Adi Parva - 5
Drupada, after being defeated by Drona had performed a yajna (sacrifice) to get a powerful son to avenge his humiliation. From the fire emerged a son and a daughter. The son was named Dhrishtadyumna and was destined to kill Drona. The daughter was known as Krishnaa because she was dark skinned. She was destined to cause destruction of the Kurus.
Draupadi’s swayamwara was organized and many great kings participated. They were supposed to string a mighty bow and shoot down a rotating fish, seeing its reflection in water. None of the kings could do it. Then Arjuna stepped forward. Seated in the hall were his cousin Vaasudeva Krishna and Krishna’s brother Balarama of Dwaraka.
Krishna recognized Arjuna and watched the events unfold. Arjuna with the permission of Dhrishtadyumna effortlessly strung the bow and shot down the fish. Draupadi then garlanded him. Angry that a Brahmana won, the kings attacked Arjuna. With the help of Bheema, he defeated all the kings, including Karna.
He then took Draupadi to his home at Ekachakra. He jokingly told his mother to see what they had got as alms. She asked them to share it equally but was shocked when she came out and saw Draupadi. Vyasa had earlier told them that Draupadi in her past life was destined to have five husbands but with the permission of Shiva, she had postponed it to the next life.
All the five Pandavas were then married to Draupadi. Once the news that the Pandavas were alive reached Hastinapura, their uncle Dhritarashtra calls them back. He hands over the barren land of Indraprastha to Yudhishtira to rule. The Pandavas moved there and ruled wisely.
They had an unwritten rule among themselves that whoever was with Draupadi would get privacy and should not be disturbed. They did this after the sage Narada comes before them and narrated the story of the two demons Sunda and Upasunda and how they killed each other over a woman. They decided that whoever violated the rule should go for an exile for twelve years.
One day Arjuna had to help a farmer and was forced to enter Draupadi’s chamber since he had left his weapons there. Yudhishtira was there with Draupadi at that time. Since he has violated the agreement, Arjuna decided to go on exile even though Yudhishtira dissuades him.
He travelled to various religious places. Seeing him, the princess of the Nagas, Uloopi fell in love with him and abducted him, taking him to the Naga kingdom and asked him to marry her. When he refused, she threatened to kill herself. Arjuna then spet a night with her before leaving.
He then went to the kingdom of Manipura where he saw the princess Chitrangada. Arjuna fell in love with her. Her father told Arjuna that as per their custom, the son of Chitrangada would be the next king of Manipura. He laid down the condition that Arjuna should leave his wife and son in Manipura. Arjuna agreed, marries Chitrangada, and had a son named Babruvahana.
After spending a few years, he continued his travels in exile and reached Prabhasa where he met Krishna. He accepted Krishna’s hospitality and accompanied him to the festival at the Raivata Mountains. There he saw Krishna’s sister Subhadra and fell in love with her.
Krishna told Arjuna that a Kshatriya can abduct a woman to marry her. He did this so Subhadra did not have to marry Duryodhana (whom Balarama prefered). After taking Yudhishtira’s permission, Arjuna took away Subhadra from Dwaraka. Krishna calmed down his angry brother and they called back Arjuna and Subhadra and got them married. They then returned to Indraprastha.
Subhadra had a son named Abhimanyu. Draupadi had sons with all the five Pandavas. Prativindhya from Yudhishtira, Shatanika from Nakula, Sutasoma from Bheema, Shrutasena from Sahadeva, and Shrutakarma from Arjuna.
One day, a Brahmana came before Arjuna and Krishna. The brahmana asked for food and revealed that he was the fire god Agni. He told them that as the result of a curse from the sage Bhrigu, he has to consume the forest of Khandava along with its inhabitants. But Indra was protecting the forest, since Indra’s friend the Naga king Takshaka stayed in the forest.
Arjuna and Krishna agreed to help Agni, who summoned Varuna, the God of water. Varuna gave Arjuna the mighty bow Gandiva with two inexhaustible quivers of arrows. He also gave Krishna a discus and a mace named Kaumodika.
Agni then burnt down the forest. When Indra came to stop Agni, Arjuna fought with him. Krishna fights with the other celestials and defeats them. Indra was amazed at Arjuna’s strength and once he realized that Takshaka was not in the forest left from there.
The son of Takshaka named Ashwasena escaped from the burning forest. An asura named Maya asked for Arjuna’s protection and was also saved. Agni consumed the Khandava forest and the ill-effects of his curse was redeemed.
End of Adi Parva