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Draupadi Vastra Haran - Shri Krishna - Ch. 36

BY Mr Shiv Sagar February 11,2017
Draupadi Vastra Haran - Shri Krishna - Ch. 36

Duryodhan was very envious of the grandeur of the Pandavas’ capital, Indraprastha. His evil uncle Shakuni suggested to him the idea that the Pandavas would soon be coming to Hastinapur for the Holi festival, and he must invite Yudhishthir to partake in a gambling match.

Yudhishthir loved to gamble and so he would be ready to play. Later he, Shakuni, would lure him to stake his kingdom and Shakuni would see to it that he lost that wager. He would then throw his support behind Duryodhan, and they between them would have, in one simple move, have snatched away the kingdom of the Pandavas.

"Yudhishthir loved to gamble and so he would be ready to play. Later he, Shakuni, would lure him to stake his kingdom and Shakuni would see to it that he lost that wager. He would then throw his support behind Duryodhan, and they between them would have, in one simple move, have snatched away the kingdom of the Pandavas."

By means of his invitation, Duryodhan, was able to draw Yudhishthir to play the fatal game. The terms of the game dictated that whoever lost the game would have to go into exile for twelve years and then live one year living incognito. If during the period of living incognito, if any one of them was recognized, then they would have to undergo twelve more years of exile.

Shakuni defeated Yudhishthir by cheating at dice. And Yudhishthir lost his kingdom. He wagered his brothers in the game but those too he lost. Next he wagered Draupadi in the game and lost her also. Pandavas’ condition was now no better than the servants of the Kauravas.  Following Duryodhan’s orders, Dushashan then dragged Draupadi before the court and pulled at her sari (Draupadi Vastra) to disrobe her.

Bhisma Pitamah, Dronacharya and Kripacharya were present there in the court but no one raised any opposition to the actions of Duryodhan. Draupadi Vastra or clothes were being removed and she cried for help from the court elders to save her chastity but everyone remained silent in the face of Duryodhan’s despicable actions. This despicable act is known as “Draupadi Vastra Haran”.

"The terms of the game dictated that whoever lost the game would have to go into exile for twelve years and then live one year living incognito. If during the period of living incognito, if any one of them was recognized, then they would have to undergo twelve more years of exile. Shakuni defeated Yudhishthir by cheating at dice. And Yudhishthir lost his kingdom. He wagered his brothers in the game but those too he lost. Next he wagered Draupadi in the game and lost her also. Pandavas’ condition was now no better than the servants of the Kauravas."

Draupadi then called on Shri Krishna to save her, and he did so by ever-increasing the length of her cloth, preventing her from being stripped naked and preserving her dignity and chastity, popularly known as Draupadi Vastra Haran. With this miracle of Krishna’s, the Kauravas were terrified.

Dhritrashtra understood the seriousness of the situation and returned the kingdom to the Pandavas and freed them from being servants. But on Duryodhan’s insistence, one more game was played-and Yudhishthir lost one more time. According to the terms of the game, the Pandavas had to go into exile.

At one point during the period of exile, Arjun went to Lord Indra’s realm to learn the art of using celestial weapons. There, the celestial nymph Urvashi was fascinated with Arjun but Arjun respectfully rejected her romantic overtures, saying that she was like a mother to him. At this, Urvashi got very angry and cursed him that he would become impotent and be dressed like a woman for one year. On completing the twelve years of exile, the Pandavas lived in disguise at king Viraat’s palace for a year.

"Urvashi was fascinated with Arjun but Arjun respectfully rejected her romantic overtures, saying that she was like a mother to him. At this, Urvashi got very angry and cursed him that he would become impotent and be dressed like a woman for one year."

During this time, the Kauravas attacked Viraatnagari, King Viraat’s city, to snatch away his cows. Arjun assumed the role of the charioteer of Viraat’s son Drupad, and defeated the Kauravas in the war. On the completion of the period of living incognito, the Pandavas identities were revealed, and King Viraat and Arjun decided to get Viraat’s daughter Uttara married to Arjun’s son Abhimanyu.

The Kauravas were also invited to this wedding.  The dispute between the Pandavas and the Kauravas for the ruling rights over the states was still not over. The result of the dispute was a war, but the Pandavas wanted to have a peaceful end to it. Then Krishna volunteered to go to the Kauravas court in the role of a messenger of peace on behalf of the Pandavas.

"The dispute between the Pandavas and the Kauravas for the ruling rights over the states was still not over. The result of the dispute was a war, but the Pandavas wanted to have a peaceful end to it."


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