Thursday, 29 September 2011

Draupadi's swayamvara... Mother Kunthi speaks and Krishna meets them. Visiting Mahabharata 42

It is late in the afternoon and mother Kunthi starts to worry. 'It is time for collecting Bhiksha, but no sign of the boys! Hope they are not in trouble. Pray that Kauravas have not recognised them or that the demons have not caught them and they are alive'. Typical worries of the times for a mother!.

Kunti is shocked to see Draupadi as she walks out.

As she keeps fretting Arjuna appears, like the sun among the clouds, surrounded by the brahmins. Both he and Bhima announce 'Amma we have brought Bhiksha'! Kunthi relieved utters 'All of you share it',  as she walks out to meet them and is totally surprised to see a girl with them.

Feeling awkward that she spoke unthinkingly, is also worried. She addresses Yudhisthira thus 'Son, Your brothers brought me this girl and I carelessly asked all of you to share. What should we do? It should not be that I have spoken an untruth or that Draupadi has not followed  dharma.'

Yudhisthira consoles his mother and tells Arjuna 'Arjuna, you won her, so it is right that you marry her!' Arjuna replies 'No maharaja! Let me not do an adharma. You marry her first, then Bhima, me, Nakula and Sahadeva.'  He also adds, 'We will follow your words. Please think and  tell us what is dharma, what gives us fame and what pleases you and we will do it!'

Meanwhile, it transpires that all of them begin to desire her and she has similar feelings about them. Yudhisthira notices this and thinks that there should be no anguish in any of their minds and decides 'Let her be a wife for all us.' This sets all of them thinking.
 Krishna with an intention to confirm his suspicions walks to the potter's home along with Balarama and sees Yudhisthira seated amongst the others. He approaches and says 'I am krishna' and touches the feet of Yudhisthira and Balarama follows suit. They then prostrate before their aunt Kunthi.

Krishna answers Yudhisthira's query, 'How did you find us Vasudeva?'  Krishna tells him that he guessed that only Pandavas could show this entreprise and advises them to be cautious and returns.


Raghunath said...

There is an explanation for this. Draupadi in her previous birth was over eager to have a fine husband and asked the boon five times, hence, this dispensation. Anyway if the rules had not been rigidly followed the Chitrangada episode would not have happened.

I believe this practice is prevelent in parts of Himachal Pradesh where people believe they are descended from the Pandavas!

N L Sriram said...

I agree with the "serious consequences" part, but not about speaking without thinking. The epics are full of incidents where the gods found themselves in tough situations after granting special boons to supplicants! They were as susceptible to serious gaffes as we are now, except that everything was direct, with no phones, email or web.

srinidhi said...

Agreed Sriram, I wanted to say 'could not speak'!