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Why The Friendship Between Krishna And Draupadi Doesn’t Need A Societal Definition

Posted: August 12, 2020

Krishna promotes freedom of thoughts and actions, while Draupadi demonstrates that freedom through her thoughts and actions all her life.

A relationship between Draupadi and Krishna is an emblem of a platonic love – one without a physical obsession. Thus, trespassing all the boundaries of time and place.

This relationship does not require an accord of socially accepted norms. It does not require physical presence or recognition of a form. This relationship is an epitome of openness of mind and progressive thinking of Draupadi and Krishna.

Their knot strengthens after her marriage

A knot of friendship between Draupadi and Krishna gets knit tighter after Draupadi’s Swayamvara. Krishna is present on the occasion of an archery contest arranged for her. Draupadi is bequeathed with such a magnetic beauty that every male looking at her wants to possess her.

Other contestants of Draupadi Swayamvara initiate a war when they lose her. However, Draupadi recognises  no sign of any lust in Krishna’s eyes, when he arrives to greet her along with her newly engaged husband. In contrast to that, she can clearly see a lust for her in eyes of other Pandavas.

Draupadi is a good judge of character and takes note of this distinction of Krishna’s character. He is someone who is absolved of all kinds of lust and greed of possession. She appreciates that Krishna values self-respect and honour of others without a gender discrimination.

Draupadi also starts reciprocating a same kind of behavior with respect to Krishna. Although Krishna becomes her brother-in-law after her marriage,  he considers her his friend. He does not consider it necessary to put a layer of any other relationship between them.

Their progressive thoughts make them such good friends

A relationship between them starts blooming like petals of a lotus. This shows greatness of Draupadi’s character. She is someone who can distinguish an exceptional behaviour, appreciate it and embed the same in her own life.

Draupadi and Krishna share the commonalities in their respective appearance. Both of them are considered an epitome of aesthetic appearance. However, both of them are dark in colour, as against a common canon of beauty attached to a fairness.

Their beauty lies in their way of carrying themselves, their attitude and confidence. Draupadi and Krishna help us expand the definition of beauty not only to body but also to mind. Both of them represent a perfect balance of body and mind.

This progressiveness and comprehensiveness of approach on part of Draupadi and Krishna towards beauty is astounding even for contemporary women. A contemporary woman should embrace this progressive and comprehensive approach towards beauty.

Why they didn’t marry each other

The question may arise why Draupadi and Krishna didn’t marry each other. If we look at the course of Mahabharata, we might understand that both of them achieved more by choosing alternate courses of life.

There is no doubt Draupadi’s life would have been simpler and more peaceful if she would’ve married Krishna. As his wife, she would never have been humiliated publicly and lost everything. However, the most important aspect of Draupadi’s life is that she gracefully handled the suffering and pain.

Draupadi and Krishna both are the kind of personalities who can withstand against everything in life. They know how to make their own way and to move ahead in life. And also, to bring fulfilment to their own life as well as in the life of others.

A marriage is a union wherein two souls strive to bring fulfilment to each others lives. In Draupadi and Krishna’s case, they are both in a position to make difference to lives of their spouses. They have the ability to find purpose of their life on their own and to give purpose to others life.

They helped each other in more ways than one

Being married to the Pandavas, gives Draupadi the purpose to the journey of her life. Both Draupadi and Krishna, are enlightened souls and strive to make both their own and their partners lives meaningful.

A journey of life of Draupadi and Krishna is like a circumambulation. They together ambulate in a circle of their own life. And bring a motion to all those who come in a sphere of their life. Together, they create a positive circuit of a life where Dharma prevails. Draupadi and Krishna together set an example that life is not about having the best but is all about giving out the best.

A relationship with Krishna never constrained Draupadi in her role of dutiful wife. On the other hand, a relationship with Krishna has provided a new perspective to Draupadi’s marital life. A relationship with Draupadi has opened a world of womanhood for Krishna. It helped him understand a woman with a better perspective and in turn, create a new path for women empowerment.

A relationship with Krishna turned an introvert Draupadi into an extrovert and helped her understand each of her husbands with a broader perspective. A wife’s male friend is never looked upon positively in a society. However, Draupadi treads a new path by taking an initiative to build positive relationship of her husbands with Krishna. Draupadi considers Krishna a benchmark of the perfect man. This helped her work  towards bringing several notch elevation to characters of each of her husbands.

They understood each other as they were

Faith and respect are the foundation rocks of relationship between Draupadi and Krishna. Their respect of each other has stemmed from a deep understanding of each other’s character. The common characteristic between them is their ability to read the other person with all of their emotions and to judge on all possible parameters.

