Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Draupadi laments and Krishna takes an oath. Visiting Mahabharata 70

It is incredible! As I blog about the life of Pandavas in the forest, Bangalore Mirror talks of 'Forest Loot'. My first reaction was; 'The fear of rakshashas, if they were still around in the forest, would have surely prevented this loot'. Then it dawned on me that Rakshashas were known to change form at will! They now exist, unfortunately in the form of sleepy (pretending to sleep?) government officials and a mafia of middlemen and maufacturers.

The report says:.. The state’s forest wealth is being ruthlessly exploited by a mafia of middlemen and manufacturers, with the government only just waking up to the Rs 20,000-crore scam happening under its very nose. ...mega scam being perpetrated by a nexus that involves middlemen, drugs and cosmetic manufacturers, and leading breweries. Unfortunately, the livelihood demands of farmers and tribals of these areas have made them a part of this nexus in stripping their own habitats of valuable produce like cinnamon, black pepper, cocum, soap nuts, gooseberry, blueberry, cane, snuffbox sea bean, honey and ‘dhoopa’....“A contract was given two years ago for cinnamon extraction in Belgaum, Chikmagalur and Shimoga. Driven by greed, the private parties have denuded entire trees — branches, leaves and all. This has virtually reduced cinnamon production to zero, and the government has decided to ban extraction of cinnamon henceforth,” said a senior forest official. (The same old Ramayana!)
The tribals who get a pittance for their work.
  Draupadi's angst: I am quoting from Vachana Bharata
 Draupadi is unable to contain her grief when she sees Krishna and her brother cries aloud: 'How is it that your friend, the wife of Pandavas and sister of Dhristadhyumna be reduced to this state? How is it possible that I was, scantily dressed as I was, dragged about? How could I be a 'daasi'? Am I  not a daughter-in-law of Dhritharashtra? How is it the Pandavas kept quiet when I was being ill-treated? Shame on the most powerful Bheema and the very skilled Arjuna. Even mere weaklings try to protect their wives. They could  have protected me at least for the sake of my five children?. 

Overcome she is unable to even breath and laments 'Krishna there is no one for me now. My husbands, my brother, father, even relatives and friends; none are for me. Even you are not there for me. How I can forget the humiliation and the laughter of Karna which is silll ringing in my ears?.'

Krishna consoles her and promises, 'Those who humiliated you will surely die by the piercing arrows of Arjuna. Their wives will cry as you are doing now. I propose to help Pandavas help in every manner possible. You will be queen again. It is my promise. The skies may fall, earth may shatter and the occean may dry but my promise to you shall not fail!'

Krishan then turns towards Yudhisthira and says, 'If I were in Dwaraka, I would have surely come and stopped you from gambling. I would have tried to convince you about the harm gambling can do and stopped you by force, if need be! It is indeed unfortunate that I was away and I came running as soon as I heard about your misfortune.' He then narrates how Dwaraka was attacked by Salva, brother of Sisupala, to avenge the death of Sisupala and that many of his clan were killed. So he had go after Salva and kill him and decimate his clan. And adds,'The reason I could not come even after I heard about the gambling. If not, Duryodhana would not have been alive today.'

Krishna after placating the Pandavas, goes back to Dwaraka, taking Subhadra and Abimanyu along with him. Dhristadyumna accompanied by the children of Draupadi and Drhustakethu and his sister Renumathi, Nakula's wfe, all return to their respective cities, leaving Pandavas and Draupadi all by themselves in the forest.

 Taking back Draupadi's children and others makes sense at the human level.  But those of us, who are brought up with the stories of  Krishna and his miracles, will wonder why Yudhisthira was not helped, while he was gambling away his life. Surely Krishna could have influenced the game of 'dies' from wherever he was. While these narrations did not say, it is said that it was Krishna who protected Draupadi from afar with a never ending supply of saris, so why not a miracle to help Yudhisthira? Kamala, probably anticipating such a question, does say in her version that Krishna had decided to punish the Khsatriyas and had set the events in motion.

1 comment:


Interesting blog. Yes, the rakshasas are still there! Evolving the human race is the biggest mistake that Nature made. Wonder where it will all end.