Episode # 201 – The “Svayamvara” begins – A tough challenge for kings to overcome!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Drishtadhyumna read out the important rules and regulations of the “Svayamvara” event as all the kings and the major Brahmana Rishis along with Bhagawan Krishna and Balarama were looking on. As Drishtradhyumna listed out thus, the important thing that has to be achieved was to lift the heavy bow that was kept in the center of the courtroom, lock the arrow into it, aim at a revolving fish inside a small wheel along with a doll from beneath a water table and hit the eye of the fish without looking at it! In other words, the person should focus his concentration by only looking at the shadow of the fish that falls on the water surface, and with that, he should know precisely at what height the fish is located. With that, he has to look down at the water surface and hit the fish’s eye. The person who accomplishes this challenge would be eligible to marry Draupati. This was a unique challenge and the kings assembled there were ready for it. 

As the challenge was read out loud and clear thus, all the kings were extremely happy. This is an opportunity for them to prove their might, without going for a war with any other king. Also, the prize of winning this isn’t an ordinary one either! Draupati wasn’t a normal woman. She was extremely beautiful and did not have a biological birth. She was someone who emerged out of a “Yaaga” that King Drupada performed. All of them knew of it and were very eager to take part in the competition. As this happens, readers should also note one important point here – Among all the kings who had assembled there, Duryodhana was also sitting on one corner, all set to try his hand on the bow and arrow. It should be noted here that Duryodhana doesn’t know that the Paandavas are sitting right opposite to them, as they are in a disguised form. However, the Paandavas realized Duryodhana’s presence along with his brother Ducchaasana. Along with the kings, even the Devas, Apsaras, Gandharvas, etc. who are all classified as “Celestial beings” were also interested to be spectators of this grand event, and they too assembled there in an “invisible” manner. We’ve already witnessed that Bhagawan Krishna was also amongst the gathering to witness what was going to happen! 

Thus, the Svayamvara event commences with all its grandeur. The first king comes forward with a lot of self-pride more than self-confidence. He tries to lift the bow, but fails miserably due to its heaviness and divinity! As he tries again and again, and as he exposes his inability to even lift the bow, the entire courtroom laughs at him, and the king is completely embarrassed! He has no other option but to walk back to his seat! Subsequently the next king comes and tries his hand to lift the bow. This king was able to lift the bow successfully! First step completed! But when he tries to lock the arrow into the bow, the rope with which the arrow has to lock is too long to be done, and because he’s unable to adjust the length of the rope to lock the arrow, the rope comes and hits him on his face! Unable to bare the force with which the rope comes and hits, the king hurts himself on his face with bloodstains all around! As this happens, again the entire courtroom roars with laughter over this second king’s failure to achieve the objective! As king after king comes forward, they meet with the same result! Sishupaala tries his hand on the bow as well. Sishupaala, as we know, is Bhagawan Krishna’s cousin brother, just like how the Paandavas were. Sishupaala came up with a lot of pride and tried to lift the bow. He succeeded in doing that, but similar to the fate of the second king that we had witnessed, the rope of the bow hit Sishupaala on his face, only to be pushed on to the ground! Again, the entire courtroom was up in laughter and rapture and Sishupaala was totally embarrassed. Moreover, Sishupaala knew that Bhagawan Krishna was around and this embarrassed him more! We should remember here that right from day one of his birth, Sishupaala had a lot of enmity with Bhagawan Krishna, although both were brothers. Both of them did not go well with each other for some reason. Now when Sishupaala failed in this attempt, it was like readily served bread and butter for Bhagawan Krishna, who also laughed at him along with the others! 

As the challenge was extremely tough, king after king failed in their attempt. This continued for a while and for today, let us understand up to this point! We shall witness in the next episode, something unique that happened at the courtroom! What was that? 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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