Like good attracts good, Draupadi and Krishna form a magnetic relationship. This great respect has resulted in faith towards each other.  This faith has been strengthened through various episodes of their life, where they showed a great amount of mutual understanding.

Through this faith and respect a grace rises. This grace is love that cares and stops and rescues. It has resulted in divine intervention of Krishna at the time disrobing of Draupadi in the royal assembly hall. Draupadi’s faith and respect for Krishna and the mutual understanding results in a grace that drives lives of the Pandavas and Draupadi. It makes all their lives more meaningful and accomplished.

The extreme level of mutual understanding takes a relationship between Draupadi and Krishna to new heights. Both of them try to understand an ideology and perspective of each other. In the bargain, both of them with their progressive thinking set up a new path for feminism.

Their thoughts were progressive and similar

Krishna is the one whose principles are based on equality. He recognises Draupadi’s potential and pushes her to excel in all the spheres of life, irrespective of the constraints put in the society for a woman. Draupadi appreciates his progressiveness and follows the same path for her life.

Krishna is the one who knows the value of self-respect and honour and always encourages an act to protect the same for others. Therefore, at the time of public disrobing of Draupadi, he is the one she seeks. His support acts as a catalyst in her life and changes old perceptions and sets up new ones.

Krishna often encourages Draupadi to live a life without the pressure from the society. As a result, Draupadi, follows her instincts and achieves the best in her life. Krishna and Draupadi have together bring new perspective to woman empowerment. One that says, there is nothing but growth and development in life without gender bias.

They are the two sides of the same coin

Krishna promotes freedom of thoughts and actions, while Draupadi demonstrates that freedom through her thoughts and actions all her life. One can say that on the chess board of Mahabharata, Krishna is like the king, the hero of the game who plays limited moves. On the other hand, Draupadi is like a queen, the female hero who actually brings momentum to the game with vast range of moves. At the end Mahabharata tells us that there is a victory of Pandavas side with Krishna as a king and Draupadi as a queen.

Krishna is a social leader who brings a revolution in the social values through his discourse of Bhagwat Geeta. Through the Bhagwat Geeta, he explains principles of life by churning out the knowledge of Vedas. Krishna elucidates the Bhagwat Geeta to Arjun on the brink of Kurukshetra war to provide a holistic solution to his dilemma.

Although the Bhagwat Geeta is discoursed to Arjun, Draupadi’s husband, Draupadi has in reality practiced its principles. Through the principles of life, Geeta provides guidance on self-exploration of a human being. Krishna explains three ways of self-exploration – behavioural, emotional and intellectual.

Draupadi has always been dutiful in her actions to her family

A behavioural way of self-exploration emphasises a discipline of action to perform duties without consideration of personal desires. Draupadi has been dutiful throughout life in all her actions. As a daughter, she has been able to fulfil desire of revenge of her father by being a cause of internecine war in Kuru clan. And as a wife, she exemplifies a faithful companion to all five husbands.

As a daughter-in-law, she works in tandem with her mother-in-law for betterment of a family. And as a mother, she successfully integrates good values in her children and takes all decisions in the interest of wellbeing of her children. As a queen, she works hard towards bringing peace and happiness in life of subject of her kingdom. She follows her instincts and acts without being attached to the results of her deeds. In nutshell, she lives behavioural principles elucidated by Krishna.

Draupadi seeks self-exploration at intellectual level through her continual quest for wisdom of life. A journey of Draupadi’s life is on the path of achieving wisdom of life. She explores things around her with openness of mind and takes learnings along the way of life and transforms her learnings into the wisdom of life.

Draupadi and Krishna’s friendship brings fulfilment to both their lives

Through this wisdom Draupadi gives meaning to her life and the world around. With an axe of wisdom she is able to cut through slices of reality and look at a fruit of the results with a detached approach. Draupadi is able to do an analysis of a situation and a synthesis of the events that take place around her. This application of principles at intellectual level helps Draupadi to move ahead in the life.

A foundation of the emotional way of self-exploration is a faith on the positive energy of life. Draupadi showcases strong faith in this and faces all the difficulties with equanimity of mind, without being demoralised.

Draupadi’s friendship with Krishna is founded on pure love and is an epitome of the emotional aspect of self-exploration. She has strong faith in the power of thoughts. Throughout her life Draupadi tries to attain “oneness” with Krishna’s thoughts because she believes these will help her surpass all hindrances and achieve her goal. This connect brings completeness to Draupadi’s character and makes her life a beautiful and complete picture.

Picture credits: Still from the series Mahabharata on Star Plus

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Shruti Hajirnis Gupte is a chartered accountant by profession & is pursuing a career in the

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