Ugrasravasu, the Sootha, continued to narrate the Story of Mahabharat, to Sounaka and other Sages and saints. After killing Bakasura, Pandavas with their mother, Kunti, lived in Ekacakrapura for some time. One ay, one brahmin came to their house as guest. Dharmaja received him with due honours and gave him food. While he was taking rest, Dharmaja asked him “Kindly tell me which places have you visted and what is the mportance of those places?”

The Brahmin continued to say about the places he has visited. “I have seen so many places but I have never seen a place like Panchaala . It is being ruled by a king called Drupada. His daughter, Droupadi, was born from out of “Homaagni” (Sacred fire). King Drupada is trying to perform her marriage.” the brahmin said.

On earing this, Dharmaja was surprised. “How was a humanbeing born from out of Homaagni (Sacred Fire)? Why was she not born to her mother? Kindly tell me the details.I am curious to know about that” asked Dharmaja. The brahmin continued to say: “Drona and Drupada were good friends. They both studied in one gurukula. They learned archery skills from Guru Agnivesa. For some reason or other, enemity developed between them.

Drupada became the King of Panchaala. Drona went to Hastinaapura and at the request of Bheeshma, he taught archery skills to Kouravas and Pandavas. As “Guru Dakshina”,Drona asked Arjuna to catch Drupada and bring him before him. Accordingly,Arjuna fought with Drupada, defeated him, tied him to his chariot and broughthim before Drona. Drona heckled Drupada and freed him. Drupada could not tolerate this insult caused to him by Drona. He wanted to have one son who can kill Drona in war and also a daughter who can marry Arjuna. He began one Yaagaa.Himself and his wife, Kokila Devi, peformed that “Yaga” with great devotion.

On completion of that Yaga, one man, with huge and mighty personality, with a great bowand arrows came out of the Sacred Fire. Then, one girl, with stunning beauty, but withblack comlexion, also came out of the Sacred Fire. AakaaSa vaani named both of them as Dhrushtadyumna and Krishna (black personality).Now that girl, Krishna, is of marriagiable age. Drupada wanted to perform her marriage. The intention of King Drupada was to give her in marriage to Arjuna. Later he came to know that Arjuna, along with his brothers, was killed in Lackhouse at Vaaranaavata. But his Purohits (Priests) told him that for Pandavas, all are good Omens and they are certainly alive. With the fond hope that Arjuna will come and marry his daughter, he proclaimed Svayamvara (girl choosing a boy of her choice). Drupadagot prepared a mighty bow and also Matsya Yantra. (Matsya Yantra means, a fish tied to a wheel, will be rotating in the sky. One has to shot it down by watching its image in the water on the ground.).

He thought that Arjuna alone can aim the bow and shoot matsya yantra. All the kings are going to that Svayamvara”, said the Brahmin. On hearing this, Kunti told Dharmaja “we have been living in this house of a Brahmin since a long time. It is not proper on our part to live in others' house any longer. Therefore, we also will move to Panchala kingdom.” said Kunti. Dharmaja also agreed for that proposal. Then all of them left Ekachakra pura for Panchala kingdom. On the way, they visited Vyasa Ashram.Saint Vyasa blessed them and said that they should go to Pancala Pura and they will be benefited. After having the blessings of Saint Vyasa, they proceeded to Panchala Pura.

They were travelling by walk day and night. One mid nighy, they reached the banks of Holy River Ganges. It was called Somasrava theertha. They wanted to have a holy dip in that sacred place. At that time, one Gandharva, called Angaaraparna, along with his wives,arrived there.
He saw Pandavas. He grew angry. “You, human beings, this is the time for Rakshasas (Asuras or Demons), Gandharvas to roam. During this time, human beings shall not roam. I am a Gandharva, called Angara Parna. The River Ganges and the surrounding forests are under my control. You all have to quit this place immediately. Otherwise, you will be killed” proudly said Angaraparna.

Arjuna looked at Angaaraparna and smiled. “Your words will apply to ordinary human beings but not valiant people like us. Besides that, this holy ganges belongs to one and all. Not only Holy Ganges, all the rivers on this earth belong to entire population but not to one individual.” said Arjuna. Angaaraparna could not tolerate this kind of retaliation from an ordinary human being. He showered arrows on Arjuna. Arjuna warded off those arrows with the torch he was holding. Arjuna looked at Gardharva “This is AgnEyaastra. This was originally given by Agni Deva to Bruhaspati. Bruhaspati gave it to Bharadvaaja who in turn gave it to Parasuraama. Prasuraama gave it to my guru Drona and Drona gave it to me.Now I am aiming it to you” so saying Arjuna hurled the torch on Angaarparna.
The chariot of Angara parna was burnt away. He fell down on the ground.

