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Story of Draupadi

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  1. 1. Draupadi – The Ultimate SubmissionDrapuadi – The Ultimate Submission By Aditya Dogra
  2. 2. Draupadi – The Ultimate SubmissionFew days back I happened to visit a ―Draupadi-amma‖ temple at Varthurvillage, Bangalore which ignited my quest for understanding the charactercalled Draupadi, the wife of Pandavas, who played a pivotal role inMahabharatha. Infact, her whole life was just a unified story of the all Indianwomen irrespective of the era they belong to. Women in India are having aspecial status in our society: From Undesirables to Goddesses.I am sure if you also go through her character description, you will like thefollowing versesWhy toss me around?Why not leave me on the ground?Why make me a ragged doll?Question not the ways of God,Have faith & be happy with your lot;For happiness lies in what you have got,And not in what you feel you have lost. By Aditya Dogra
  3. 3. Draupadi – The Ultimate SubmissionBlind Cry – Ashok SawhnyCome see the world through my eyes,And you will realize,How dark it turns out to be,If you happen to be like me.Time would have no relevance,Days & Nights no consequence,Liberty in Captivity,Something of a travesty.Let me paint the picture for you,Sketch it and flesh it out for you,I know not the color green, blue or redBlack the color I am constantly fed.An Unwanted ChildAs the story goes, her father Draupad , king of Panchal , had three sonsSatyajit and Vikra, and Shikhande. But inspite of having three sons , king [1]Draupad was defeated and captured by the students of Dronacharya .Burning in the fire of revenge, king Draupad performed tapsas(rigorousritual) followed by a Yajna to seek blessings from the God in the form a sonwho could bring back his glory.drupada stu divarmatra tapya manah parabhavath |bhim arjuna bala mdrishhthva chechchhanh pandavasa mshrayam.h By Aditya Dogra
  4. 4. Draupadi – The Ultimate Submission|| Drupada suffered anguish from his defeat day and night and also wishedto seek protection of Bhima and Arjuna after realizing seeing their strength.putram cha dronah antaramichchhanh vipravarau yayau |yajopayajavanIy atharbudena gavam nripah ||Wishing to have a son who would be capable of killing Drona, he went toBrahmins named Yagnopayaja .God blessed Draupad and two children were born out of the yajna fire. Thefirst to emerge out of the holy pyre was a son, called Dhrishtadyumna, andthe second one , a daughter called Draupadi. Since Draupad, her fatherhad performed the yajna with intent of getting blessed with a Son whocould defeat his enemy Drona, Draupadi was an unwanted child born tohim. But as she was born from the fire of vengefulness, he knew that shewould be a tool in his hand to burn the strength of Drona.Owing to her virtuous nature, Droupadi is considered one amongst the fivePanchkanayas of hindu mythology. As an Oriya verse goes:Pancha bhuta khiti op tejo maruta byomoPancha sati nirjyasa gyani bodho gomyoAhalya Draypadi Kunti Tara Mandodari totha Pancha kanya...Five elements, earth, water, fire, wind, etherAre in essence the five satis. This wise knowAhalya, Draupadi, Kunti, Tara and Mandodari Five virgins …. By Aditya Dogra
  5. 5. Draupadi – The Ultimate Submission[1] Draupad and Dronaachaarya were together in Gurukul. They were great friends. Butafter Gurukul was over Draupad, being a prince became the king and lived a lavish lifeand Drona , being a teacher , lived an austere life. But things went wrong on Drona‘send, he thought of seeking help from his old friend Draupad. But Draupad dejectedDrona saying ― If you ask for a cow as a Brahman, I can give you as many cows as youask, but not as a friend. Drone felt insulted and went away.Later Drone started teaching Pandav and Kaurav. When Pandav and Kaurav hadfinished their education, and the time came to pay Guru Dakshinaa, Drone asked bothof them, Kaurav and Paandav to bring king Drupad tied with a horse. Kaurav went therebut came back defeated by Drupad; but Paandav brought him to Drone tied with ahorse. Drone said - "I still consider you my friend. Now you and your kingdom are mine.When you had the whole kingdom, you did not give me even one cow, but now first I willdivide your kingdom and then I will take only one cow from your part of kingdom." Hetook one cow from Drupads share of kingdom and gave back his kingdom and freedhim.Names of DraupadiBeing the daughter of Draupad, She was given a name ‗Draupadi‘.She wasknown by several other names as well. As the princess of the kingdom ofPanchal she was known as ‗Panchali‘. As the granddaughter of Prushatashe was known as ‗Parsati‘ . Draupadi was born of fire of yajna andtherefore, often referred as ‗Yagnaseni‘. She is also called ‗Krishnaa‟ forher dark complexion. Also known as Sairindhri as she was the maid-servant of the queen of Virata; Panchami having five husbands andNitayauvani the ever-young.She was also known as ‗Yojanagandha‘because she was gifted with blue-lotus fragrance wafting for a full krosha(2miles) . Being consort of Yudhishtra,she is also called- Yushisthira Shri andMahabharti for being wife of descendents of Bharat. By Aditya Dogra
  6. 6. Draupadi – The Ultimate SubmissionSelection of HusbandDraupdi was extraordinarily beautiful. Vyasa categorically states that thecreator had so fashioned her that her loveliness surpassed that of allwomen (reminiscent of Valmiki about Ahalya) and enchanted everyone.The kings in the svayamvra hall were described as so tormented by thearrows of desire (Kandarpabanabhinipiditangah) that even friends hatedeach other. When the brothers looked upon her in the potter‘s hut, they alllost their hearts to her.She is the only kanya whose appearance is described in detail and it is,therefore, worth noting:Eye-ravishing Panchali,Black-and-smiling-eyed…Dark-skinned Panchali,Lotus-eyed lady,Wavy-haired PanchaliHair like dark blue clouds,Shining coppery carved nails,Soft eye-lashes,Swelling breasts andShapely thighs…Blue lotusFragrance for a full kroshaFlowed from her body… (I.169.44-46) [2]While living incognito in Ekavrata as brahmins, the Pandavas heardabout the news about Draupadi Swayamwara. . It was not an occasion to By Aditya Dogra
