Saturday, December 17, 2011

Mahabharata/Jaya - Draupadi's confession

"If I had married him, I would not have been gambled away, publicly humiliated and called a whore". Thus spoke Draupadi while confessing to the roseapple tree.

Draupadi had plucked a low-hanging fruit from a roseapple tree. As soon as she plucked it, the tree spoke, "This fruit has been hanging for the last 12 years. It was being reserved for the Rishi who has been performing meditation for as many years and he was going to finally open his eyes later today. He was supposed to eat this fruit, his first meal in the last 12 but now you have contaminated it. He will go hungry now and you will earn the demerit for this deed".  Drauapdi calls out to her husbands and seeks help but no one can fix the fruit back to the tree. This is when the tree states that if you had the power of chastity, then you could have done it yourself.

Draupadi was surprised and she states that she is completely faithful to her five husbands. The tree accuses her that she loves someone else. Draupadi states that she loves Krishna but only as a friend or a brother but never as a lover. The tree states again that there is someone else. This when Draupadi confesses, "I love Karna. I regret for refusing him on the account of his caste. If I had married him, I would not have been gambled away, publicly humiliated and called a whore." Having confessed, Draupadi was able to attach the fruit back to the tree. This little story shows us the hidden desire of Draupadi but more than that speaks about the power of confession. Confessing a mistake/deed/unrighteous intentions might just cleanse oneself of the demerit that could have been otherwise earned for harbouring such a thought/feeling.


Bhima and Arjuna find it difficult to accept the fact that their wife loves Karna. But then they see Yuddhistira touching Draupadi's feet one night. On questioning, Yuddhistira asked them to accompany him in the middle of the night to a banyan tree. Under it there were nine lakh dieties who invoked he Goddess. Draupadi presented herself before them. Arjuna and Bhima realizes that Draupadi is not an ordinary woman but a form of a Goddess herself.

What this wonderful little story signifies is often the main theme of the epic itself. Nothing is at it seems. There  are many undercurrents and under-thoughts. One might not always be able to see the big picture. No one knows how God can personify themselves and on whom they might bestow themselves. No one can actually read any other persons mind. Of course, other than that is also accentuates Draupadi's greatness. This is one epic where there are many weak minded men in the company of the strongest of women - right from Ganga to Satyavati to Amba to Gandhari to Kunti and now to Draupadi. Now that would be for another post at the culmination of the series on the epic.


42 comments:

  1. Draupadi is one of the strongest woman from that era.
    My heart goes out to this woman..Married to 5 greatest and strongest men yet led such a miserable ,vulnereable and pitiful life.
    Really poor in many senses despite being a queen.

    -Regards,
    Jyothy.

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    1. It was quite a pitiful life. She is referred to as (something like) "Panchavathi Anathavathi" which means "The one with 5 husbands but husbandless in times of need". Also,at the end of the war she was left childless like Gandhari. In the end, after all that she had gone through, when she falls while walking towards Swargam none of the Pandavas care to even look at her. But a real strong woman. She had a fire in her.

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    2. Arjun broke her heart most by marrying Subhadra. Arjuna should nt do that. Draupadi was a dedicated and loving for Arjuna that the 12 yr she also maintained Saint life as Arjun was doing.. He completely broke Draupadi and as soon as Arjun-Subhadra entered Indraprasth,, subhadra became pregnant. Arjuna did not realize her love at all. She already knew that Arjuna will be her future husband.. Just to save Krsna-Arjun relationship, Krsna played a pivotal role in Arjun-Subhadra marriage

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    3. Jyothi, that was her destiny, rememeber during her birth at Yagna...King Drupad asked for it from Devas.. She was destined to suffer. But because to keep Krsna-Arjun relationship and to kill Kauravas(Krsna was so angry with Bhisma dynasty).. he played a role for Arjun-Subhadra marriage.

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  2. I think none of the pandavas receiprocated to her/ had strong feelings for her as she was wife to all 5 combined..some of them were probably embarassed with this situation.
    From what i read, Bhima was only the real lover she had among the Pandavas...
    Things would have been different if she was just Arjuna's wife.

    Why she had to marry the 5 of them seem mysterious, really.
    The explanation of Kunti asking them to share and thens tick to what she said seems pretty lame as an explanation for this unusual marriage.

    I would like to know your inputs on why she ended up marrying 5 men..

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  3. Yuddhisthira did not marry anyone else. All the other Pandavas had other alliances.

    Draupadi was certainly physically beautiful. The chapter about her Swayamvar indicate the feelings (intense lust/love) that arises in the minds of the assembled kings at her sight. Then there is Vastraharan, Jayadratha attempting to kidnap her and Keechaka's attempts to woo her.