Arjuna caught him and dragged him to Dharmaja. Dharmaja looked at that Gandharva and told Arjuna “Arjuna, we should not punish those who are defeated or lost their valour. Leave him”. Angara parna recognised him as Arjuna and said : “Arjunaa, you are a valiant person. I want to make friendship with you. I will give you “Chaakshusi”charm which I acquired. I will also give you best horses for your use. You please give AgnEyaastra to me”. “Gandharvaa, though you are my friend, I cannot receive any rewards from you. I will give you AgnEyaastra. But I will receive only horses” said Arnuna. Gandharva agreed for that.

Again Arjuna said “Angaara parnaa, we always follow Dharma and act according to Dharma. But why did you behav so harshly with us ?” “Arjunaa, I know who you are . But one thing you should remember. Any person who is surrounded by beautiful ladies,however intelligent he may be, will forget himself and feels like a hero. I also lost my temper and talked like that. But if we have a Purohit by our side, he will speak on behalf of us carefully and tactfully and prevent us from doing any untoward act. O Taapatyaa! why are you wandering alone without a Purohit? Please have one good Purohit along with you always.” said Angaarparna. Arjuna got a doubt. “Gandharvaa,we are the sons of Kunti. We are Kounteyaas.

But why did you call me asTaapatyaa (sons and grandsons of Tapati). How did we become tapatyaas. Kindly tell me”asked Arjuna Angaara Parna continued to say: “Tapati was the daughter of Soorya ( Sun God) and sister of Savitri. She was a very beautiful and virtuous lady. SamvaraNa was the son of Ajaameedha. He was also a virtuous king. He was a staunch devotee of Soorya. Soorya came to know about SamvaraNa. He wanted to give Tapati in marriage to SamvaraNa.

One day SamvaraNa went to forest for hunting. As he was tired, he was taking rest under a tree. At that time, he saw Tapati, wandering in the forest. He fell inlove with her. He asked Tapati about her where abouts. She did not give any reply and went away. SamvaraNa became mad with love on her and he was wandering in the forest for Tapati as he madly fell in love with her. Tapati also loved Samvarana. She came before him.O king! why did you fall in love with me?” asked Tapati. “I admired your beauty. I fell in love with you at first sight. I cannot live without you. I will marry you in Gandharva method.” said SamvaraNa. Tapati smiled and said: “ I am the daughter of Soorya and sister of Savitri. My name is Tapati. You better ask my father about our marriage.” So saying she went away.

From then onwards, SamvaraNa began to worship Soorya with great devotion. One day VasishTa came to see SamvaraNa. SamvaraNa told VasishTa about Tapati and his intention to marry her. Immediately, Vasishta went to Soorya and told him about SamvaraNa and asked Soorya to give his daughter, Tapati, in marriage to SamvaraNa as he was a virtuous king and he fell in love with Tapati and Tapati also agreed for the same. Soorya already intended to give his daughter to Samvarana. Hence, he gladly agreed for the same. Soorya sent his daughter, Tapati,along with VasishTa to SamvaraNa. VasishTa performed the marriage of SamvaraNa with Tapati. The great king, Kuru, in whose name a dynasty “Kuru VamSa”started, was born to SamvaraNa and Tapati. As you belong to Kuru Vamsa, I called you as Taapatya” explained AngaaraparNa to Arjuna.

“Angaara parNa, Vasishtawasa chief priest for our ancestors. I wanted to know about him and his virtues.Kindly tell me about Saint VasishTa.” AngaaraparNa continued to say Arjuna aboutSaint VasishTa. “In the ancient past, King Visvaamitra was ruling Kanyaakubja city. One day he went to a thick forest for hunting. His ministers, followersand his mighty army accompanied him. After hunting for a while, he wanted to have darshan of VasishTa. He then went to the Ashram of VasishTa. Saint VasishTa received him with kingly honours. He asked his Kamadhenu, called Nandini, to arrange food for King Visvamitra, his ministers, his followers and also to his mighty army.Nandini, the Kamadhenu, accordingly, served sumptuous food with several items to King Visvamitra and his army.

King Visvamitra was astonished. “Saint VasishTa, I will give you one lakh best quality cows. Kindly give this Kamadhenu to me” askedVisvamitra. VasishTa refused to give Nandini. King Visvaamitra grew angry. He ordered his army to catch the cow, kamadhenu, and bring it. Nandini looked at VasishTa. VasishTa kept quiet. Nandini could not tolerate this. She grew angry. A mighty army was born from her body. That army fought with the army of Visvamitra and defeated it. Visvaamitra realised his mistake. He thought that power attained by Tapassu is greater than his physical kingly power.

He renounced his kingdom. He went to forest and performed penance. He attained many powers. Still, he was so jealous of VasishTa. At that time, VasishTa was the ChiefPreist of King Kalmaasha paadaa. Visvamitra also wanted to become Chief Priest of King Kalmaashapaada. One day King Kalmaasha paada went to forest for hunting. As he was tired, he wanted to take rest in the Ashram of Vasishta. While he was proceeding towards VasishTa Ashram, the elder son of VasishTa, by name Sakti, was coming opposite to him. As the pathway was narrow, King Kalmaasha paada ordered Sakti to give way for him. “King Kalmaashapaada, however high he may be, if abrahmin comes opposite to him, anybody will give way to that Brahmin. That is Dharma.Dont you know this” said Sakti.

