The tragic tale of Draupadi’s distress must have a silver lining. Born of fire, she was endowed with the fiery power to reduce Duryodhana, Dusshaasana, Karna and Shakuni (besides whomsoever she wanted) to ashes in a second. But she willed otherwise! Those armed with divine power refrain from exhibiting their talent and resources. So did Draupadi. She behaved like an ordinary mortal and set a glorious example for all women in restraint and tolerance. It was Lord’s wish that Draupadi’s reaction to grave humiliation and insult should be one of restraint of a very high order calculated to inspire women in similar circumstances, to broaden mental horizons and to rise above others limitations in order to reach metaphysical heights.
Draupadi loses her sons
At the end of the Mahabharata war, Draupadi whose humiliation was apparently avenged, became the queen of Hastinapur. While the Pandavas were away, rejoicing on their first night after victory, Gandhari met Draupadi and asked her forgiveness for her sons. At this time, at the behest of Duryodhana in his dying moments, Aswathama and others surreptitiously entered the Pandava’s camp where Draupadi’s five sons and Dhrishtadyumna were asleep and killed them, not knowing that the five were not the Pandavas but Upa-Pandavas. How Draupadi avenged this is another story, the central figure of which is Lord Krishna himself!
Draupadi, true to the divine purpose and dispensation of her mortal existence, looked upon life as a discipline under imperfect conditions and humiliating circumstances. She is an inspiration to all.
She stands for the symbol of success of spiritual strength over brute physical power on the material plane. The Lord will ever be with Draupadi’s counterparts and versions as He was with her. The great Lord will manifest through the disciplined soldiers and symbols of glorious womanhood.
Prayer to Draupadi
It would be fitting to conclude “Draupadi in Distress” with a prayer that will evoke the grace of the Almighty:
(Om tat sat)