Article 62 - Dhrishtadyumna


Last week, we looked at double-arrowed attention. Now we come to the warrior in the Mahabharata who represents this.

‘Dhris’ means bold and paired with ‘dyumna’, it means the boldness to look at the reactions in our mind. If your son should fall ill, it becomes very difficult to separate and observe the situation impartially. It is this boldness that Dhrishtadyumna represents. To give birth to this faculty within our psychic nature requires a certain kind of inner transformation.

Dhrishtadyumna’s father is Drupad. ‘Dru’ means fast and ‘pad’ is feet. Drupad is insulted by his friend Drona. But instead of complaining about his insult like we often do, he creates a yagna. That is, he transforms the pain or heat of the insult to create a fire inside. Dhrishtadyumna is the faculty of inner observation born of that fire. He rises out of the fire fully grown, a crown on his head, bow and sword in his hands. This power of inner observation starts immediately once we are able to look inside, we do not have to spend time creating it. The crown represents consciousness, the sword the power to will away negativity and the bow the power of holding attention.

The Pandavas, disguised as Brahmins, came to Drupad’s court where Arjuna won the hand of Draupadi. Drupad was worried as to their identity. So Dhrishtadyumna went secretly into the palace that the Pandavas were staying in and observed them from behind a pillar. This is the technique of self-observation - if our anger knew it was being observed, it would hide immediately.

At the time of the war, Dhirishtadyumna becomes the commander of the Pandava army and arranges the different formations on the battlefield. Once we have this capacity of inner observation, everything that is disorderly in our mind and psyche automatically starts arranging itself. This inner light puts our thoughts, emotions and sensitivities into order. At present, we have no control over our thoughts and feelings, and they control us completely.

Dhrishtadyumna kills Drona while he is sitting in meditation. Drona represents our whole structure of habits - intellectual, emotional and moving. All students of spirituality work for freedom from habits. When a habit is in operation, we are hypnotised by it and so it can only be killed when non-operational.