Kalmaasha grew angry and beat Sakti with his handstick. Sakti also grew angry. “you beat me with Asuric attitude. Hence you will become a Raakshasa and live by eating human flesh” cursed Sakti. Kalmaashapaadaa realised his costly mistake. He recognized Sakti as the son of VasishTa. He prayed for mercy. Visvamitra was observing all this from behind a tree. He immediately inducted one demon called Kinkara in the mind of Kalmaashapaada. With the influence of Kinkara, Kalmaashapaada did not care for Sakti and went away.

He gave up all his routine duties of King, and was spending time in luxuries. One day one brahmin came to Kalmaashapaada and asked for food with mutton. Kalmaasha paadaagreed but forgot about it. Late in the night, he remembered about offering food with mutton to Brahmin. He immediately called the cook and asked him to serve that Brahmin sumptuous food with mutton. The cook expressed his inability to prepare food with mutton at that late hour. With the influence of Demon Kinkara,Kalmashapaada asked the cook to serve food to Brahmin with human flesh.Accordingly, the cook prepared food with flesh and served it to the Brahmin.While taking food, the Brahmin realised that it was human flesh. He grew angry. “As you served food with human flesh, you will become aRaakshasa, eating human flesh” the Brahmin cursed Kalmaashapaada. Immediately,Kalmaashapaada transformed into a Raakshasa. With Asuric attitude,Kalmaasha paada went to Sakti and caught him “You are responsible for all these things. Hence I will first kill and eat you.” So saying, he killed Sakti and ate him. He also killed all the hundred sons of VasishTa and ate their flesh.

VasishTa could not control his sorrow on seeing this calamity. He wanted to commit suicide. He tried many ways. But all his attempts to commit suicide are failed. Adrusyanti, the wife of Sakti, daughter-in-law of Vasishta, was observing all these things. At that time she was pregnant. A boy was growing in her womb, was chanting Vedas. VasishTa heard the chanting of Vedas from the womb. He was very happy. He desired to see his grandson and die. For that moment, he gave up the idea of committing suicide.

One dayKalmaashapaada, again came to the Ashram of VasishTa, tried to kill Adrushyanti and eat her flesh. Vasishta took some water, chanted Mantras and sprinkled the water on Kalmaashapaada. Kalmaashapaada was relieved from the Curse given by Brahmin.Kalmaasha paada bowed before VashTa and prayed for mercy.“Kalmaashapaada, you might have, by this time, realized what will happen if you insult Brahmins. Hereinafter, worship Brahmins and seek their blessings. Dont insult them.” said Vasishta.

Then Kalmaashapaada went to his capital Ayodhya and was ruling his kingdom. While Kalmaashapaada was Raakshasaa, one day he saw one brahmin couple enjoying sexual intercourse. As he was hungry, he killed the male and ate him up. The female grew angry. “Whenever you meet any woman with sexual desire, you will die” she cursed him.Now Kalmaashapaada is without children. Due to this curse (Saapa), he could not join his wifeand beget children. As he was very much in need of children, he requested Saint VasishTa to bless him with son. Kalmaashapaada sent his wife, after her monthly period, to Vasishta. With the blessings of Vasishta, she became pregnant. Tweve years have elapsed. She did not deliver the child. Therefore, she took a sharp edged stone and cut her womb and took the child out of the womb. Hence that boy was called Ashmaka. (Can we believe that whenever the delivery was difficult, caesarean operations were done in thosedays also. It may be a coincidence that as King Julius Caesar was so delivered, he was called Caesar. As the son of Kalmaasha paada was born by cutting the womb by sharp rock piece (Ashma sakala), he was called Ashmaka.) At the same time,Adrusyanti,wife of Sakti, also gave birth to a child. He was the great saint Paraasara.Parasara grew older under the guidance of Saint Vasishta. Paraasara came to know, through his mother Adrushyanti, that his father, Sakti, was killed by a Raakshasa.He grew angry. He wanted to destroy the entire world with his enormous powers attained by Tapassu.

Vasishta pacified him. “Paraasaraa, for your personal cause, you cannot destory the entire world. I will tell yo one story. Long ago,there was a king called Krutaveerya. He peformed many Yajnas and Yaagaas. For that he engaged Bhrugu Vamsa Brahmins as priests. He gave them enormous wealth by means of money, gold and diamonds. In the later days,some Kshatriyas of Krutavarma family raised a rumour that “Bhruguvamsa Brahmins stealthily took away the wealth of Krutaveerya and concealed it”. On hearing this some Brahmins returned their wealth to those Kshatriyas. Some brahmins concealed their wealth underground. Some kshatriyas came to know about this.They killed those brahmins and took away the wealth concealed by them. Those kshatriyas did not leave even the children in the womb. All the ladies fled away to Himalayas.One brahin lady was bearing a child in her thigh (ooruvu). A child with dazzling shine was born from out of her thigh (ooruvu). He was called as Ourva.

