A wife who is dutiful but not submissive…married to five yet considered as a chaste. Let’s unfold the relationship of Draupadi with the Pandavas.

Draupadi is a common wife of Pandava, the valiant heroes of Kurukshetra war. Draupadi is a dutiful wife but certainly not a submissive. She possesses all the austerities of a traditional wife with her integrity and fidelity. Draupadi judges each of Pandava acutely and builds up a unique kind of relationship with each one; this makes her character exceptional.

Draupadi and Yudhishthira:

Yudhishthira, the eldest Pandava, is valorized for being a truthful person and an upholder of rules. Draupadi respects him for his rare qualities as a king, who establishes a reign of Dharma. As a wife of Yudhishthira, Draupadi becomes a queen of Indraprastha and also a queen of Kuru throne after Great War. She personifies a power of reign ruled by Yudhishthira. In their public life, as rulers of a kingdom Yudhishthira and Draupadi together represent compatible partners to rule a kingdom efficiently. However, she is well aware that she lands up into taking a challenge of getting married with five due to Yudhishthira’s unweathering lust for her. Yudhishthira is also responsible for Draupadi’s sufferings to great extent because he is the one who gambles her away. During the last journey of Pandava and Draupadi towards the hilltop of Himalaya, it is Yudhishthira who explains the cause of fall of Draupadi as being partial among five brothers. Perhaps Draupadi suffers a lot being a wife of Yudhishthira. In their personal life, Yudhishthira and Draupadi represent a typical couple where a husband does not value much the feelings of a wife. There is hatred and frustration in personal relationship but still they continue to show a great amount of respect for each other in their public life.

In spite of hatred and frustration in relationship with Yudhishthira, Draupadi admires him for his ability to rule a kingdom generously. She believes that he deserves to be a king and therefore she makes her best possible efforts that Yudhishthira gets his inheritance. This shows the magnanimity of Draupadi to judge other without personal prejudice. Draupadi has all the reasons to hate, curse and blame her husband for all the suffering in her life; but she still chooses to respect her husband for his positive traits and brings out best out of him. This shows that Draupadi is kind of a person who works around to handle negative emotions in her relationship with husband and builds relationship with her husband on the foundation of profound respect.

Draupadi and Bheema:

Bheema is the most powerful fence to Draupadi’s eternal beauty. Bheema is the one on whom Draupadi can certainly count on. A relationship between Draupadi and Bheema is based on trust and profound love for each other. Bheema is true lover of Draupadi who does not expect anything in return. He

understands and accepts Draupadi’s division among five and appreciates a fact that she tries to give maximum justification to each of her husbands. Draupadi also values Bheema for this magnanimity of his mind.

Draupadi counts on Bheema for all support that a wife requires from a husband. Bheema as a husband has given everything to Draupadi that a wife longs for in her life. During the episode of a game of dice, Bheema is the only one to publicly show his disapproval to Draupadi’s humiliation. He pledges to smash a thigh of Duryodhana who asks Draupadi to sit on it. This behavior shows that Bheema values dignity of his wife and does not tolerate any kind of misbehavior with her. He is the actually one who takes revenge for Draupadi’s insult by killing hundred Kaurava single-handedly in Great War, smashing a thigh of Duryodhana who has misbehaved with Draupadi and washing hairs of Draupadi with a blood of Dushassana who has dragged Draupadi in the royal court by pulling her hairs. On the battle field of Kurukshetra Bheema drinks blood of Dushassana who has tried to disrobe Draupadi at the time of game of dice. This act of extreme brutality is his expression of extreme love for Draupadi.

Draupadi and Arjun:

Arjun is the worthy suitor of Draupadi who wins her by conquering the toughest archery contest. With their extraordinary characteristics, Draupadi and Arjun can be considered as the most compatible couple of their time. Although Arjun is possessor of rare qualities on the earth, he lacks pro-activeness and decision making capacity in his character. As a true life partner of Arjun, Draupadi fills up deficiencies of Arjun’s character with her incomparable pro-activeness and decision making ability. A character of Arjun is filled with self-doubt. Draupadi is the one who resolves a self-doubt of Arjun and inspires him to become a confident warrior.

Arjun, the ‘Hero’ of the battlefield, is considered as the most virile man of his times. However, he is also the one, who spends a year of incognito as an “effeminate” dance instructor. The most virile man of his times puts into shoes of a woman and gets a chance to live a life from a feminine perspective. Draupadi is an epitome of eternal femininity. However, Draupadi does not restrict her life with a gender biased approach. This most beautiful woman of her times is also the one who possesses the rare virile characteristics. With her virile characteristics, she is considered as female ‘Hero’ of Mahabharata. Draupadi and Arjun together set an example of expanding the potential of a human life without gender discrimination.

The most distinguished part of relationship between Draupadi and Arjun is that this linear relationship becomes triangular with the presence of Krishna in their life. Krishna is friend, philosopher and guide of this couple. With the guidance of Krishna, the journey of life of Draupadi and Arjun becomes the journey from an imperfect human character to a perfect extraordinary character. This brings new meaning to their relationship because the journey of their life is towards the same destination.

Draupadi and Nakul- Sahadeva:

A common marriage to Draupadi brings a sense of belongingness amongst Pandava — especially for Nakul and Sahadeva. The existence of Draupadi brings out meaning to lives of Nakul-Sahadeva who are otherwise living as a shadow of their elders. More than a wife, she tries to become a mother of Nakul-Sahadeva and showers her affection on them. Draupadi is bolder in character than these twin siblings. However, she behaves carefully in order to not to give a sense of submissiveness to them. Draupadi has wielded power around their life. Nakul’s character represents body of a human and Sahadeva’s character represents intellect of a human whilst Draupadi’s character represents mind of a human. A body of a human requires mind to live a meaningful life and a human intellect also requires mind to make creations out of life. Draupadi becomes a true spirit in the life of Nakul-Sahadeva.

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