Indian Mythology (by ApamNapat)

Draupadi - Wife of the Pandavas


Draupadi was the daughter of the Panchala King Drupada and is also called Panchali. Since her complexion was dark, she was also called Krishna (कृष्णा). When Drupada was captured in battle by Arjuna, and subsequently humiliated by Drona, he resolved to beget a son who would kill Drona and a daughter who would marry the peerless warrior Arjuna. He sought the help of two brothers named Yaja and Upa-Yaja to perform this sacrifice. From the sacrificial fire was born Draupadi and her brother Dhrishtadhyumna. As she was born as a result of a sacrifice (यज्ञ), she is also called Yajnaseni (याज्ञसेनि).

When it was time for her marriage, her father conducted a Swayamvara (self-choice ceremony), where the successful suitor will have to hit a spinning target by hitting it with an arrow, aided only by watching its reflection in the water below. Nobody was even able to lift the bow. Karna was the only one who came close to hitting the target. Arjuna, disguised as a Brahmana youth was successful. Then fulfilling a promise made to their mother (which obliged them to share everything equally), all the five Pandavas married Draupadi. She bore each of them a child, and her children were called the upa-Pandavas.

When her husband Yudhishtra lost her (along with his kingdom and his brothers), in the deceitful game of dice to Duryodhana, she was humiliated in the court of Hastinapura. She then made a terrible vow, that she will not wash her hair, leaving it untied until she has washed it in the blood of the Kauravas. She fulfilled her vow, at the end of the battle of Kurukshetra, but at a terrible price, for all her sons were slain in their sleep by Ashwatthama in revenge for the deceitful slaying of his father Drona.


Draupadi Daughter of Drupada
Panchali Princess of the Panchalas
Yajneseni Daughter of Yajnasena (Drupada)
Krishnaa Dark Complexioned

Last Modified At: Thu Mar 3 23:23:23 2005