In A Man’s World
Nora Ephron, screenplay writer once stated that, “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”
She was born out of fire, in circumstances that were not even expecting her, had a complexion which was considered inferior, washed her hair in the blood of the people she held responsible for her fate, followed her husbands because of her love for them rather the duty which ordained, was called Sairandhri (literally meaning the perfect maid) and finally fell on the way to Heaven without getting help from any of her husbands (she had five) except Bheema. She was considered the most virtuous and was known to have a magnetic charm with inexorably pulled men and women ...view middle of the document...
Krsna had literally challenged all of these norms by the end of Mahabharata. There is nothing wrong in challenging except maybe the consequences.
At her Swayamwar Draupadi chooses to insult Karna by refusing to be a wife of “Suta Putra”. In Palace Of Illusions Divakaruni suggests that Draupadi did that as an impulsive action, this incident though became one of the major reasons why Karna supported Duryodhana when he ordered Dushasana to disrobe her in the Assembly Hall. Another instance of her action which made this incident a consequence was the comment made by her when Duryodhana accidently fell into a pool in Indraprastha. She said, “Andhey ka putra Andha” which translates to “Like blind father like blind son” and even though it sounds like an elementary school insult, those were sensitive times and women were not supposed to be brave enough to me comments on princes and kings. This was enough reason for him to harbour hate against her and act against her. Revenge is after all the driving force behind a lot of wars and banes.
“Unseen in the background, Fate was quietly slipping lead into the boxing-glove.”
― P.G. Wodehouse
Mahabharata compels us to believe that everything that we go through and everything that happens to us is fate though as Dr. Madhu Gupta points out the “spirit of Mahabharata is not fatalistic”. Draupadi since the moment was born was referred to as being born for the destruction of the Kauravas and Kshatriyas. Already destined to have five husbands because of a milieu of reasons (never-ending lust, cruel fate, boon by Parvati etc.); she accepted her destiny and worked relentlessly to keep her husbands happy. The fate of the war also seemed to be predecided by Krishna and other celestial Devas. The tragedy of the characters lay in the fact that they were not aware of their own sealed fate. Calvinistic notions of Predestination immediately come to mind when Indian mythological texts are talked about. This silent acceptance of one’s fate is an extremely disturbing point of this great epic even though she questions her fate; it seems to be accepted by a larger part of the “audience”. If there had been no game of dicing there would be no betting and no disrobing hence the war would not have taken place at all. It just seemed like one big conspiracy to clear out a race of corrupt human beings.
One who sees the Dharma sees me.
One who sees me sees the Dharma.
The concept of dharma is very broad and is very difficult to grasp because there is no clear-cut definition of dharma that captures the essence of it. The basic purpose is that when the scales tip whilst balancing between Dharma and Adharma then Gods descend upon the Earth to set things straight by hook or by crook. Yudhishthir or rather Dharamraj is the reason for the trouble that poor Panchaali goes through. It was his Dharam which prevented him from refusing the challenge posed by Duryodhana. Sakuni was sure of victory and knew that once...