Understanding Draupadi as a paragon of gender and resistance
(Arjun/Arjuna, Bhim/Bhima, Bhishma, Drona, Karna, Duryodhana, Yudhistira, love, trust and respect for them, his relationship with Draupadi reveals a totally. Vile ascetic, he calls her, completely denying any knowledge of a marriage with is going away, he is not fit for her, seeing that he clings to lies, does not trust her. . Approaching Krishna, Draupadi asks him: “How could your sakhi, the wife of. Though Krishna's special relationship with Draupadi sounds mythical, it's a Their friendship did not ever rise above their trust in each other.
So to have children he performed tapas austerities. He thought only of God day and night and prayed to him. God blessed him, and two children were born out of the haven fire lit by Drupada, here to fulfil his determination of vengeance against Dronacharya, his enemy, through death. The first to emerge out of the holy pyre was a son called Dhristadyumna, and the second a daughter called Draupadi.
She was extremely beautiful, intelligent and virtuous women, with her body smelling like fresh bloom lotus. There were only a few women in Hindu Mythology who were aggressive and who spoke their mind in the world of men.Karnan Draupadi love story - Tamil - Madan Gowri - MG
Draupadi was one of them. She is considered by many as the first feminist of Hindu Mythology. At time of her birth, a celestial voice had proclaimed, that this unparalleled beauty has taken birth to uproot the Kauravas and establish the rule of religion Ganguli There was war between Draupada and Arjuna. Arjuna won and left Draupada humiliated by taking half his kingdom. When it was time for Draupadi to get married her father, who had wanted only Arjuna to wed his daughter, set a swamyavara marriage by self-choice with the hope of bringing Arjuna to the wedding and out of his hiding.
The participants in the swayamvara had to shoot an arrow at a revolving target, while looking at its reflection in a bowl of water kept under it.
Strange Relationship Between Draupadi and Pandavas | Victoria Club Hotel
Drupada knew that only Arjuna would be able to accomplish this task. Arriving with his brother disguised as Brahmins Priestly classArjuna successfully hit the target, winning Draupadi's hand in marriage.
As soon as the brothers arrived home with Draupadi, they asked their mother, Kunti, to take a look at what they had brought home. Without looking, she asked them to share it equally among themselves. This was not strange because the brothers usually share the bhiksha alms they received every day. In order to obey their mother's order, the five Pandavas brothers accepted Draupadi as their wife, without discussing it with her or asking for her consent.
The game of ice Shakuni Yudhisthira's cousin had always wanted to bring his cousin down. Together with his brother's friend Karna and maternal uncle called the Pandavas to a place called Hastinapura to play a game of dice. Shakuni was skilled at winning by unfair means. The plan was that Shakuni would play against Yudhishthira and win the game, since it was impossible to win at the battlefield. The game of dice began and Yudhishthira gradually lost all his wealth and kingdom in the stakes.
He went on to put each of his brothers at stake and lost them too. Ultimately he put himself at stake and lost again.
Bond between Krishna and Draupadi - Dr. Vidya Hattangadi
All the Pandavas were now the dasas servants of Kauravas. But Shakuni told Yudhishthira that he had not lost all yet, that he still had Draupadi with him. He also told him that he could try and win it all back by putting Draupadi at stake. To the shock of all present there, Yudhishthira put Draupadi as a bet for the next round. Shakuni won this round too and Duryodhana commanded his younger brother Dushasana to present Draupadi at the forum.
Dushasana barged into Draupadi's living quarters. She was clad merely in one piece of attire and was menstruating. She begged him not to take her to the sabha court filled with dignitaries. But Dushasana grabbed her by the hair and presented her into the court. Draupadi's disrobing Draupadi repeatedly questioned the right of Yudhishthira to place her at stake when he himself has lost his freedom in the first place. No one could give her answer. Then to the horror of everybody present Duryodhana ordered his brother to strip Draupadi of her sari.
Dushasana proceeded to obey the order and starts disrobing Draupadi. On the realization that her husbands were unable and unwilling to come to her rescue, Draupadi started praying to Krishna to protect her. Krishna answered her prayer and a miracle occurred in front of everyone's eyes. Instead of being stripped naked, Draupadi's sari kept getting extended as Dushasana unwrapped layers and layers of it.
