About DRAUPADI, (YAJNASENI), (PARSATI) & PANCHALI
His skill in archery was to have an unlikely utility; it won him the hand of Draupadi, his first wife, the daughter of Drupada, king of Panchala. A contest was held by Drupada to choose a suitable match for his daughter. A wooden fish was suspended high above a pool of water; furthermore, the fish rotated in a circle. Contestants were required to string a heavy bow and then use it to hit the eye of the rotating fish. They were allowed to take aim at the eye of the fish only by looking at its reflection in the pool of water. Many princes and noblemen vied for the hand of the princess of Panchala. Some (including Karna, another hero of theMahābhārata) were disqualified on grounds of supposedly low birth. However, although the Pandavas and their mother were in hiding at that time, Arjuna had prudently dressed as a high-casteBrahmin and was allowed to compete. This was just as well, since it was eventually Arjuna, the peerless archer, who alone was able to accomplish the set task; he won the hand of Draupadi.
All the five Pandava brothers had attended the tournament without informing Kunti, their mother, about it. They returned home in triumph, bringing the princess Draupadi with them. From outside the house, they shouted out to their mother: "Mother, you will never believe what we have got here! Make a guess!" Busy with her work, Kunti refused to be baited. "Whatever it is, share it between yourselves equally, and do not quarrel over the matter," she said. So seriously did the brothers take even this casual statement of their mother, that they resolved upon making Draupadi their common wife. It says something about themagnanimity of Arjuna that, having won his bride single-handedly, he 'shared' her with all his brothers willingly. One possible reason he took this action was to prevent any breach or jealousy arising between the brothers. However, despite marrying all five brothers, Draupadi loved Arjun the most and always favoured him. And Arjun loved Draupadi the most out of his four wives. There is another story about Draupadi, which mentions the boon she received in her pre Draupadi's parents didn't agree to her marriage to all the Pandavas. But when he was told about this boon she had, King Drupad agreed. The brothers agreed upon a protocol governing their relations with Draupadi, their common wife. An important point of this agreement was that no brother would disturb the couple when another brother was alone with Draupadi; the penalty for doing so was exile for a year. Once, when the Pandavas were still ruling over a prosperous Indraprastha, a brahmin came in great agitation to Arjuna and sought his help: a pack of cattle-thieves had seized his herd, he had recourse to none but Arjuna for a remedy. Arjuna was in a dilemma: his weaponry was in the room where Draupadi and Yudhishthira were alone together, and disturbing them would incur the penalty agreed upon. Arjuna hesitated for but a moment; in his mind, coming to the aid of his subject in distress, especially a brahmin, was the raison d'etre of a prince. The prospect of exile did not deter him from fulfilling the duty of aiding the brahmin; he disturbed the conjugal couple, took up his weaponry and rode forth to subdue the cattle-thieves. Upon finishing that task, he insisted, in the teeth of opposition from his entire family, including the two people whom he had disturbed, upon going away on exile.vious birth of having five of the most desired men, as her husbands. Initially
It is said that after being defeated and disgraced from his kingdom, king Drupada was waiting to take revenge. So, he appointed a supernatural agency to procure the birth of a son, who should one day avenge his defeat and complete the death of Drona.
After some difficulty he prevailed on two learned Brahmans named Yaja and Upayaja. These two Brahmans performed a sacrifice for this purpose and at the proper period summoned the Queen of Drupada to assist at the rite. But, she was engaged at her toilet and delayed to reach. The ceremony was completed without her and two children, one male, one female, arose from the sacrificial fire. The former was Dhrishtadyumna, who appeared with a crown on his head and bearing a bow and arrow in his hand. The latter was Krishna, so named due to her black complexion although she was very beautiful.
The Three Women In Mahabharata (Draupadi, Kunti & Satyavathi)
THE THREE WOMEN WHO WEILED POWER
The men play dice and wage wars in Mahabharata , as anywhere else ; but it is the women who wield power and influence. It is the women who take decisions , direct the course of events and decide the fate of men and their generations to follow. The women are the true leaders of the Epic The three women in particular who wielded power in more than one form were Sathyavathi the dusky fragrant fisher girl who became the queen , Pritha the fair maiden who reluctantly became the mother of five sons and Krishnaa , daughter of the fire , Druapadi. The Epic is interwoven with their remarkable sagacity in exercise of their power and leadership. Some say the Epic , in a way , is a study in use and abuse of power.
