Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

by Helen M. Johnson | 1931 | 742,503 words

This page describes Draupadi and the Pandavas which is the fourteenth part of chapter VI of the English translation of the Neminatha-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Neminatha in jainism is the twenty-second Tirthankara (Jina) and one of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 14: Draupadī and the Pāṇḍavas

Now, in the past Vṛṣabha Svāmin had a son. named Kuru, from whom Kurukṣetra was named. Kuru had a son, Hastin, from whom Hastināpura was named. In the line of King Hastin there was a king, Anantavīrya. From him there was Kṛtavīrya and then Cakrabhṛt Subhūma. Then after innumerable kings Śāntanu became king. He had two wives, Gaṅgā and Satyavatī; and by Gaṅgā he had a son Bhīsma, whose strength was terrifying. By Satyavatī he had two sons, Citrāṅgada and Citravīrya; and Citravīrya’s wives were Ambikā, Ambālikā, and Ambā. Of these in turn there were sons Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Pāṇḍu, and Vidura.

The realm was settled on Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Pāṇḍu became devoted to hunting. Dhṛtarāṣṭra married eight full sisters, Gāndhārī, et cetera, of Śakuni, King of Gandhāra. son of Subala. They had one hundred sons, Duryodhana and others. By Kuntī Pāṇḍu had sons, Yudhiṣṭhira, Bhīma, and Arjuna. From Pāṇḍu’s second wife, Mādrī, sister of Śalya, there were two sons, Nakula and Sahadeva, long-armed. These five sons of Pāṇḍu were bold as lions, invincible even to Khecaras, powerful from magic arts and strength of arm. The five, respectful according to seniority, intolerant of bad conduct, caused astonishment among the people by their superior virtues.

One day a messenger of King Drupada came from Kāmpīlya, bowed to King Pāṇḍu and said: “There is a maiden, named Draupadī, daughter of King Drupada by Culanī, younger sister of Dhṛṣṭadyumna. All the Daśārhas, Sīrin, Śārṅgin, Damadanta, Śiśupāla, Rukmin, Karṇa, Suyodhana, and other kings and powerful princes, invited by the king by messengers, are going now to her svayaṃvara. Do you go there and adorn the svayaṃvara-pavilion with these five princes who resemble young gods.”

Pāṇḍu went to Kāmpīlya with his five victorious sons, like Smara with his five arrows, and other kings went also. There the kings were honored by Drupada one by one and they presided over the svayaṃvara-hall like planets over the sky.

Draupadī, having bathed, wearing clean garments, adorned with wreaths and ornaments, after she had worshipped the Arhat. came attended by friends, like a goddess in beauty, to the svayaṃvara-pavilion. which was adorned by Kṛṣṇa and the others like Sāmānika-gods. The kings there being pointed out by a friend who announced their names, Drupada’s daughter, looking, went where the Pāṇḍavas were. She, enamored, threw the svayaṃvara-wreath around the necks of the five sons of Pāṇḍu at the same time. The circle of kings was amazed, saying “What’s this?” until a flying ascetic came there.

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