The story of Ashwaththama

Ashwaththama, a great warrior

Ashwaththama is widely known for a misdeed done by him in the Mahabharta, but few of us know that he was a great warrior. He was the son of the guru of Pandavas, and Drona admired his son greatly.

Drona and Ashwaththama
Drona and Ashwaththama

He fought in the epic battle of Mahabharata as the commander of the forces from the camp of Kauravas (the antagonists) against the Pandavas (the protagonists), as did his father, Dronacharya.

As Karna was born with Kavach and Kundal,  Ashwaththama also had a jewel (mani) embedded in his forehead which saved him from demons, Gods, snakes and from worldly botheration of hunger and thirst.

His hate with Pandavas

He developed great hatred towards Pandavas as they resorted to unjust means to neutralise Drona from the battlefield. After Duryodhana was defeated by Bhima, he became quite convinced to kill Pandavas by any means. With the help of Kripacharya, they attacked the Pandava’s camp in night and beheaded them. Later, it was discovered that Draupadi’s five sons, or upapandavas were killed.

Parikshit and Lord Krishna episode

He did not stop here. He did the most heinous thing. He tried to kill the unborn son of Abhimanyu’s in his mother’s womb. Drona loved Ashwaththama greatly, but he had the wisdom not to teach the Brahmastra in totality. So, Ashwaththama knew how to invoke that, but he did not know how to retract this deadly weapon.

 

So, when he invoked this on Abhimanyu’s son, and Shri Krishna had to intervene to save the future king of Hastinapur, known as Parikshit.

Shri Krishna saving Parikshit
Shri Krishna saving Parikshit

After this, Shri Krishna took out the jewel from Ashwaththama’s head and cursed him to be alive. It is believed that he is still alive and suffering from ailments.

Thus a misdeed wiped all of his virtue. So much of qualities but so little achieved.

Rakshabandhan – Krishna and Draupadi story

Draupadi tying rakhi to Lord Krishna

Rakshabandhan or Rakhi, is a popular festival in India which is celebrated on the day of Shravan Poornima. This day, sister tie sacred threads on the wrists of their brothers wishing good health and long life to them. Following are few stories which signifies the power of the holy thread or Rakhi.

Rakhi – Krishna and Draupadi

Draupadi and Lord Krishna shared a strong bondage and though they were not real brother and sister, but their love was never lesser than that. One of the popular stories in our mythology is that of Lord Krishna and Draupadi, the wife Pandavas.

Following incident is mentioned in the Mahabharata.

According to one version on a Sankranti day, Krishna to cut his little finger while handling sugarcane. Sathyabama, his queen immediately sent her help to get a bandage cloth while his other consort, Rukmini rushed to bring some cloth herself.

Draupadi who was nearby, tore off a part of her sari and bandaged his finger. In return for this deed, Krishna promised to protect her in time of distress.

Draupadi tying rakhi to Lord Krishna
Draupadi tying rakhi to Lord Krishna

Another story

There is an another narrative related to this incident which says that while killing Shisupala, Krishna, held the lightning fast Sudarshana on his finger and sent it the king’s way. Within a second, Shishupala was beheaded.

Lord Krishna’s finger started bleeding and Draupadi, an ardent devotee of the Lord and the Pandavas’ wife, rushed to bandage the bleeding finger of her beloved Lord. She tore a small piece from her sari and tied it to the Lord’s hand.

Krishna was touched by this selfless token of affection and pledged to rush to Draupadi’s protection whenever needed. Draupadi used to tie a rakhi to the Lord’s hand every year and Krishna always showered His protection on her.

The word he is said to have uttered is ‘Akshyam’ which was a boon meaning ‘unending’.

And that was how Draupadi’s sari became endless and saved her embarrassment on the day of Cheerharan in Dhritarashtra’s court.

related stories

Shri Krishna did not save Draupadi from cheer haran

Draupadi could have fourteen husbands instead of five

21 facts of Lord Krishna

Why Draupadi had five husbands?

Draupadi cheerharan

Devi Draupadi is an important character in Indian mythology and there are stories related to her which are talked about most. One aspect of her personality which is controversial as well, is her having five husbands.

But as everything in life happens for a reason, this is no exception as well. We will look at some of the reasons on why she had five husbands.

Arjuna and Draupadi in Mahabharat
Arjuna and Draupadi in Mahabharat

Story from Vayu purana and Sage Narada

As per Narada and Vayu Puranas, Draupadi was composite Avatar of Goddesses Shyamala (wife of Dharma), Bharati (Wife of Vayu), Sachi (wife of Indra), Usha (wife of Ashwinis) and hence married their earthly counterparts in the form of the five Pandavas.

