How miserable was it for Draupadi to be the common wife of the five Pandavas?
Updated: Jan 3, 2022
This blog is all about how much Draupadi was emotionally traumatized while accepting five men as her husband or what a terrible storm arose within her. It is such a popular context that everyone is aware of, but no one has ever tried to get below the surface level. So let’s go deep and see what lies beneath.
Being the common wife of five men was not at all as miserable for Draupadi as various writers and media have showed or explained to the common men for ages. Even that did not seem to be a significant matter of thought or reaction to Draupadi at that time. It may sound weird, but it's true. Draupadi was absolutely relaxed at that time. Confused? Let me explain it clearly.
Firstly, Draupadi was not an ordinary woman like the women around us. She was ayonija which means someone who does not take birth from a human womb; and agnisamudbhuta which means someone who appears from the fire. Dhrishtadyumna and Draupadi were born from the fire of a sacrifice made for the purpose of killing Drona (or you can say, from the fire of vengeance burning in the mind of Drupad). The purpose was very straight. Dhrishtadyumna was to kill Drona, and Draupadi was to compose the background of that killing. The cause, purpose, goal and determination of their birth were just to avenge Drupad's humiliation by killing Drona. Apart from these, nothing really mattered in their lives. That is why the swayamvara conducted for Draupadi's marriage was not really a conventional swayamvara; rather it was a conditional game. Draupadi had no objection to that either. That deep political game was so skillfully composed by Drupad that there was no room for emotion at all. It’s known to all that even a tiny emotion can lead a soldier astray. That is why Veda Vyasa did not utter a single word in that chapter of the Mahabharata about Draupadi's 'mental turmoil'. However, it’s very unfortunate that the media has always shown an intention to go even beyond Veda Vyasa! And the reason why the media always misled people by repeatedly showing the close ups of ‘sad’ Draupadi’s teary eyes and trembling lips is, I hope, needless to explain. The misery of women, the injustice done to women in a patriarchal society, the feminine torment of having to endure everything - these things are always loved by the audience, regardless of gender, on screen. That is why, not only Draupadi but, for the sake of increasing popularity, they also serve a strong, brave and majestic character like Sita in the form of an extremely wretched woman! Eventually, the popularity of such presentations always seems to be high. So, the depiction of the 'sad' Draupadi, with whom almost all of us are a little familiar, is in fact erroneous. Draupadi's vision was focused on nothing but her goal. Everything else was minor to her. Hence, from that aspect, being the wife of five Pandavas multiplied the chances of achieving her goal in real. The important role played by Bhima and Yudhisthira on behalf of the Pandavas during the slaying of Drona by Dhrishtadyumna in the battle of Kurukshetra is a clear and undeniable proof of this.
Secondly, it’s well-known that there are many perspectives on the Mahabharata already existing in various languages across the world. Different writers have chosen different characters of the Mahabharata to their liking and have adapted them according to their own tastes and possibilities. The greatness of this largest and most multi-layered story in the world is that a full-length novel can be written on any one of its one million characters, if not less! The same is possible in the case of Draupadi too. Rather in the case of Draupadi, it seems a little easier. But do those of us, who are the offspring of a woman in the nineteenth, twentieth, or twenty-first century, really have the ability to understand the mental state of an ayonija and hutasanasamudbhuta agnikanya (the human manifestation of the fire of revenge) of about five and a half thousand years ago? The person who takes birth in such an extraordinary way must have an extraordinary structure too! Isn’t it? So, if we do not have that power, and yet rely on our limited experience and shaky life philosophy to make some comments about the feelings of that outstanding entity, can that comment ever justify that strange character? Therefore, in the name of describing Draupadi's mental condition, the authors or so-called researchers have inevitably expressed nothing but their own mental conditions only. There are such uncountable interpretations of the Vyasa’s Mahabharata to date across the world. But only if someone consciously keeps himself/herself apart from unconditionally following the footsteps of various interpreters who have so far shown the Mahabharata to the people from their personal point of view, he/she can access the magnificent horizon of it. So, instead of someone’s personal perspective, a universal retelling of the original Mahabharata is always recommended. Because it is time for people to get acquainted with the actual creation of the creator. It is time to unravel the basic premise of all misguiding interpretations all around.