Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Jaidratha's misdeed

The Pandavas were passing their days peacefully in the Kamyaka Forest. Saint Dhaumya's hut was just at stone's throw from their lodge. Unexpectedly an unhappy incident occurred that disturbed the peace of the Pandavas.

Jaidratha, ruler of Sindhu Desha, was going to Hastinapur in his chariot. The way lay through the Kamyaka Forest. Draupadi was standing before their ashrama and Jaidratha caught sight of her. Seeing her charming looks, he lost control over himself , though he had not been able to recognize Draupadi.
Stopping his chariot, Jaidratha ordered one of his soldiers to go and discover who the lady was. So, the soilder went to Draupadi and said, "I am a soilder of Jaidratha, king of Sindhu Desha. He is on his way to Hastinapur. My king wants to know who you are, O Lady. Be kind to let me know that."
"I am Draupadi, wife of the brave Pandavas. They have gone hunting in the forest. Your king is our broyher-in-law and we shall be highly pleased to entertain him with whatever we possesses. My husbands will come back in a short time," was draupadi's modest reply.
The soilder went back to Jaidratha and informed him of what Draupadi had told him. Hearing draupadi's name, Jaidratha felt impatient to go and entice her to accompany him to his capital instead of suffering hardship there.
When Jaidratha came to the hut of the Pandavas, Draupadi greeted him and said, "Have a seat dewarji (brother-in-law ) ; I will bring water for you. The Pandavas are away in the forest. They will be pleased to see you here."
Jaidratha, smitten by Draupadi's beauty, considered the absence of the Pandavas to be a golden opportunity for enticing her and abducting her to his palace. So, he said to her, "Why are you suffering hardships in the forest ? Accompany me to my palace and be my queen."
Hearing the words of Jaidratha, Panchali was wonder-struck and beside herself with rage. She scolded him hard and burst out saying, "Why didn't you die of a nose-dive (by drowning one self in a handful of water) before saying such words? Our sister----Dushshala----is already your queen. And don't you fear my husbands, the mention of whose names sends terror through the bones of the greatest warriors. As far as I know, your fore-fathers were known for their love of morality and religiosity. But your behaviour has proved that you have not imbibed their virtues.. Mind you! Arjuna's arrows and Bhima's mace are there to protect me."
"I have given you a suggestion for your own good. As for the Pandavas, I do not fear them especially when they are no better than beggars now." Saying so, jaidratha stood up, lifted draupadi physically and seated her in his chariot. Despite her best efforts, she could not free herself.
Then Draupadi shouted for help addressing Saint Dhaumya who had his hut just near by. He responded immediately and stood before the chariot shouting, "Don't touch her, O Devil, with your impious hands. You will pay very heavily for this misdeed of yours."
Jaidrath paid no heed towhat Saint dhaumya had said and kept driving his chariot further. The saint joined his soldiers and followed him. These soldiers were also condemning their king's misdeed and sympathizing with the saint and the Pandavas.
Before long, thje Pandavas returned to their hut and found Draupadi missing. On enquiring about her from their maid, they came to know what had happened. She said to them, "Follow him, My Lords, and rescue the queen from the cruel king of Sindhu Desha."
Arjuna and Bhima gave Jaidratha a hot chase in a chariot and soon overtook his soldiers among whome was their priest, Saint Dhyaumya, also. Bhima urged arjuna to kill all the soldiers of Jaidratha. So, Arjuna shot volleys of arrows at them. Most of them were killed then and there while the rest of them fled the scene.
The Pandavas resumed their chase and soon they were at the heels of Jaidratha. Seeing his life in danger, he pushed Draupadi off his chariot thinking that it might make the Pandavas give up the chase. Then he tried to speed up his chariot so that he might be able to run away from the Pandavas. Seeing this, Draupadi began to bewail bitterly. She incited Bhima and Arjuna to do away with Jaidratha instantly in order to pacify her.
Hearing Draupadi's wails, Bhima could not control himself. Lifting his mace, he got ready to kill Jaidratha. He was beside himself in rage. He decided to make short work of Jaidratha and throw his dead body at Draupadi's feet . But thinking about the displeasure of his elder brother, he could not do that. So, he decided to carry Jaidratha to their hut and present him before Yudhishthira to be punished according to his directive.
So, Bhima held jaidratha by the hair and flung him down on the ground from his chariot. He tied his hands and said, "You Rascal ! How did you have the courage to lay hands on our honour ?"
Then Bhima dragged Jaidratha onto his own chariot and all of them proceeded back to their hut in the Kamyaka Forest. Jaidratha still feared that his life was in danger. He was sure that Bhima would not spare his life in any case. The only hope for him lay the eldest pandava-----Yudhishthira-----who was kind and forgiving by nature.
Jaidratha's Punishment.
As soon as the chariot reached the hut of the pandavas, Jaidratha's hands were untied and he lost no time to lie prostrate at Yudhishthira's feet begging to be excused. But Yudhishthira could only say, "It is Panchali who can pardon you."
As for Draupadi, she was in no mood to hear anything. She rebuked the Pandavas saying, "Did you marry me to be insulted by anyone and everyone ? I was disgraced in the open court and you all kept quiet. And now a rascal abucted me to play with my chastity and you want to spare his life.?"
Seeing Bhima mad with anger, Yudhishthira consoled him and said, "Dear Brother! Be cool. We have to punish him for his misdeed. But leave the idea of killing him. After all, he is the husband of our sister----Dushashala. His sin is very grave. But his relationship to us is so sensitive that our hands are tied. Just think, if Dushshala begs you to spare the life of her husband, will you ever be able to ignore her request ?"