  7. 7. Draupadi – The Ultimate Submissionbe missed. On the day of Swayamwara, the Pandava left home early andjoined the throng towards the palace. A vast ground has been cleared andbuilt up with galleries to accommodate the visitors and young mencontending for the princess‘s hand.The day started with elaborate ceremonies performed by royal priests. Atthe appointed hour, Draupadi entered the arena and looked around,sending the entire young hearts racing. She was escorted byDhrishtadruman, her brother, the prince of the house. He announced thatthose who would be eligible to be garlanded by the princess must string abow kept on a pedestal and shoot five arrows at a revolving target aboveby looking its reflection on a pan of oil below.Draupadi watched the process of elimination with relief. She saw theprinces, in imposing battle dress, coming forward haughtily and retreatinghastily, galloping away on their horses. Comments, jokes and laughter filledthe air.The Kauravas were also present in the court with their ace ‗Karna‘. Shewatched with apprehensions as karna approached the bow & lifted it as if itwere a toy. He stood it on its end and stretched out the bowstring. But atthat very moment when he took aim to shoot the mark, Draupadi was heardto remark ―I will not accept him ….He is a soota-putra (son of acharioteer)‖At this, Karna dropped the bow and returned to his seat with awry smile.Duryodhana frowned and said, ―She had no right to talk . If you hit themark, she must accept you. That is the condition. Otherwise, you mayseize her and fly off. Go back and take the bow.‖―No,‖ said Karna, ―I don‘t want her‖.In that assembly, unobserved was a person who was to play a vital role inthe Mahabharata latter. It was Krishna, the king of Dwaraka. He whisperedto his brother, Balrama, at his side, ―These Brahmins are none other thanthe pandavas, who were supposed to have perished in a fire. This was allpredestined, we will see a great deal of them yet ..‖ By Aditya Dogra
  8. 8. Draupadi – The Ultimate SubmissionNow there was a stir as Arjuna got up from the Brahmin group. But kingDraupad ruled that he had mentioned no caste in his announcement.Arujuna not only strung the bow, but hit the target again & again, five times.Draupadi approached him with the garland and slipped it over his neck andthey became betrothed.Draupadi‘s Swayamwara was a turning point in the course of time. Thehumiliation which Karna had faced, made him to pass a slanderouscomment on Draupadi later on during the Draupadi‘s disrobement inDhritarastarya Court.[2] Duryodhana and his brothers knew that the Pandavas had the right to the throne . SoPandavas were sent to Varanavata as a part of an evil plan of Duryodhana. He arranged apalace for the Pandavas at Varanavata made of inflammable material. The plan was to burn themansion while the Pandavas were asleep in it. Pandavas learned about this murder attemptwith the help of Vidura and tactfully escaped from the palace .News reached Hastinapura thatthe pandavas had been burnt to death by accident in a fire. Old King Dhritatashtra sufferedgreat sorrow. The Kauravas were very happy, but they pretended they were in great grief.The Pandavas and their mother decided to travel in disguise until they got back to Hastinapura.Plunged to PolyandryThe Pandavas and Draupadi returned home from the swayamwara hall.The princess, who had not seen the midday sun, had to walk miles in thesweltering heat to reach her new home. Arjuna announced to his motherthat he had brought home a prize that he so skillfully won. When kuntiheard this , as usual, she asked them to share whatever they have broughtamong themselves. While in exile, Kunti, mother of the Pandavas oftenadvised her sons that they share everything they have (or obtain throughBhiksha i.e. alms) equally amongst themselves. Keeping their mother‘s word, they divided Draupadi among themselves asif she were an object. It is true that Arujana was able to receive Draupadi‘shand by competing a difficult and skillful task, but she was not a prize thathe won because it was Draupadi‘s Swayamwara; she had the right tochoose her husband and Arjuna proved himself worthy. She could havemarried Karna who could have also performed the same task, but she By Aditya Dogra
  9. 9. Draupadi – The Ultimate Submissiondenied him permissions to participate. In certain ways, therefore, Arjunadegraded Draupadi by claiming her as a prize.After few days, Narada went to the house of the five Pandava brothers whohad a common wife called Draupadi, and told them the story of a nymphcalled Tilotamma. ―Two demon brothers, Sunda and Upasunda, fell in lovewith her and wanted to marry her. She said she would marry the stronger ofthe two. So the two brothers fought to prove their strength. Since bothwere equally matched, they killed each other. Wonder which of you five isthe strongest?‖ Hearing this, five Pandava brothers quickly put down rulesthat would govern the sharing of a wife; she would be with one brotherexclusively for a year and return to him after spending four years with theother four brothers.Polyandry – A hidden culture and polygamy - A norm Little wonder that Draupadi is one of the most popular and controversialheroines of Hindu mythology over polyandry. But she was not the onlywoman with many husbands. Prior to her, Jatila was married to sevenSaptarishis while Hiranyakshas sister Pracheti was married to ten brothers.Even her mother-in-law, Kunti, knew many men: four gods (Surya, Yama,Vayu and Indra) besides her husband, Pandu.Most of the time, the epic Mahabhratha is known for polyandry of Draupadibut it never talks about polygamy because the pandava brothers had otherwives. Yudhishtira married Devika, the daughter of Govasana of the Saivyatribe, and begat upon her a son called Yaudheya.Bhima married Valandhara, the daughter of the king of Kashi, and begatupon her a son named Sarvaga. Nakula married Karenumati, the princess of Chedi, and begat upon her ason named Niramitra.Sahadeva obtained Vijaya, the daughter of Dyutimat, the king of Madra,and begat upon her a son named Suhotra. All these wives lived with theirsons in the house of their fathers. By Aditya Dogra