These women displayed that the truly powerful do not cling to power. They knew when and how to wield it but also, even more important, to when not to use it
Draupadi of the Mahabharata In Hindu mythology, few women stand out as much as the character of Draupadi. Draupadi is the wife of the five Pandava princes in the Hindu epic the Mahabharata; she is a heroine who is unpredictable, unwavering and who could also possess the austerity of a traditional Hindu wife. Many see Draupadi as an early feminist because of her fearlessness in admonishing those who harmed her or her family. Draupadi existed in a time when a woman’s role was to serve her husband. As Dr. Vanamala Bhawalkar states “[in] Draupadi’s Era, there was no question of women’s equality with men. The wife was the counterpart of her husband and both together became a complete person. As Milton had said “He for God and she for the God in him” was true in those days.”(150) The unique relationship between Draupadi and her husbands is what makes her story so exceptional. Draupadi, the wife of the mighty Pandava brothers was anything but a conventional wife; she was smart, bold and would often lead her husbands into action. There are few women that compete with the beauty of Draupadi; all those that met her adored her. Her beauty was so great that she delighted all of the human senses. Alf Hiltbeitel states this of her beauty: “[T]he very sight of her was magnetic due to her irresistible beauty and fragrance”(Hiltebeitel 267). Draupadi’s beauty would gain her much attention, but it is her ability to balance her beauty with the desirable traits of a wife that gain her such devotion. However, as Bhawalkar notes, it was not only her beauty that won her praise: “Yudhisthira said that she was such that any man would desire and that she never committed any sin. Bhima equaled her to the ancient famous wives. Her mother-in-law Kunti praised her for the virtues and her laudable behavior with all her husbands”(Bhawalkar 141). Draupadi was as skilled in the arts of being a woman, and everything that was associated with womanhood, as she was gifted in beauty. Her opinions were well respected and supported by her family due to her vast knowledge of many subjects. Unlike many women in her era, Draupadi’s father, Drupada, allowed Draupadi to be educated. Bhawalkar comments on Draupadi’s education: “Drupada had engaged learned Brahmanas for the education of his sons. Draupadi also joined them and became an expert in Political Science”(Bhawalkar 3). It is possible that the unique qualities that Draupadi possessed, such as strength and audacity, are a result of being educated. Having such a complete education would have given Draupadi a sense of confidence unfamiliar to most women. Also Draupadi was quick to learn and thirsted for knowledge; she had a keen memory and had a vast knowledge on many subjects. Bhawalkar comments on the success of Draupadi as a student: “She became known as Pandita (learned and wise) and grew up a charming maiden admired by all”(Bhawalkar 4). Bhawalkar affirms that these attributes are a part of why Draupadi was so well liked and respected. Her intellect and knowledge did not however hinder her ability to be a dutiful wife. “Draupadi was a devoted wife, chaste, religious minded and adhering to duty. Her integrity and fidelity were admirable. She was always careful to please her husbands, served not only them but even their wives”(Bhawalkar 142). Draupadi was concerned with the common good of all her family and believed that a family functioned best as a whole unit. Draupadi was so devoted to her husbands that she followed them into exile and a life without lavishes. Sandy Sutherland notes that in exile she is depicted as: “having suffered great insult, but faithfully following her husbands into exile and enduring the hardships of the forest. It is from these scenes, and not from her life in the palace, that we learn of the real character of Draupadi”(Sutherland 68). She was quick to see the benefit of her polygamous lifestyle and was able to take all obstacles in stride. Draupadi possessed the desirable traits of many women, and was able to use these traits to influence and control. Draupadi had a great understanding of the balance between being bold and forthright, and being submissive and dutiful. Of all the parts in the Mahabharata that include Draupadi, the story of Draupadi’s CheerHaran remains the most vivid. This is an important event because it is one of the main reasons for the Mahabharata war, and it is also a breaking point for Draupadi. The climax of this event is when Draupadi is dragged into court after Yudhisthira had lost her in a bet to the Kauravas, along with all of his wealth and kingdom. The character Dushsasana, one of the Kaurava brothers, attempts to strip off Draupadi’s sari. However, Draupadi prays to Krsna and he works a miracle to prevent her sari from running out of layers. Draupadi is humiliated by this and is angered by the Pandavas inability or reluctance to help her. It is her reaction to this abhorrence that we see Draupadi’s bravery, as she reprimands those around her in the court. Bimal Krishna Matilal comments on her courage: “Draupadi had presence of mind and fearlessness even during calamities. She could rebuke and threaten the Kauravas, Jayadratha and Kicaka for molesting her and was bold enough to argue with the members of the assemblies of the Kuras and also Virata”(Matilal 143). It is Draupadi’s reaction to situations like these that set her apart from her husbands; she is often the first to react to any injustices and is a visibly powerful figure often controlling the Pandavas. Sutherland comments on the power that Draupadi possesses in this incident: “The episode is ironic, though. During the scene we are made aware that the beautiful Draupadi is possessed