In the previous episode, we had witnessed King Dhridiraashtra finally breaking his silence on the blatant “Adharma” that was going on in front of everyone in the courtroom. As Draupati’s saree miraculously starts extending itself in a way of protecting her chastity, and as Duchaasana falls on the ground tired, all of them in the courtroom realize that something is happening which is beyond the purview and imagination of normal people. This is the opportunity that Bheemasena was waiting for till now. As Bheemasena and the other Paandava brothers (Except Yudishtra) thunder aloud with their individual pledges of finishing off Duryodhana and Co. in the battlefield, King Dhridiraashtra realizes finally that things are slipping out of hands rather too quickly now. He tries to doze down the simmering anger between the two camps by granting three boons to Draupati. King Dhridiraashtra first starts by seeking an unconditional apology to Draupati for what had happened to her just now. Further to it, he requests Draupati to ask him a set of three boons as to whatever she wanted. Now the ball is on Draupati’s court. What is she going to ask? Let us witness today.
Moving on thus, as King Dhridiraashtra grants the three boons, Draupati’s reply was thus: “Oh King Dhridiraashtra! Before I go on to ask the three boons, let me tell you something – Today marks the start of a huge disaster for Duryodhana and Co. and it is very evident from their ruthless and indecent behavior that they have exhibited today. If there is a feud, it should either be solved with dialogue or on the battlefield. Whatever Duryodhana has orchestrated today is nothing short of a foul game and a blatant “Adharma”. He has shown his cowardliness of not being able to take on my husbands on the battlefield. Hence, we do not want to wish to be the slaves of a coward! Thus, my first boon would be this – Declare openly that Yudishtra is not Duryodhana’s slave! My second boon would be this – Declare openly that all my other four husbands are also not Duryodhana’s slaves anymore! Please grant these two boons immediately!”
As Draupati asks thus, King Dhridiraashtra is more than happy to grant the two boons to Draupati. King Dhridiraashtra declares thus, “Oh Draupati! From this moment onwards, neither Yudishtra nor the other four Paandava brothers would be Duryodhana’s slaves! I openly announce this in front of everyone in this Hastinapura courtroom! Enough is enough! This game has proved to be extremely disastrous for the kingdom and I hope things will settle down back to normalcy with this! However, Draupati! You’ve asked for only two boons. A third one is remaining isn’t it? Feel free to ask me!” As King Dhridiraashtra requests thus, Draupati replies back: “Oh King! If I would have been a male, I would have asked the third one. However, since I’m a female, I’m limiting myself with just two! I do not want anything more from you! Thank you for your concern!” From this reply, it is evident that if one is a female, only two boons can be asked to a king, and if one is a male, three boons can be asked. This is according to the “Raaja-Dharma” that prevailed in those days. Of course, we should not take this as any sort of discrimination between men and women. We should just accept the rule and move on.
Even as Draupati says thus, King Dhridiraashtra is extremely concerned and he voluntarily comes forward to grant the third boon, even without Draupati asking! King Dhridiraashtra says thus, “Oh Draupati! It is really nice of you to limit yourself with just the two boons. Today you’ve clearly shown us the difference between those who follow “Dharma” and those who are “Greedy” behind power and wealth! I hereby declare this in front of everyone – This game of gambling is completely nullified! I hereby give back the Indraprastha kingdom to Yudishtra and all of you! You may go back to your kingdom with all your wealth, army, servants, etc. If Duryodhana creates a ruckus, I shall manage him. Please do not worry! I request Yudishtra and the others to leave Hastinapura with happiness and just forget this unholy episode that took place today!” As King Dhridiraashtra dozes down the anger thus, the Paandavas are about to leave the courtroom when Draupati replies back: “Oh King Dhridiraashtra! You’ve taken a wise decision today and I really appreciate this! However, there is a great sin that your son has committed, which will be avenged by my husbands some day in the near future! Now let me take a pledge in front of Duryodhana and Co. today – Today my hair is untied! My hair would remain open till Bheemasena plunders Duchaasana and I shall tie my hair again only after I rub my hair with his blood!”
As Draupati takes this “Shabadham” in front of everyone, the entire courtroom is stunned! Everyone clearly knows that a huge disaster awaits Hastinapura! So for today, let us understand this important segment of the “Paanchaali Sabadham” and let us wait till the next episode to witness what happened next! Stay tuned! 🙂