  10. 10. Draupadi – The Ultimate Submission After the Kauravas attempted to kill the Pandavas by setting alight theirpalace (made of lac) on fire, the Pandavas hid in the forest, disguised asthe sons of a Brahmin widow. During this time, Bhima killed manyRakshasas such as Baka and Hidimba. Hidimba‘s sister, impressed by hisstrength, chose him as husband and they had a son called Ghatotkacha. Though Draupadi‘s favourite, Arjuna had the most number of wivesamongst all brothers. The story goes that Arjuna once entered Draupadi‘schamber while she was with Yudhishtira. To atone for this trespassing, hewent on a ‗pilgrimage‘. During this time he married many women. In the classical Sanskrit retelling, Arjuna married the Naga Ulupi, theprincess Chitrangada of Manipur and finally Krishna‘s sister Subhadraduring this pilgrimage. But in Tamil retellings of the Mahabharata, hemarried seven women. One of them was a warrior woman called Ali whorefused to marry him but Arjuna was so besotted that he sought Krishna‘shelp. Krishna turned him into a snake and he slipped into Ali‘s bed at nightand frightened her to become his wife. Some say he forced her to be hiswife as he managed to spend the night in bed with her in the form of asnake.Draupadi‘s unparalleled beauty and intelligence became the cause of hermisery. She was charmed by Arjuna, the winner of the archery contest, setfor her hand but she was bundled off by her father as the bride of all the [3]five pandavas on the advice of sage Vyasa . Her cruel fate divided heramong five husbands and cut up her personality.Draupadi spent a year with each of her husbands in turns. She was bornout of the sacrificial fire (yajna) and called Yagnaseni, true to thisappellation she was burnt with men‘s ill-treatment.[3] Upon hearing the news that his daughter Draupadi had been plunged into polyandry, thesaddened & furious king Draupad summoned the pandavas. While pandavas reached thecourt, Sage Vyasa also reached the court of Draupad.Vaysa told Draupad that Draupadi was Nalayini in her earlier birth. Nalayini was devoted wife ofRishi Maudgalya. This rishi was afflicted with leprosy and his face was disfigured andugly.Once,Nalayini was serving him food and eating too. Because of leprosy,one of Rishis By Aditya Dogra
  11. 11. Draupadi – The Ultimate Submissionfinger fell into the food Nalayini was eating. Nalayini did not flinch and calmly continued eatingthe rice without displaying any revulsion. So much was her devotion to her husband. Pleased bythis, the rishi asked his wife for a boon. She then asked the rishi to make love to her in fivedifferent forms and the rishi should turn himself into a handsome man (instead of having theugly leprosy afflicted face).The rishi acceded to her request but she was not satisfied with hislove. So, the rishi finally cursed her that in her next life, shell have five husbands to quench herthirst of conjugal love.DevotionDuring the celebrations associated with the Sankranthi festival, Krishnawas partaking the freshly harvested sugarcane offered to him by Gopis inaccordance with the customs of the festival. To squeeze the juice out of thesugarcanes, Krishna had to cut them. While doing so, he inadvertently cuthis little finger. Seeing blood on his finger, Satyabhama - Krishnas wife -with her characteristic pride, ordered the Gopis to go inside the house tofetch some cloth to bandage the finger. Draupadi who was also there,however, out of her love and concern for Krishna, immediately tore off apiece of cloth from the end of her new saree and bandaged the Lordsfinger. For Lord Krishna this signified Raksha bandhan and he immediatelytook Draupadi as his sister. Krishna repaid her that piece of her saree whenDushasana unwrapped layers and layers of her sari in the court.She exhorts that he is bound fourfold to protect herFor four reasons, Krishna, youare bound to protect me ever:I‟m related, I‟m renowned,I‟m your sakhi andall revere you. (III.10.125, 127)Indraprastha and Duryodhanas insultAfter transforming the Khandavaprastha which was nothing more than adesert into a city of splendor ‗Indraprastha‘ and to commemorate theirsuccessful rehabilation, Yudhistira performed a grand Rajasuya sacrifice.Thousands were invited to be present in indraprastha, Krishna, By Aditya Dogra
  12. 12. Draupadi – The Ultimate SubmissionDuryodhana and uncle Sakuni being the most distinguished guests. Thepride of buildings was the Palace of Illusions and this was where Draupaditook Duryodhana and his entourage.. The courtyard was divided in twoparts. The surface of one part appeared to ripple like the surface of a lake.The surface of the other part appeared solid as granite flooring and whenDuryodhana stepped on the apparently solid part of the courtyard, therewas a splash and Duryodhana found himself waist deep in water, drenchedfrom head to foot. Duryodhana felt extremely insulted that Draupadi andher maids saw his embarrassing predicament. Draupadis statement of"andhey ka putra andha" meaning "blind mans (referring to Dhritrashtra)son is blind" further enraged Duryodhana.This was the last straw, he sworerevenge on her and such a revenge that Pandavas would fall at his feetbegging for mercy.Ultimate Submission After enjoying few days in the illusions of happiness in Indraprastha,Pandavas fell in the Kaurava‘s dice game trap. And when Yudhistira hadnothing left to stake, he tried his bad luck with Draupadi and lost her too.Duryodhana summoned her in the court.The attendant hurried on to Draupadi‘s chambers and conveyed themessage apologetically .In a short while he returned. ―She has asked me tobring back an answer to this question „Whom did Yudhistira lose first, me orhimself? Whose lord were you at the time you lost me?‗ ―He addressed thequestion to Yudhistira , who looked at the floor, unable to face anyone.At that moment Duryodhana ordered ―Let her first come , and then put thequestion to her late lord herself, and the assembly shall hear the words thatpass between them. ― The messenger went to draupadi and again cameback without her. Duryodhana asked him to go out a third time. When thisattendant hesitated, he turned to his brother Dusshasana and said―Perphaps this fellow is a cow , afraid of this ruffian, Bhimsena, but hedoesn‘t know that he can do nothing now , being our slave … Go and bringher without a moment‘s delay. ― By Aditya Dogra
