In the previous episode, we had witnessed the Paandava brothers finally making a move on, along with Sage Dhoumya towards the Paanchaala Desha. Just like how Sage Vishwamitra led Bhagawan Rama and Lakshmana to Mithilapuri for the “Sita-Kalyanam” event, Sage Dhoumya led the Paandava brothers for the “Paanchaali-Kalyanam” event. As they proceed towards King Drupada’s palace, there is a huge crowd of people walking along with them. The “Svayamvara” and the “Yagnya” that King Drupada was supposed to perform were extremely significant and people were in awe of them. Moreover, since King Drupada is known for his extremely warm hospitality towards the Brahmana Rishis, many great sages made their way to participate in the “Yagnya” that he was about to perform. Also since Paanchaali (Draupati) wasn’t just an ordinary girl, many kings were interested in attaining her and hence, many prominent kings from all across the Bhaarata Desha made their way to the Drupada Desha.
From this point onwards, we’re entering into the “Svayamvara Parva”. Till now we’ve witnessed the “Chaitra-Rasa Parva” in a great detail. Of course, I wanted to keep the “Chaitra-Rasa Parva” short, but I ended up explaining the Vishwamitra-Vasishtaachaarya relationship in detail. Nevertheless, we shall now take a step into the “Svayamvara Parva”. As we commence, we witness that the Paandava brothers have reached the Drupada Desha and to conceal their identity, they go and stay with a very ordinary person who resides in one corner of the kingdom. It should be remembered that the Paandavas are still disguising their real identity and now are appearing as Brahmana Rishis with long beards, long hair, etc. and clad with robes that are meant for “Sanyasins”. With this concealed identity, the Paandavas’ routine everyday was to go and request for some “Dakshina” from all the people in the neighborhood area and with whatever they obtain, they would cook a meal out of it and have it for the day.
As days were progressing this way, after almost a week of their arrival in the Drupada Desha, King Drupada called for an important meeting in his courtroom. A huge bow was brought in and placed at the center of the courtroom. This bow was not an ordinary one. It was extremely powerful and heavy and it wasn’t easy for a single person to lift it. As the bow was transported into the courtroom and placed at the center in a cart that was pulled by five to six people together, King Drupada stood up and proclaimed thus, “Oh ministers and all the others assembled here! Thank you for your attendance! My son, Drshtadhyumna would further take over from me to explain the significance of this bow that all of you are seeing in front of you!” This meeting was none other than the commencement of the “Svayamvara” event of Draupati. For this event, as we’ve witnessed earlier, a huge number of kings have assembled in the courtroom of King Drupada, eagerly awaiting their turn to show their capabilities and in turn to marry Draupati.
As all of them are in assemblance, the job given to Drshtadhyumna was to explain the “Rules and regulations” for the “Svayamvara” event. The entire audience was in deep silence to listen carefully to what Drshtadhyumna was about to say. Amongst the audience, we have two important people who are sitting – Bhagawan Krishna and His brother, Balarama! This is the first point wherein Bhagawan Krishna comes into the Mahabharata text. Till now, we’ve witnessed around 200 episodes, and not even in a single episode we had spoken about Bhagawan Krishna, isn’t it? From now onwards, Bhagawan Krishna would have a key role to play in each and every event that is going to follow! We shall witness how is that going to happen. But for now, Bhagawan Krishna and Balarama have also come to the Drupada Desha to be part of the “Svayamvara” event.
In fact, Bhagawan Krishna wasn’t there to participate in the event. He was so eager to witness the important scene wherein the Paandava brothers would break all their shackles to announce to the world that they are a force to reckon with. Bhagawan Krishna wanted to be a part of this important scene and to provide His divine “Anugraha” to the Paandavas and also to Draupati, who was going to marry them. As mentioned earlier, from now onwards, we would witness how Bhagawan Krishna led the Paandavas towards the path of “Dharma”. Till now the Paandavas were being guided by various sages at various points, including Sage Veda-Vyaasa. But from now on, Bhagawan Krishna is directly going to take the mantle and guide the Paandavas all along. We would be able to witness that when the Paandavas proceed towards Indraprastha, Bhagawan Krishna would be present even for small and insignificant occasions and events that take place there! This is the level of love and affection that Bhagawan Krishna had for the Paandavas, especially for Arjuna, as we’ve earlier witnessed that the Arjuna-Bhagawan Krishna combine is none other than the “Nara-Narayana” combine of the sacred Badrinaatha Kshetra. Hence, Bhagawan Krishna is from now going to be the “right hand” and an able guide for Arjuna and Co.
Moving on thus, as all these events conspire and as Drshtadhyumna was about to commence his talk, the Paandavas arrive at the arena! They are still in the disguised form and are occupying the seats in one corner of the courtroom, without the knowledge of anyone around! However, Bhagawan Krishna knew that His purpose of visit was going to be satisfied now, and He was extremely happy with the arrival of the Paandava brothers! As Bhagawan Krishna looked around as to who all were assembled there, His divine eyes correctly fell on the Paandava brothers one after the other! Thus, let us understand up to this point for today, and let us wait eagerly till the next episode to witness Bhagawan Krishna’s reaction upon seeing them! Stay tuned! 🙂