In the meantime, Draupadi was lost in prayer and was oblivious of her surroundings. Finally, an exhausted Dushasana gave up his effort and fell to the ground. This way, Draupadi was protected from being humiliated in front of the entire congregation. Subversion as a theoretical framework The Feminist theory of subversion will be employed in the article to further the discussion. Subversion is the act of undermining patriarchal institutions.
To subvert something is to take oppressive forces and turn them into something that challenges the oppressor. Feminist scholarship MukherjeeChaudharyChakravorty unitedly refer to the experiences of Draupadi, especially the disrobing incident, as an illustration of the ways in which such a discourse has constructed and perpetrated the idea of the woman's body being the site on which male hegemonic structures operate.
Since a woman's honour is presumed to reside in her violated body, its violation through public stripping means that she loses the honour both of herself as an individual, as well as a group family or even the nation which she belongs. Subversion becomes apparent because first of all polyandry maybe seen as a subversion of patriarchal norm of a patriarchal society; although she is very uncomfortable she gives her consent thinking of a great good Mukherjee In Mahabharata Draupadi's disrobing is a culmination of dishonouring of the Pandavas.
Her acts upset the oppressors' carefully laid plans for her subjugation. By refusing to acknowledge her 'dishonour' she also refuses to acknowledge their 'manhood'. Her resistance lies in subverting the whole construct of equating feminine honour and purity with an inviolate body. Draupadi articulates the narrative of resistance on many levels, and therefore she becomes no only powerful but also complex. She achieves a subversion of a mythical Draupadi story while at the same time endangering the stabilities of the gender hegemonies.
She resists her oppressor through defiance, anger and courage because she has suffered outrageous attacks on her body and spirit.
She becomes a feminist figure because she is able to subvert the objectification and commodification of women in society. It is her stri-shakti power of woman which is manifested when she comes out unscathed during the disrobing episode. Draupadi raises her voice against extreme torture and atrocities inflicted on her, such that at the end she redefines herself.
She refuses to remain the object of male narrative, but asserts herself as 'subject' and emphasises the truth her own presence and constructs a meaning. Through subversion she becomes that which resists 'counter' male knowledge, power and glory.
By so doing Draupadi rejects the binary structures of patriarchal discourses of the political social and ideological forces of the society, hence subverting commodification in the society and foregoing her identity as a human, not a commodity. Reading Draupadi's narrative as a paragon of gender and resistance Draupadi is one of the most celebrated heroines of Indian epic Mahabharata, 4 which together with Ramayana 5 are cultural credential of the so-called Aryan Civilization.
Sita, not Draupadi, is one of the best known examples of a Goddess being held up as a paradigm for women in a culture obsessed with marriage, in which 'she is presented as the role model of the ideal, selfless, submissive wife pativrata who is expected to remain faithful and devoted to her husband, no matter how badly she is treated' Kinsley, This article maintains however that Draupadi should also be given the same prominence accorded to Sita, despite being married to five husbands.
Whereas Sita maintains her silence when ill-treated by her husband, Draupadi does not. She is vocal and laments the despicable treatment she gets from the males in the story. She had grown up to be an aggressive woman who spoke her mind in a world where women would silently suffer than speak.
Draupadi, therefore is a force to be reckoned because: If Mahabharata is an intricately women saga of hatred and love, bloodshed and noble thoughts, beauty and gentleness, victory and defeat, then Draupadi is its shining jewel, casting the shadow of her towering personality over the epic poem and the all destroying war described Das Preeti Chaudhary describes Draupadi as "not a human She has firm determination and unbending will, making her "proud and angry heroine of the epic Mahabharata who has remained an enigmatic woman of substance" Chaudhary Therefore Draupadi becomes an image of empowering women because of her strong will power, brilliant intellectuality and pride which mark her as a dignified woman different from other women like Sita who expressed softer feminine qualities.
It must be noted that there are few women in Hindu mythology who were aggressive and who spoke their mind in a world of men. Draupadi was one of those few. That is why she is considered by many as the first feminist of Indian mythology because of her resilience, and nonconformity to male dominated religious hierarchy Ganguli Her unpopularity, therefore has to do with the fact that her image does not encourage women to conform to the requirements of an Indian patriarchal society.
