Why Draupadi had five husbands? How did she get married to all five Pandavas?
Very few of us know that this was due to divine intervention rather than Kunti’s error. Draupadi is the “emerged” daughter of King Drupada of Panchala and the wife of the five Pandavas in the epic Mahabharata. Draupadi was the epic’s most powerful character. She was the princess of the Panchala kingdom, the wife of the five Pandavas, and an enigma with great wisdom and devotion to her husbands. Draupadi was the ascetic’s daughter in her previous life.
She was dissatisfied because she was not getting married. Frustrated, she began a difficult penance to please Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva was pleased with her after many years of penance and appeared to grant her a boon. She requested a husband with five characteristics. They were:
- He should be a moral man.
- He should be valiant.
- He should be good looking.
- He should be knowledgeable.
- He should be kind and loving.
Lord Shiva paused for a moment before stating that all five qualities could not coexist in one person. As a result, he bestowed upon Draupadi the boon that she would have five husbands in her next birth, each of whom possessed all five qualities individually. This is why Draupadi had five husbands. This was nothing but her own wish of having a husband with so many qualities.
Draupadi is a one-of-a-kind case of Polyandry, in which a woman marries more than one man. She also received a boon from Lord Shiva in her previous birth to regain her virginity, allowing her to manage all five husbands equally.
Other beliefs why Draupadi had five husbands?
Draupadi’s marriage has always gotten a lot of attention in history after five Pandavas took part in the Swayamvar. According to the Swayamvar clause, the one who perfectly aims at the fisheye by looking at the image in the water below will marry Draupadi. Arjun was able to fulfil the clause and marry her because he was an excellent archer.
Arjun and his brothers took Draupadi to their mother Kunti, after Arjun’s perfect aim. While Arjun’s mother was busy with some work, she unintentionally said, “Whatever you’ve brought, divide it among the five brothers.” This statement shocked everyone, except Arjun’s brother, who agreed to accept their mother’s decision and marry Draupadi.
The fourteen husbands story
Draupadi became the wife of all Pandavas on purpose, not by chance. Shri Krishna explained to her that she had prayed to Shiva for a husband with fourteen desirable characteristics. Shiva, pleased with her devotion, tells her that it is extremely difficult to find a husband who possesses all fourteen of the qualities she sought. But she stands firm and requests the same.
Then Lord Shiva grants her wish, saying she will have fourteen husbands in her next birth. She requested these characteristics in her previous birth. Nalayani was the daughter of Nala and Damayanti.
Five Pandavas possessed the fourteen qualities she desired. The just Yudhisthira for his Dharma wisdom; the powerful Bhima for his strength equal to a thousand elephants combined; The valiant Arjuna for his bravery and battlefield knowledge; the exceedingly handsome Nakula and Sahadeva for their love.
Avatar of Goddesses
According to Narada Purana and Vayu Purana, Draupadi is the composite Avatar of Goddesses:
- Shyamala (wife of Dharma)
- Bharati (Wife of Vayu)
- Shachi (wife of Indra
- Usha (wife of Ashwins)
- Parvati (wife of Shiva)
and hence married their earthly counterparts in the form of the five Pandavas.
What Pandavas followed after marriage with Draupadi?
The brothers agreed that no one should intrude if Draupadi were alone with one of the others, with the penalty of a year in exile. Each Pandava was given a year, during which only that Pandava could enter Draupadi’s private chambers.
Draupadi has five sons, one from each of the Pandava brothers
They were referred to as Upapandavas. They were:
- Prativindhya (from Yudhishthira).
- Sutasoma (from Bheema).
- Shrutakarma (from Arjuna).
- Satanika (from Nakula).
- Shrutasena (from Sahadeva).
During the Mahabharata war, Ashwatthama killed the Upapandavas during a surprise raid on Pandava camp on the eighteenth day of the war to avenge his father’s death.
The story continues for Draupadi, the empress and more. But, here we’re to focus on Why Draupadi had five husbands? It was because of her own wishes of a husband full of multiple qualities.
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