  13. 13. Draupadi – The Ultimate SubmissionWhen Dusshasena appeared , Draupadi said again, ―I must have ananswer to my question. Did Yudhistira lose me before or after he losthimself?‖― What is that to you?‖ asked Dusshasena.She replied, ―If he had lost himself first, he could have no right to stake me‖―Stop your argument. Will you follow me to the assembly or not?‖ As heapproached her, she shrank back saying, ―I am in the woman‘s month … Iam clad in a single wrap … go away …‖ She tried to escape him byattempting to run into the women‘s chamber. Dusshasena sprang on her, [4]seized her by her hair and dragged her along to the assembly.With her tresses and sari in disarray through Dusshasena‘s rude handling,Draupadi looked piteous as she stood in the center of that vast assemblyfacing the elders and guests. Seeing the distress of the Pandavas anddraupadi, Vikarna, one of the younger sons of Dhritrashtra , said ―Thisunfortunate person has asked a question which has been not answered.Bhishma, Drona, Dhritarashtra and even Vidhura turn away and remainsilent. She is the common wife of the other four also, and the kingYudhistra had first lost himself and then staked her. Reflection on thesethings, I declare that Draupadi has not been won at all ―At this point, Karna stood up and motioned everyone to remain silent‖ This Vikarna is an immature youth, not fit to address an august assemblyof elders. Yudhistira gambled and staked with his eyes wide open. Don‘tconsider him an innocent simpleton; he knew when he was doing. He knowwhen he staked Draupadi , he was offering his wife. Whatever has beenwon has been won justly. Here take off the princely robes on thosebrothers. Moreover, what woman in any would take five husbands? Whatdoes one call the like of her? I will unhesitatingly call her a whore. To bringher here, whatever her state, is no sin or act that should cause surprise.You, Yudhisitira and the rest, take off your princely robes and come aside.‖ At this order, the Pandavas took off their clothes and stood in theirloincloths. Duryodhana ordered, ―Disrobe her too …‖ By Aditya Dogra
  14. 14. Draupadi – The Ultimate SubmissionDusshasena seized Draupadi‘s saree and began to pull it off. In sheardesperation she remembered her Krishna and called out his name as anabsolute last resort for any kind of help. Krishna never came, and her gripon the saree was loosening fast. She carried on calling from the depth ofher heart, still holding onto her saree with everything ounce of strength shecould muster, yet still her Krishna never came. Draupadi was almost about to pass out as she could no longer hold onbefore she finally gave up all her efforts and resigned herself to having herdignity completely stripped with the whole city watching on. At that moment,Krishna appeared and turned her saree into a never ending robe, so nomatter how many times her perpetrators pulled away at her saree, thedress kept unfolding further and further with no end in sight. Finally theDusshasena gave up with exhaustion as he was unable to pull the saree ofher, no matter how many times he tried. A few days after the incident had passed; Draupadi met Krishna and withfury scolded him for not helping her earlier when she first cried out for help.Krishna replied by telling her that when she first called out for the divine,she also kept her hands firmly on her saree. Her ego was not ready to fullysubmit to the divine and her faith was not strong enough to trust Krishna tocome and save her. It was only when she lost all sense of hope, that herego had finally loosened its grip on her saree that her heart allowed spacefor the divine to enter and work its charm. Only then could Krishna makehis appearance and fulfill her every need and desire.Having failed in his efforts to disrobe Draupadi, Duryodhana had patted histhighs and ordered Draupadi to sit on his lap, since she was supposed toobey his orders as she was now a slave to him. On hearing this, Draupadicursed Duryodhana of a death with a broken thigh. After cheerharan,Draupadi vowed that her hair should remain disheveled until Bhima shouldtie it up with hands dripping with the blood of Duhsasana. Draupadi‘sunbound hair represents her fury. By Aditya Dogra
  15. 15. Draupadi – The Ultimate Submission[4] Hair is a powerful metaphor in Hindu mythology. A lot has been said about hair.Krishna has curly hair. Balarama has straight silky hair. Shiva has thick matted hair. TheGoddesses – Lakshmi, Saraswati and Durga – have loose unbound hair. Hair has longbeen used in India to convey a message.Unbound unruly hair represents wild nature. Well oiled and combed hair representsculture. That is why the wild Kali‘s hair is unbound while the domestic Gauri‘s hair is wellbound and in her temples devotees make offerings of gajra, a string of flowers to tie upthe hair. In the Ramayana, the last jewel of Sita is the hairpin that she gives Hanumanto convey to Ram that her honor, and his reputation, stands in a precarious position.Shiva‘s dreadlocks represent the potent power of his mind that enables him to catchand bind the unruly and wild river-goddess Ganga.Karna’s Tribute to DraupadiShocked by the disrobement of Draupadi And counselling by Vidur ,Dhritharashtra scoffed at Duryodhana and asked Draupadi for any threeboons. But Draupadi sought that her husbands should at once be freedfrom slavery and as the second boon she asked for their weapons. WhenDhritharashtra asked her to ask for more, she replied that her husbandswere strong and capable to win all the rest that they had lost bythemselves.When Draupadi succeeded in winning back freedom for her enslavedhusbands, Karna paid her a remarkable tribute, saying that none of theworld‘s renowned beautiful women has accomplished such a feat. Like aboat she has rescued her husbands who were drowning in a sea ofsorrowsMotherlessnessBeing born from yajna; Draupadi was devoid of motherly affection in herchildhood. And If Draupadi had hoped to find her missing mother in hermother-in-law, she was tragically deceived, as Kunti thrust her into apolyandrous marriage that exposed her to salacious gossip reaching totragic climax in Karna declaring her a whore who‘s being clothed or nakedis immaterial. As if that were not enough, Kunti urged her to take specialcare of her fifth husband Sahadeva, as a mother! No other woman has hadto face this peculiar predicament of dealing with five husband as spouse, By Aditya Dogra
