Sunday, November 2, 2008

PDE Mahabharata: Jayadratha and Draupadi

Reading Guide. Life in exile is dangerous enough for kshatriyas, but of course it is far worse for a woman, especially a woman unguarded, as you saw in the Ramayana. Like Sita, Draupadi faces terrible danger in the forest.

Source. Indian Myth and Legend by Donald A. Mackenzie (1913). [200 words]

Karna and Indra | 49. Jayadratha and Draupadi | Riddles

It chanced that one day after this that Jayadratha, Rajah of Sindhu, passed through the wood when the Pandavas had gone a-hunting. He beheld Draupadi with eyes of love, and, despite her warnings, carried her away in his chariot.

When the Pandavas returned and were told by a bondmaiden what had taken place, they set out in pursuit of the Rajah of Sindhu, who left his chariot when they drew nigh, and concealed himself in a thicket.

Bhima then said unto Yudhishthira, "Return now with Draupadi and our brethren. Although the rajah should seek refuge in the underworld, he will not escape my vengeance."

Said Yudhishthira, "Remember, O Bhima, that although Jayadratha hath committed a grievous sin, he is our kinsman, for he hath married the sister of Duryodhana."

Draupadi said, "He is worthy of death, for he is the worst of kings and the vilest of men. Have not the sages said that he who carries off the wife of another in times of peace must certainly be put to death?"

When Bhima found Jayadratha, he cast him down and cut off his hair except five locks; then the strong warrior promised to spare the rajah's life if he would do homage to Yudhishthira and declare himself his slave.

So the Rajah of Sindhu had to prostrate himself before Yudhishthira as a humble menial. Thereafter he departed in his shame and went unto his own country.

Karna and Indra | Jayadratha and Draupadi | Riddles

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