    I can only predict here. I would believe that all the 5 were very much physically attracted to her. Kunti was aware of this and hence, she had to ensure that the Pandavas do not fight over her. Pandavas' strength was their unity.

    Yuddhistira's lust/love for Draupadi too was visible in her eyes just like his brothers. So he strung onto the words of mother and precedence of traditions and got her married to himself as well as the others.

    Draupadi might be very confident and comfortable about her sexuality. Also, the Pandavas were handsome young men. She would love the wisdom of Yuddhi, raw power of Bhima, skills of Arjuna, handsomeness of Nakula and intelligence of Sahadeva. There are indications of her sexuality in a folklore (abt her previous life) indicating why she got 5 husbands. So she does not object to it and silently agrees to the arrangement. Not even once has she complained about this. But Arjuna is the only one who starts distancing himself and stays aloof. he also goes on and marries many other women. So maybe tht says something about his hidden reluctance to this arrangement. \

    Bhima is Bhima. Emotional and yet intelligent. He certainly loved Draupadi but not sure if it was much more than the others. Draupadi always relied on him for any help or wish during the exile or otherwise. It was only Bhima who wants to avenge her humiliation. His acts against Jayadratha and Keechaka are also noteworthy. Also, she doesnt go to Arjuna or the twins for help but Bhima during such instances. I have read somewhere that after Bhima falls before reaching heaven, he somehow crawls back to where Draupadi is and checks on her. Draupadi's last words before she dies were, "Next time, be the eldest".

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    1. Yudhishtira had a wife called devaki.

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    2. doesnt explain why she didnt ask karna to marry draupadi

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    3. to the 1st anonymous - My bad... Agreed!

      to the 2nd anonymous - If I could, I would but I myself am not aware though I did delve into it. Again, this is just my reinterpretation of the great epic - nothing much. I don't have the answers at all but if I have to attempt. There are folklores which indicate that Draupadi rejected and insulted Karna during the swayamwara while some indicate that Karna missed the target by a whisker... so who knows.. It is a product of multiple regions, traditions, folks, values ranging from one point of time to another! :-)

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    4. True. Bhima saved her many times like true husband, Arjuna distanced himself. And they had a rule one year one husband. No one can enter in her life. But While Ajun was in 12 yr exile...panchali also maintained a saint life and when he came back..it hust panchali and may be she also distanced herself. Arjuna broke her heart totally.

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  4. hm...Please write about pandavas exit after the war.
    Also about the story of the baby (forgot the name) Anhimanyu and uttara.
    Thanks,
    Jyothy.

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    1. I sure will. I am just doing this exercise out of passion for this epic and want to finish it before it fizzles out. Glad to know that there is atleast 1 reader out there. So motivates me to write on.

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    2. definitely! mahabharatha is the most beautiful reality!

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  5. I am so glad to have discovered this blog, Abhinesh!
    I have enjoyed reading most of your pieces.Keep writing.

    I disagree with what you have written about the lose sexuality of women that you assume has been prevalent in ancient India..
    I dont think that was the case.
    Adi Shankaracharya is another great man I read about.
    He is magical..

    Thanks,
    Jyothy.

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  6. Nice to know tht Jyothy. I do not remember writing abt loose sexuality of women. Sex was more open and free in our great ancient Indian culture. Please read this piece- http://greatlittlewarrior.blogspot.in/2012/01/sex-and-india.html
    I dont have anything against sexually active ppl as long as they do not cover it up in hypocrisy.

    I haven't read much on Adi Shankaracharya. Any suggestions please?

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  7. I bought some local editions on Adi Shankaracharya at temples and read up some articles in internet.
    I dont read voluminous books..prefer short reads..
    Superhuman is all I can say about him...

    Keep writing, Abhinesh.
    Good luck.
    Regards, Jyothy.

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  8. here brother i wanna say something if Draupadi had married to karna she might never had any problem karna is perfectly eligible to marry draupadi he is dharmveer daanveer handsome strong great archer and one of the power full warrior of histroy of mankind what do u think

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  9. Thank you so much for sharing this story!

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  10. Had draupadi married karna, we would have missed a great read!!

    As lord krishna says "I am the Doer. You are the instrument."
    She did what she was born for and we love her for that. I do.

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  11. I find myself sympathizing for draupadi and karna (if their story really existed). And also for Draupadi and Arjuna. Both Arjuna and Karna loved Panchaali, but fate forced them all apart, despite Arjuna being married to her. Draupadi could never get the satisfaction of the love she had always given to Arjuna, and marrying Karna was out of the question. Hence, Draupadi came across to me as rather a heartbroken, dissatisfied person.
    However, I would have absolutely loved it if Draupadi had married Karna. The two were perfectly made for each other-he with his majestic bearing and purity of intellect and character, and she with her fragrant body and magnetic looks. But that didn't happen, of course. I believe that if this beautiful union had ocurred,there would never have been a war as devastating as the battle of Kurukshetra.