also of quick wit and a clever tongue. Her ability at debate is soon demonstrated, and at the conclusion of the episode, we realize that her wit has saved her husbands from impending slavery”(Sutherland 67). The Pandavas recognize what Draupadi is capable of and listen to her. Because she possesses such vast knowledge on politics, the Pandavas are inclined to listen to her and frequently rely upon her for decision-making. This is not to say that Draupadi was invincible, she was greatly affected by conflict and would become emotional. Bhawalkar comments the on emotional side of Draupadi: “Draupadi, unlike the mythological goddess or the ideal heroines of our ancient literature, was quite human with human emotions and feelings like anger, love, hate, happiness and grief. Her life was full of ups and downs and she maintained her dignity in both the situations”(Bhawalkar 141). It is Draupadi’s ability to overcome adversity in a venerable manner that sets her apart from other women. In the Mahabharata she proves that no situation is insurmountable, and she never abandons her husbands, regardless of the positions they lead her into. After the incident at the court of the Kurus, Draupadi emerges as a much more powerful character and this is seen in the interactions with her husbands. Bhawalkar remarks on Draupadi’s relationship with her husbands: “Draupadi was not a dumb follower of her husbands. She had her own individuality. Though soft speaking she used harsh words to her husbands and others when necessary”(Bhawalkar 143). This boldness is what sets her apart from other women in the epics. The Pandavas are accepting of this treatment possibly because they feel guilt for their abandonment of Draupadi at the court, or possibly because they truly trust in her decisions. The Pandavas often looked to Draupadi for guidance and approval. Draupadi was in many ways equal to her husbands and they desired her respect. Despite the fact that Draupadi eventually forgives her husbands, she is left with a desire for vengeance, and is quick to seek revenge on those who offend her or her family. Draupadi begins to be recognized for this aggressive attitude and her enemies are wary of her power. Enemies knew that Draupadi had a great influence on the Pandavas and she was feared because of her vast knowledge on all things moral. “She could argue forcibly to win her point with apt quotations and illustrations from her fund of knowledge on various subjects like righteousness, duties and codes of conduct for the four Varnas (castes), moral, legal and ethical codes and was called Dharmajna, Dharmadarsini”(Bhawalkar 141). Although Draupadi was desperate for revenge on those who harmed her, her distinction between right and wrong was rarely clouded and she was often in pursuit of justice. Draupadi’s distinction among other women from the epics is paramount and well deserved; she was far ahead of her time, often found commanding her husbands to do her bidding. It is her ability to use her position with responsibility and insight that show her true power as a woman. Dr. Bhawalkar summarizes Draupadi’s unique qualities: Yet the superb qualities of Draupadi like steadfast devotion to duty, spirit of self sacrifice, fortitude; courage, capacity for hard work, presence of mind, perseverance, endurance, thirst for knowledge, wisdom to discriminate between right and wrong and strength to fight against injustice, truth, modesty, forgiveness, softness and harshness as the occasion demanded – these and such other qualities seen in Draupadi’s life are universal and beyond the limit of time and space. (Bhawalkar 151) Draupadi’s fearlessness and uncompromising nature makes her of great importance in the history of mythological women and of women today.
-------------------- Draupadi's hair was not only LONG and BEAUITFUL, but also had many things to learn. Draupadi was dragged by her beautiful long tresses by dushshasana,. He tried to ruin her honour by pulling her by her long tresses. If in indian mythology a woman's hair had such importance that they symbolise their honour and pride. It seems by the fact that draupadi let her hairs lose for complete 13 years and finally braided those lovely tresses only after washing them with her enemy's blood!
The incident goes like this - In the great gambling match which the eldest brother, Yudhisthira, played at Hastinapura against his cousins, the Kauravas, he lost his all - his kingdom, his brothers, himself, and their wife Draupadi. So she became a slave, and Duryodhana called her to come and sweep the room. She refused, and then Duhsasana dragged her by the hair into the pavilion before all the chieftains, and tauntingly told her that she was a slave girl, and had no right to complain of being touched by men. He also abused her and tore off her veil and dress, while Duryodhana invited her to sit on his thigh. Krishna took compassion upon her, and restored her garments as fast as they were torn. She called vehemently upon her husbands to save her, but they were he was prevented from action; but he vowed in loud words that he would drink the blood of Duhsasana and smash the thigh of Duryodhana in retaliation of these outrages, which vows he eventually fulfilled. Draupadi vowed that her hair should remain dishevelled until Bhima should tie it up with hands dripping with the blood of Duhsasana.-
Even before this, according to folktales in Rajasthan, and Orissa, Bhima had married a Naga woman. When the Kauravas tried to poison him and drown him in a river, he was saved by Ahuka, a Naga, and taken to the realm of the serpents, where he was given a wife. From that union was born a child called Bilalsen, who played a role in the war later on. In variants of this legend, Bilalsen, also known as Barbareek, was the son of Ghatotkacha, and hence was grandson of Bhima, not son.