Subsequently, Draupadi becomes a paragon of gender and resistance. It is worth noting that while polyandry was pretty much accepted during the time of Mahabharata, it was regarded with much censure in the era of the epic. Hence Draupadi was much looked-down-upon for having married the five Pandava brothers.
All stories about him being a like a brother comes from analyses and interpretations from historians who cannot accept a woman and man just being friends.
They were not in love, nor did they have feelings of siblings for each other, they were very good friends. They were always there for each other. She was called Krishnaa not after Krishna but because she was of dark complexion. So, the love they had was nothing more than the love for friends. And if we suspect their relationship because Krishna robed Draupadi when she was being disgraced by Dusshasana; I think it just shows how shallow our thinking can be.
Historical accounts are subject to frequent disagreement and most of the disagreement are due to the fact that accurate history is difficult to obtain, for a variety of reasons. Much information regarding the past has been lost. Many cultures have a rich oral history, but lack written documentations. A man cannot marry or love every woman whom he protects to save her from humiliation. We make friendship cheaper by comparing it to other relationships.
This maiden is the daughter of King Drupada and your brothers brought and offered her to me. Tell me, Best of the Kurus, how may it be that my words do not become false? Tell me how this daughter of the king of Panchala will not be tainted by sin, how she will not have to wander repeatedly through lower births?
The mother had addressed the man as king and he looks every inch a king. That combined with the skill and valor of the two youths in the swayamvara hall leaves no doubt that these men are kshatriyas. And the mother herself looked every inch a kshatrani. He is a Kuru king or at least a Kuru prince. The Panchalas and the Kurus are related, King Pandu was a very close friend of her father Drupada, she had heard rumors that Kunti and the Pandava children had escaped the attempt on their lives at Varanavata and were safe and in hiding, the swayamvara was, at least in part, and the test in particular, arranged with the hope that the Pandavas would come out of their hiding and Arjuna, the best archer of the day, would win the test and wed her.
Besides, all the Kuru princes would be known to her — Duryodhana and Dushshasana were there at the swayamvara, so that left little doubt about who the young man addressed as the best of the Kurus was.
Which meant the youth who had won her at the swayamvara could be none other than Arjuna, the one she had hoped to marry all along. Draupadi should have expressed her feelings of joy in words now. Of course she has every right to remain silent at this stage. She is a young, fresh bride, just brought here from the swayamvara. Modesty would require that she remained silent. She could just hold her joy in her heart — perhaps that would be the right thing for a dignified Indian princess to do under the circumstances.
Draupadi has at this stage no way of knowing a lot of other factors involved. For instance, it is not likely she knew that Yudhishthira and the twins had got up from the swayamvara hall soon after Arjuna won her — exactly as the protest of the other kings in the assembly became loud and aggressive against Draupadi being given to a Brahmin youth, seeing them growing violent.
It was such important news, they had come to Kampilya specifically for this purpose, that morning they had left home specifically for this purpose, and the whole Kamplilya was celebrating her swayamvara on that day, even strangers could have talked about nothing else on that day.
No, it is not in the least likely that Yudhishthira had not given the news to Kunti. Well, as a matter of fact, even if he had sat down sulking, his mother would have asked him why he was sulking, what had happened at the swayamvara, did someone else win Draupadi? Kunti definitely knew that Arjuna had won Draupadi and would be coming with her soon, along with Bheema. But since Draupadi could not even have suspected at this stage that Kunti knew about this and that when she told Arjuna and Bheema to share the bhiksha equally [among the five brothers] she was not really speaking from ignorance or a misunderstanding, it is perhaps natural that she does not speak at this stage, continues her modest silence, though she must definitely have wondered in her heart what sin Kunti was talking about, what sin she was just to commit for which she would have to wander from birth to birth in lower yonis, among lower species.
In response to her plea to her eldest son, Yudhishthira pacifies Kunti and asks Arjuna to light a fire immediately and marry Draupadi formally as it is he who has won her. And then he tells him they are all, including Draupadi, under his command and he should do what is right and the best for all, including the Panchalas. He repeats again they are all under his command. At this stage, says the Mahabharata, all the Pandava brothers looked at Draupadi and they all lusted so strongly for her that their senses ceased to function.