  16. 16. Draupadi – The Ultimate Submissionthen as elder or younger brother-in-law (to be treated like a father or as ason respectively) in an endless cycle.Another folk retelling tells us how Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas nevershared her kitchen secrets with her daughter-in-law, Draupadi. Throughfood Kunti ensured her sons still came to her and were not totally smittenby their beautiful wife. But Draupadi was determined to wean her way intoher husbands‘ hearts through their stomachs. She kept observing andsmelling what Kunti served each of her husbands and figured out the recipeand ended up preparing the dishes, adding her own innovation, until thePandavas craved more for Draupadi‘s food than Kunti‘s.Draupadi‘s Motherlessness seemed to be carried forward into her lack ofmaternal feelings. When Draupadi causes the blood of Bhimasena to sowitself in the earth; her five sons ( Upa- Pandava‘s) Prathivindya, Srutasoma,Sruthakeerthi, Sataaneekaa,Sruthasena , all Raksasas , according toTerukkutu folklore of the Draupadi cult, immediately sprung up from theground. So Draupadi never enjoyed the pain of motherhood. Also her fivesons were not even nurtured by her. She sent them to Panchala andfollowed her husbands into exile to share the wounds of injustice and insultinflicted upon them. On the other hand all other wives of Pandavas kepttheir sons along with them: Hidmimba‘s Ghatotkacha, Subhadra‘sAbhimanyu, Ulupi‘s Iravan and Chitrangada‘s Babhruvahana.Bhakti and ShaktiDraupadi was a personification of both Bhakti( where she submitted herselfto Lord Krishna) and Shakti ( where she dared and never let the fire ofvengeance die). Lord Krishna considered her as His sakhi as well as sisterand always helped her whenever she sought it.During their exile when Pandavas were in Kamyaka Forest, Duryodhanasent the short-tempered but highly knowledgeable sage Durvasha and histhousand disciples to visit Yudhishtra. His intentions were to get Pandavascursed by the sage Durvasha. Yudhishtira invited the sage and hisdisciples to dine. But everybody including Draupadi & kunti had taken theirmeals and the Akshaya Patra was empty. Sage Durvasha went to take a By Aditya Dogra
  17. 17. Draupadi – The Ultimate Submissionbath in the Ganges. Draupadi got worried and she prayed to Lord Krishnato save her and her husbands from the wrath of Durvasha when he wouldfind out that the Pandavas had nothing to offer him & his disciples. LordKrishna reached the hut of Draupadi and ate the single grain of rice left inthe Akshaya Patra. There at the river bank, sage Durvasha and hisdisciples felt as if they had a sumptuous meal with many delicacies.Durvasha rishi blessed the Pandavas.Draupadi is an exemplification of bhakti, and she experienced God‘s divinepresence constantly in her life. When she questioned Krishna abouteverything that had happened to her, he reassured her: “Soon wilt thou, OKrishna, behold the ladies of Bharatas race weep as thou dost. Even they,O timid one, will weep like thee, their kinsmen and friends being slain. Theywith whom, O lady, thou art angry, have their kinsmen and warriors alreadyslain. With Bhima and Arjuna and the twins, at Yudhishthiras command,and agreeably to fate, and what hath been ordained by the Ordainer, I willaccomplish all this. Their hour having arrived, the sons of Dhritarashtra, ifthey do not listen to my words, will surely lie down on the earth turned asmorsels of dogs and jackals. The mountains of Himavat might shift theirsite, the Earth herself might spilt into a hundred fragments, the firmamentitself with its myriads of stars might fall down, still my words can never befutile. Stop thy tears, I swear to thee, O Krishna, soon wilt thou see thyhusbands, with their enemies slain, and with prosperity crowning them."The Shakti of Draupadi lies in the fire of vengeance. After all the futileattempts to make peace with Kauravas, Lord Krishna decided to visitHastinapur. Sitting with his brothers, Krishna and Draupadi , Yudhishtiraasked ―Is it worth all this conflict .―He said ―We should avoid a war at allcosts, especially when we are certain of victory. They are our kinsmen,after all. Oh, Krishna, what shall I do? Advise me, guide me please―.Krishna replied, ―For your sake I will visit the Kauravas at their court. If Ican obtain peace without compromising your interest, I will do so.‖―Krishna, don‘t threaten them‖, said Bhima.‖Duryhodhana is hostile andarrogant , but he should not be roughly addressed. Please be mild withhim. All of us, O Krishna, would rather suffer in obscurity than see the kuru By Aditya Dogra
  18. 18. Draupadi – The Ultimate Submissiondynasty destroyed.‖ Arjuna & Nakula also advocated mildness in approachand way to the peace.Sahadeva alone among the brothers wanted an ultimatum to be given bythe envoy.‖Even if the kaurava‘s want peace, provoke them to a war. Howcan I , remembering the plight of Panchali the other day at the assembly,feel satisfied with anything less than the death of Duryodhana? Even if allmy brothers are disposed to practice vesture and morality, I will go upalone and kill Duryodhana. It is my life‘s greatest aim‖.Draupadi came forward to express her views. The backsliding of fourbrothers made her indignant.‖O Krishna, the scriptures declare that it is asin to kill a harmless person and the same scriptures declare that not to killone who deserves it, is a sin. Has there been any woman on earth like me?Born out of fire, Daughter of the great Draupad, Sister of Dhrishtradyuman,Daughter-in-law of Pandu, Wife of five heroes of the world, and by themmother of five sons. Still I was dragged by my hair and insulted bydepraved men under the very nose of these heroes, and they sat silentlywatching my distress. I don‘t know what would have happened if you,Krishna, had not responded to my call for help. And now even Bhimaspeaks of morality. There is no one to help me …. Even if my husbandsabandon me, my sons are worth of talking up arms to avenge our wrongs…‖ She was choked with tears and so was everybody. All the fourPandavas were sitting with their heads down in shame.Krishna assured her and went to Hastinapur as a messenger.Plight of a women: Abduction and MolestationSimhika appears in the malayalam text (attakatha) for the Kathakali play"Kirmiravadham" by Kottayam Tampuran (17th century). In this work, theauthor introduces two new characters outside of Vyasas text: A rakshasanamed Saardduula and his wife Simhika. Simhika also happened to be thesister of Kirmira. Saardduula was killed by Arjuna. To take revenge,Simhika decided to abduct Draupadi and present her to brother Kirmira. Toachieve this goal, Simhika took the form of Lalita (a beautiful woman) andapproached Draupadi. Draupadi suspected foul play and refused to go. By Aditya Dogra
