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Was Draupadi in love with Karna? January 7, 2014

Posted by Karan in Uncategorized.
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14 comments

Mythology is the flavour of the season, and after reading the terrific “Palace of Illusions”, I went about looking for the answer to this question.

Predictably, my two sources were Google and elders in the family- the elders had absolutely no clue about this question. Google, however, through up a lot of interesting anecdotes and one of them is worth looking at:

According to a legend from Mahabharata, during the thirteenth year of the exile of the Pandavas, Draupadi saw a ripe jambul, roseapple, hanging from a tree. She plucked it to have it. No sooner had she done this, Krishna came from somewhere and stopped her from eating it. According to Krishna, the ripe fruit was supposed to be the fruit with which a sage was supposed to break his twelve-year fast. Not finding the fruit at its place, could earn the wrath of the sage, resulting in more trouble for the Pandavas and her. Draupadi begged of Krishna to help her out of this impending problem.
 
Krishna, then said that the fruit could be put back at its original place, only by someone who holds no secrets. Draupadi had only one option and to confess some guilt. Seeing no way out, Draupadi walked up her husband’s and confessed to them, that though she was a chaste woman and loved all the five husbands, there was someone else that she longed for. She always had loved and respected Karna, the arch-enemy of the Pandavas. This was a shock to all the husbands, but none said anything. Having confessed, she went and put the fruit back on the branch of the tree and all was well.

Fascinating, isn’t it? Apparently, this is mentioned in quite a few folk editions of the Mahabharata. The book mentions the longing which they had for each other as being mutual; but it was something which did not fructify itself due to various reasons. The landmark events in their relationship, of course were Karna being called “suta-putra” by Draupadi and not being allowed to contest the Swayamvar and the insult of Draupadi by Karna in Yudhisthira’s court. However, there have always been undercurrents between the two- and the same has been beautifully brought out in the book.

So what do you guys think about this? I am curious to hear of more opinions and views on this