Due to an incident happened, Lord Brahma cursed these goddesses to human birth. Devi Parvati thought of the solution wherein they will be born as one woman, Draupadi and hence share the earthly body for a smaller period of time. Draupadi’s resistance against injustice reflects Parvati or her Shakti, Kali inhabiting Draupadi’s mortal flesh at times. At other times, Draupadi was docile and even waited to be rescued (as in case of Jayadratha and Jatasura) showing the qualities of other goddesses like Sachi and Usha. Other times, she showed astuteness in hiding their true identity and asking Vayu putra Bhima to kill the evil Keechaka like Goddess Bharati would.

An avatar of Goddess Shree

Draupadi was also avatar of Goddess Shree or Wealth who was joint wife to five Indras, the five Pandavas. She was to be born several times for imprisoning the Indras.  First time was as Vedavati who cursed Ravana (who is another goddess Avatar Swaha, wife to Agni).

She incarnated as  Maya-(shadow of Sita) especially to take revenge from Ravana while Agni hid the real Sita.  Third one was partial,  as Damyanti (whose husband Nala was equivalent to Dharma, Vayu, Indra just like the Pandavas) and her daughter Nalayani. She married Sage Mudgala. The fifth avatar was Draupadi herself. So we find in Draupadi, a composite avatar of Kali, Parvati, Sachi, Shyamala, Usha, Bharati, Shree, Swaha, the eight goddesses.

Boon from previous birth

When Kunti asked her sons to share draupadi as their wives, Lord Krishna took Draupadi aside and explained to her.  “This awkward situation you find yourself in is of your own making. In your previous birth you had pleased Lord Shiva with your prayers. He granted a boon to you. You said that you wanted a husband and to ensure that your request was heard, you repeated it five times in all. Shiva then said that in your next life you would have five husbands.”

Some sources have a slightly different narration. Draupadi made her request only once but she added a long list of qualities that she wanted in her husband. Shiva said that it would be impossible to find one man with all these qualities. Hence she would have five husbands in her next life. All of them together would posses the qualities she had enumerated.

There is an interesting story which says that Draupadi could have fourteen husbands instead of five.

Lord Krishna then added,” You will spend one year with each husband. Others will be forbidden to enter the chamber in which you and the husband-of-the-year are staying. If one does so, even accidentally, he would be exiled for one year.”

 

कर्ण ने गुप्त रूप से दिया अर्जुन को जीवनदान – When Karna given life to Arjuna

महाभारत के युद्ध में भीष्म पितामाह ने यह शर्त रखी थी की जब तक वह कौरवों के प्रधान सेनापति है तब तक कर्ण कौरवों के पक्ष से युद्ध में हिस्सा नहीं ले सकतेl भीष्म पितामह की इस शर्त के कारण विवश कर्ण अपने पड़ाव में बैठे युद्ध का समाचार सुनते रहते और छटपटाते रहते थेl

जब अर्जुन के प्रहारों से भीष्म पितामह बाणों के शरशय्या पर पड़ गए तब गुरु द्रोण कौरव सेना के प्रधान सेनापति हुए तथा दुर्योधन के कहने पर गुरु द्रोण ने कर्ण को इस युद्ध में हिस्सा लेने की आज्ञा दे दीl अब कर्ण भी युद्ध में शामिल हो चुके थे और महाभारत का यह युद्ध अपनी चरम सीमा पर थाl

भगवान श्री कृष्ण हर समय यह प्रयास करने की कोशिश करते कि युद्ध में कहीं अर्जुन और कर्ण का एक दूसरे से सामना ना हो जाएl एक बार कुरुक्षेत्र में अर्जुन और कर्ण का एक दूसरे से सामना हो ही गया तथा दोनों एक दूसरे पर तीरों की वर्षा  करने लगेl कर्ण अब अर्जुन पर हावी होने लगे थेl कर्ण  ने अर्जुन पर अनेक तेज बाणों से प्रहार करना शुरू कियाl कर्ण का जब एक भयंकर आघात अर्जुन पर आया तो श्री कृष्ण ने अपना रथ नीचे कर दियाl

Arjuna kills Karna
Arjuna kills Karna

कर्ण का वह बाण अर्जुन के मुकुट के ऊपरी हिस्से को काटता हुआ निकला और आश्चर्य की बात तो यह थी की वह बाण वापस कर्ण के तरकस में आ गया तथा क्रोधित होकर कर्ण से तर्क-वितर्क करने लगाl