  19. 19. Draupadi – The Ultimate SubmissionSimhika resumed her original form and forcefully took away Draupadi.Hearing Draupadis cries, Sahadeva came and cut off the nose and breastsof Simhika.Another episode of her abduction was by Jayadratha, the son ofVriddhakshatra, the husband of Duryodhana‘s sister Dussala, while he waspassing through Kamyaka forest on the way to Salwa Desa. There he sawDraupadi alone as Pandavas had gone out for hunting. Jayadratha thenstarted beseeching her to go away with him and desert her husbands whohad fallen upon bad times. Draupadi pointed out that it was wrong to desertone‘s spouses when they were in difficulty and then gave him a rather longand deliberately delaying speech on exactly the sort of bad time herhusbands would give him on their return.Jayadratha then said ―thou canstnot frighten us (he was with several other Kings when he saw andabducted Draupadi) now with these threats. We, too, O Krishna, belong bybirth to the seventeen high clans, and are endowed with the six royalqualities.‖ and was sure that he could beat the Pandavas in battle.Draupadi said ―Even Indra himself cannot abduct her for whose protectionKrishna and Arjuna would together follow, riding in the same chariot.‖ Andshe spoke of the way in which Jishnu (Arjuna) would rout Jayadratha andhis armies. She also said, ―The warring princes of the Andhaka and theVrishni races, with Janardana at their head, and the mighty bowmen of theKaikeya tribe, will all follow in my wake with great ardour‖. Failing withwords Jayadratha tried violence and she called for Dhaumya‘s help.Though she pushed him to the ground, he overpowered her and forced heronto his chariot. Meanwhile the Pandavas had finished their hunt andYudhisthira observed that all the animals were disturbed in one directionand was suddenly overcome by premonitions. So he and his brotherclimbed their chariots pulled by horses of Saindhava breed and gave chasein the direction of the disturbance. And on learning of their wifes abductionby Jayadratha they rushed towards that host with great fury( like hawksswooping down on their prey. And possessed of the prowess of Indra, theyhad been filled with fury at the insult offered to Draupadi. But at sight ofJayadratha and of their beloved wife seated on his car, their fury knew nobounds).Then follows the exciting description of a battle in which the five By Aditya Dogra
  20. 20. Draupadi – The Ultimate Submissionpandavas routed the Sauviras, Ikshwakus, Sivis, and Saindhavas and theirarmies. Jayadratha in fear ran away, leaving Draupadi behind in all thisconfusion. Dharmraja urged Bhima to spare Jayadratha‘s life for the sakeof Dussala and Gandhari, much to the indignation of Draupadi. And thathighly intelligent lady said to her two husbands, Bhima and Arjuna withindignation mixed with modesty, If you care to do what is agreeable to me,you must slay the chief of the Saindhava clan! That foe who forcibly carriesaway a wife, and he that wrests a kingdom, should never be forgiven on thebattle-field, even though he should supplicate for mercy!.Thusadmonished, it was decided to make him humiliated. Then the two valiantwarriors went in search of the Saindhava chief. Bhima and Arjuna caughtup with Jayadratha and Arjuna asked him how an unmanly fellow likehimself had the guts to take a woman away by force. Thereafter there wasmore running away than actual fighting and Bhima caught Jayadratha andwanted to kill him. Arjuna reminded him of Dharmaraj(Yudhisthira)‘s words,so they brought Jayadratha to their hermitage.After bringing the chainedJayadratha back to the hermitage where he was to declare to be slave ofPandavas and was hence, shaved on his head at five places and thenfreed.While the Pandavas were leading their normal life in their own disguised [5]form . One day Kichaka, the brother of Sudeshana, and the commanderof king Virata‘s forces, happened to see Draupadi. He was filled with lust bylooking at her. He asked her to marry him, but Draupadi refused him sayingthat she was already married to ‗Gandharvas‘, so as not to reveal their trueidentity as they were in exile. She warned Kichaka that her husbands werevery strong and he would not be able to escape death at their hands. Laterhe forced his sister, queen Sudeshna to help him win Draupadi. Sudeshnaordered Draupadi to fetch wine from Kichaks house. Draupadi tried todissuade the queen from sending her to kichakas house but failed. WhenDraupadi went to get wine, Kichaka tried to molest her. Draupadi escapedand ran into the court of Virata. Kichaka kicked her in front of all thecourtiers including Yudhisthira who was also present in the court at thattime. The king being weak in front of Kichaka did not take any action.Draupadi asked about the duties of a king and dharma. Draupadi then By Aditya Dogra
  21. 21. Draupadi – The Ultimate Submissioncursed Kichaka in the court that her husbands ‗Gandharvas‘ would surelykill him. However, Kichaka only doubted their whereabouts and askedthose present in the court that where were they then. Yudhisthra then indisguise of being the kings adviser replied that they Gandharvas would notcome as they wanted her to forgive Kichaka for the time being. With thisthe king asked Kichaka to leave for the honour of the court and praisedYudhistiras reply as he himself could not think of anything. Later on, Bhimakilled Kichaka.