Draupadi and Pandavas
In the Hindu epic Mahābhārata, the Pandava (Sanskrit: पाण्डव pāṇḍavaḥ; also, Pandawa) are the five acknowledged sons of Pandu (Sanskrit: पांडु), by his two wives Kunti and Madri. Their names are Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. All five brothers were married to the same woman,Draupadi. (Each brother also had multiple other wives.) Together, the brothers fought and prevailed in a great war against their cousins the Kauravas, which came to be known as the Battle of Kurukshetra. However, one could say that there were six pandavas instead of five, the eldest being Karna who was abandoned by his mother, Kunti before her marriage. Karna was told by Lord Krishna that according to the laws and ethics he is the first son of Kunti making him the eldest Pandava. The five unknowingly fought their eldest brother Karna. -------------------------------------------------
The story begins with the introduction of the brothers' parents. Amongst the primary antagonists was Duryodhana (Sanskrit: दुर्योधन) named Suyodhana (Sanskrit: सुयोधन) at birth, but took the name Duryodhana (roughly meaning 'unconquerable') of his own free will. He was the eldest of the 100 brothers known as the Kauravas, who were born to the blind king of Hastinapura Dhritarashtra and his queen Gandhari (princess of Gandhara). The Pandavas were born to Kunti and Madri after Pandu's voluntary renunciation of royal life to do penance for having accidentally killed the sage(Rishi) Kindama and his wife. After the death of Pandu, Kunti brought the Pandavas back to Hastinapura. As children, the Pandavas and Kauravas often played together. However, Bhima (one of the Pandavs) was always at loggerheads with the Kauravas, particularly Duryodhana who refused to accept the Pandavas as his kin. This usually led to much tension between the cousins. Insecure and jealous, Duryodhana harboured intense hatred for the five brothers throughout his childhood and youth, and following the vile advice of his maternal uncle Shakuni, often plotted to get rid of them to clear his path to the lordship of the Kuru Dynasty. This plotting took a grave turn when Dhritarashtra had to relent to the will of the masses and rightfully appointed his nephew Yudhisthira as crown prince. This went against the personal ambitions of both father and son (Dhritarashtra and Duryodhana), and drove Duryodhana into such a rage, that he enthusiastically agreed to an evil ploy by Shakuni to murder Yudhisthira. Shakuni commissioned the construction of a palace in Varnavata, secretly built by incorporating flammable materials into the structure, most notably sealing wax(known as Laac). This palace was known as Laacshaghar. Duryodhana then successfully lobbied with Dhritarashtra to send Yudhisthira to represent the royal household in Varnavata during the celebrations of Shiva Mahotsava. The plan was to set the palace on fire during the night while Yudhisthira would likely be asleep. As Yudhisthira left for Varnavata, accompanied by his four brothers and mother Kunti, fortunately for the Pandavas, the plan was discovered by their paternal uncle Vidura, who was very loyal to them and an extraordinarily wise man. In addition, Yudhisthira had been forewarned about this plot by a hermit who came to him and spoke of an imminent disaster. Vidura arranged for a tunnel to be secretly built for the Pandavs to safely escape the wax palace as it was set afire. After their flight from the wax palace, the five brothers lived in the forests for some time, in the disguise of Brahmins. They heard from a group of traveling sages about a contest (Swayamvara) being held in the Kingdom of Panchaal that offered the princess Draupadi's hand in marriage to the winner. The Swayamvara turned out to rely on the skills of archery, and Arjuna,...
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