कर्ण के द्वारा छोड़ा गया वह बाण क्रोधित अवस्था में कर्ण के तरकस में वापस आया था बोला- कर्ण अबकी बार जब तुम अर्जुन पर निशाना साधो तो ध्यान रहे कि निशाना अचूक होना चाहिएl अगर में लक्ष्य पर लग गया तो हर हाल में अर्जुन मृत्यु  को पा जाएगा तथा उसकी रक्षा किसी भी हालत में नहीं हो सकतीl इस बार पूरा प्रयत्न करो तुम्हारी प्रतिज्ञा अवश्य ही पूर्ण होगीl

कर्ण ने जब यह सुना तो उन्हें बड़ा आश्चर्य हुआ तथा उन्होंने उस बाण से उसका परिचय पूछा व बोले मेरा अर्जुन के वध करने का संकल्प लेने के पीछे कई कारण है परन्तु मैं यह जानना चाहता हूँ कि आखिर आप के मन में अर्जुन के वध को लेकर इतनी प्रबल इच्छा क्यों है ?

कर्ण के यह पूछने पर उस बाण में से एक सर्प  प्रकट हुआ, वास्तविकता में उस बाण में एक सर्प का वास थाl  उसने कर्ण को अर्जुन से द्वेष रखने का कारण बताते हुए एक कथा सुनाई l

सर्प बने बाण ने अपना परिचय देते हुए कर्ण से कहा, हे ! वीर मैं कोई साधारण तीर नहीं हूँ, मैं महासर्प अश्वसेन हूँ l अर्जुन से प्रतिशोध  लेने के लिए मेने बहुत लम्बी साधना और प्रतीक्षा कर रखी है इसलिए आज मैं तुम्हारी तरकश में हूँ क्योकि एक तुम ही हो जिसमे अर्जुन से समाना करने का सामर्थ्य हैl

अर्जुन ने एक बार खांडव वन में आगलगा दी थीl आग इतनी प्रचण्ड थी कि उस आग ने वन में सब कुछ जलाकर राख कर दिया थाl उस वन में मैं अपने परिवार के साथ रहता था तथा उस प्रचण्ड अग्नि ने मेरे पूरे परिवार को जला दिया व मैं उनकी रक्षा नहीं कर पायाl

इसके प्रतिशोध के लिए मेने बहुत लम्बी प्रतीक्षा की है l तुम सिर्फ ऐसा करो कि मुझे अर्जुन के शरीर तक पहुंचा दो इसके आगे का शेष कार्य मेरा घातक विष कर देगाl

 उस ने सर्प से कहा हे ! मित्र मैं आपकी भावनाओ का सम्मान करता हूँ परन्तु मैं यह युद्ध अन्य साधन के साथ नहीं बल्कि अपने पुरुषार्थ व नैतिकता के रास्ते पर चलकर जितना चाहता हूँ l

मैं दुर्योधन के पक्ष से युद्ध में खड़ा हूँ किन्तु इसका यह अभिप्राय न निकाले कि मैं सदैव अनीति का साथ दूंगा, यदि नीति के रास्ते पर चलते हुए अर्जुन मेरा वध  भी कर दे तो मैं हँसते हँसते मृत्यु को गले लगा लूंगा परन्तु यदि अनीति के राह पर चलते हुए मैं अर्जुन का वध करू तो यह मुझे बिलकुल भी स्वीकार नहीं  हैl

अश्वसेन ने बोला कि हे ! वीर तुम में एक सच्चे योद्धा की विशेषता है अतः मेरी नजर में तुम अभी से विजय हो चुके होl यदि तुम ने अपने जिंदगी में कोई अनीति का कार्य किया भी तो वह तुम्हारी असंगति का कारण थाl यदि आप इस युद्ध में पराजित भी होते हो तो भी आपकी कीर्ति  बनी रहेगीl

Draupadi could have fourteen husbands instead of five

Draupadi cheerharan

Draupadi was an ambitious lady in her previous birth. This led to a strange situation. Please read through the article for details.

Some facts about Draupadi and story of her having five husbands

Draupadi, the wife of five pandavas,  had an eventful life. She was born when Drupad performed yagya to take revenge from Drona.  She was born alongwith Dhrishtdyumna, who fought the war of Mahabharata with pandavas.

Draupadi’s penance in last life

She became the wife of all Pandavas not by an accident, but by design. Shri Krishna explained to her that she prayed to Shiva to grant her a husband with fourteen desired qualities.  Shiva, pleased with her devotion, tells her that it is very difficult to get a husband with all fourteen qualities that she desired. But she sticks to her ground and asks for the same. Then Lord Shiva grants her wish saying that she would get the same in her next birth with fourteen husbands. She asked for these qualities in her previous birth. She was Nalayani – daughther of Nala and Damayanti.