[5] Twelve years of exile for Yudhishthira, his brothers and their wife Draupadi werecoming to an end and the thirteenth year of incognito existence, as demanded by theterms for the losing side in the game of dice, was about to begin. After someconsideration and consultation with their preceptor Dhaumya, the Paandavas andDraupadi all decided to seek employment, in one form or the other, in the samekingdom. The fish-shaped realm of Matsya was chosen, whose king was the old Virata.The brothers hid their weapons in a forest in the outskirts of Matsya and approachedVirata, all at different times, seeking his benevolence. Yudhishthira became Kanka,a brahmin skilled at dice and counselor to the king. Bheemasena became a chef namedVallabha; Nakula took the name of Arishtanemi, the keeper of horses; Sahadevaassumed the identity of Granthika, keeper of cows, while Draupadi became Malini,a sairandhri, or maid. The most curious guise, however, was assumed by Arjuna. Thethird Paandava used a curse he had once obtained to his advantage. The curse, givento him by the celestial nymph Urvashi, was that he would become devoid of masculinityand would become a woman in a mans body. However, the god king Indra, father ofArjuna, had begged Urvashi to relent and her heart had softened. She had altered hercurse to last only for one year and any one at that. Thus, Arjuna became Brihannala, aeunuch who was appointed to teach music and dance to the kings daughter Uttaraa.Obedient WifeIn the end of the Pandavas twelve years of banishment and the beginningof the thirteenth year during which they had to live in concealment.Duryodhana issued the order that only roasted grains—and no fresh grainswhich could be sown—should be given to beggars, tramps and othernomads, because they might turn out to be the Pandavas trying to survive.His soldiers and spies could not confirm whether the Pandavas were deador alive. Therefore Duryodhana decided to carry out the kariyam ceremony,a funeral ritual observed by non-Brahmin communities, usually on the By Aditya Dogra
  22. 22. Draupadi – The Ultimate Submissionsixteenth day after a persons death. Once this rite had been carried out, itwould prevent the Pandavas, now officially declared dead, to return toregular society. Krishna came to know of this plan. He visited the Pandavasand instructed Draupadi that she should disguise herself as a Kuratti, alady of the Kurava tribe (basket-makers and fortune-tellers). She shouldtake Sahadeva on her hip disguised as a child and go to Hastinapurawhere she should tell fortune to the Kaurava women. Draupadi protested:How can she enter Duryodanas Palace without doing up her hair andbreaking her vows. But finally agreed when krishna reminded her about herduties toward her husband and also assured her that vow can besuspended when she is in disguise.When she arrived at the Kaurava court she met the Kaurava women,among them Gandhari, the mother of the Kauravas and wife of the blindDhritarashtra, and Peruntiruval, Duryodhanas wife. The women requestedthe Kuratti to tell fortune. She invited her family deity and entered into atrance to do so. During the séance the Kuratti provided details ofPeruntiruvals past and recounted the prior events that had led to thePandavas banishment to the forest, including Draupadis disrobing and herviolent vow—facts with which the Kuratti-in-disguise, as the principal victim,was intimately familiar with. She predicted that all the Kaurava womenwould be robbed of the auspicious signs of their marriage, because theirhusbands would die in the impending war. The Kurattis forecast of doomoutraged the Kaurava women who refused to pay up the fresh grainsdemanded by her. Peruntiruval complained to her husband Duryodhana,who decided to question the Kuratti himself. Hearing her grim predictions,Duryodhana grew suspicious that she might be Draupadi and put her in jail.Krishna heared Draupadis prayers and ordered Arjuna to go toHastinapura in the disguise of a Kuravan, a male member of the Kuravatribe, to demand her release. The Kuravan arrived proclaiming his love forhis independent wife, boasting of his own prowess and provokingDuryodhana to fight. Duryodhana lost the fight and was forced to releasethe Kuratti and paid up the grains. When Draupadi and Arjuna return to theforest the grains turned out to be roasted. But Krishna promised them thathe would make the roasted seeds grow as if they were fresh seeds. By Aditya Dogra
  23. 23. Draupadi – The Ultimate SubmissionSecret DesireOnce Draupadi, plucked a Jambul fruit without realizing that it was aspecial fruit that a Rishi had sworn to break his fast of twelve years, with.―You have contaminated the fruit,‖ said Krishna, ―If the sage finds out, hewill curse you and your husbands. But if you open up your heart andconfess to a secret that you have hidden from your husbands, the power ofthe truth will cause the fruit to join the branch once again.‖ With great trepidation, Draupadi looked into the eyes of her husbands andsaid, ―I love five of you. But I love a sixth too. I love Karna. I regret notmarrying him on account of his caste.‖ The revelation came as a shock to the Pandavas. They were not surewhether to be angry with Draupadi or ashamed of themselves. Theyrealized they had failed her individually and collectively. Having revealedthe truth of her heart, Draupadi had been cleansed. She was now able toreattach the fruit to the tree.Bait for KarnaAfter failing in peace negotiations with Duryodhana, Krishna approachedKarna, who was acknowledged as Duryodhanas finest warrior. Krishnarevealed to Karna that he was the eldest son of Kunti, and therefore,technically, the eldest Pandava, and asked him to change sides. Krishnaassured him that Yudhisthira would give the crown of Indraprastha to him.But Karna refused Krishna offer to change the course of war.Krishna as a last try threw Draupadi as the ultimate tempatation in Karnasway. These efforts of Krishna were followed by Kunti urging Karna to enjoyYushisthira Shri(Another name of Draupadi).Filled with CompassionThe Fiery heroine Draupadi was not without kindness and affection. Shewas insulted, taunted and driven to the forest by the son of Dhritarashtraand Gandhari. When, Dusshasena pulled her saree, Dhritarastra andGandhari had not helped her. But still after the war of Mahabharata, By Aditya Dogra
