Yudhisthira and draupadi relationship questions

Yudhishthira - Wikipedia

As Draupadi offered him a boon, Bhima did exactly as he was advised by Krishna . In the end, barring Yudhisthira, the Pandava brothers and Krishna along with his clan The questions which god Dharma, in the guise of a crane, asked him tested his Personal relationship mattered a great lot to him. Key words: Draupadi; marriage; gender and resistance; Mahabharata and women mother's order, the five Pandavas brothers accepted Draupadi as their wife, . Significantly, Draupadi questions their behaviour: "is a woman her husband's. While Yudhisthira's relationship with Draupadi is bitter-sweet, contrived and slightly twisted owing to feelings of insecurity, jealousy and revenge, he is not.

She is dangerous to any man who tries to importune her, who will likely end up dead. She is dangerous to wider society, as she will not keep quiet.

In addition to her independence of spirit, Draupadi is also challenging because she is married to five husbands, the Pandava brothers.

yudhisthira and draupadi relationship questions

Once said, this cannot be taken back, and so Draupadi marries all five of the brothers. Broader justifications that speak to past lives and the activities of gods serve to assure both other characters and us — the audience — that this is all perfectly fine. Within the epic she is called a whore because of her multiple husbands. Her marriage to all five brothers confuses the question of whether or not Yudhisthira alone could stake her in the dicing match.

Rather than increasing her obligations fivefold, her many husbands increase her power: An old Buddhist story explains that Draupadi was the epitome of a lustful woman, who even cheated on her five handsome husbands with a hunchbacked dwarf. Jain stories recount the evil deeds she is said to have performed in the past that led to her suffering as well as her polyandry.

Her independence, her willingness to berate her husbands, her elders and even God, her fury and fire, all make her a rather unlikely exemplary woman. Yet she is undeniably the heroine of the Mahabharata, and is often held up as an example of a pure woman and wife.

She is worshipped as a goddess, and she is included in the mantra listing five pure women that is chanted regularly by Hindus.


Alongside Draupadi in this list is a more straightforward Hindu heroine, Sita, wife of Rama. She has to undergo a trial by fire to prove her purity and is nonetheless later exiled and has to give birth to her twin sons in a forest hermitage.

This suffering is despite there being no doubt in the narrative that she is completely pure. Unlike Draupadi, Sita is a submissive, devoted and virtuous wife, who never challenges the way she is treated by Rama, at least not in the classical Sanskrit version. Rama is held up as the ideal man, a perfectly just king, and a descent of the god Vishnu, and thus beyond blame despite the suffering he causes his wife.

Untold Love Story Of Karna And Draupadi In Mahabharata In Hindi - Draupadi Wants To Marry Karna

Sita has often been held up as an exemplary Hindu wife. An Indian lawyer even recently tried to sue Rama for his mistreatment of Sitathough he was unsuccessful.

  • Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjuna and Draupadi

Sita Sings the Bluesa fun cartoon freely available online, is but one in a long line of feminist versions of the Ramayana to emerge in recent years. While feminist retellings of the Ramayana are worthwhile, Hindus need only turn to their other ancient epic poem for an alternative female role-model.

Why is Draupadi a Dangerous Woman?

Draupadi, acknowledged as a pure and virtuous woman despite her rather fiery nature, provides a very different — and, some would say, dangerous — example of wifehood. Her popularity endures, as evidenced by the viewing figures for the recent Hindi TV series of the Mahabharat on Star Plus, and their spin-off film about Draupadi.

Draupadi is thus a dangerous woman both within the Mahabharata storyline and outside the text, in the broader context of Indian portrayals of women and wives.

She provides a helpful contrast to the submissive Sita of the Ramayana, and her unusual polyandry in a narrative universe in which having several wives was normal gives her an unlikely independence even as it leads to criticism and challenge from disapproving others. More than anything else, her determination and fiery energy inspire women to challenge injustice and demand fair treatment from their husbands.

However, the Mahabharata repeatedly explains that the war was — in cosmic terms — a good thing, ordained by the gods and necessary in order to unburden the Earth -goddess.

In the Kurukshetra battlefield, before the start of the war, Yudhisthira walked alone and weaponless to the Kaurava side of the battlefield, and Duryodhana thought that Yudhisthira was frightened at the sight of the Kaurava army, and was coming to seek peace.

He, however, was going to meet the Kaurava elders and seek their blessings for victory in the war. He went to Duryodhana and pleaded with him for just one village for the Pandavas. The fate of his pleading needs no mention. Yudhisthira was deeply distressed when Bhima abused and kicked Duryodhana after mortally wounding him in the battle. He went to him, spoke to him as indulgently as an elder brother would to an erring younger brother, and declared that he would give the kingdom to him and retire to the forest.

yudhisthira and draupadi relationship questions

Bhima laughed at him. Soon when the time came, he was completely unwilling to become the king. He considered himself responsible for the death of the great Kaurava elders, his cousins and other relatives, among many others. He grieved deeply, and he felt utterly miserable. When he said that he wanted to leave the kingdom in the hands of his brothers and retire to the forest, he knew that his brothers were not with him.

That indeed was the first time he said that he would go to the forest alone. His brothers responded by saying unkind words to him. He probably had never been as lonely as then, as though time comes when one committed to dharma finds himself utterly lonely. Whenever they met, Krishna paid his obeisance to him, and never said a single word about him that would even remotely suggest lack of reverence.

But Krishna wanted war, and through his unreasonable, in fact impossible, demands of which Yudhisthira knew nothing, he ensured that war took place. It would appear to be a cynical act of betrayal, looking at it from the worldly perspective.

yudhisthira and draupadi relationship questions

It was, however, quite different from point of view of divine purpose, but we need not dwell on it here. As for Draupadi, she performed her traditional role as his wife, but worked against his wishes at his back on the issue that mattered to him most.

This was the man whom death would not touch. Draupadi as the goddess of death had declared it to Bhima on that fateful night. Yudhisthira was not just the biological son of the god Dharma, he was a practitioner of dharma in life - in his word, thought and deed, he served the cause of dharma. How could the embodiment of dharma on earth become a victim of death? How could dharma die? True, dharma needs the support of power. Without power, dharma is ineffective.

Yudhisthira needed the support of Krishna, and then of his brothers.

Draupadi - Wikipedia

He told Krishna so very often that everything the Pandavas had was because of his grace. And Krishna was obliged to support Yudhisthira; that was in some sense his avataara dharma.

yudhisthira and draupadi relationship questions

But unlike dharma, protectors of dharma need not be beyond death. In the changed times either dharma would remain ineffective or new protectors of it would emerge.

As Saaralaa Mahaabhaarata repeatedly declares, incarnations of Bhagawana Vishnu appear from time to time to rid the world of its burden. Now, what was dharma as represented by Yudhisthira in Saaralaa Mahaabhaarata?