Sri Vaishnava scholar Yamunacharya in Agama Pramanya has stated:

Every man has some Vedic rites for which he is not qualified: the Brahmin is not qualified for the royal consecration, the Kshatriya for the ritual drinking of soma.

If above is true then how come Drona decided to become ruler of half the Panchala kingdom? After Pandavas defeated Drupada in battle and took him as prisoner to Drona, Drona 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.'

If what Yamunacharya said is true, then Drona could not crown himself as ruler. So how does one reconcile Yamunacharya's statement with Drona crowning himself as king ?

  • 1
    Funny thing is Yamunacharya himself was the ruler of a small kingdom in Chola/Pandya empire. I think Brahmin rulers were just acting as king and not actually consecrated as king with Vedic mantras and rituals for consecration.
    – Ikshvaku
    Oct 16, 2020 at 3:17

1 Answer 1


Yes, he is correct because a king, who does not come from a Kshatriya family, is considered as degraded in the scriptures. So, a Brahmin becoming a king is not approved by the Dharma sastras.

See the following:

Manu Smriti 4.84. Let him not accept presents from a king who is not descended from the Kshatriya race, nor from butchers, oil-manufacturers, and publicans, nor from those who subsist by the gain of prostitutes

From Chapter 7 of Manu Smriti (Duties of a king):

7.1. I will declare the duties of kings, (and) show how a king should conduct himself, how he was created, and how (he can obtain) highest success.

7.2. A Kshatriya, who has received according to the rule the sacrament prescribed by the Veda, must duly protect this whole (world)

7.3. For, when these creatures, being without a king, through fear dispersed in all directions, the Lord created a king for the protection of this whole (creation)

7.4. Taking (for that purpose) eternal particles of Indra, of the Wind, of Yama, of the Sun, of Fire, of Varuna, of the Moon, and of the Lord of wealth (Kubera).

So, it is very clear that, when it comes to becoming a king, only a Kshatriya is qualified. The verses are not even taking anyone into consideration, other than a Kshatriya, when they are talking about a king and his duties.

  • Best case scenario is that Brahmins cannot accept gift from a brahmin who has crowned himself a king . Worst case scenario is that brahmin has degraded himself. Hard to believe that Drona would degrade himself knowingly. Is there an atonement mentioned for such brahmins ? Or what happens to such brahmins ? And how can any brahmin help Drona with the consecration ceremony ? Won't he incur any sin ? Oct 16, 2020 at 9:00
  • We are asked not to associate with degraded people, not to accept food or gifts from them. The verse I have given shows that a non-ksatriya king is as degraded as a butcher. Regarding why drona did what he did, I don't know. I don't think that drona can't perform adharma. All such characters have done their share of Dharma and adharma. Drona was a vengeful brahmin, a bad quality for a Brahmin to have. So his act does not come to me as a surprise @Carmensandiego
    – Rickross
    Oct 16, 2020 at 10:26

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