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1-Aadi Parv, 186-194  of 236
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Draupadee's Swayamvar

[1-186] Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Then the Paandav set out for Paanchaal to see Draupadee's Swayamvar. On their way they saw many Braahman going to Paanchaal. The Braahman asked Paandav where were they going and where they were coming from. Yudhishthir replied - "We are uterine brothers and are going to Paanchaal with our mother. We are coming from Ekchakraa Nagaree." They said - "Go there today only. There is a Swayamvar there in which much money will be spent. We are also going there. Let us all go there together. Paanchaal's King Yagyasen or Drupad has a daughter, Draupadee who is very beautiful, her fragrance is like blue lotus and goes up to full two miles. She is the sister of Dhrishtdyumn who is the would-be slayer of Drone. He was born from the fire and himself is like fire. He was born with natural armor and sword and bow and arrows from sacrificial fire. There Yagyasenaa will choose her husband. We are also going there to see those festivities. Many kings and princes will come there. Those kings and princes will give away much wealth, cows, and food etc. After the Swayamvar we will return from there. You can also come back with us. You look like celestials, there are very good chances that Krishnaa can choose you as her husband." Yudhishthir said - "We will surely go there to witness her Swayamvar."

[1-187] Vaishampaayan Jee said - On their way they met Rishi Vyaas also, then they again proceeded towards Paanchaal Desh at a slow pace. When they had reached in Paanchaal Desh, they stayed with a potter. They were still looking like Braahman so nobody could recognize them there. Drupad always wanted to bestow his daughter to Kireeti (Arjun), but he never said to this anybody. So thinking about Arjun, he made a very stiff bow that was incapable to be bent by anybody else than Arjun; made a machinery and set a mark on it; and declared that "whoever will shoot that mark on the machinery will marry my daughter".

Hearing this many kings came there desirous to marry Draupadee and Many Rishi came just to see the festivities of the Swayamvar. Duryodhan along with other Kuru and Karn and many Braahman came there and all were duly welcomed by King Drupad. All were seated in the amphitheater prepared for this purpose. It was covered with a canopy of various colors and was enclosed by high walls and a moat with arched doorways here and there. It was surrounded by high mansions, perfectly white. Their windows had golden nets, the walls were set with diamonds, and their fragrance went up to a Yojan (full eight miles). Paandav also entered the amphitheater and sat with Braahman.

The festivities lasted for 15 days and on the 16th day it was full. Draupadee, adorned with rich clothes and every ornament, came into the theater carrying a golden dish (on which there was Arghya) and a garland of flowers. The Priest of the Chandra Vansh ignited the sacrificial fire and gratified gods. Then Dhrishtdyumn stood and addressed the people sitting there - "Hear O Everybody, This is the bow, that is the mark and these are the arrows. Shoot the mark with these five arrows. Whoever will shoot the mark will get my sister Krishnaa." Then he recited the names and lineage etc of the princes to Draupadee."

[1-188] Dhrishtdyumn said - "Duryodhan, Durvisaha, Durmukh, Dushpradarshan, Vivinshati, Vikarn, Saha, Dushaasan, Yuyutsu, Vaayuveg, Bheemvegarav, Ugraayudh, Balaakee, Kanakaayu, and Virochan, Sukundal, Chitrasen, Suvarchaa, and Kanakdhwaj; Nandak, and Baahushaalee, Tuhund, Vikat, these, O sister, and many other mighty sons of Dhritarashtra accompanied by Karn are there for your hand.

Durvisaha, Saha, Vaayuveg, Virochan, Kanakaayu, Nandak, Baahushaalee, Tuhund names are not mentioned (except Chitrasen in G-0-Prolog/13) as Dhritraashtra's sons while telling their names to Janamejaya in G-0-Prolog/15.