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    1. i dont know if Draupadi's love for Karna is true but I am just trying to put in every version in the blog. But as is the case in Mahabharata- no one instance has a bearing on the war. It is a culmination of multiple events/actions right from Shantanu :-)

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  12. You are pathetic. You just created your own stories from sexual fantasies and fetish that a woman can have five husbands . Disorting facts doesn't changed the history.Draupadi was one of the most virtuous women in the history.Its Kal yug and people openly judge Sita Maa so who is draupadi? You will get your Karma for speading adharma and lies

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    1. This story was a folklore. I though do give my perception/understanding/connotation. No one knows the actual facts of our historical civilization. We are all always at the hands of Karma so it is fine :-)

      In my post too I have only expressed respect for Draupadi. Having sexual fantasies with more than one man is never a fault. The mistake I referred to was where she rejected Karna and though she liked him, she never was open to admit it. Again, it is a folklore as I do not see it in Bhandarkar's critical edition.

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    2. So what exactly is folklore? Gossips? these folklores are just like gossips surrounding actresses. Deepika Padukone and Aishwarya rai are gossiped to have been in multiple relationships by the media and people, but does it make it true?No,It is just the wishful thinking of ignorant people to kill time.Most people at that time were ignorant,so you believe in village gossips?
      Only Valmiki's Ramayan and Ved Vyasa's Mahabharatha can be called reliable cuz most others just manipulate truths for cheap publicity and for being'DIFFERENT' from the rest

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    3. hahah... ROFLMAO. BTW, There is no one like "Ved Vyasa". The author you are referring to is "Krishna Dwaipayana". Vyasa means compiler and probably he had compiled the puranas and vedas.

      Anyways, brush up on Indian culture more and understand one of the most open and free societies to have ever existed.

      have a nice one!!

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    4. Excellent read! I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog.

      Thank you for writing on Draupadi. She was what we would call today as "Woman of Substance". She may have loved and lost or felt disillusioned, but one can't discount the fact that she was definitely one of the most respected and respectful woman of her times.

      I replied on this thread of conversation, because I wanted to contribute to it. The sage was called Veda-Vyasa (for he was the one who segregated the Puranas), Krishna Dwaipayana (because of his complexion and the island he came from) & Bhadrayana (compiler of Vedantas). From what my grandmother had told me a long time back, he was a Vishnu Ansh-Avatar.

      Keep writing! :)

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    5. Excellent read! I'm so glad I stumbled upon your blog by chance.

      You're quite right. Draupadi was a character that one would call in today's world as "Woman of Substance". Pride, beauty, honesty, fidelity, honour, and sincerity were some of the qualities that she possessed. She was respected and respectful.
      I've heard that she was the first one who fell on their way to Swargarohini (on the way to heaven), because she had lusted after Karna. I don't know how true that is; all I feel is, she is a million times more respect-worthy than other women in her age.

      The reason why I posted my reply on this thread is, I wanted to add some input to the conversation. He was called Veda-Vyasa because he was the one who segregated the Vedas, he was called Krishna Dwaipayana because of his complexion (Shyam like Krishna) and his birthplace. He was also called Badharayana by Vaishnavs because they considered him to be Ansha-Avatar of Lord Vishnu. At least that's what my grandmother used to say. :)

      Keep writing and delighting us with your insight and knowledge of Mahabharata.

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  13. Hi, there is a story that you just brushed past about Draupadi's having to marry five husbands because of her past life...Well, the story goes like this. Draupadi was in her past life the daughter of Nal and Damayanti. She had asked for a boon from Lord Shiva and had asked to have a husband who had 14 qualities, someone like Ram. Unfortunately during her time Lord Shiva saw no one man with all the 14 qualities she wanted and so told her that she would have to marry 5 men who combined would have all the 14 qualities...so, her boon was granted:-) Actually Mahabharata is the most modern of all writings if you ask me. It has all the human emotions, all the errors of judgement made by men who are just that...men...and not Gods...keep posting stories, it's always good to know one's heritage:-)

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    1. Hi Ranjita - I have it in the below post but I have not heard of 14 qualities. If you are aware, please share :-)
      http://greatlittlewarrior.blogspot.in/2011/11/mahabharatajaya-draupadis-swayamwara.html

      Love Mahabharata and it was my intention to finish the blogs on MB soon. But i have just stopped it and not restarted at all.

      Would love to finish it.

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    2. keep writing it is good to read, i like the story of repentance and admitting the wrong deeds,,,

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    3. yes.. in her past life Draupadi prayed to Lord Siva for 14 quality husband..And siva blessed her in next life with 5 husbands since no one posses all 14 qualities.She asked if it is a boon or curse. Lord Siva smiled and blessed her.