Arjuna and Draupadi in Mahabharat
Arjuna and Draupadi in Mahabharat

She queried Lord Shiva was this a boon or curse? Shiva promised that she would regain her virginity each morning when she took bath, this was the Lord Shiva’s boon to her. Thus, she had the unique quality of remain virgin throughout her life because of the boon from Shiva.

The fourteen qualities which she wanted were available in five pandavas.The just Yudhisthira for his wisdom of Dharma; The powerful Bhima for his strength that exceeded that of a thousand elephants combined; The valiant Arjuna for his courage and knowledge of the battlefield; the exceedingly handsome Nakula and Sahadeva, for their love.

Akshayapatra

She also had a wooden bowl, which will always be filled with food. It was presented Draupadi when thepandavas were exiled. This bowl helped the Pandavas to survive during their exile in inhospitable forests.  It is said that Dhanyalakshmi presented Draupadi this bowl.

Draupadi refused participation of Karna in swayamvar. She refused to be the wife of a suta-putra (son of a charioteer). Though Karna could also have won the competition of pierecing the fish’s eye.

The seeds of Mahabharata war were sown by her. It is said that Draupadi said about Duryodhana that blind’s son are also blind. This happened when Duryodhan slipped in the fabulous palace of Indraprastha.

Avatar or incarnation of Goddesses

According to Narada Purana and Vayu Purana, Draupadi is the composite Avatar of Goddesses Shyamala (wife of Dharma), Bharati (Wife of Vayu), Shachi (wife of Indra), Usha (wife of Ashwins), and Parvati (wife of Shiva), and hence married their earthly counterparts in the form of the five Pandavas.

In earlier lives, she did assume important avatars. The first time was as Vedavati who cursed Ravana (who is another goddess Avatar Swaha, wife to Agni). She then came in place of Sita’s avatar, to be the cause of Ravana’s death, while Agni hid the real Sita. Her third incarnation was partial: either Damayanti (whose husband, Nala, was equivalent to Dharma, Vayu, and Indra, just like the Pandavas) or her daughter Nalayani. She married Sage Mudgala. The fifth avatar was Draupadi herself. So, we find in Draupadi, a composite avatar of Kali, Parvati, Shachi, Shyamala, Usha, Bharati, Shree, and Swaha, the eight goddesses.

She is one of the Panchkanya’s, alongwith Kunti.

21 facts of Lord Krishna

 

Draupadi wanted someone else as her husband

Draupadi wished someone else as her husband apart from Pandavas

Though this is not a verified fact, but Draupadi had a wish to have someone as her husband outside her marriage with Pandavas.

Draupadi cheerharan
Draupadi

The Jambul episode

This secret of Draupadi, may be considered to be an important aspect of human thinking and also highlights that no one is immune to wandering thoughts. This is also known as the “Jambul episode (Jambhul Akhyan)”.

This incident is Draupadi’s hidden love towards Karna.

Drupadi and Pandavas
Drupadi and Pandavas

Draupadi plucks a ripe fruit and warned by Lord Krishna

According to a legend from Mahabharata, during the last year of the exile of the Pandavas, Draupadi saw a ripe jambul (rose apple), hanging from a tree. She wanted to eat and hence plucked it. When Lord Krishna saw this, he stopped her from eating it. He told her that the Jambul fruit was supposed to be the fruit with which sage Amitra was supposed to break his twelve-year fast. Not finding the fruit at its place, the Pandavas could earn the wrath of the sage, resulting in more trouble.

A solution was proposed

Lord Krishna gave a solution to this  problem. In order for that to happen, each one of Pandavas must speak only the truth. Saying thus, he took them to the tree. He placed the fruit under the tree and told that each one of them should reveal all secrets about them without hiding anything and without any deceit. Then the fruit will go and cling to the tree on its own accord. One by one, the Pandavas and Draupadi reveal their truths, with the fruit moving up each time

Draupadi confesses her secret wish

At last, Draupadi professes her love for the Pandavas, and reveals her own faults in their situation. However, the fruit doesn’t move, and Krishna says that she is hiding something. With great trepidation, Draupadi looked into the eyes of her husbands and laments that she wished that she had married Karna, saying that had she done so, she wouldn’t have suffered such misery. This was a shock to all the husbands, but none said anything.The fruit went back on the branch of the tree and all was well. The Pandavas got the message that in spite of five brave husbands, they had failed their wife when she needed them the most.

 

Draupadi could have fourteen husbands instead of five

 

Stories on Arjuna