Draupadi herself once said
to Krishna "I am the daughter of King Draupada and sister to Dhristadyumna, I
am your dear companion, King Pandus daughter-in-law and the crowned queen of the
five Pandavas; I am also the mother of the heroic Upa Pandavas; and yet what insult
have I had to bear!" These words sum up her entire, pitiful story. A woman who had no
equal in beauty and grandeur, had always to tread the path of trouble and insult.
It is often said that woman is weak and helpless. But when the Pandavas had lost their
kingdom and Dhritarashtra granted her a boon, Draupadi got the kingdom back for her
husbands. When Yudhishthira lost her at dice, Draupadi boldly asked "Did he
lose himself first or me? If he staked himself first and lost, had he authority over
me?" No one in that full royal court, not even great scholars, could answer her.
Once provoked, Draupadi became the symbol of womans strength and power. She
rebuked the court "When Drona and Bheeshma and others also sit dumb like this,
this is no court." She vowed that she would plait her hair only after Dusshasana was
killed. She cursed Duryodhana and his brothers. When Keechaka teased her, Yudhishthira
tried to pacify her. But she fanned the fire of Bheemas anger, and burnt Keechaka in
After twelve years of life in the forest and one year in disguise, Yudhishthira said,
"Let there be no war which kills elders and relations and thousands of others. If
Duryodhana gives just five villages, it is enough." Even Bheema was soft. But
Draupadi spoke words of file "If you people do no fight I will make my father,
brother, Abhimanyu and the Upa- Pandavas fight with the Kauravas." She tied up her
hair only after Dusshasana lay in blood.
But this fiery heroine was not without kindness and affection. She was insulted,
taunted and driven to the forest by the sons of Dhritarashtra and Gandhari. When,
Dusshasana pulled at her saree, Dhritarashtra and Gandhari would not help her. But after
the War of Mahabharata, Draupadi looked after Gandhari with respect and affection; she
treated her in the same way as she treated Kunthi.