exceptional student and stood out from the rest of the princes. From the very first test, Dronacharya saw immense determination and focus in Arjun and predicted that the prince would, one day, become a great warrior. Arjun, in turn, was greatly inspired by the number of challenges that Dronacharya put them through during the training. He outshined everybody in all the tests and built immense focus and concentration-two abilities that won him his wife in his later years. Seeing such immense talent in Arjun, Guru Dronacharya bestowed him with special wisdom of the Devastras and the mystical bow of Brahma. With his enormous drive and dedication towards learning, Arjun held a special place in the heart of his guru. It is even said that Dronacharya loved Arjun like his own child.
The Famous Duo
One of the Pandava brothers, Arjun, was a master archer and best known for playing a significant role in the battle of Kurukshetra and the defeat of Kauravas therein. In his childhood years, he studied archery under the tutelage of Guru Dronacharya who groomed him to become a great warrior. Arjun held the title of 'Maharathi', which means outstanding warrior and was also the favorite student of Dronacharya. He shared a close friendship with Lord Krishna who was his charioteer and mentor in the battle of Mahabharata. Following a discourse on Bhagavad Gita by Lord Krishna however, Arjun took to arms and fought against Dronacharya in the epic Battle of Mahabharata. Arjun's marriage to Subhadra bestowed him with a son, Abhimanyu, who became a great warrior and valiantly fought at the battle of Kurukshetra.
Dronacharya was popularly known as the guru of Arjun, although he served as a guru in the royal court and taught military and archery lessons to both, the Pandavas and the Kauravas. In his early days, despite his extreme poverty, he learnt the art of archery and became an expert in wielding the bow and arrow. One day, he saw the Pandavas and the Kauravas in a state of distress as their ball had fallen into a well and they didn't know how to retrieve it back. Dronacharya said that retrieving the ball was really easy and that he could do it in no time. Hearing this, Yudhisthira, the eldest of the Pandavas, promised that if Dronacharya could bring back their ball, he would be given basic amenities for rest of his life.
Dronacharya put his skill to work and retrieved the ball from the well. Stunned by this feat, the princes reported the incident to their Bhishma who, in turn, designated Dronacharya to serve as Guru in the royal court of Hastinapura. When the Pandava brothers were sent into exile, Dronacharya vehemently objected to it. However, as a royal employee, he was compelled to fight against the Pandava brothers. He was an unconquerable warrior and killed many Pandava soldiers in the battle. He was later killed by Dhristadyumna, son of Drupada.
Although Dronacharya taught both, Kauravas and Pandava brothers, Arjun was his favorite pupil. It is said that Dronacharya loved Arjun like his own son Ashwatthama. One day, when he was teaching the royal princes, Dronacharya conducted a test. He placed a bird made of wood on the branch of a tree and told them to focus on the bird's eye without shooting it. He called his students one by one and asked what they saw. Most students said they saw flowers, tree etc but when Arjun's turn came, he said he saw only the bird's eye. Guru Dronacharya was so happy with the response and motioned Arjun to shoot at it. The arrow hit exactly on the bird's eye. Guru was so impressed that he presented him the 'Brahmastra', a divine weapon of Brahma and advised him not to use against ordinary warrior. Due to his unwavering spirit of mastering the art of archery and being dedicated towards his goal, Arjun earned a special place in the heart of his Guru. The special relationship that shared between Guru Dronacharya and Arjun are still remembered and recalled to this day.