Monday, March 2, 2009
Sons of Draupadi - Upa Pandavas
Draupadi was born as the daughter of King Drupada. She and her brother Drishtadyumna were a result of the yagna performed by the King to take revenge on the sage Drona.
Draupadi was won in a Swayamvara (a contest where the suitors showed their prowess and won the hand of a princess) by the Pandava Arjuna. But then, was married to all five of the Pandavas due to a thoughtless remark by Kunti (the mother of the Pandavas). This instance is also said to be pre-ordained.
Other sons of the pandavas, like Gatothkacha(Son of Bheema and Hidumbi), Abhimanyu (Son of Arjuna and Subhadra), Iravan (son of Arjuna and Uloopi) are mentioned at length for their heroics in the Kuruksherta war. Not much is mentioned but that Draupadi had five sons and they were killed while they were asleep, by Aswathama - the son of Sage Drona. The names of the five sons of Draupadi were thus - Prathivindya, Srutasoma, Sruthakeerthi, Sataaneekaa,Sruthasena
Always, throughout the Hindu mythology, whatever seems senseless to us mere mortals, seem to have a different objective. And the root of this death is traced to the time of Raja Harischandra of Kosala.
The sage Viswamitra decided to test if king Harischandra really deserved his reputation as a most truthful king. He managed to trick the king into giving up his Kingdom and everything in it, including his clothes and ornaments and forced the king to leave, along with his Queen and son. the sage actually beat the queen to push them out of the kingdom. The five guardian deities of the kingdom were enraged by this and condemned the Sage. The sage became enraged and cursed them to be born as mortals. Once they begged Viswamitra's pardon, the sage revised his curse, saying that though they would be re-born as mortals, they would get their moksha before forming any attachments that would reduce their status and sanctity as guardian deities.
And hence, the guardians were born as the sons of Draupadi, who were killed before they were old enough to earn a name or marry and have any progeny of their own. Their souls attained relief from Sage Viswamitra's curse, while their murderer Aswathama - not content with having killed the five Upa-Pandavas as they were known, decided to summon the Brahmastra and tried to kill the son of Abhimanyu in Uttara's womb. The baby was saved by Lord Krishna and He cursed Aswathama to always roam the lands without attaining moksha.