Draupadi Harana Parva is the forty second upa parva included in the third maha parva, named as Vana parva or Aranyaka parva in the epic Mahabharata. The original epic was composed by Vyasa in Sanskrit. Vyshampayana had narrated to Janamejaya the historical events, happened in the forests on his queries.

Who was Jayadratha and what he had done to Draupadi?

Jayadratha was the son of the King of Sindhu. Jayadratha had already married Dushala and he was the brother in law of Yudhishtira. One day, he wished to attend the marriage of Shalva and was travelling near the Pandavas’ Ashram at Kamyakavana. Jayadratha was dressed in his royal attires wearing gems and jewels and his friends, king Kotikashya and others were accompanying him.  

Pandavas were suffering in the forest due to exile and living as saints. When Jayadratha had seen Draupadi on the door steps of her Ashram, king Kotikashya had explained to him that the lady found was Draupadi. Then all Pandavas had gone out of their Ashram with weapons as other Brahmins had requested them to drive away the cruel animals from the proximity of their Ashram for the safety of their life.   

When the troops of Jayadratha approached near the Ashram, Draupadi appeared at the entrance of the Ashram. Kotikashya had spoken to her and collected more details about her and reported to Jayadratha. Draupadi, as usual to Ashram, anticipated the arrival of Pandavas into her Ashram and went inside. 

Then Jayadratha with seven of his princess friends entered into the Ashram. Kotikashya had already told Draupadi about the elephants, horses and soldiers and she had tried to pass time expecting the arrival of Pandavas back to the Ashram. Jayadratha requested Draupadi to leave the Pandavas as they lost their kingdom, driven into forest and she had to suffer with Pandavas. Jayadratha assured her to carry her to Sindhu country and marry her to avoid the sufferings of forest life. Later, Jayadratha had compelled her to ascent his chariot immediately.

A painting by Raja Ravi Verma which depicts king Jayadrata trying to abduct Draupadi, the wife of Pandavas
Jayadratha abducting Draupadi – A painting by Raja Ravi Varma

Dhaumya Rishi was inside the Ashram. When Draupadi was forced to ascend the chariot, Dhaumya had also followed her up to the chariot.  Due to forceful speech of Jayadratha and obliging as being the relative to Pandavas, Draupadi had sat on the chariot of Jayadratha after saluting Dhaumya Rishi. She was confident about the arrival of Pandavas immediately there. 

नेयं शक्या त्वया नेतुमविजित्य महारथान् ।
धर्मं क्षत्रस्य पौराणमवेक्षस्व जयद्रथ ॥

Meaning: O Jayadratha! You may not be able to carry away her without meeting the Dharmaraja or other Pandavas, referred as Maharathas. You could not go without respecting your own kshatriya dharma.   

Dhaumya Rishi informed Jayadratha not to carry away Draupadi by force. When the chariot of Jayadratha had started slowly, Dhaumya Rishi had followed them along with other soldiers.

What Yudhishtira, Nakula and Sahadeva had done then?

During hunting, Pandava brothers could not make good progress and met with bad omens and hence returned to their Ashram immediately. When they had seen the chariot of Jayadratha had started moving, they had to attack instantly. When most of the soldiers were killed, Jayadratha had been afraid of severe attacks and abandoned Draupadi and tried to move fast. Then Yudhishtira accompanied Draupadi, Nakula and Sahadeva and returned to their Ashram.

What Markandeya Rishi had done when Jayadratha had carried Draupadi?

Markandeya Rishi was confident about Yudhishtira. When Jayadratha had carried Draupadi, he had remained inside the Ashram peacefully expecting for her return. 

What Bhima had done to Jayadratha?

Arjuna had killed the horses of Jayadratha, on the tip of the news by Dhaumya. Yudhishtira had killed the soldiers of Jayadratha. Jayadratha was afraid of Pandavas and started running into the forest. Then Bhima had arrested Jayadratha and produced before Yudhishtira.

