Episode # 332 – Draupati openly questions the courtroom on “Dharma” – Bhismhachaarya “washes off” his hands!!!

We’re at a very important juncture wherein things are going disastrous at Hastinapura! Draupati has been won over by Duryodhana and Yudishtra now has lost complete control of everything that he had in his possession, including himself, his four brothers and his wife as well! Now he has nothing else to stake and play the game, and the gambling game comes to a close with this. However, Duryodhana hasn’t finished his rant and tyranny over Yudishtra and Co. He wants to humiliate them more. With this wicked intention, he sends Praathikaami (his charioteer) to bring Draupati to the courtroom and also wants to officially declare in front of everyone that she has become his “Daasi” (Servant). As Praathikaami meets Draupati in her “Antahpura”, she asks a few legitimate questions and sends him back. This happens twice and with this, Duryodhana becomes extremely angry! He shouts on top of his voice to Praathikaami thus, ,”Oh Praathikaami! Now I’ve had enough with her! Who is she to keep asking questions by sitting in the “Antahpura” without showing her appearance? What right does she have now to even sit in my “Antahpura”? I shall show her the place where she has to reside from now onwards! Oh Praathikaami! I want her here now. If she’s not coming out on her own, drag her here. This will be the treatment that she would get from today onwards!” 

Duryodhana’s words stun Bhishmachaarya and the others seated there. All of them know that things are going to turn extremely disastrous now if Draupati makes her appearance in the courtroom. As Duryodhana instructs Praathikaami, he refuses to go for the third time. Now Ducchaasana (Duryodhana’s brother) decides that he would go directly and bring her out. With the wink of his eye, Duryodhana directs Ducchaasana to go and off he sets into Draupati’s chamber. As Ducchaasana arrives at her “Antahpura”, he straightaway starts insulting her! Atleast Praathikaami had some kind words to talk to Draupati, but Ducchaasana directly hit the goal post! Ducchaasana shouts on top of his voice thus, “Oh Paanchaali (Draupati)! How do you dare to back-answer Duryodhana who is your master from this moment? How could you have the courage not to obey Duryodhana’s words? Moreover, aren’t you ashamed of calling yourself as a “Pathivrata” (A devoted wife to a husband)? You’ve married not one, but five husbands! Aren’t you ashamed of living together with five people? You don’t even have the rights to be calling yourself as a “Pathivrata” anymore. From today onwards, you’re a mere “Daasi” and nothing else!” 

As Duccaasana storms thus, Draupati wanted to give him a befitting reply. But even before she opens her mouth to talk, Ducchaasana rushes near her, catches her hair and head and drags her out of the “Antahpura”! Now, as Ducchaasana is dragging her with his strong hands, Draupati is totally helpless to defend herself. She now has no other person to consider as her savior, other than Bhagawan Krishna! Hence, as she is being dragged to the courtroom, Draupati starts meditating upon Bhagawan Krishna to somehow come and save her face in front of everyone in the courtroom! Now, Ducchaasana brings Draupati to the centre of the courtroom wherein all the people are seated. Draupati is dressed only in a single piece of clothing and she feels totally ashamed of being there amidst so many males. With a low voice, Draupati asks a few questions to all the senior people assembled there thus, “Oh King Dhridiraashtra! Oh Bhishmachaarya! Oh Guru Dhronachaarya! Oh Sage Kripachaarya! You’re witnessing something that has never happened in this famed kingdom till date. How do you have the heart to digest what’s happening here? Is it as per the book of “Dharma”? Oh Bhishmachaarya! You’re an epitome of “Dharma” as per my understanding! How can you keep quiet upon seeing all what is unfolding? Oh Vidura! You too are hand in glove with all what is happening? Oh Dhronachaarya! You’re supposed to be a great teacher, isn’t it? Why are you silent upon what’s happening? By doing so, you’re failing in your duty to teach your students the path of “Dharma” aren’t you?”

Draupati continues further thus, “Oh seniors in this kingdom! Please tell me which is “Dharma”. Please educate me whether whatever has happened today is according to the book of “Dharma”. Please teach me the “Sookshma” of “Dharma” (Secret behind “Dharma”)!” As Draupati appeals to the courtroom thus, everybody were silent! As Draupati looks at Bhishmachaarya, he put his head down! He was in utter shame and frustration that he wasn’t in a position to answer Draupati’s legitimate questions! As Draupati looks at Guru Dhronachaarya, guilt is written all over his face and this makes him hang his head in shame! In this way, all the people assembled there did not know what to answer Draupati! How could they justify a blatant “Adharma” that is taking place right in front of their eyes? As Draupati looks at Bhishmachaarya once again, finally Bhishmachaarya breaks the ice! He says in a low and a trembling voice thus, “Oh Draupati! All your questions are correct and legitimate! However, I do not know the answer for any of your questions. It is better that you direct all these questions of yours to Yudishtra, who is an epitome of “Dharma”. He might be able to give you proper answers for your queries!” 

Saying so, Bhishmachaarya tries to escape from this mishap! He tries to wash his hands off! This is where Bhishmachaarya faltered big time! He should have openly confessed that whatever was happening is blatant “Adharma”! Even though he had the opportunity to criticize Duryodhana and Co. he failed in his duty didn’t he? This is why Bhishmachaarya lost his credibility completely! Moving on thus, as per Bhishmachaarya’s words, Draupati redirects her questions to Yudishtra. However, even before Yudishtra started talking, Vikarna, one of Duryodhana’s brothers, stands up to talk. Vikarna is a good person by heart, unlike Duryodhana and Co. He talks thus, “Oh King Dhridiraashtra and the others! Please understand one thing – Today is an important day in the downfall of Hastinapura! Let me tell you this very clearly! Today we’ve insulted our important daughter-in-law who has come to live with all of us. Nobody in this kingdom till date has resorted to such a cheap act. Thus, this is the biggest bad omen that I’m able to see. Our Hastinapura is going to be doomed very soon! Mark my words! Let me tell you one thing very clearly – Now that Draupati has raised legitimate questions, she should get her due answers. Only after the courtroom gives Draupati convincing answers, will the next proceeding / decision-making happen!” 

As Vikarna talks thus, the Duryodhana camp is simmering with anger against him. Karna gets up to talk! So for today, let us understand till this point and we shall wait till the next episode to witness what happened next! What did Karna talk? Did he defend Draupati or insult her? Let’s find out tomorrow! 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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