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As seen in this section of Adi Parva , Drupada's words when Drona came to him were

Then the son of Bharadwaja, endued with great prowess went to king Drupada, and approaching that monarch, that tiger among men, said, 'Know me for thy friend.'

Hearing this Drupada said, 'One of low birth can never be the friend of one whose lineage is pure, nor can one who is not a car-warrior have a car-warrior for his friend. So also one who is not a king cannot have a king as his friend. Why dost thou, therefore, desire (to revive our) former friendship?'

The same section mentions there is friendship between their fathers. Moreover Drona found merit in Drupada's words, and therefore after winning over the kingdom with the help of Pandavas he too reiterates the same when returning half the kingdom back to Drupada.

If what they say is true, then does it mean that their fathers had it wrong ?

Related question: The popular story goes that Drona approached Drupad because his family was in dire straits. Is there reference to it in any other part of KMG Mahabharat or is it just another creative interpolations of our times?

EDIT Previously the question was asking for the basis of saying low-birth and pure lineage matters when it comes to friendship. Understood that is not the case

  • "In that case question is how come there was friendship between their fathers." - why does the title still have the old question? – sv. Jan 16 at 23:43
  • Noted. I thought it would make Srimannarayana k v answer look out of place. But made appropriate edits – Carmen sandiego Jan 17 at 3:24
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King Drupada says 3 issues:

    1. 'One of low birth can never be the friend of one whose lineage is pure,
    1. Nor can one who is not a car-warrior have a car-warrior for his friend.
    1. one who is not a king cannot have a king as his friend.

Drupada was not talking about the low birth here. He was talking about 3 issue, ie., his status of being a King and Drona being penniless.


The Pandavas, after defeating Drupada in battle and taking him prisoner along with his ministers, offered him unto Drona, who takes half of his kingdom, and asks for his friendship.

After a time when the Pandavas became skilled in arms and sure aims, demanding of them his fee, he again told them these words,

'Drupada, the son of Prishata, is the king of Chhatravati. Take away from him his kingdom, and give it unto me.'

Then the Pandavas, defeating Drupada in battle and taking him prisoner along with his ministers, offered him unto Drona, who beholding the vanquished monarch, said,

'O king, I again solicit thy friendship; and because none who is not a king deserveth to be the friend of a king, therefore, O Yajnasena, I am resolved to divide thy kingdom amongst ourselves. While thou art the king of the country to the south of Bhagirathi (Ganga), I will rule the country to the north.'

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  • @srimannarayna k v - I don't think Drona being penniless was ever the case (see my related question). Secondly, if non-kings cannot be friends with kings then why does the same section mention "Bharadwaja had a friend named Prishata,who was the king of Panchalas". – Carmen sandiego Jan 16 at 5:28
  • @Carmensandiego: Please remember that Drupada used to come to Drona's house, when he was not the king. After becoming a king, he became arrogant. – srimannarayana k v Jan 16 at 5:31
  • I am asking if there was scriptural basis for what Drupada has said. As seen in the quote, Drona while returning half the kingdom said "because none who is not a king deserveth to be a friend of the king". But then how does one reconcile friendship between his father and Drupada's father. – Carmen sandiego Jan 16 at 6:05
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    I saw your answer here hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/32278/… . And when I went through adjacent sections in Sambhava Parva hyperlinked in your answer, I found the answer - indeed Drona was in abject poverty and he approached Drupada because latter had promised him but later turned haughty. So in a way thanks ! – Carmen sandiego Jan 20 at 17:22

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