Yudhishthira makes up his mind now — for, apart from seeing the lust in the eyes of his brothers and knowing his own desire for her, he also remembered what Vyasa had told them: He announces his decision now — all the five brothers together shall marry her.
She shall be their common wife. This was unheard of. A man marrying many women was common. But this — this was outrageous! This was horrid and hideous! No one leaves such a prophecy un-discussed. Especially not a family as close knit as that of Kunti and her sons.
In the time it took them to reach from Ekachakra to Kampilya, they must have discussed it repeatedly. They must have reached a decision among themselves. But Draupadi had no way of knowing of all this. She must have been utterly taken aback by what had just been spoken.
This should have made her speak. But she does not scream. She does not protest. She does not speak a word. She has as yet no knowledge of the other stories Vyasa would later tell Drupada justifying her marriage to the five Pandavas. All her growing up years, there has been no talk of her marrying more than one man.
She should have found the decision loathsome, repulsive. Even if we accept what Karna says about the nature of women, that they by nature desire more than one man, Indian women, women everywhere in patriarchal and non-polyandrous societies, are brought up to devote their entire life to one single man. A decision of five men to marry her simultaneously is not accepted without protests — violent protests.
They are told nothing about this strange decision. The Pandava brothers now go for bhiksha — strangely, it is Bheema and Arjuna, who have just returned after a fierce battle with a host of kings and princes in the swayamvara hall that go for bhiksha.
The bhiksha is brought. As instructed by Kunti, Draupadi serves the meal and then has her own share of it. They all sleep in a single room — the brothers lying side by side, Kunti lying at their head, and Draupadi lying at their feet.
Draupadi is silent throughout. They now stay in a palace offered them by Drupada.
Bond between Krishna and Draupadi
Drupada then tells Yudhishthira that now the formal wedding of Arjuna and Draupadi should take place. And Yudhishthira tells him that all the five brothers are going to marry Draupadi together. He gives two reasons: And of course, Draupadi is a rare jewel meant for enjoyment.
Drupada is stunned by this announcement. Probably she was present, probably she was not. They continue the discussion and it is then that Vyasa, by chance, arrives there. The Mahabharata tells us through Vaishampayana that it was by chance that he came there.
But that statement is very suspect — Vyasa knows about the swayamvara, he has sent the Pandavas there to participate in it, he has informed the brothers that Draupadi was born to marry all five of them, and he knows that no self-respecting father or brother would agree to such a marriage of his daughter or sister. Drupada places before Vyasa the worry that has been tormenting him as soon as the rules of hospitality allow it: And Vyasa says since the matter concerns something against the Vedas and the accepted practices of the world, he would like to hear the opinions of all in the matter.
Then he also gives the examples of Jatila and Marisha of yore, who had polyandrous marriages. He has one more reason to give: Kunti present there supports her son. She repeats here what she had told earlier — she is terrified of telling a lie, they should tell her how she could escape from the sin of telling a lie.
She had lived with Pandu for some twenty years as his wife. In all these twenty years, Kunti hid from him the truth that she was an unwed mother. She does not reveal this to him even when he is desperate for a child and asks Kunti to beget children through other men as otherwise he would not be admitted into those worlds where only those with children could go.
Pandu here lists the kind of sons that can save a man from this sad fate and one of the types on that list is a kanina son, a son born to a woman before her marriage. Still Kunti does not reveal the truth about her kanina son to Pandu.
Hiding the truth is as bad as a lie, sometimes even worse. Hiding it from someone who loved her as Pandu did is definitely wicked, in spite of all the reasons Kunti had for doing so.
What she had done was living a lie with him all those years, which is worse than telling a lie. But of course Kunti had her reasons for wanting all the five brothers to marry Draupadi together. Again, the person whom the marriage would affect more deeply than anyone else, Draupadi, does not speak here.
It is not possible that she did not feel in her heart a protest against that for which she must have known she would be called a whore all her life. The feelings expressed by Dhrishtadyumna and Drupada are her feelings too. I do not think she looked upon her marriage with five men as a God-sent opportunity to satisfy her insatiable lust which her past life stories speak of.
Draupadi exuded sexuality, she was irresistible to men, but nothing in the Mahabharata tells us that she was a nymphomaniac. Vyasa convinces Drupada and Dhrishtadyumna that the marriage is not only all right, it is the right thing to do, it has been destined.