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Draupadis Curse

Wednesday March 30 2005 09:35 IST

By Karmayogi

Draupadis position in The Mahabharata is unique in more than one sense. She is accorded the honoured position in the galaxy of panchakannihai, in spite of the fact that she was the symbol of polyandry. Such was her chastity.

For the same reason, her curse would have the power of becoming true, not the angry words of a dishonoured woman. The Puranas say that she was the wife of a Rishi who awaited her consent to take to tapas.

He thus waited a thousand years. He awarded her the boon of marrying in her next birth men who were emanations of Siva. By no means was she an ordinary human soul. She was born out of the fire when the yaga of a Rishi ended.

The episode in the court when the dice game was played changed the fate of the Pandavas. It brought infamy on the venerable head of Draupadi. She was dragged to the court by her hair by Duryodhanas brother.

Duryodhana, in the height of his victory, ordered her humiliation. Her pathetic appeal is heart-rending. It was addressed to Pithamaha Bhishma.

He was all sympathy, was crying on seeing her insupportable condition, but he could not bring himself to speak in her defence.

Again and again she raised her voice and made her appeal poignant, directing it to the King, Drona, Kripa, and Vidura in turn.

In despair she pleaded with Gandhari to protect her womanhood. All was in vain. Her saree was pulled and pulled until Lord Krishna relieved her of her agony and shame. The venomous Dushasana lay on the floor in a swoon.

Now her anger was unleashed. The raudra in her emerged. She was no ordinary soul. Her humiliation had no precedent.

She cursed the entire dynasty of Kurus; she cursed the throne; she poured her venom on Duryodhana and Dushasana and Karna.

Gandhari, who felt helpless when the woman in her was appealed to, now suddenly awoke to the magnitude of a holy womans curse. The curse of a pure woman is a destroying ashtra from heaven. Gandhari came into her own.

After Draupadis curses had rolled out, she pleaded with the King and she pleaded with Draupadi to withdraw her curse. The King came to his senses, revoked the Pandavas condition of slavery, and returned their kingdom.

It was not the crass injustice to a defenceless woman who was his own daughter-in-law that moved his stony heart, but it was the prospect of a pure womans curse.

Gandhari was at last moved by her own self-interest, not by any sense of righteous anger or wounded dignity. Man fails to move until his OWN SOLID interests are in danger.

He is human and karma does havoc with him. He who moves by the right cause is Spiritual.

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