Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula
This story is a prelude to Markandeya’s narration of Ramayanam within the Mahabharata. You can easily how the nasty Jayadratha emulates Ravana in attempting to carry away a married woman when her husbands are not around to protect her. You can see how the Saubala of the Ikshvakus and Kotikakhya of Sibi’s race don’t dissuade Jayadratha from this action. Finally you can see Dhaumya saying that “you must fight her husbands before you can take her away” and Arjuna asking “how an unmanly fellow” could even try an abduction. You also see Dharmaja forgiving a crook that deserved to be hung and you end up siding with Bhima and Draupadi. I should of thought that Dussala would be well rid of a guy like Jayadratha, but I speak 5000 years after the event and it is wrong to judge the dharma of another time and place by today’s standards. Ravana comes off looking much better than Jayadratha, at least based on this story. Read on!
Reference : Mahabharata : Vana Parva : Book 3
While the Pandavas were in the Kamyaka forest, they often went hunting, leaving Draupadi in the care of Dhaumya, their priest. At this time Jayadratha, the king of Sindhu, (area around the river), the son of Vriddhakshatra, the husband of Duryodhana’s sister Dussala, passed through Kamyaka forest on the way to Salwa Desa. There he saw the stunningly beautiful Draupadi. Desiring this damsel he sent Kotika to find out who she was.
Kotikakhya wonderingly asked her if she was of divine or exotic origin and asked her to tell him her father’s or husband’s name. He introduced himself as the son of King Suratha and also pointed out “the dark and handsome young man, the scourge of his enemies” the son of Subala of the race of Ikshwaku. He also pointed out Kshemankara, the king of Trigarta, and the son of the king of Pulinda. He finally indicated Jayadratha, the king of Sauviras. (Chanakya mentions Sauvira negatively in the Kautilya Arthasastra). Kotika pointed out Angaraka, Kunjara, Guptaka, Satrunjaya, Srinjaya, Suprabiddha, Prabhankara, Bhramara, Ravi, Sura, Pratapa and Kuhana, the princes of Sauvira as well as Valahaka, Anika, Vidarana and other brothers of Jayadratha.
Draupadi respectfully recognised that Kotika was a descendant of the noble Sibi Chakravarthi and explaining that her husbands had gone hunting, she requested them to wait and accept the hospitality of Dharmaraja on his return.
Kotika returned back to Jayadratha who was smitten by Draupadi’s beauty and encouraged him in his inclination to take her away.
Jayadratha went up to Draupadi and inquired about the welfare of her husbands and other people dear to her. She in turn respectfully inquired after him and his kingdoms of Sivi, Sindhu and Saivya, etc. And offered to serve the meat of various animals to him ans his retinue once her husbands were back.
Jayadratha then started beseeching her to go away with him and desert her husbands who had fallen upon bad times. Draupadi pointed out that it was wrong to desert one’s spouses when they were in difficulty and then gave him a rather long and deliberately delaying speech on exactly the sort of bad time her husbands would give him on their return.
Jayadratha then said “thou canst not frighten us now with these threats. We, too, O Krishna, belong by birth to the seventeen high clans, and are endowed with the six royal qualities.” and was sure that he could beat the Pandavas in battle.
Draupadi said “Even Indra himself cannot abduct her for whose protection Krishna and Arjuna would together follow, riding in the same chariot.” And she spoke of the way in which Jishnu (Arjuna) would rout Jayadratha and his armies. She also said, “The warring princes of the Andhaka and the Vrishni races, with Janardana at their head, and the mighty bowmen of the Kaikeya tribe, will all follow in my wake with great ardour.”
Failing with words Jayadratha tried violence and she called for Dhaumya’s help. Though she pushed him to the ground, he overpowered her and forced her onto his chariot.
Dhaumya then addressed Jayadratha and said, ‘Do thou, O Jayadratha, observe the ancient custom of the Kshatriyas. Thou canst not carry her off without having vanquished those great warriors. Without doubt, thou shalt reap the painful fruits of this thy despicable act, when thou encounterest the heroic sons of Pandu with Yudhishthira the just at their head!’” Then he followed behind the chariot.
Meanwhile the Pandavas had finished their hunt and Yudhisthira observed that all the animals were disturbed in one direction and was suddenly overcome by premonitions. So he and his brother climbed their chariots pulled by horses of Saindhava breed and gave chase in the direction of the disturbance.
They stopped by the hermitage, and Indrasena, their charioteer alighted from the chariot and questioned Dhatreyika, the maid of Draupadi, who explained all that took place. She pointed the track along which Jayadratha had departed and asked them to hurry. They also saw Dhaumya calling to them to hurry up. They asked Dhaumya to stop running and they caught up with Jayadratha and the rest.
