Sita’s pregnant desire

Valmiki describes in Uttara Ramayana that one day Sita, adorned with all the jewels and a palatial dress, went to Sri Rama just as Shachi Devi would go to meet her consort Indra. As she was approaching him, Rama noted noticeable features of pregnancy in Sita. He was immensely delighted.   “Devi!” said Rama to... Continue Reading →


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... Continue Reading →

Yudhishtira’s reply

“Draupadi! I have followed the path of righteousness not with any expectation of fruits. I have chosen the Vedic path. I have adopted the righteous path in the same way as other righteous ones have followed. By nature, my mind is fixed on the pursuit of dharma. Do not have doubts about dharma which is... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

Quality of mercy

Yudhishtira continued his sermon to Draupadi:   Kashyapa spells out Mercy’s “marma” Quality of mercy is man’s “dharma” Displaying the attribute is “dharana” Mercy personified is Vedic scripture One knowing this rises to ancient culture!   Mercy is Brahman and verily the truth, Foundation for future and present path, In world’s operations aftermath! Mercy is... Continue Reading →

Anatomy of anger

Yudhishtira Uvaacha: “Enlightened one! Anger kills men: Conquest of ire Bales them out of fire! Flame is cause of all Men’s rise or fall!   Whoever subdues anger Verily is bound to prosper! For one unable to zoom Ire spells the doom!   The irritable one In a veritable sinner! Sans Introspection, ‘Speaks’ many a... Continue Reading →

Brahma Thejas & Kshaatra Thejas

The distress of Draupadi and of the Pandavas in the forest had a silver lining. The best among the Brahmins who were Vedic scholars had joined the Pandavas’s camp in the forest and were patronized by Yudhishtira and the entire clan of Kshatriyas. The forest which was reverberating with the soothing sound of Vedic hymns reminded... Continue Reading →

Four causes of distress

That Yudhishtira would recover his lost kingdom (after the forest life) from the Kauravas was also asserted by Markandaya Maharshi. Sri Krishna sought to assure Yudhishtira that the Pandavas would not have been lured into playing the accursed game of dice if he had been in Dwaravathi. He said he would have personally intervened and... Continue Reading →

Draupadi cries before Krishna

There used to be many visitors to Pandavas in the forest. Draupadi and Arjuna once offered long prayers to Krishna. The Lord came to offer words of comfort. “Krishna!” said Draupadi shedding tears, “you are aware of the shame and distress caused to me in the august assembly the other day. In an inhuman way,... Continue Reading →

Dusshasana should beg Draupadi’s pardon

The scene at Hastinapur was somewhat different as tensions in Dhrutharashtra’s mind were mounting. Vidura gave a three-point formula for the King to follow to set matters right. The first was that Dusshaasana should, in an open court-hall filled with members, offer unconditional apology and seek the pardon of Draupadi and Bhimasena for the heinous... Continue Reading →

Draupadi’s distress in the forest

What was the factor that brought distress to Draupadi and the Pandavas? The people who found it difficult to part company with them had a unique answer. They had gone into the fundamentals of the problems.  They had known that the Kauravas and Pandavas were poles apart in principles and qualities.   Satsang “Dharmaraja!” said... Continue Reading →

Draupadi’s distress, crime & punishment

While Dhrutharashtra and Vidura were still in conversation with each other, Narada Maharshi heading a team of Rishis entered the royal auditorium and confirmed Draupadi’s prophecy and disappeared soon: “In the fourteenth year from now,” said the resplendent Narada, “as a result of Duryodhana’s sin against Draupadi and the Pandavas, all the Kauravas will be destroyed at... Continue Reading →

Draupadi’s farewell

How did Draupadi leave for the forest?  How did Yudhishtira and his brothers migrate to the forest and what was their frame of mind? These were the questions that confronted Dhrutharashtra, son of Ambika, and for which he sought an answer from Vidura. “Maharaja!” answered Vidura, “Yudhishtira had his face covered at the time of... Continue Reading →

Recollections of distress

Vidura felt very unhappy with the circumstances leading to Pandavas's bad time. But recovering his balance, he led Kunti to his house, with words of wisdom he was known for.   Women’s protest in Kauravas’s camp The news from the women’s camp in the Kauravas’s palace was also one of great sorrow. They had known... Continue Reading →

Draupadi’s parting pangs

Draupadi sought mother-in-law Kunti’s permission to accompany the Pandavas to forest. She informed all the ladies about her readiness to leave and they were very sad about it. She offered salutations to the elders and embraced those equal to her. Some of the ladies could not help shedding tears and embraced her and gave a... Continue Reading →

Bhima’s vow

Bhima’s anger knew no bounds. He openly declared and took a vow to kill Dhrutharashtra’s children to quench the bloody thirst and anger. Duryodhana added fuel to the fire by making highly indecorous and indecent gestures aimed at Pandava’s humiliation. But his awkward demeanor delighted the other members of the “gang of four”, namely Dusshaasana,... Continue Reading →

Draupadi, the target again!

When both the Pandavas and Kauravas sat for the game, Shakuni, sporting a mischievous smile said to Yudhishtira, “Dharmaraja, the King has returned all your wealth which you lost last time. It is quite appropriate to see something which belonged to you being restored to you. Now, we are no longer interested in staking wealth... Continue Reading →

Gandhari’s counsel

It is natural to expect a mother to be more attached to children than a father. Being an embodiment of tolerance, the mother forgets a son’s mistakes or lapses and forgives him. It is often said - and very correctly too - that when a mother goes to a temple or when she offers prayers... Continue Reading →

The gang of four again

The moment the Pandavas left Hastinapur for Indraprastha after seeking permission from Dhrutharashtra, Dusshaasana met his elder brother Duryodhana and said to him in a low tone, “This old man has in a minute lost all the huge wealth we had amassed with very great difficulty. Even the laurels of the game of dice were... Continue Reading →

Dhrutharashtra acts!

“Blessings to you!” said Dhrutharashtra addressing Dharmaraja, with the qualifying appellation of “ajaatashatru” one bereft of enemies, “commanded by me, all of you build a rich and prosperous state and rule it. Old as I am, heed my advice and act accordingly. Yudhishtira! You are fully aware of the subtlety and manifestation of dharma. You... Continue Reading →

Karna’s innuendo

Karna was bent upon indulging in further provocation of the Pandavas. “Among the beautiful women in the world,” he said with his tongue in the cheek, “I have not seen one like Draupadi. When the Pandavas and the sons of Dhrutharashtra were overcome by anger and got excited, it fell to Draupadi’s lot to bring... Continue Reading →

Draupadi’s prayers

“Head of the Bharata clan!” said Draupadi, “If it is true you have decided to grant me a boon, I would ask for the redemption from slavery of this rich Yudhishtira, who is the knower of all dharma.  Let not ignorant boys call my bosom one Prativindhya, the son of a slave. It is never... Continue Reading →

Inauspicious indications

Exactly at that time, the cries of a fox were audible from the place of sacrificial fires (homas) in Dhrutharashtra’s palace. Following this inauspicious sound, donkeys started braying. The birds made weird and awkward sounds in response. Both Vidura and Gandhari were able to understand the shape of things to come from the inauspicious indications.... Continue Reading →

Vidura’s fears

The moment Vidura heard Bhima’s vow, he hastened to address the assembly again as he apprehended there would be total destruction: “Noble ones!” he said, “Ponder over the threat from Bhima to the very survival of the Bharata clan. It is definitely a matter of divine dispensation that this unfortunate happening should manifest as a... Continue Reading →

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