Sons of the King of Gaandhaar - Shakuni, Saubal, Vrishak and Brihadwal had also come. Ashwatthaamaa, Bhoj, Brihant, Manimaan, Dandadhar, Sahadev, Jayatsen, Meghsandhi, Viraat with his two sons Shankh and Uttar, Vardhkshemi, Susharmaa, Senbindu, Suketu with his two sons Sunaam and Suvarchaa, Suchitra, Sukumaar, Vrik, Satyadhriti, Sooryadhwaj, Rochaman, Neel, Chitraayudh, Anshumaan, Chekitaan, the mighty Sreneemaan, Chandrasen - the mighty son of Samudrasen, Jaraasandh, Vidand, and Danda - the father and son, Paundrak, Vaasudev, Bhagdatt endued with great energy, Kaling, Taamralipt - the king of Patanaa, the mighty car-warrior Shalya - the King of Madra, with his son - the heroic Rukmaangad, Rukmrath, Somdatt of the Kuru race with his three sons, all mighty chariot-fighters and heroes, viz, Bhoori, Bhoorishrava, and Shal, Sudakshinaa, Kaamboj of the Puru race, Brihadbal, Sushen, Shibi - the son of Usheenar, Padcharanihantaa, the King of Karoosh, Sankarshan (Baladev), Vaasudev (Krishn) the mighty son of Rukminee - Saamb, Chaarudeshn - the son of Pradyumn with Gad, Akroor, Saatyaki, the high-souled Uddhav, Kritavarmaa - the son of Hridikaa, Prithu, Viprithu, Vidoorath, Kank, Shanku with Gaveshan, Asavaahaa, Aniruddh, Shameek, Sareemejaya, the heroic Vaataapi, Jhillee, Pindaarak, the powerful Usheenar, all these of the Vrishni race, Bhageerath, Brihatkshatra, Jayadrath - the son of Sindhu, Brihadrath, Baahleek, the mighty charioteer Shrutaayu, Ulook, Kaitabh, Chitraangad and Shubhaangad, the highly intelligent Vatsaraaj - the king of Koshal, Shishupaal and the powerful Jaraasandh - all these and others are here for your hand. You will choose your husband from among those who will shoot the mark."

This list shows that Shivi, the son of Usheenar, was there in MBH times. Is he the same Shivi whose story of pigeon is famous? Was he the same Usheenar's son who was married to Yayaati's daughter Maadhavee? But how it is possible because Yayaati was long long before MBH times.

[1-189] Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Each had a desire to marry Draupadee, so many princes rose from their seats saying "Krishnaa will be mine, Krishnaa will be mine." In this competition even the friends regarded each other their enemy. Even Rudra and Aaditya also came in their celestial Vimaan. Vasu, Ashwinee Kumaar, Swadhaa, Marut, Kuber, Yam, Daitya, Suparn (Garud), Naag, Rishi, Guhyak, Chaaran, Vishwaavasu, Naarad, Parvat, Gandharv, Apsaraa were also there. Krishn showed Paandav to Balaraam, and he got satisfied with Krishn. Everybody wanted to show his strength to win Draupadee. They did not even notice Paandav. Paandav were also love-stricken seeing Draupadee. princes and kings got up for the competition one by one but many kings just lay down in exerting themselves to lift the bow. After a while when many kings could not even pick it up, their enthusiasm to win Draupadee cooled down.

Then Karn went there, picked the bow, placing the arrow on it, drew its string and got ready to shoot the mark. Paandav considered it already shot, so they were disappointed. But Krishnaa said - "I will not marry a Soot Putra." Karn just cast a glance over Soorya and threw the bow, which was already drawn into a circle. Then rose Shishupaal, son of Damaghosh, to shoot the mark, but fell down on his knees. Then King Jaraasandh rose and stood there motionless. Then tossed by the bow he also fell down on his knees. Shalya, the king of Madra Desh, also tried but he also fell down. When all had tried, and failed, Jishnu (Arjun) desired to shoot the mark."

[1-190] Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Wehen all the Kshatriya had tried their luck, Arjun rose to shoot the mark from among the Braahman. Seeing him some were displeased while other were pleased. Some whispered - "How can a Braahman shoot the mark when such great Kshatriya like Shalya etc could not shoot it? If he could not shoot it, the Braahman society will be defamed. That is why stop this Braahman to attempt that." Some said - "Braahman are very strong. If he had no strength, he would not have risen from his place. A Braahman should not stop another Braahman doing whatever he is doing." Arjun walked around the bow, remembered Shiv and Krishn and took up the bow which others - Rukm, Suneeth, Vakra, Karn, Duryodhan, Shalya and others, could not even string it. He strung the bow in a twinkling of an eye, and shot the mark with five arrows and fell it down through the hole of the machine.

