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Chapter 42: Draupadi’s Swayamvara

Posted by Arun Mohan ~ on ~ 0 comments

Dhaumya directed the Pandavas to the swayamvara of Drupada’s daughter disguised as Brahmans. On the way to the court of Drupada, Dhaumya added that if she was born to become the Arjuna’s bride, then nothing in the world can stop that from happening. Dhaumya along with Pandavas entered the Drupada’s court, where the contest is held. They sat in the pavillion meant for Brahmans and watched the Kshatriyas compete. Shri Krishna is also present in the event, but he did not participate in the contest. The participants were asked to string a bow and shoot only one arrow at the eye of a revolving fish which is suspended from the roof of the hall, while looking only at its reflection in a bowl. Drupada was confident that only Arjuna could accomplish this task. Many archers from around Bharata-varsha came and tried their luck. But nobody shot at the eye of the fish.

Duryodhana did not take part in the contest, since he was already married to Bhanumati, princess of Kalinga. The main reason for not participating in the event is that he had given a promise to Bhanumati that he would never marry again. So in his place, he sent his friend, Karna for participate the event. Karna was a suitor for Draupadi as he is able to shoot the target just like Arjuna. When Karna was about to try, Draupadi refused to allow him to take part. She rejected him for being the son of a charioteer. She humiliated Karna publicly and he withdrew from the contest. After the Karna’s withdrawal, all the Kshatriyas present in the contest had tried and failed. So Drupada invited the Brahmans to participate. Arjuna, who was now disguised as Brahman, immediately rose and picked up the bow. He then successfully tackled the target as Krishna saw it. The arrow hit its mark and the audience cheered. Everyone present in the event was surprised that a Brahman could do what Kshatriyas could not. Arjuna thus won the contest and married Draupadi. Arjuna along with his new wife, Draupadi and his four strong brothers then went to their mother, Kunti for taking bless from her.

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