On seeing that dazzling shine of the child, all the Kshatriyasbecame blind. Later, Ourva came to know that Kahstriyas killed his father and other brahmins. Like you, he also wanted to destroy the entire world and began a penance.The celestial bodies of his parents (Pitru Devatas) came to Ourva and said “Do you mean to say that we were so timid and inefficient to be killed by Kshatriyas. No. itis not correct. We did not conceal the wealth with selfish motive. If we want wealth,Kubera will give us enormous wealth. You know, we did great tapassu. We are sacred. We do not get death easily. We do not want to live any longer in this human world. We wanted to die. If we commit suicide, it was a sin. Hence we followed this path. We invited enmity with kshatriyas. We were killed by them for that reason, you need not destroy the entire world. It is not dharma. Please stopthis.”

On hearing these words of those celestial bodies, Ourva gave up his idea of destroying theworld. Therefore, Paraasaraa, please be patient. The Tapassu intended by you to destroy the world is not acceptable by dharma.” said Vasishta. On hearing the words of his grand father, Paraasaraa gave up his idea. But Parasara wanted to punish those who killed his father and uncles. He intended to perform Satra Yaaga. VasishTa also did not object this. In that Satra Yaaga, the entire Raakshasa community were falling in theYajna Kunda and burning like small insects. While the enhtire Rakshasa community was being destroyed like that, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratuvu came down toVasishTa and requested him to stop Satra yaaga and save Raakshasa community.

As per their request and also as per the mandate his grand father, VasishTa, Paraasara stopped Satra yaaga and saved the rest of the Raakshasa community” said Angaaraparna with Arjuna. Arjuna was very much satisfied on hearing the story of Vasishta. Again he said to Angaara parna “Dear friend,here we do not know anybody. Kindly show us some virtuous brahmin to be our Purohit” asked Arjuna. “Arjunaa, very near to this place, there is one place named Utkanca Teertha.There, one virtuous brahmin, called Dhoumya, is doing Tapassu. He is a fit person to be your Purohit.” said Angaaraparna.

Then Pandavas went to Utkanca Teertha and found Dhoumya. They requested Dhoumya to be their Purohit for which hehas agreed. After taking the blessings of Dhomya, Pandavas and Kunti continued their journey to Paancaala kingdom. On the way, they met some Brahmins and learnt many things about the Svayamvara of Droupadi. They reached Drupada nagar and stayed in the house of a Pot Maker. In Drupadapura,King Drupada intended to give her daughter in marriage to Arjuna. But laterArjuna was said to be died in Lac house. He could not fulfil his desire. His Purohits, as per the Good Omens, thought that Arjuna was alive. To bring him to Drupadapura, King Drupada announced the Svayamvara for Droupadi. He got prepared a huge bow and also a Matsya Yantra. He proclaimed that who ever hits the fish fixed in the Yantra(machine), will marry his daughter . King Drupada was confident in his mind that only Arjuna will hit matsyayantra and none else.

Several kings came to the Svayamvara and occupied their respective seats in the Svayamvara ManTapa (big hall).Droupadi was ready with a garland of white flowers, to invite Arjuna into her life.DrushTadyumna, son of King Drupada, brother of Droupadi, explained about Matsyayantra to all the kings arrived there. He also told Droupadi about the Kings who arrived for Svayamvara. They are Duryodhana, Dussaasana and other brothers (numbering 100), sitting by their side, Karna, Asvatthaama, Somadatta,BhooriSrava, SrutaSena and others, King Salya, ViraaTa, Jaraasandha, King of Gaandhaara kingdom, SaaraNa, Saatyaki, Saamba,SankarshaNa, Pradyumna,Krutavarma, Aniruddha, Yuyudhaana, and others, Sumitra, Sukumaara, Susarma, SudhakshiNa,SushENa, SEnabindu, ChandrasEna, SamudrasEna, Ouseenara, CEkitaana,Sisupaala, JanamEjaya, Jayadhradha, Bruhadhradha, Satyavrata, Citraangada,Shubhaangada, Bhageeradha, Bhagadatta, Poundraka Vaasudeva, Vatsaraaja,and other kings, and Kings belonging to Yadu, VrushNi, BhOja, Andhaka dynasties, and Brahmins from all over the kingdom and neighbouring kingdoms for Sambhaavana (rewards to Brahmins).

DhruTadyumna, showed all the abovekings to Droupadi. (The names of all the kings and dynasties shown given above,will appear in Maha bhaarata, at appropriate places. That is the reason why Vyaasa introduced the names of all Kings and Dynasties here, very aptly, as if they were invited for the Svayamvara. This introduction will help us in identifying the kings and their kingdoms in the forthcoming story) Sri Krishna, along with his brother,Balarama, also visited the Svayamvara.