Jayadratha meanwhile was scared and he asked Draupadi to point out each of the Pandavas to him.
Yajnaseni (Draupadi) said, “ Having done this violent deed calculated to shorten thy life, what will it avail thee now, O fool, to know the names of those great warriors, for, now that my heroic husbands are come, not one of ye will be left alive in battle. However as thou art on the point of death and hast asked me, I will tell thee everything, this being consistent with the ordinance. Beholding king Yudhishthira the just with his younger brothers, I have not the slighest anxiety or fear from thee! That warrior at the top of whose flagstaff two handsome and sonorous tabours called Nanda and Upananda are constantly played upon,–he, O Sauvira chief, hath a correct knowledge of the morality of his own acts. Men that have attained success always walk in his train. With a complexion like that of pure gold, possessed of a prominent nose and large eyes, and endued with a slender make, that husband of mine is known among people by the name of Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma and the foremost of the Kuru race. That virtuous prince of men granteth life to even a foe that yields. Therefore, O fool, throwing down thy arms and joining thy hands, run to him for thy good, to seek his protection. And that other man whom thou seest with long arms and tall as the full-grown Sala tree, seated on his chariot, biting his lips, and contracting his forehead so as to bring the two eye-brows together, is he,–my husband Vrikodara! Steeds of the noblest breed, plump and strong, well-trained and endued with great might, draw the cars of that warrior! His achievements are superhuman. He is known, therefore, by the name of Bhima on earth. They that offend him are never suffered to live. He never forgetteth a foe. On some pretext or other he wrecketh his vengeance. Nor is he pacified even after he has wrecked a signal vengeance. And there, that foremost of bowmen, endued with intelligence and renown, with senses under complete control and reverence for the old–that brother and disciple of Yudhishthira–is my husband Dhananjaya! Virtue he never forsaketh, from lust or fear or anger! Nor doth he ever commit a deed that is cruel. Endued with the energy of fire and capable of withstanding every foe, that grinder of enemies is the son of Kunti. And that other youth, versed in every question of morality and profit, who ever dispelleth the fears of the affrighted, who is endued with high wisdom, who is considered as the handsomest person in the whole world and who is protected by all the sons of Pandu, being regarded by them as dearer to them than their own lives for his unflinching devotion to them, is my husband Nakula possessed of great prowess. Endued with high wisdom and having Sahadeva for his second, possessed of exceeding lightness of hand, he fighteth with the sword, making dexterous passes therewith. Thou, foolish man, shall witness today his performances on the field of battle, like unto those of Indra amid the ranks of Daityas! And that hero skilled in weapons and possessed of intelligence and wisdom, and intent on doing what is agreeable to the son of Dharma, that favourite and youngest born of the Pandavas, is my husband Sahadeva! Heroic, intelligent, wise and ever wrathful there is not another man equal unto him in intelligence or in eloquence amid assemblies of the wise. Dearer to Kunti than her own soul, he is always mindful of the duties of Kshatriyas, and would much sooner rush into fire or sacrifice his own life than say anything that is opposed to religion and morals. When the sons of Pandu will have killed thy warriors in battle, then wilt thou behold thy army in the miserable plight of a ship on the sea wrecked with its freight of jewels on the back of a whale.”
Then follows the exciting description of a battle in which the 5 pandavas routed the Sauviras, Ikshwakus, Sivis, and Saindhavas and their armies. Of which I will only point out that Bhima’s mace was made “entirely of Saikya iron and embossed with gold.“
Bhima asked Dharmaja to return with Draupadi, the twins and Dhaumya to the hermitage while he caught Jayadratha who had run away from the battle field and killed him. But Dharmaja urged Bhima to spare Jayadratha’s life for the sake of Dussala and Gandhari, much to the indignation of Draupadi.
Bhima and Arjuna caught up with Jayadratha and Arjuna asked him how an unmanly fellow like himself had the guts to take a woman away by force. Thereafter there was more running away than actual fighting and Bhima caught Jayadratha and wanted to kill him. Arjuna reminded him of Dharmaja’s words, so the annoyed Bhima shaved Jayadratha’s head in 5 places and made him swear to declare himself the slave of the Pandavas in public.
They brought the chained Jayadratha back to the hermitage where Dharamaraja did his “forgiving and exhortation of virtue” routine (which possibly annoyed Bhima and Draupadi even more than Jayadratha’s behaviour.)
Once lectured upon and freed Jayadratha took of on a plan of vengeance which ultimately resulted in Abhimanyu’s death.. but that as I say.. is another story. And Arjuna did kill Jayadratha then.
Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula