Episode # 186 – Why did Draupati have five husbands? Sage Vyaasa explains the background!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important accord wherein Chitra-Rasa gives a key advice to the Paandavas that when they proceed to the Paanchaala Desha, they should not go all alone by themself. They should take a Brahmana Rishi along with them as they go. Prior to this, we had also witnessed Arjuna exhibiting his prowess with the powerful “Aagneya-Astra” against Chitra-Rasa and winning over him quite easily. Thus, as per the advice of Chitra-Rasa, the Paandavas go in search of Sage Dhoumya, pay all their respects to the great sage, and with his acceptance, the Paandavas make their way to the Paanchaala Desha. As they proceed towards the Paanchaala Desha, the Paandavas once again come across Sage Veda Vyaasa. We’re witnessing umpteen number of times wherein Sage Vyaasa is meeting the Paandavas. It should be understood here that since Sage Vyaasa himself is an incarnation of Bhagawan Vishnu, Bhagawan Himself is protecting the Paandavas and guiding them from time to time. Earlier too, when the Paandavas were entering into the “Eka-Chakra-Nagara”, Sage Vyaasa met the Paandavas and blessed them. Now when they’re proceeding towards the “Paanchaala Desha” along with Sage Dhoumya, Sage Vyaasa meets them and explains the significance of the place and the people there. 

Thus, Sage Vyaasa is going to explain an interesting accord as to why Draupati has to marry five people at the same time. Normally we see that a woman can marry only one man in her life at a time, isn’t it? However, why is Draupati going to marry all the five Paandava brothers together? There is a “Deiva-Sankalpa” (Divine Will) behind this entire happening, which Sage Vyaasa is going to explain to the Paandavas in advance! Sage Vyaasa explains the background story of Draupati thus: There was once a great Sage who had a daughter. This daughter was wishing to get married to an extremely good person and to attain a righteous person as her husband. With this intention, this girl started performing an intense penance towards Bhagawan Shiva. This penance went on for days and months together, and towards the end of it, Bhagawan Shiva was extremely impressed with this little girl’s perseverance and strong will power to continue the penance for such a long time. He appears in front of the little girl and asks her for the reason that she had called upon Him. 

As we know, Bhagawan Shiva is someone who grants any boon to anybody who willingly and lovingly approaches Him. Bhagawan Shiva is a God full of compassion and mercy towards His devotees. As Bhagawan Shiva asks the little girl to request Him for a boon. For this, the little girl replies to Bhagawan Shiva thus, “Oh Bhagawan! I pray to you to gift me with a husband who is a handsome person! My husband should be an epitome of youth! My husband should be a person who has a strong valor! My husband should be a well-learned scholar. He should have all the education under his possession. He should be wealthy!” 

This is a good request from the little girl. Normally in today’s world, we too would want all this from a person whom we’re going to marry, isn’t it? We would want all the above mentioned characteristics imbibed in a single person. However, by mistake, the little girl asked this a bit differently to Bhagawan Shiva. She framed her sentence in such a way that she wanted a certain set of characteristics in one person, certain set of characteristics in another person, etc. Thus, she ended up asking the same type of question five different times! In other words, she wanted one set of characteristics in the first person, second set of characteristics in the second person, and so on, until the fifth person. Simply put, instead of asking for one husband with all characteristics, this little girl ended up asking for five husbands with five different sets of characteristics! The girl asks thus to Bhagawan Shiva: 

“Atha eshwaram uvaachedam aatmanasvaa vachohitham!

Pathim sarvaguno petham icchhaameethi punah punaha!!”

Here we can witness that this little girl asks Bhagawan Shiva for the same wish again and again (“Punah punaha”) As the little girl asks thus, Bhagawan Shiva replies, “Oh my child! You’ve asked for a wish five times with five different sets of characteristics! Thus, you would be blessed with five different husbands who would be embodiments of all these characteristics that you had asked for!” As the little girl hears this from Bhagawan Shiva, she was stunned beyond words! She had wished for one husband, but she had ended up asking for five husbands! She immediately requests Bhagawan Shiva thus, “Oh Bhagawan Shiva! This is not my wish! I only wished to ask you for one husband with all these characteristics. However, I had messed up with my wordings in asking you the same. I do not want five husbands at the same time!” However, Hhagawan Shiva replies her thus, “Oh little girl! I do not know the intention behind which you had asked the boon. All I know is what you had asked me! You had asked me for five husbands with five different sets of characteristics! It is my duty to honor your words!” 

Thus we can witness here that when we ask for boons to Bhagawan, we should ask correctly! We should not mess up with our words and end up conveying something else! Thus, communication assumes extreme importance here! So for today, let us understand up to this point on how Draupati ended up attaining five husbands instead of one! We shall continue this important discussion further in the next episode as well! Stay tuned! 🙂 


Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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