Sree Krishna looked at all the Kings and Brahmins and others with an eagle eye. He identified Pandavas in the gallery intended forBrahmins. They were shining like fire under the cover of ash. (In Maha Bharata, for the first time, Lord Krishna was aptly introduced at this Svayamvara scene. The Preacher of Geeta, a political stalvart, was introduced in Mahabharata at an auspicious marriage scene. Sri Krishna also identified Pandavas there. Seeds are sown here for the meeting of Arjuna with Krishna (Nara and Naaraayana) which led upto preaching of Geeta in a battle field). Sri Krishna gave a signal to all the Yadava Kings not to participate in Svayamvara and hitting of Matsya Yantra as it was intended for Arjuna who already arrived there. The Svayamvara function started. All the kings, one by one, were coming and going. Nobody was able even to lift that mighty bow, leave alone hitting Matsya Yantra. Mighty Personalities like Salya and Karna also failed to hit Matsya Yantra.

Arjuna looked at his elder brother Dharmaja. Dharmaja understood his desire. He nodded his head. Arjuna rose to his feet and walked towards the stage where the bow was kept. All the Brahmins gathered there surprised to see a Brahmin (Arjuna) going to hit Matsya Yantra. “Mighty Warriors like Karna and Salya could not hit Matsya Yantra. Why this rahmin youth is going there? Having come, just receive the Sambhaavana and get out of he place. Why this unsuccessful attempt - except to be heckled by others unnecessarily” the brahmins murmered among themselves. But some brahmins encouraged him “BravO! brahmin youth BravO! Our blessings are with you. Go ahead. Win the race. Let the brahmins raise their heads so high” encouraged Arjuna.

Arjuna went upto the platform where the might bow was kept. He made three rounds around the Bow and bowed before it. He ade pranaam to the Bow. He lifted the bow as an experienced archeror and tied the rope tightly. He hit the Matsya Yantra with the prescribed five arrows. All the kings and valiant personalities astonished and remained speechless. The joy of the Brahmins knew to bounds.They lifted their upper cloths and waved them raising slogans praising the brahmin youth (Arjuna). Dharmaja silently left that place along with Nakula and Sahadeva, keeping Bheema to help Arjuna. Droupadi, with the garland (vara maala) slowly walked down to the place where Arjuna was standing and put the garland around the neck of Arjuna and invited him into his life as life partner.

All the kings arrived there grew angry. They could not control their anger. King Duryodhanawas in front of them. “The Brahmins youth is not at fault. He hit MatsyaYantra and won the hand of the Princess. But King Drupada is at fault. Why should he invite all of us for Svayamvara? Why should he extend princely hospitality to all of us? Why should he insult us like this? Drupada is the main reason for this. He should betaught a lesson” said Duryodhana. Drupada was standing by the side of Arjuna. But the Brahmins gathered there around Arjuna, waved their upper cloths and roared “come on-- come on -- you unsuccessful kings. Decide your fate with our Brahmin Youth” They tried to go against the kings. Arjuna stopped them with a smile. Arjuna looked at Bheema. Bheema understood his intention.

Both Bheema and Arjuna fell upon the kings.Arjuna showered arrows on the Kings. Bheema uprooted big trees, poles and pillars and hurled them on the Kings. Sri Krishna, with a smiling face, was looking atBheema and Arjuna. “Brother Balaraama, please look at those two Brahmin youths. One who is fighting with arrows is Arjuna. The other mighty personality who is lifting trees,pillars and huge rocks and hitting the Kings is Bheema. Dharmaja and Nakula,Sahadeva already left this place.” said Krishna. Balaraama was so astonished on hearing this. He heard that Pandavas were killed at Vaaranaavata. Their appearance here in Brahmin attire made him very happy.

Karna was fighting with Arjuna. He also was so much astonished and was in perplexed mood how this brahmin youth acquired so much of archery skill. “O Brahmin youth! Listen! To stand before me in dual war, only Parasuraama, DEvEndra and Arjuna were capable. None can even stand before me.Who are you?” asked Karna. “I am none as you said. Better talk less and fight with me” said Arjuna. At other place, Bheemaa defeatedSalya in dual fight. All the kings thought that it was waste to fight with Brahmins.They turned around and went away. But suspicious Duryodhana was enquiring about Arjuna and Bheema whether they are actually Brahmins, where they were staying, from where they have come etc.