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  14. I would love to hear more.read krishna fore more

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  15. I would love to hear more.read krishna fore more

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  16. Dear Abhinesh,

    MB which was written by vyasa 400 BCE, needs to be re-written at the end of kaliyuga, which is about to happen in the near future. This story is still continuing. Below are my reasons why I come up with such conclusion:

    First, Draupadi spoke to roseapple tree:"If I had married him, I would not have been gambled away, publicly humiliated and called a whore". And her wish were granted, when the tree said:"He will go hungry now and you will earn the demerit for this deed". It's a strong sign that, in the next episode of MB, the plot needs to be rewritten, as below:

    1) Draupadi will marry Karna, the enemy of Pandawa & strong competitor of Arjuna. This will be like a situation of Trojan Horse legend, where the role of Helen of Troy is similar to Draupadi. But now, Draupadi sleeps with the enemy!

    2) Draupadi will marry Karna not because of she loves Karna, she just wants to avoid miserable life (not to be gambled, not to be humiliated, and not to be called a whore). True love doesn't need reasons. She lied but since roseapple tree only recorded exactly what she said, the fruit were able to be put back. Draupadi's true love is Krishna, and again Draupadi lied by saying it's only a love between friends.

    3) Draupadi's last words before she dies were, "Next time, be the eldest". Then, what will happen in the next incarnation?

    No one knows but God when this epic will end. But one thing for sure, I know what the ending will be. From dust to dust. From Adam and Eve in heaven, cast out to earth, finally there will only be Adam and Eve return to heaven. There wont be Pandawa at the end of story, only Draupadi and Krishna, they're both alone on the journey to heaven.

    Dear Abhinesh, pls rewritten MB, who knows you are Vyasa incarnation :)

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  17. ((Pls delete my previous comment))

    Dear Abhinesh,

    MB which was written by vyasa 400 BCE, needs to be re-written at the end of kaliyuga, which is about to happen in the near future. This story is still continuing. Below are my reasons why I come up with such conclusion:

    First, Draupadi spoke to roseapple tree:"If I had married him, I would not have been gambled away, publicly humiliated and called a whore". And her wish were granted, when the tree said:"He will go hungry now and you will earn the demerit for this deed". It's a strong sign that, in the next episode of MB, the plot needs to be rewritten, as below:

    1) Draupadi will marry Karna, the enemy of Pandawa & strong competitor of Arjuna. This will be like a situation of Trojan Horse legend, where the role of Helen of Troy is similar to Draupadi. But now, Draupadi sleeps with the enemy!

    2) Draupadi will marry Karna not because of she loves Karna, she just wants to avoid miserable life (not to be gambled, not to be humiliated, and not to be called a whore). True love doesn't need reasons. She lied but since roseapple tree only recorded exactly what she said, the fruit were able to be put back. Draupadi's true love is Yudhistira, when she said to Bheema:"Next time, be the eldest!"

    No one knows but God when this epic will end. But one thing for sure, I know what the ending will be. From dust to dust. From Adam and Eve in heaven, cast out to earth, finally there will only be Adam and Eve return to heaven. There wont be Pandawa at the end of story, only Draupadi and "I dont know who", they're both alone on the journey to heaven.

    Dear Abhinesh, pls rewritten MB, who knows you are Vyasa incarnation :)

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  18. which book is best to learn simple but d adult, elaborated actual mahavarata?

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    1. Jaya by Devdutt Patnaik
      Kamala Subramaniam's Mahabharata

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  19. I am a big fan of Draupadi, and have immense respect for her character. Personally, I don't feel that she ever loved Karna. Bcoz, she rejected Karna. Then Karna insulted her very badly, n according to KMG translation, asked Dushasen to disrobe her. So, I don't think that after all this, Draupadi would "love" Karna. Maybe, she expressed her disappointment, bcoz her husbands did not save her honour, n hence said that if she had married Karna, then her life would have been different. The "love" part is too much. This Jambu-fruit incident, is actually a folklore, and is not mentioned in the epic. And to be honest, if we go by the epic, then this "love" seems quite illogical. Why would Draupadi love a man who called her unchaste and got her disrobed? Karna was a great man, but during Draupadi;s vastraharan, he did not exactly show nobility. Then y would Draupadi love him?
    Anyway, interesting article..........

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  20. Hi Abhinesh,
    Nice blog .... Regarding Draupadi, here is my query...
    At the end of the Mahabharata war, draupadi and the Pandavas are very much alive and kicking andthey also proceed to rule the kingdom for the next 36 years....so what prevented them from having more children and continuing the lineage/dynasty. Lord Krishna was also very much around to provide boons/ remove obstacles etc....

    Any ideas?

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