Draupadi’s dig at dharma

Yudhishtira’s sermon on the qualities of kindness and mercy were not acceptable to Draupadi.  She said:

“I offer my salutations to Parameswara who has caused unrealistic attachments to your intellect, and to the inexorable fate (Prarabdha) responsible for your present unfortunate state. Although your intellect had to toe the line of your forefathers, it has gone astray.”

“Maharaja! You are capable of giving up Bheema, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. You can also give me up. But I am aware you cannot give up dharma. Your kingdom is for dharma. I recounted the old adage that dharma protects the king who protects dharma. But it looks as if the time-honoured one is a lie. For, you are protecting dharma with greater steadfastness than life itself and no dharma is protecting you today. A great repository of dharma that you are, my heart sinks at the sight of your sorrow and misfortune today. Yudhishtira, kind, simple and righteous that you are, how did you permit yourself to engage in a game of dice to lose everything and everyone including me?  Against this background that pushed me to a distressing and humiliating corner, I am clouded by illusions about dharma and adharma.”


Shadow and Substance:

“Shadow”, continued Draupadi, “follows a living being. In the same way, your brain has been following dharma alone. Just as it is impossible to separate the shadow from the substance, there is no question of separating you from your principle of dharma. Your body, mind and wealth are all dedicated to it. You have not ill-treated either the elders or youngsters. Despite being an emperor of the world, pride could not find a place in you. You have always succeeded in pleasing the Gods with offerings in fire, the forefathers by due ceremonies and the Brahmins by due honorarium. But what passes my comprehension is that despite these superlative qualities, your righteous frame allowed itself to play a game of dice! This shows that whatever men do, they do it as part of their total subservience to Ishwara’s limitless control over creation and that they are not totally incapable of doing anything immediately. There are many a legendary proof to vouchsafe for this fundamental truth.”



“Yudhishtira!” continued Draupadi, “What is absolutely strange is that while it is true that God is all-pervading and that by divine dispensation only the living beings indulge in good and bad deeds, yet nobody attributes bad or sinful deeds to divine promptings. Depending upon one’s karma lot, good or bad, the divine dispenser just by His will get the deeds done by the bodily frame. But in this divine game, the good and righteous people have been suffering and the wicked ones like Duryodhana have been enjoying life. This makes me feel very sad. What is it that God derives by making very happy. one like Duryodhana where there is a bestial conglomeration of criminal propensities and deeds?”

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