What Yudhishtira had done to Jayadratha?

Yudhishtira told to release Jayadratha and allowed him to go freely to his own palace with his troops. In order to satisfy Draupadi, Bhima compelled him to have his head shaved and he agreed in future he would never commit such mistakes.

What Jayadratha had done to Pandavas after his release from Kamyakavana?

Jayadratha had visited Gangadvara and performed penance to please God Shiva. Shiva got pleased and accepted his oblations and enquired about his desires. Jayadratha wished to get boons to defeat the five Pandavas. Shiva intimated him Arjuna had already obtained immunity against any enemy and Jayadratha could block only the five Pandavas. Jayadratha was satisfied and reached his palace. 

How Markandeya had consoled Yudhishtira after returning to camp with Draupadi comparing him with the tasks of Sri Rama?

Markandeya Rishi assured them, there was no sin in their parts but they were bound to face the tasks of the Vidhi or nature. He told Ramayana in brief to Yudhishtira and the Pandava brothers.

In the Ikshvaku clan, Dasharatha was the emperor and he had four children. He had three wives, Kausalya, Sumithra and Kaikeyi. Rama was the son of Kausalya, Bharata was the son of Kaikeyi. Sumitra had two children Lakshmana and ShatrughnaSita was the daughter of Janaka and married to Rama. Pulasthya had a child Kubera and was he was good in character and education. He had become the treasurer to God Shiva and got the boon from Gods and lived as an Angel with luxuries. Kubera had allotted three demon lady servants, Pushpotkata, Malini and Raka to serve his father Pulashthya. But later they married Pulasthya.

Pushpotkata got two children – Ravana and Kumbhakarna. Raka got two children – Khara and Shurpanakhi. Malini got one child – Vibhishana. Their father Pulasthya advised them to perform penance like Kubera and get their desired boons. Ravana was rash in nature he grabbed Lanka and Pushpaka Vimana from his brother Kubera. Ravana started to threaten Heavenly angels. Then all angels had requested Vishnu to have his incarnation of human form on earth to kill Ravana and they also assured their help to kill Ravana with him.

When Rama had grown up, wedded with Sita and father Dasharatha decided to crown him, his third queen Kaikeyi was induced by her servant Manthara and reminded Dasharatha her old boons to get them achieved. Kaikeyi told Dasharatha to crown her son Bharata and send Rama to forest for fourteen years as her desired boons with respect to his old promises.

Dasharatha felt the situation as a shock and expired when Rama went to forest. Bharata did not agree to be crowned but requested Rama to return to the capital Ayodhya but when Rama remained firm in his decision to complete the fourteen years, Bharata lived in Nandi village as a saint. The court priest Vasishta with the help of Shatrughna managed to rule the country for fourteen years.

Bharata had placed the pair of Padukas or wooden sandals of Rama in front of the Ayodhya throne and assisted to rule the country in the name of Rama. Sita, the wife of Rama, and Lakshmana, the brother of Rama accompanied him in his forest life. In the forest Dandakaranya, they faced many cannibals and Rama had to kill many of the demons.

Later, Shurpanakhi complained about Rama and induced Ravana to abduct Sita to Lanka. Ravana sought the help of Maricha, his uncle, during the abduction of Sita but he was killed by Rama. Maricha was wandering in disguise as a beautiful deer and Sita desired to have it and sent Rama to capture it but when Rama aimed his arrow, Maricha was dead. Simultaneously Ravana disguised as a saint took Sita into his Pushpaka Vimana and flew into the sky. The Vulture, Jatayu, a friend of Dasharata, fought with Ravana but the demon had cut his wings and flew to Lanka. Sita had blessed Jatayu to live till he met with Rama.   

Lakshmana was in search of Rama but when both returned to their hermit found Sita was missing. When both Rama and Lakshmana searched for Sita, they found Jatayu hurt and he informed about Ravana’s dirty deeds but Jatayu died soon. After the final rituals of Jatayu, Rama and Lakshmana went to south side and met with a demon Kabandha. Kabandha disturbed Lakshmana but Lakshmana had killed him. Kabandha told Rama about Rishyamuka Mountain.