  24. 24. Draupadi – The Ultimate SubmissionDraupadi looked after Gandhari with respect and affection. She treated herthe same way as she treated Kunti.Another Episode of her compassion was when Jayadrath , king of Sindh,abducted her when they were in exile.After capturing Jayadrath, uponYudhistra‘s request of considering him husband of Dusshala, Panchalisupported of leaving him alive .Similarly when Aswathama (Son of Drona who killed the sons of Draupadi [6]called upa-pandavas ) came to Pandavas, she moved forward andtouched his feet and paid him his due respect, inspite of her great grief atthe loss of her children. Bhima was unable to bear such sorrow andbecause of this, he was in great emotions which drove him to the point ofexhibiting his physical prowess to the world. In fact he was looking at thisquality of forebearance of Draupadi as a laughing matter. He thought thatthe suffering of having lost all her children had driven her to insanity. Butwithout thinking much, Bhima uprooted the Shiromani(Divine Diamond) offthe forehead of Ashwasthama.―Thus Speaks Draupadi to Aswasthama‖ by Indira Kumari(The following is Draupadi‘s expression of her feelings when Aswathama,the assassinator of her five sons was captured and brought by Arjuna toher presence. She in a tear-filled yet smooth, soft and gentle voice thusspeaks to Aswathama)Don‟t you know, O you Learned Man! Is it not yourFather Drona who taught archery to all ourpeople? Are you not Drona in the form of a Son?How with a heart bereft of pity you did put to death my innocent children?A Brahmin by birth, you are and with intelligence and kindnessYou are the greatest and the foremost of the great intrepid heroes.Is it good on the part of a revered one like you By Aditya Dogra
  25. 25. Draupadi – The Ultimate SubmissionTo commit such a heinous deed as you have done? Sir!Did my children rise in rage against you? O Gentle Man!Or did they confront you on the battlefield with weapons?Not a bit of harm to you they ever did, Alas!If so, how you, by unyielding strength did deignTo be heartless to assassinate my sons so guilelessAnd untutored in fighting while still in the soft bosomOf sleep were they lying in all innocence at night.Unsuspecting of fate awaiting them in future. Alas!Ah! Overwhelmed with sorrow infinite I madeArjuna to fight with you and bring you here indeed.But, how the knowledge, O Man! Of this most tragic factStabs the mother‟s heart of your own dear mother, I know not!Then turning to Arjuna, Krishna and others, she says thus forgiving Aswathama with amother‟s heart!She (Drona‟s wife) so unwillingly still lives after her husband‟s demiseAh! how her heart like mine tilled with deep sorrow feels depressed! Alas!Great Sin it‟ll be indeed, if he be rid of his lifeSo, I beseech you, kind Sirs, to pity this Brahmin and leave him with life. By Aditya Dogra
  26. 26. Draupadi – The Ultimate Submission[6] Ashwatthama attacked the Pandava camp in the middle of the night, but by error ended upmurdering the five sons of Pandavas by Draupadi instead of his plan to kill Pandavas aspromised to Duruyodana by him earlier.Always, throughout the Hindu mythology, whatever seems senseless to us mere mortals, seemto have a different objective. And the root of this death is traced to the time of Raj aHarischandra of Kosala.The sage Viswamitra decided to test if king Harischandra really deserved his reputation as amost truthful king. He managed to trick the king into giving up his Kingdom and everything in it,including his clothes and ornaments and forced the king to leave, along with his Queen and son.the sage actually beat the queen to push them out of the kingdom. The five guardian deities ofthe kingdom were enraged by this and condemned the Sage. The sage became enraged andcursed them to be born as mortals. Once they begged Viswamitras pardon, the sage revisedhis curse, saying that though they would be re-born as mortals, they would get their mokshabefore forming any attachments that would reduce their status and sanctity as guardian deities.And hence, the guardians were born as the sons of Draupadi, Their soul‘s attained relief fromSage Viswamitras curse, while their murderer Aswathama - not content with having killed thefive Upa-PandavasRemorseful EndingAfter the war Pandavas travelled across the whole country and finallystarted their ascent on the great Himalayas. On their way, Draupadi andother Pandava brothers die midway except for Yudhisthira.Draupadi was first to fall into hell. When Bhima asked Yudhisthira, "Thisprincess never did any sinful act. Then why is she fallen on Earth?"Yudhisthir replied, "Though we were all equal unto her, she had greatpartiality for Dhananjay(Arjun). She obtains the fruit of that conduct today."Draupadi fell on the ground below and was dying a painful death whenBhima came to her side, consoled her and remained by her side till herdeath. During these last moments, it is said, Draupadi realized the futility ofher undying love for Arjuna and felt the selfless and unconditional love andsupport that Bhima had provided her at each moment in her life andrepented the fact that she could never reciprocate the love of Bhima inequal terms. Her last words were, ―In the next birth, be mine alone, Bhima,so that I may rest alittle, my head in your lap." By Aditya Dogra
  27. 27. Draupadi – The Ultimate SubmissionNow the below poem ―Kurukshetra‖ Amreeta Syam which conveys theangst of Panchali, born unasked for, bereft of father, brothers, sons and herbeloved sakha Krishna , makes complete sense to us:“Draupadi has five husbands—butshe has none—She had five sons—and was never a mother…The Pandavas have givenDraupadi…No joy, no sense of victoryNo honour as wifeNo respect as mother —Only the status of a Queen…But they have all goneAnd I‟m left with a lifeless jewelAnd an empty crown…my baffled motherhoodWrings its hands and strives to weep.”Dropadi was a Devi in human incarnation with all the Divine qualitiesThe only human weakness I could find in her was her outspokenness. Shecalled Karna ―Sootputra‘‖ and insulted Duryodhna by calling him ―blind sonof blind father‖. And earned their animosity.References: 1. A. Hiltebeitel Cult of Draupadi, University of Chicago Press, 1988, vol. I . 2. The Mahabharata, R.K.Narayan. 3. Paintings of Raja Ravi Verma. 4. Devdutt Pattanaik Blog : 5. Dolls of India : 6. ―As times goes by‖ & ― The sands of time‖ Ashok Sawhny. By Aditya Dogra
  28. 28. Draupadi – The Ultimate Submission7. Draupadi-Amma Temple , Varthur Village Bangalore By Aditya Dogra
  29. 29. Draupadi – The Ultimate SubmissionAbout the AuthorAfter completing Bachelor of engineering in Information Technology fromNIT-Durgapur, Aditya Dogra started his career at Cisco Systems as asoftware developer. Being an ardent Hindoo and curious to learn about hisreligion, he pursues his hobbies of reading spiritual books and templephotography. He has travelled in various temples all over India. He isreachable @ dogra.aditya@gmail.comW : : By Aditya Dogra