Duryodhana, in a subtle allusion to the past, asked Dronacharya to observe the meticulously arranged military formation of the Pandava army, led by their commander-in-chief, Dhristadyumna, the son of King Drupad and one of Dronacharya’s own students. Many years prior, Dronacharya, in alliance with the Pandavas, had defeated King Drupad in battle, dividing his kingdom in half. In response to this defeat, King Drupad had performed a ritual to obtain a son, Dhristadyumna, who was destined to seek revenge by ultimately slaying Dronacharya.
Despite being fully aware of this prophecy, when approached to train Dhristadyumna in military arts, Dronacharya had humbly accepted the request and imparted his knowledge impartially to his pupil. Duryodhana’s intention in this reminder was to ensure that Dronacharya did not show leniency toward his students on the battlefield, just as he had not done so in the past, considering Dhristadyumna’s dual role as both his student and the harbinger of a grave prophecy.