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Chapter 41: Drupada got boon from Shiva

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Pandavas continued their voyage in the forest and they reach outside the border of Panchala, where they saw a sage called Dhaumya. Dhaumya after hearing their miseries advised the pandavas to marry a girl. since the household of Kunti is incomplete without a daughter-in-law. Dhaumya then directed them to the court of Drupada, where there is archery contest is being held. The person who wins the contest should be selected as husband for Drupada’s daughter, Draupadi.
Dhaumya then unwind the truth of how Draupadi became the daughter of Drupada to Pandavas.
Drupada who was defeated to the students of Drona, invoked lord Shiva (the destroyer) and begged shiva to give two sons and a daughter for the destruction of Drona and also the entire Kuru clan. His need was to kill Drona and Bhishma by each sons and his daughter want to marry into the Kuru household and divide the family. Shiva gave the boon and disappeared.

In due course, Drupada’s wife gave birth to a daughter. But her gender is transformed into a male. Thus the first son was born, who is considered to the rebirth of Amba. The oracles believed that he should be the reason for Bhishma’s death. Drupada was not satisfied with this child. He sought the help of sages, Yaja and Upayaja, who knew the secret art of producing a magic potion which when consumed, would give birth to a girl child. Both Yaja and Upayaja conducted a great yagna. Thus they obtained the magic potion and asked Drupada’s wife to come and drink it. But at that time, she was busy bathing. The two sages not want to wait as it results in the reduction of power of potion. So they threw the magic potion into the fire-pit. From the flames emerged twins, one is a son and other is a daughter. The son was later named Dhrishtadyumna, whom Drupada believed should be the reason for Drona’s death and the daughter was later named Draupadi, whom Drupada believed would marry into the Kuru family and divide them.

Shiva thus gave Drupada three children for his satisfaction of destruction of Kuru clan.  Drupada wanted to marry his daughter to Arjuna, who he thought as the greatest archer in the world. But everybody believed that Arjuna along with his brothers and Kunti were died in the palace fire. So Drupada had no choice, he then decided to conduct an archery contest and to find the next best archer for his daughter.

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