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Draupadee was the daughter of Raajaa Drupad, King of Paanchaal Desh. Thus she was called Paanchaalee too. Her one name was Krishnaa also. She was born out of Havan Kund. She was very beautiful and her hair was incomparable to anyone else's hair. It was very long, black, lustrous, shining, radiant, shimmering. She was very proud of her beauty. She was married to five Paandav. Later she was proud of her husbands too. She had a brother named Dhrishtdyumn also, who was born from the same Havan Kund.

Raajaa Drupad had the enmity with Dronaachaarya, so he wanted a son who could kill him. For this he arranged for a Yagya which could give him a son like that. But at the time of the Aahuti, when his wife was called,  she didn't appear, so the Rishi himself gave the Aahuti and a beautiful girl appeared from the Havan Kund. Although Raajaa got very happy to see such a beautiful girl, but his aim was still unfulfilled. So he asked Rishi to give him a son. Then the Rishi gave another Aahuti and there came out a son. Thus they were divine children - Draupadee and Dhrishtdyumn.

Drupad wanted Draupadee to marry to Arjun, because he had already seen Arjun's way of warfare and he always thought if he had a daughter he would marry her to him. So when he got this daughter he created a machine in which a fish was revolving up and one had to pierce its left eye looking in the pond of oil below it. When Draupadee's Swayamvar was arranged, Paandav were spending time hiding in forest in disguise of Braahman after the Baarnaavat incident. They also heard the news of her Swayamvar, so they also arrived there to attend it. 

Duryodhan, Karn, Dushaasan and Jayadrath were also there. Many kings could not even move the bow. Duryodhan and Jayadrath also could not move the bow. Karn also tried. He did pick the bow and went to that machine to aim at the fish's eye, but Shree Krishn said to Draupadee through eye movement not to marry him. So Draupadee said - "I will not marry a Soot-Putra." Karn felt very much insulted and this insult came out when he was sitting with Duryodhan at the time of playing Chausar (dice game) with Paandav. He said - "What kind of respect a woman can have, who has five husbands. There is nothing wrong even if she is brought naked in the court." Although he repented for his words later

Then Shree Krishn eyed at Arjun to come and aim at the fish. Arjun did it and Draupadee was married to Arjun. Since Paandav were in Braahman's guise nobody could recognize them except Shree Krishn. Kshatriya kings present there sat there just like that and a Braahman took the Princess away. They didn't like it but they couldn't do anything.

On their way to home, Paandav thought to give a surprise to their mother Kuntee. They said at the door of the house, "See, what we have brought in Bhikshaa (alms) today?" Kuntee said from inside as usual - "Distribute among yourselves." Now all Paandav got surprised to hear this. They just remained stood there silently. In the meantime Kuntee thought that her children asked her to see the Bhikshaa. What does it mean? So she came out and she saw Draupadee standing with them. Now she repented for her words, and scolded her children saying Bhikshaa for Draupadee. She said - "Is she a Bhikshaa? Do you treat her a Bhikshaa?" They were all thinking as what to do, that Shree Krishn came there and told them the story as why Kuntee said this to them. [Read Krishn's explanation below "Why Draupadee Had Five Husbands?"]

In Drupad's place, Drupad never expected a Braahman to take away his daughter but he also couldn't do anything because the Braahman had fulfilled the condition of the marriage. But Drupad could not believe that a Braahman could aim at the fish like this, so he sent his son to follow them and find out about them and his daughter as who had taken her.

Dhrishdyumn followed them up to their house, saw and heard everything from Paandav's words to Krishn's explanation. He immediately came back to his father and told everything to him. Drupad first got sad hearing this that his daughter will be the wife of five husbands but then got satisfied hearing that his daughter was in right hands and Krishn's explanation about her to marry to five husbands.

Why Draupadee Had Five Husbands?
There is a story behind this, described in Maarkandeya Puraan. Twashtaa, one of the 12 Aaditya Devtaa and Devtaa's Purohit, had a son named Vishwaroop, Trishiraa (who had three heads). Once Trishiraa did a great Tap which shook Indra's throne. Indra killed him to protect his authority and power. But he could not escape from the sin of killing a Braahman. This sin took away his radiance.

When Twashtaa came to know about his son's killing, he became very furious and performed a Yagya. He plucked a strand of hair from his hair-lock and offered it in the sacrificial fire with the intention to kill Indra. This Aahuti produced a very powerful Asur named Vritraasur. When Indra came to know about this strong Asur, He sent Sapt Rishi as his emissaries to him to work out a friendship pact between them. Sapt Rishi succeeded in doing so, but Indra still killed him. This action of Indra enraged Asur community, so they increased their atrocities. Even Prithvi felt the burden of their atrocities unable to bear. So she approached Devtaa to relieve her from this burden. Devtaa in turn approached Naaraayan. Naaraayan consoled them saying that He will incarnate soon and they should also go to Prithvi to help Him. Thus Devtaa started incarnating on Prithvi.

In Bhaagvat Puraan, 6/5 Twashtaa's son's name is give Vishwaroop. Once Indra did not respect his Guru Brihaspati, that is why he had to choose another Guru and that was Vishwaroop. He had to kill Vishwaroop as he used to offer Aahuti in the name of Daitya, as his mother was from Daitya family. Hearing the killing of his son, Twashtaa produced Krityaa that was Vritraasur. He killed him by Vajra made of Dadheechi's bones.

