There is a verse in Mahabharata: Drona Parva:

Sanskrit verse in Devnagri:

आकर्णपलितः शयामॊ वयसाशीति पञ्चकः

तवत्कृते वयचरत संख्ये स तु षॊडद वर्षवत

Sanskrit verse in IAST Transliteration:

ākarṇapalitaḥ śyāmo vayasāśīti pañcakaḥ

tvatkṛte vyacarat saṃkhye sa tu ṣoḍada varṣavat

As mentioned in this answer, K. M. Ganguli translates it as below:

Of a dark complexion, with white locks hanging down to his ears, that old man of five and eighty years of age, used, for thy sake only, to career on the field of battle with the activity of a youth of sixteen.

But Sanskrit-Hindi version by Gitapress translates it as below:

Drona age 400 years

That means one translation says the age of Drona was 85 years (80+5) while another says the age of Drona was 400 years (80*5).

Can anyone please clarify how others translated this or provide meaning after breaking words and then using Sanskrit number system?

  • Vayasa asiti panchaka - i think this part is telling abt the age then how did they come up with 400 yrs? 85 yrs is the correct one.
    – Rickross
    Dec 2, 2018 at 6:45
  • 3
    Oh now I got it; they have taken Asitipanchaka to mean 80*5=400
    – Rickross
    Dec 2, 2018 at 7:18

1 Answer 1


Acc to Bibek debroy

His grey hair hung down, up to his ears. He was dark. He was eighty-five years in age. But he had roamed around on the field of battle like one who was sixteen years old.

Acc to MN Dutt

Dhristadyumna began to send up loud war-cries whirling his sword all the while in the air. With his hoary locks flowing down his ears, of a dark complexion that old man of eighty-five years,

Also 85 years makes sense and not 400 see this.

  • "Also 85 years makes sense and not 400 How could octogenarian heroes fight in Mahabharata?" -- did u see this hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/5177/12304 ?
    – YDS
    Dec 17, 2021 at 17:50
  • 1
    @YDS yes I saw , but again vedas can be trusted blindly , so I guess vedas are right
    – Raghav
    Dec 18, 2021 at 5:10

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