Saturday, 1 October 2011

Draupadi's swayamvara ..Dhristadhyumna spies on Pandavas. Visiting Mahabharata 43.

Totally curious, Drishtadyumna follows Bhima and Arjuna and spies on them. He sees them go out and return with the alms they have collected. Kunthi calls Draupadi tells her 'Take the top portion of the food and offer it to gods. Give brahmins and others who ask for food. Divide the rest into two, give Bhima one portion and the other portion is shared by the rest of us.'  Draupadi does so with a smile; they all eat; later Sahadeva spreads dharba grass on the floor and they all place their krishnanjeena on top and sleep with their head facing south. Kunthi lies down near their head and Draupadi near their feet. Draupadi does not show any discomfort lying down on dharba or contempt towards Pandavas.

Dhrishtadyumna only hears discussions on war and related subjects as Pandavas chat before they sleep. He hurries back and Drupada who is worried asks his son; 'Son where is Krishne? Who are these people? Hope they are not from a low caste!' and still hopeful 'By chance did the Pandavas survive and was is it Arjuna who succeeded?'

His son sounding very happy recounts the whole episode from the time Arjuna splits the target; 'Krishne followed the good looking successful archer like a she elephant follows the male. The kings, angry and intolerant, attacked. His companion uprooted a tree and beat them back. Later they went to a potter's sala'. He continues with his story about what he saw and his conviction that 'Pandavas have escaped the fire and are moving about hiding their real identity. I am very sure of this!'

Drupada, very happy sends his priest to learn if they are really so. Pandavas while treating the priest with due respect are still unwilling to reveal their true identity. Yudhisthara politely tells the brahmin priest 'The king within his rights chose to have this contest and our veera has won her as per the terms of the contest. There was no mention of any one caste being permitted and there were no other limitations! Thus Drupada Raja has no cause for regret. Is it possible for any ordinary man to bend this bow? We feel that there is no occasion for the king to feel remorse or worry about his daughter.'

As they were conversing, another emissary from the king came with an invitation 'The king has arranged a feast to celebrate the swaymavara and requests that all of you participate along with Krishne. Superior chariots suitable for kings have been sent. Please make haste!' .Pandavas along with Kunthi and Krishne proceed in the chariots sent for them.

As the story develops we see a repetiton of the events, but as seen or described by different participants! There are variations in the emphasis given to events or from the perspective of that particular narrator. I tried to translate from Kannada and claim only a partial success.

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