Mahabharat

Draupadi Swayamvar

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After escaping alive from Lakshagriha, the Pandavas along with their mother Kunti went to Ekachakra Nagri and started living in the house of a Brahmin in the guise of a sage. It was here that Bhima killed a demon named Bak.

Pandavas had spent some time living in Ekachakra city, then one day a Brahmin came to visit them. The Pandavas honored him appropriately and asked – “Dev! Where are you coming from?”

The Brahmin replied- “I am coming from Panchal, the city of Maharaj Drupad. The kings and emperors of many countries have come there for Draupadi’s daughter Draupadi’s Swayamvar. After the departure of that Brahmin, Vedvyas came to meet the Pandavas. Vedvyas ordered the Pandavas to go to Panchal. There Drupada daughter Panchali’s Swayamvara is going to happen. That girl is absolutely worthy of you people, because in her previous birth she had done penance for Lord Shankar and being pleased with her penance, Shiva had given her the boon of getting five perfect husbands in the next birth. That goddess-like girl is worthy of you in every way. You guys go over there and get him.” Having said this, Ved Vyas left from there.

On the way to Panchal, the Pandavas met a Brahmin named Dhaumya and with him disguised as Brahmins reached Draupadi’s Swayamvara. Kings, emperors and princes of many countries were present in the Swayamvar Sabha. On one side Shri Krishna was sitting with his elder brother Balram and distinguished Yaduvanshis. There he went and sat in the row of Brahmins.

Shortly, Princess Draupadi reached the meeting with her brother Dhrishtadyumna with a garland in her hand. Addressing the assembly, Dhrishtadyumna said- “O kings and emperors and other dignitaries who have come from different countries! In this mandap pay attention to the rotating machine built on top of the pillar. A fish is hanging in that machine and is moving along with the machine. You have to target the eye of the fish by shooting the arrow while looking at the image of the fish in the oil pot placed under the pillar. My sister Draupadi will be married to the one who successfully pierces the eye of the fish.

One after the other, all the kings and princes tried to target the fish, but they did not succeed and they returned to their places without being radiant.

Jarasandh, Shalya, Shishupala and Duryodhana, Dushasan etc. Kauravas were also included in these unsuccessful people. After the failure of the Kauravas, Duryodhana’s best friend Karna raised the bow to target the fish, but seeing him, Draupadi said – “This is the son of a thread, so I cannot describe it.”

Hearing Draupadi’s words, Karna was ashamed and kept his bow and arrows. Arjuna then rose from the line of brahmins and took up his bow to aim. The people present there were very surprised to see a Brahmin eager for the Swayamvara of the princess, but because of the Brahmins being more superior than the Kshatriyas, no one could stop them.

Seeing the reflection of the fish in the oil pot, Arjuna pierced the eye of the fish with a single arrow. Draupadi went ahead and put the garland around Arjuna’s neck. Seeing Draupadi putting a garland around the neck of a Brahmin, all the Kshatriya kings and princes got angry and attacked Arjuna. The rest of the Pandavas also came to help Arjuna and a fierce battle started between the Pandavas and the Kshatriya kings. Shri Krishna had already recognized Arjuna, so he pacified the war by mediating. Duryodhana also guessed that the target must have been Arjuna and the rest of the Pandavas who supported him must have been there. He was very surprised when the Pandavas escaped from Lakshagriha of Varanavat.