Krishna came there and patted Duryodhana. “SuyOdhana, listen to me. That brahminyouth succeeded in hitting Matsya yantra and won Droupadi, which all other kingscan not do.What for all these enquiries? Let us go out.” so saying Krishna averted Duryodhana from proceeding further with the enquiries against Arjuna. Arjuna and Bheema, along with Droupadi, left that place. By the time they reached their house,Dharmaja and Nakula and Sahadeva already reached their place of stay. Arjuna told his mother, Kunti, who was inside the house, “Maa, we brought some alms” cried Arjuna loudly. “I am so happy. All of you use it equally” Kunti replied from inside. So saying she came out and saw that the alms were nothing but a beautiful princess. She was afraid of her untoward words. “I am so sorry. I do not know what you brought.Hence I said like that. Dharmajaa, it is perverse. Against Dharma. Against the prevailing customs and practice.What to do? How to avert it?” She was very much annoyed.

“Arjunaa,you brought her. Therefore, you marry her.” said Dharmaja. “Sorry brother.Youare elder than me. Leaving two elder brothers unarried, how I can I marry. Itisnot proper. You better marry her” said Arjuna. Here Nannaya wrote a verse in Teluguwhich means-all the five brothers fell in love with Droupadi and wanted to marryher. But none spoke out openly. Dharmaja scented this. He came out openly “Let allof us marry Droupadi” decided Dharmaja. At this juncture, Sri Krishna along with Balarama arrived there.Till then, Pandavas did not see Sri Krishna. Hence Sri Krishna introduced himself. He bowed before Kunti and Dharmaja. He wished Arjuna.

“How have you recognised us though we were in the attire of brahmins?” asked Dharmaja.“Dharmaja, though the sun was temporarily covered with clouds, he will notloose his original shining. Though you are in Brahmin attire, yours original vigour andtalent made me to recognise all of you. Besides that, who else can hit Matsya yantraand win all the Kings gathered there, except Arjuna. Anyhow you have escaped from that fire accident. Everything will go on well. Wish you all happiness in future”

So saying, Krishna and Balarama went away. (In Maha Bharata, this is the first meeting between Sri Krishna and Arjuna. This union of Krishna and Arjuna led to the preaching of Geeta. These two are the important incidents. The first meeting platform was at the houseof one Potter, whereas Geeta was taught in the Kurushetra battle field. The time of first meeting was the marriage of Pandavas with Droupadi, whereas the time of teachingGeeta was the time just prior to the commencement of War at Kurushetra battlefield, which battle occurred on account of Droupadi. Here, Pandavas were about to enter the battle of Samsaara by marrying Droupadi, whereas they were about to fight with their brothers, friends and relatives, on account of Droupadi. Incidentally, theywere staying in potters house which also teaches us a great truth which was enunciated in Geeta. Potter prepares pots of different kinds, shapes, sizes, colours, and values but the primary material is “mud”. Similarly, though all human beings aredifferent in religion, caste, creed, colour, mentality, selfishness, pride etc. but the Atman shining in all of us is one and the same, which is part and parcel of the Supreme power, eternal truth, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, that is Paramaatma. This truth was enunciated in Geeta. Hence, the meeting of Krishna and Arjuna who are none other than Nara and Naarayana, gained much importance. Let us bow before them withgreat devotion and proceed).

While things are going on like this here, there Drupada also was in perplexed condition. “Some brahmin hit Matsya yantra, Droupadigarlanded him, he took her away. Who is that Brahmin youth-- nobody knows You go and find out the details” Drupada asked DrushTadyumna, brother of Droupadi.DrushTadyumna followed Arjuna and Bheema to their house and found out all the details. He returned to his father and said “I followed them. They are staying in a potter’s house. These two youths showed Droupadi to one elderly woman. Droupadi bowed before her. She blessed Droupadi. Then, four of them went out and brought alms. Major part was kept aside for guests. The remainder was divided into two. One half was served to the huge personality. The other half was divided andserved to the remaining persons. After food, Droupadi, without any hesitation or frustration, arranged beds with grass to all of them. They discussed about Elephants,horses, battles and warfare. They do not appear to be Brahmins. They may belong to Upperclass Kshatriyas.” reported DrushTadyumna.

Still Drupada had his own doubts. He sent his purohit to Dharmaja to know about their Caste, Gotra and otherdetails. The purohit sent by Drupada, went to Dharmaja. Dharmaja received him andgave him Arghyam and Paadyam. The purohit asked Dharmaja: “Drupada is the father of Droupadi. He wanted to know about your names, your caste, Gotra, etc. so that arrangements for marriage can be made. Please tell me those details” asked Purohit.Dharmaja smiled and said “Your king proclaimed that he will give his daughter,Droupadi, in marriage to those who can hit Matsyayantra. My brother hit Matsyayantra and brought your king’s daughter. Now what is the necessity to know about our Names, Caste, Gotra etc. What can you do, even if you know now about ourCaste and Gotra? Who else can lift that mighty bow? Who else can hit Matsya yantra?Your kings desire is fulfulled. Why he is worrying about it?” said Dharmaja with dual meaning.

