Drona had a miraculous birth. His father, the brahmin sage Bharadwaj, saw the naked body of the beautiful apsara, Ghritaci, who lost her clothes as she ran from the mortal. Bharadwaj had a seminal discharge that was saved in a bucket or trough, a drona, thus giving his son that name. Drona mastered archery and taught both the Pandavas and Kauravas this martial skill.
Drona fought on the side of the Kauravas in the great Bharata war, becoming their commander-in-chief upon the death of Bhishma. He was killed when he put down his weapons after being told the lie that his own son had been killed. Drona was beheaded by the son of a king whom he had killed—even though he was a brahmin. It was written that he transported himself to heaven because he had always fulfilled his dharma (duty).