Celestials showered flowers over Paarth. Drupad was filled with joy. He was ready to help Paarth if the situation arose. When the uproar was at its maximum, Yudhishthir left the place with Nakul and Sahadev to his dwelling place. Krishnaa was also filled with joy and approached Arjun with a white robe and the garland of flowers. He was worshipped by all Braahman. Soon he left the place followed by Draupadee."

[1-191] Vaishampaayan Jee said - "When Drupad wanted to give his daughter to the Braahman who shot the mark, other Kshatriya present there suddenly filled with wrath and said to one another - "How this Drupad can bestow his daughter to a Braahman passing by us? When the tree is going to give the fruit, he is cutting it? He is not respecting, let us slay him. We say that Swayamvar is for Kshatriya, Braahman have no claim on Kshatriya girl in Swayamvar like this. And if that girl doesn't want to choose any one of us let us throw her into fire and go home. Something must be done here so that other Swayamvar may not end in this way." Talking like this all kings rose together and ran towards Drupad to kill him. Drupad got frightened seeing this and looked towards Braahman for his protection - Arjun and Bheem. So both rushed towards those kings to stop them. Bheem uprooted a tree and ran towards them carrying it like Gadaa. Arjun also stopped seeing his brother and stood carrying his bow against them.

Seeing this Daamodar said to Halaayudh - "See that with the bow full four full cubit long is certainly Arjun, if I am Vaasudev. And the other one who has uprooted the tree is Vrikodar, because no one else could perform such a feat in battle. And that other one who is of full four cubit height and has left the amphitheater only a little before was Dharm's son Yudhishthir. The two others who looked like Kaarttikey, I am sure they are the twins. I heard that Paandav with Kuntee were able to escape from the Laakh house of Baaranaavat." Halaayudh said - "Oh, I am very happy to hear that all escaped from death."

[1-192] Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Then the Braahman, Arjun and Bheem, throwing off their deer-skin clothes and water pots, said to other Braahman - "Do not fear, we will fight the enemies. You just stand aside and watch." Saying thus both brothers stood firmly against the attacking kings. "The slaughter in battle is permitted." saying this the kings came forward to fight. Karn came to fight with Jishnu, and Shalya, the King of Madra, came to fight with Bheem, while Duryodhan and other fought with Braahman lightly. Seeing Karn coming to him, Arjun took out his tough bow and shot him arrows. Arjun's arrows made Karn faint. When he gained consciousness, he fought with him with greater care. Then he said - "O Braahman, I admire your energy unequalled on the Earth and your weapons are also appropriate for victory. Have you appeared as live weapons, or are you Raam (Parashuraam) or Indra himself, or Indra's younger brother Vishnu (Achyut)? No other than the husband of Shachee (Indra) or Kireeti, the son of Paandu, is capable to fight with me when I am angry in the battlefield."

Phaalgun replied - "I am neither live weapons, nor I am Raam, I am only a Braahman who is skilled in all kinds of weapons. By the grace of my preceptor, I am skilled in Brahm and Paurandar Astra also. You just wait I want to defeat you in this battle."

Vaishampaayan Jee said - Hearing this Karn hesitated to fight with him as he thought that the power of Brahm Astra was ever invincible. On the other side Bheem hurled Shalya and threw him far without hurting him. And when Karn saw this he feared and even other kings got alarmed. They exclaimed - "Oh, These Braahman are really excellent warriors. Let us find in which Vansh they are born. Who can fight with Karn except Raam or Drone, or Kireeti? Who can encounter Duryodhan except Krishn, the son of Devakee, or Kripaa, the son of Sharadwaan? Who can fight Shalya except Vrikodar, or Baladev, or Duryodhan? So we should not fight with these Braahman. In fact all Braahman, however offending they are, should always be protected. That is why first we should find out from which Vansh these Braahman are?"

Why Karn was hesitating to fight with Arjun, because he also had the Brahm Astra with him.