That purohit went to Drupada and told the same thing to Drupada.To some extent his doubts were cleared. Still some doubts are lingering in hismind. He sent DhrushTadyumna, to Pandavas, along with Four kinds of chariots usefulfor Four castes, to bring them to the Kings Palace. Pandavas chose to take a ride onGolden Chariots fit for Kshatriyas. Drupada recieved them at the main entrance andoffered them rewards fit for four castes. Dharmaja accepted Swords, Bows, arrows etcwhich are useful for Kshatriyas. Drupada was very happy and decided himself that theyare Kshatriyas. But he wanted to know their Names and Dynasty they belong.He satby the side of Dharmaja. “We entertain a doubt whether you are Brahmins, Kshatriyasor Angels or Gandharvas.Unless I know about your original status, how can Igive my daughter in marriage to you. Therefore, please tell me about you and yourstatus.”frankly asked Drupada.

Dharmaja thought that it was time for revealingthemselves with their original names and status and there is no use in still hidingthemselves. “King Drupada! Listen. We are kshatriyas. We are the sons of KingPandu. We belong to Kuru dynasty. I am Yudhishtira, he is Bheemasena; the youthwho shot Matsya Yantra is Arjuna; these twins are Nakula and Sahadeva. She is mymother Kunti.” said Dharmaja in firm voice. Drupada was very happy. His longcherished desire was going tobe fulfilled. “The grand son of Vichitra Veerya and theson of King Pandu, the great warrior Arjuna is going to marry my daughter, Droupadiand becoming my son-in-law. I am very happy. My daughter Droupadi, garlanded him and selected him as her husband in Svayamvara. Hence I will give her inmarriage to Arjuna” said Drupada in clear terms.

“It cannot be done. When me and my brother Bheemasena, who are elder than Arjuna are still unarried, how can we performthe marriage of Arjuna, who is younger than us.” “That being the situation, being the elder brother, you can marry Droupadi, which will be according to Dharma” said Drupada. “No it cannot be. When Arjuna brought Droupadi and told my mother that he brought alms, she told all of us to use it equally.Hence we all five will marry her”said Dharmaja. Drupada astonished on hearing the words of Dharmaja. “What is it?We have so far heard one man marrying many girls. But we never heard that one girl marrying many men. It is against the prevailing customs and dharma. So we will think about it and decide tomorrow” said Drupada, temporarily postponing the evil for the next day.

(Here we have to see one thing. Here the question is about the marriage of Droupadi. From the moment she put garland around the neck of Arjuna, till now, she did not open her mouth. Even none asked her about her opinion with regard to this strange situation. But men were talking about her marriage in their own way, befitting their own desires and wishes. From what is said above, it is quite evident that the status of a “woman”, then and now, is one and the same. At the time of marriage, her willingness is nominal and no importance will be attached to it. )

Next day morning, VedaVyasa arrived there. Drupada received him with due honours. Drupada with folded hands told Vyasa “I declared to give my daughter, Draupadi, in marriage to a person who can hit Matsya Yantra. Arjuna hit Matsya yantra and won her. Now,Dharmaraja is telling that as per their mother’s wish, all the five brothers will marry her. How is it possible? Is it not against the prevailing dharma and customs and practice. I pray you to decide Dharma?” asked Drupada.

Dharmaja in turn said “I will never tell falsehood even for fun-sake. I do not know how I spoke like that, and how my mother told like that. My mother is our Goddess. We cannot negative her desire and feelings. Besides that, one girl called Jatila married seven saints. One girl called DaakshaayaNi married PracEtasas who were ten in number. Therefore, there is nothing wrong in our marrying Droupadi. Hence, let Drupada perform the marriage of Droupadi with five of us.” requested Dharmaja.

Vyasa heard the arguments of Drupadaand and Dharmaja. He thought for a while. “Drupada, as per the request of Dharmaja,you perform the marriage of Droupadi with all the five brothers. This is according to Dharma. How I arrived at this decision, if you want to know, let us go inside.I will tell you in detail face to face.” Both Vyasa and Drupada went inside and sat in a lonely place. Vyasa told Drupada the details of previous births of Pandavas and Droupadi. “In the ancient past, there was a saint called Moudgalya. His wife was Indrasena. Moudgalya was suffering from Leprosy. The entire body was afflicted with disease and his skin and limbs were deteriorating day by day. But his wife Indrasena,was serving her husband faithfully, like a true wife.

One day, after Moudgalya took his food, she was eating the remaining food in the same plate. While eating,she found a severed finger of her husband. She simply kept that severed finger aside, and began to eat the remaining food. On seeing this, Saint Moudgalya was astonished. “Indrasena,I am very much impressed with your service and the devotion towards me.You choose whatever you like” asked Moudgalya. “As you have asked,I am telling the truth. I am a more lustful lady. My sexual desires know no bounds.You are unable to fulfil my sexual desires with this deteriorating body. Hence,with your divine power, transform into a young, handsome youth, and take five such handsome bodies, and fulfil my sexual desires with those five human forms.”asked Indrasena. Moudgalya agreed for it.

