Jai Jagdish Harey, Keshav Jai Jagdish Harey…
Some years back in my previous neighbourhood, I knew a lady who used to sing beautifully. She had a soft voice and sang very nice devotional songs. Once I requested her to teach me a few songs so that I could sing them to myself and in this way absorb my mind in worshiping God in some manner while going about my daily drab routine. One particular devotional song moved me to the core right from the moment I heard it. Whenever I would sing or memorize a specific stanza, it would bring tears in my eyes spontaneously. I would get choked as though the story was my very own. My heart would tear in pieces when I envisioned a picture of Draupadi’s appalling and pathetic state in the hands of the wretched Kauravas. And my heart would well up with gratitude when I would think and imagine how Lord Krishna came to rescue Draupadi who was distraught with so much anguish and distress.
The words of that stanza in Hindi were-
Madho, Madho.. Tum ghat ghat ke ho basaiyya,
Drupad suta ja din nirbal bhaiyee
Kinhi kripa dayala
Dusshasan ka maan ghatayo aru
Mukh kinho kala.
Oh! Madho ( Madhav is one of the many names of Lord Krishna)
You are present everywhere. Madho, madho…
The day the daughter of Drupad- Draupadi
Became weak and was in a pathetic condition
You showered mercy on her and oh! compassionate Krishna
You shattered the pride of Dusshasan
And blackened his face.
Now when we look back one key incident is often considered to make a definitive moment in the story of Mahabharat. It is one of the driving reasons that ultimately led to the Mahabharat war though it cannot be considered the most important one-the disrobing of Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas in the assembly of the kings and ministers.
The Pandavas were embodiment of truth, justice, fairness and valour while their cousins the Kauravs, who wished to usurp their capital and kingdom of Hastinapur were full of jealousy, deceit, conspiracy, lies and falsehood. They with their vicious uncle Shakuni and loyal friend Karan were constantly scheming to remove them from their path so that Duryodhan could become the king of Hastinapur. As one of the many eliminating measures, they once invited the Pandavas for a game of dice in a move to take away their legitimate rights. As it had happened earlier too, the Kauravas cheated and thereby won the game. Yudhisthir, the eldest Pandava lost his kingdom and everything else they owned. So much so, the Pandavas became their slaves and surrendered their princely dress, crown and jewels in the last round of the game.
Seeing this, the Kauravas rejoiced and felt very happy. To add more to their insult, Duryodhan on the advice of malicious Karan, decided to humiliate their wife Draupadi now. Duryodhan asked his younger brother Dusshasan to get Draupadi in the hall where women were not allowed. Since she was no more a queen but a slave like her husbands, he ordered that she should be treated like a dasi or slave woman. The robes and adornments should be relinquished by her now in public, he said. Unfortunately Dusshasan agreed to do this horrifying act. This sad incident also reflects on the state of affairs that prevailed then and shows clearly that the society had degenerated to abysmal low. The people became very immoral and unholy as is evident in this story.
But to continue with our story, let’s move on…
Draupadi was in her chamber unaware of the fact that the Pandavas had put everything they possessed on stake in the gambling and had now become slaves. She vehemently refused to either come in the hall or accept the fate and conclusion of the game. So Dusshasan forcibly held her arm with his one hand and with the other clutched her long and open hair and dragged her mercilessly in the court hall abusing her all along. In those days, it was considered immoral for women to keep their hair open in public and they were expected to be properly clad and covered. She was in a state of complete shock and horror. Draupadi pleaded to him and begged not behave so mercilessly and let her go. She reminded him that after all they were brothers and cousins and she his sister in law. Such a cruel and immoral behavior would bring dishonour to the family and their forefathers. But all her pleas fell on deaf ears. On arriving in the hall, she frantically appealed to Bhishmpitamaha, Dronacharya, Kripacharya, the gurus and the elders assembled there to put a halt to the shameful act of Kauravas and save her dignity. But they had no courage to speak against the vindictive and shameless Duryodhan, Shakuni, Dusshasan and Karan.
Draupadi then turned towards the Pandavas and cried bitterly. She asked them to save her and restore her honour. But alas they were helpless ! How could they save her as they had already lost their freedom as well as their entire kingdom and were unfortunately slaves now. They had lost everything in the game of dice which they played with their cousins. Their heads hung in shame and repentance. They were helpless.
Dusshasan dragged her in the centre of the court hall and pulled her down to the floor and began unwrapping her sari in order to undress her to the horror of all the spectators gathered there. The Kauravas took pleasure and laughed with spite seeing their enemy’s wife being tormented, abused and insulted in the most awful manner. They were at last able to take revenge born out of jealousy and hatred harboured since childhood. Draupadi was aghast and speechless. She had no one to go to and no one to ask for help now. She did not participate in the game yet was a victim of enmity. All her pleas and appeals were in vain and she could take it no more. But she was not a woman who would give in easily. She realized that now there is one and only Lord Krishna who could rescue her from this evil omen and save her self respect and nobility. Her Lord had always come to her rescue and saved her from every difficult situations earlier too. When all human help failed her, she turned towards the Lord of the Universe. She surrendered herself completely and began to pray fervently. She appealed to Him to protect her from the evil souls surrounding her. Draupadi invoked the omnipresent Lord manifested in Krishna and began calling Krishna with her heart wrenching soul call…
Hey Krishna, Hey Govind, Hey Murari,
Mori laaj rakho Giridhari.
Hey Krishna, Hey Govind, Hey Murari,
Mori Laaj rakho Giridhari.
Oh my Krishna, oh Govind, oh Murari
Save my honour Giridhari.
(Govind, Murari, Giridhari, Keshav, Madhav, Vasudeva, Damodar are all synonyms of Krishna in accordance to his qualities and leelas)
Lord Krishna at once responded to the urgent need of his devotee. How could He allow anyone to bring shame and dishonor to his committed devotee? Lord Krishna knew what the the need of the hour was and gave her immediate relief in the form of cloth. A miracle occurred when the length of Draupadi’s sari became unending. It would not end at all as Bhagwan Krishna went on supplying the cloth infinitely! Eventually, after futile efforts to unwrap the endless sari, wicked Dusshasan fell on the ground unconscious. He never succeeded in his evil attempts of dishonoring the wife of Pandavas and a devotee of Lord Krishna. Instead he faced a painful death in the hands of Bhima in the war of Kurukshetra.
God is omnipresent. Devotion is complete surrender to God, unconditional trust and faith in God.
Harey Ram Harey Ram Ram Ram Harey Harey, Harey Krishna Harey Krishna Krishna Krishna Harey Harey
(In the previous and present posts, I have written a few shlokas and mantras. If you wish to devote some time in chanting, I leave them here for you. Please repeat them incessantly and observe how the mind gets dissolved and immersed gradually in divine unity. Chanting even just one of these lines will give you tranquility and calmness in the agitated mind. Continuous chanting the name of God loudly or silently gives spiritual bliss. Choose any one of the chants of your likes and begin now.
Om Namo Bhagwate Vasudevaya…,
Keshav Jai Jagdish Harey..,
Harey Ram Harey Ram Ram Ram Harey Harey Harey Krishna Harey Krishna Krishna Krishna Harey Harey…,
Hey Krishna Hey Govind Hey Murari…,
Some more if you want to memorize and chant them.
Achyutam Keshavam Krishna Damodaram Ram Narayanam Janki Vallabham…,
Vasudeva Vasudevam Kansachanur mardanam, Devaki Parmanandam Krishnam Vande Jagat gurum…,
Shri Krishna Govind Harey Murare Hey Nath Narayan Vasudevaya
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om…
(Courtesy Google image)