In this context, Dharm with the radiance of Indra, produced Yudhishthir, Vaayu (Pavan) Devtaa with the radiance of Indra, produced Bheem, Indra himself produced Arjun (the three from Kuntee) and Ashwinee Kumaar with the radiance of Indra, produced Nakul and Sahadev from Maadree. Thus although they were five separate entities, they were still the same Indra. And Draupadee was no other than Indra's wife Shachee (Indraanee) herself.

[In another Kathaa, which Krishn Himself told Kuntee about this is that in her previous life, Draupadee asked for a husband who had five qualities - he should be follower of Dharm; he should be very mighty; he should be the best warrior; he should be the most beautiful and he should have the maximum tolerance. Since no one person could have so many qualities, she is to marry five husbands. Thus there is nobody like Yudhishthir as the follower of Dharm; there is nobody mightier than Bheem today; there is no greater warrior than Arjun; there is nobody else as handsome as Nakul; and there is nobody else who has as much tolerance as Sahadev. All the five qualities were rather impossible to get in one person, so she got five people as her husbands.]

Draupadee As A Queen
Later Paandav etc came to Hastinaapur and were given half of the kingdom of Hastinaapur - Khaandavprasth. Yudhishthir inhabited Indraprasth there. Maya Daanav built a magical Royal court for Paandav there. Yudhishthir did Raajsooya Yagya and invited many kings. Kaurav, Dhritraashtra, Bheeshm, Drone etc also came there. Duryodhan felt very envy seeing Yudhishthir's wealth and prosperity. An incident also happened that Duryodhan fell down in the Royal court in water thinking that it was a dry land. Bheem and other Paandav (except Yudhishthir) was seeing all this, so they laughed heartily seeing this. Duryodhan could not take this insult to his heart and came back to Hastinaapur.

Draupadee In Exile
Immediately after returning from Hastinaapur, he arranged for Chausar (dice game), defeated Paandav by Shakuni Maamaa's tactics and took away their everything and tried to insult and disrobe Draupadee in the Royal Court (Krishn helped her by extending her cloth at that to save her from being naked). With great difficulty the matter was pacified, but Duryodhan was still not pacified, so he arranged a second round of Chausar and managed to send Paandav for 12 years of exile and one year of A-Gyaatvaas (incognito).

This was not the end of sorrows of Draupadee. Once Jayadrath, Duryodhan's only sister Dushalaa's husband, was passing by their residence. He saw Draupadee and misbehaved with her. He abducted her in his chariot. When Paandav came to know about this, Arjun got her released by using his special arrows. Then they freed him on Draupadee's request (she did not want Dushalaa being widow), but they shaved his head irregularly leaving five flocks of hair on his head reminding him of five Paandav.

At another time, Duryodhan sent Durvaasaa Muni and his 10,000 disciples to see Paandav. Muni told them that after they had taken bath, they would have food. Now Draupadee had a Divine pot which always remained full of food until she herself had eaten food from it. She had already eaten food by the time Paandav told her about Durvaasaa Muni's coming. Again Shree Krishn helped them out with this odd situation. He came and asked for food. Draupadee told that there was no food in the house because she had already eaten food from the pot. Krishn insisted that He wanted to check the pot again. He found a leaf of greens stuck on a side of the pot. He ate that and that satisfied the whole world. So when Durvaasaa Muni thought to go to Paandav, as it was getting late, they found that they were not feeling hungry at all, so they went back from the river itself.

Draupadee In A-Gyaatvaas
Exile period of 12 years came to an end and one year of A-Gyaatvaas began. Paandav spent that year at Raajaa Viraat and Sudeshnaa's palace. Yudhishthir worked there as Kank. He was King's counselor and played Chausar with him. Bheem worked in royal kitchen as their head cook. Arjun used his Shaap got from Swarg (Urvashee) and he taught music and dance to their Princess Uttaraa and other girls. Nakul worked in royal stable and Sahadev worked with their cows. Draupadee worked as Sairandhree to Sudeshnaa. In fact Viraat was not ruling that country, it was Sudeshnaa's brother Keechak who was ruling it. Once he came to Viraat Nagar and he saw Draupadee. He got attracted to her and in spite of her warning to him Keechak misbehaved with her. She told everything to Bheem and Bheem killed him the same day.

Draupadee After the War
Draupadee had five sons from her five husbands. On the last day of war, hiding in a pond Duryodhan was still alive towards the fag end of the war. Bheem had left him on the shore of the pond half-dead. Ashwatthaamaa came looking for him and asked him as what he could do for him. Duryodhan told him that he would be pleased if he could oblige him by bringing Paandav's heads. Ashwatthaamaa promised him to do so and told that he should hold on till then. And off he went. On the same night, when Paandav were in a bit relaxed mood, Ashwatthaamaa sneaked in their camp and looked around for Paandav. He found five sons of Paandav sleeping in one tent and considering them Paandav, as they looked like their fathers, killed all of them, and came to inform Duryodhan about their death. Duryodhan got very happy to hear this news.

When Draupadee came to know abut her sons' killing, she wept bitterly. Arjun knew as who could do that. He went with Krishn to look for Ashwatthaamaa. They got him in an Aashram. Both fought bravely. In the end Ashwatthaamaa used Brahmaastra. He knew how to release it but he didn't know how to get it back. To encounter it Arjun also had to use Brahmaastra. Both Brahmaastra were about to counter each other that Brahmaa Jee stopped them to collide. Ashwatthaamaa got defeated. Arjun brought him to Draupadee for justice. She, considering him as a Braahman, Guru's son and as she could not get her sons back after killing him, pardoned him. Then Krishn asked him to submit his Mani (gem) from his forehead and cursed him to wander around alone with all kinds of diseases.


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/9/02
Updated on 06/09/11