Episode # 200 – Rules & Regulations of the “Svayamvara” – Drshtradhyumna lists out!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed a huge gathering assembling at the Drupada Desha, wherein the Svayamvara event is about to take place with a lot of grandeur. Amongst the gathering are the five Paandava brothers and Bhagawan Krishna too. We’ve witnessed that this is the first time that Bhagawan Krishna comes into the story here, and He is very eager to see His cousin brothers (The Paandavas). We’ve already witnessed earlier that the Paandavas were cousins to Bhagawan Krishna, wherien Vasudeva (Bhagawan Krishna’s father) was the own brother of Kunthi Devi. It has been a long time since Bhagawan Krishna had met his cousin brothers and He was very eager to see them. As all of them got seated, Bhagawan Krishna shows Balarama that the five brothers are seated at one corner of the courtroom with a disguised form. Initially Balarama wasn’t able to identify the Paandavas, but later on with Bhagawan Krishna’s repeated description, he was able to do so. 

As Balarama identified the Paandavas, he was very eager to go and talk to them now itself! He was so eager to understand why they were in such a disguised form and what happened to them. As Balarama stood up, Bhagawan Krishna immediately stopped him and made him sit. Bhagawan Krishna mocks at Balarama thus, “Oh Balarama! Why are you getting so excited now? This is why I do not disclose many things to you! 🙂 You find it very hard to control your emotions! Are we here to conduct talks? We’re here just to watch the proceedings that are taking place. Oh Balarama! Please remember one thing always in life – You should be a mute spectator to whatever happens in this world! You should see everything with a sense of detachment. The moment you see something exciting in front of you, you should never react immediately. You should have the patience and wait for the right time and place to react!” 

These words of Bhagawan Krishna are of extreme importance. Even now He’s doing the same thing with all of us! He is inside all our hearts and watching all our actions and deeds like a mute spectator. He never reacts or says anything to us – whether we’re doing the right actions or not. He only keeps watching all whatever is happening and “noting down” everything carefully. However, when the right time comes, He would immediately swing into action. We shouldn’t immediately mistake Bhagawan to be inactive when we ardently pray for His divine intervention. Where can we see this as an example? We can witness this in the life of the same Draupati whom we are talking about now. When Duryodhana and Ducchaasana tried to strip her down in the public courtroom during the gambling game, Draupati was completely helpless, isn’t it? Her five husbands had to desert her and because they had lost the game to Duryodhana, they couldn’t open their mouths and defend for her! Until that point, Bhagawan Krishna was a mute spectator to whatever is happening! However, when Draupati called out for Bhagawan Krishna’s help, He immediately appeared in front of her and kept on extending her saree, isn’t it? 

What do we understand from this episode? The important message here is that, if we pray ardently for Bhagawan’s divine intervention, He would definitely answer our prayers. We should have this confidence within us while we pray towards Bhagawan. He might not appear in the physical form in front of us. But His divine intervention would manifest in many subtle forms that we might not be able to understand or comprehend with the small and limited minds and intellects that we have. However, His divine intervention would always be there if we’re steadfast in our “Bhakti” towards Bhagawan. This is something that all of us should understand, not only from this section, but from the entire Mahabharata text. Of course, we’re going to witness this point in greater detail when we come to the “Parva” that talks about the gambling game in detail. But for now, I’ve just laid a prelude to that important discussion that is coming up shortly. 

Coming back to the context thus, Bhagawan Krishna instructs Balarama to remain a mute spectator and to watch the next set of events that are going to unfold. Now, Drishtadhyumna starts his accord to describe the rules and regulations of the “Svayamvara” event. He explains thus, “Oh kings! Here is a bow, which is divine in nature, and there are a few arrows that are kept by the side. Each king should come forward according to his turn and first lift the bow in his hands. Subsequently the arrow should be locked inside this bow. This itself would be a great achievement! However, this is not the end of it all! If you look at the top, near the roof, there is a wheel inside which a doll is circling up and down, as the wheel rotates. Adjacent to the doll, there is a small fish. On the floor, you see that there is a small pool of water. Now, the winner of the competition would be the person who looks into the water where the shade of the fish appears, aims the bow and arrow towards the roof, and hit the eye of that fish that is circulating constantly inside the wheel. You should not look upwards towards the fish and hit it. You should look into the water, locate the shade of the fish wherever it falls, aim into that shade and hit it upwards! If a person does this, he would be declared the winner and Draupati would become his wife from thereon!” 

This is an extremely tough competition isn’t it? So for today, let us understand the rules of the game very clearly and let us wait for the next episode to witness who was successful in this competition and how! Stay tuned for the interesting accord! 🙂 


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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