At Rishyamuka hill, Rama and Lakshmana first met with Hanuman and then with his master Sugriva. Sugriva was the younger brother of Vali, and both were the kings of monkeys. Vali had kept Sugriva’s wife under illegal custody and so Rama had killed Vali. Then Sugriva and Rama had become friends. Hanuman was also called as Hanumantha, who was the son of Vayu, the angel of air. Hence he could fly on air without wings due to his enormous powers. He had jumped over the sea and reached Lanka and succeeded in finding Sita at Ashokavana, securely accommodated with the wife of Vibhishana . 

सीते रामस्य दूतोऽहं वानरो मारुतात्मजः ।
तद्दर्शनमभिप्रत्सुरिह प्राप्तो विहायसा ॥

Meaning: O Goddess Sita! I am the messenger of Rama. I am the son of the angel of air, Marutha, a Vanara. I had reached by flying over sky in order to see you. 

Hanuman had given the token golden ring to Sita and got her golden hair pin in exchange as a proof of his visit. When humiliated, Hanuman had burnt a part of the Lanka town and reported back to Sugriva and Rama.

Later, with the help of monkeys, a bridge had been erected to Lanka and there a war had been fought between Rama and Ravana. The brother of Ravana called as Vibhishana was good in heart and guessed victory of Rama and advised Ravana to leave Sita free and seek pardon of Rama. Ravana had become angry with Vibhishana and he expelled him from Lanka but Vibhishana had surrendered to Rama and helped Rama in the war.

Hanuman and the monkeys had broken the compound of Lanka city and driven the demons out. Indrajith had attacked Rama and Lakshmana with his ascetic powers but Vibhishana had provided Hanuman the ascetic water obtained from Kubera and when Lakshmana had fell unconscious, Hanuman had brought Amritha Sanjivani herbal from Himalaya hills overnight. Lakshmana had killed many strong demons including Indrajith, the son of Ravana.

Kumbhakarna, the brother of Ravana, was a forceful demon but he was killed by Lakshmana with his Brahmastra weapon. There were other brothers of Ravana, with the name as Dushana, Vajravega and Pramathi and they had been killed by the joint actions by Hanuman and Nala, the brave monkeys. Lakshmana and Hanuman had fought with the demons and Ravana was driven out of his palace by Sugriva.

When Ravana had reached near the beach, Rama had used the chariot provided by Indra and killed Ravana using his bow and by aiming the arrows. Rama had crowned Vibhishana as king of Lanka and subjected Sita into Agnipariksha. Then the Fire God and the other angels declared Sita as the incarnation of Lakshmi, the wife of Vishnu and always pure in all respects.

Finally, using the Pushpaka vimana, Rama, Sita and Lakshmana had returned to Ayodhya. A grand ceremony was held in the palace of Rama to crown him as an emperor of Kosala kingdom at Ayodhya. Sita and Rama lived happily in Ayodhya. Hanuman is believed as still living worshipping God Rama. 

आनीतां द्रौपदीं कृष्णां कृत्वा कर्म सुदुष्करं ।
जयद्रथं च राजानं विजितं क्षिप्रं वशमागतं ॥

Meaning: By achieving the difficult tasks of fighting the kings and Jayadratha, the victory had been brought quickly, as well as Draupadi, the sister of Krishna had been brought back and that king Jayadratha was put under control also.

Markandeya appraised the brothers of Yudhishtira and consoled him as he could get success easily in the forthcoming Mahabharata war, like the Ramopakhyana. 

On reading this story, children would gain more memory power.

Next post, Mahabharat: Kundala Harina would be more interesting.

Mahabharat: Yakshaprashna would be presented separately in another article.

It is humbly prayed for the blessings of God Krishna upon us. 

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