Immediately, with his power of penance,he transformed into five handsome personalities, and enjoyed the sensual pleasures with his wife, in five forms for a long time. Later, he died and went to Brahmaloka.But his wife, Indrasena, was not satisfied. He wanted more sensual pleasures. With that strong desire in mind, in the next birth, she was born as the daughter of King of Kasi.For a long time, she remained unmarried. She worshipped Lord Siva with great devotion. Lord Siva appeared before her and asked her what she wants.

On seeing Lord Siva, she was astonished. In that confused mood and with the influence of strong sexual tendensies of her previous birth, she repeatedly asked five times “I want a husband. I want a husband”. “You are blessed with five husbands but only in the next birth” said Lord Siva. She realised her mistake. “OLord. I am sorry. No girl can marry five males. It is against Dharma. I do not want this boon. Please take it back” said Indrasena. “It cannot be.You will have five husbands in your next birth. It is certain” said Lord Siva firmly. As it has become inevitable,Indrasena asked for more advantages. “If that is so, bless me with separate sexual enjoyment with each husband. I should be blessed with virginity, even after my marriage with each of them. My sensual pleasures should be fulfilled with all the five husbands. I should serve all the five husbands with utmost devotion and I should have the companionship of my husbands throughout my life as Deergha Sumangali.” Lord Siva again blessed Indrasena with all that she desired and again said: “Indrasena, you go to the banks of Ganges and bring Indra here”.

Indrasena went to the banks of Ganges and was waiting for the arrival of Indra. At that time, Yama Dharma Raja was performing Satra yaaga. There was a condition that during that period, he should not discharge his routine duty of taking away the lives of human beings. Hence all the deaths are stopped or, for that matter, postponed. People on the earth were living for long time,years together, without fear of death. The weight of the earth was increasing day by day. At that juncture, Indra and other Divine bodies went to Brahma“Yama has given up his duty of taking away the lives of human beings. If humanbeings are allowed to live longer, there would be no difference between Divine bodies and Human bodies. You have to show us the way out” requested Indra. “I cannot do anything. You have to wait till the completion of Satra yaga. After completing Yaga, Yama will commence his work with renewed vigour and kill humans. In that task, Indra, in his five divine forms, will help Yama.” told Brahma. Indra and other divine bodies turned back.

On the way they reached the banks of Ganges where Indrasena was waiting for Indra. On seeing Indra, she began to weep loudly. Indra saw Indrasena. “Why you are weeping tell me?” asked Indra. “If you want to know the cause of my roaring, you have to follow me” so saying Indrasena took Indra along with her to Siva. At that time, Siva in the form of a youth, was playing dice.Indra could not recognise Siva. He grew angry. “I am the Lord of earth and heaven.How dare you are playing dice while I am here” proudly roared India.

“Are you so powerful. If so, open that cave in that hill. I will see” asked Siva. Indra went to the hill,and forcibly opened the cave of the bill. There was a huge dazzling shining in the cave.Four mighty personalities as replicas of Indra, appeared in front of Indra. Indra amazingly looked at them. Maheswara appeared before Indra in his original form.“Indra, you, in these five forms, will take birth on earth. Indra sena, you marry thesefive forms of Indra and fulfil your lust”. Maheswara disappeared. King Drupada,Indra, in his five forms, was born to Kunti, through the Amsas of Yama, Indra,Vayu and Asvins. Indrasena (daughter of King of Kasi) was born to you asYaajnaseni (Droupadi) in the sacred fire. I am giving you Divya Dhrushti (DivineVision).Now you can see the previous five forms of Indra and also Indrasena in her original form. Drupada could see the five forms of Indra shining like midday sun and also Droupadi in her previous form as Indrasena.

He was so astonished on seeing her loverly daughter in that divine body. Vyaasaa continued to say “Drupadaa, even previously also,the five sons of one Rajarshi Nitanta, married the daughter of Ousinarapati in Svayamvara. Therefore, dont hesitate to give your daughter, Droupadi,in marriage to Five Pandavas. Everything will go on well”. said Vyaasa. Now all the doubts of Drupada are vanished from his mind. He deicided to perform the marriage of his daughter, Droupadi, with five Pandavas. Dhoumya, the Purohit ofPandavas, was the Chief Priest for the marriage.

Droupadi was decorated in her bridal form. First, Dhoumya performed the marriage of Droupadi with Dharmaja. With the blessings of Lord Siva, Droupadi again became virgin. Then, she was married to Bheemasena. Again, she became virgin. Then she was married to Arjuna. In the sameway, she married all the five Pandavas without losing her virginity. All Devatas from heaven showered their blessings on Pandavas and Droupadi. Dharmaraja and other four brothers and Droupadi bowed before Kunti and had her blessings. (Maha Bharat- Aaadiparva - Saptamaasvaasaa - completed).