Although Draupadi was mad with anger, yet she had immense respect in her mind for Yudhishthira. This sense of respect compelled her to address Bhima and say, I shall pardon him but only after duly avenging my insult. Shave his head clean leaving five tufts of hair at different places. Then leave him free to reach his palace in that very condition so that his queen, his ministers and other people might know what he had done."
The suggestions given by Draupadi was duly considered. Though Bhima and Arjuna were not ready to grant pardon to Jaidratha, Yudhishthira wanted to pardon him with a view to give him another chance. Seeing this, Draupadi gave her opinion in favour of the eldest Pandava and pacified both of them. She said, "The punishment that I have proposed is potent enough to bring him to the right path. He has called me his sister and asked for my pardon now. So, it is just by all means do leave him alive but after inflicting exemplary punishment on him. "
So, Jaidratha was shaven clean leaving tuffs of hair at five places on his head and pardoned. Thanking his stars, he touched Draupadi's feet, calling her his sister again and then bowed low at Yudhishthira's feet. Everyone present there smiled sarcastically to see him shaven clean with five tufts of hair on his head. This made Jaidratha feel awfully disgraced.
Jaidratha left the hut of the Pandavas but he was very sore at heart. Meditating on his disgrace with utmost sorrow, he resolved to seek revenge for the treatment meted out to him by the Pandavas.
Now, Jaidratha could go neither to hastinapur nor to Sindhu Desha with his shaven head and tufts of hair. It was sure to add insult to his already injured sense of honour as everybody would like to know the reason of his being shaven clean. So, he decided to stay away from his capital till the hair on his head regrew.
Leaving the forest. Jaidratha came to Gangadwara and thought of meditating hard to obtain a boon from Lord Shiva. His meditation was so full of devotion that it pleased Lord Shiva. The Lord appeared before him and said, "Jaidrtha! You've pleased me with your sincere devotion. So, ask for a boon. I'll grant it here and now."
Jaidratha felt very pleased and said, "Give me a boon, O Lord, that I may defeat all the five Pandavas in battle along with all their soldiers."
But Lord said, "It is impossible as the Pandavas are invincible. Arjuna has my mightiest weapons with him. So, I can give you a boon that at the most you will be able to block the path of four Pandavas, except Arjuna. And that for one day only. Lord Krishna is at the beck and call of Arjuna. So, he is not only invincible but nobody can kill him too."
Sayting so, Lord Shiva disappeared and Jaidratha felt helpless and heavy at heart. But his hair had regrown by now. So, he made for his capital.

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