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Seeing feats of both Braahman, Krishn got sure that they were Kuntee's sons. He said to the kings - "This Braahman has won the bride. Some kings have already gone back to their homes, while others have retreated from the battle. The Princess of Paanchaal has now become the bride of a Braahman." So Arjun and Bheem came out from there followed by Krishnaa as the Sun and the Moon have come out of the clouds. On the other side when Paandav did not return home, Kuntee was worrying about them. She once thought that Dhritraashtra's sons might have recognized them and killed them. At the same time, at late night, Jishnu entered the house of the potter accompanied by a group of Braahman."

[1-193] Vaishampaayan Jee said - "The Paandav approached their mother and presented Yagyasenee (Draupadee) to their mother as what alms they had got for that day. Since Kuntee was inside, she did not see her sons and she said - "Enjoy you all." The then she came out and saw Krishnaa, she repented at what she had said. She feared of the sin. Still she took Draupadee cheerfully inside and said to Yudhishthir - "Your younger brothers told her as alms, and what I thought proper I said. Tell me how my speech may not become untrue? How Paanchaalee is not attached to sin and not become uneasy?"

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Yudhishthir thought for a moment, consoled Kuntee and said to Dhananjaya - "O Phaalgun, You have won Yagyasenee, therefore you should wed her properly." Arjun said - "Do not make me sinner. Your decision is not according to virtue. First you should wed, then Bheem, then I, then Nakul and then Sahadev will marry her. We all wait for your command. While taking decisions on such things you should decide which is good for all. We will obey you." Vaishampaayan Jee continued - "Hearing Arjun's respectful and affectionate words, all Paandav looked at Draupadee, Draupadee looked at them and then all sat down. All wanted to marry her. Yudhishthir understood his brothers mind, he immediately remembered Vyaas' words also and declared - "Draupadee will be our common wife." All got very happy to hear this.

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "All the four brothers got very happy to hear this. In the meantime, Krishn and Balaraam, suspecting that those Braahman were Paandav, also came there to their house - the potter's house where they were staying. They saw Yudhishthir sitting there. He touched Yudhishthir of Ajameedh race and Kuntee's feet saying "I am Krishn". Balaraam also did the same. All got very happy to see them. Yudhishthir asked - "Krishn, How were you able to trace us as we were living in disguise?" Krishn replied - "Fire cannot be hidden anywhere, in the same way your might cannot be kept secret. It is by good fortune, that you escaped safely from that fire. God bless you. Lest anybody recognizes you, let us return to our abode." And they went away from there.

[1-194] Vaishampaayan Jee said - "When Bheem and Arjun were returning to their abode, Dhrishtdyumn followed them secretly. He sent all his attendants and hid in the potter's house without being known to Paandav. He looked everything from that hiding place. When Bheem, Arjun and the twins came back from their daily alms, they gave everything to Yudhishthir. Then Kuntee asked Draupadee to take out a portion to offer to God and then to give it to Braahman and feed to those that are hungry and our guests. Divide the rest into two. Give one to Bheem as he eats too much, and divide the rest in six parts. Give four parts to these youths, and one for myself and one for you." Draupadee did as she was told and everybody ate food prepared by Krishnaa. After eating the food, Sahadev immediately spread Kush grass bed. Paandav spread their deer skin and lay down on them to sleep head towards south. Kuntee laid herself down along the line of their heads and Krishnaa along their feet. Laying like this she was not at all grieved. Then Paandav talked among themselves as each one was capable to lead an army. They talked about celestial chariots, weapons and elephants.

Dhrishtdyumn listened everything, saw everything from his hiding place. He returned from there in the morning to tell everything what he heard and saw there to his father. Drupad was sad as he was thinking that Arjun had not taken his daughter, but when Dhrishtdyumn arrived, he asked him - "Who has taken our daughter? Any Shoodra or anybody of mean descent or any good Braahman? Has Vichitraveerya's son's are still alive? I would have been very happy if Arjun had taken my daughter. Tell me Son, who has won my daughter? Was it Paarth who shot the mark?"

1-Aadi Parv - Swayamvar Parv Ends Here


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