Draupadī in the Bhārata & Cultural Memory


Draupadī in the Bhārata & Cultural Memory

Indrajit Bandyopadhyay


Draupadī provokes thought and wonder even today, as evident from how she is remembered and interpreted every now and then in different cultural references, allusions and art genres. The author takes the rational-spiritual and comparative-analytical approach of the text to understand how Vyāsa depicts her, how as Kṛṣṇā she qualifies as Vāsudeva-Kṛṣṇa’s Sakhi, the mystery of her birth-myth, the purpose of her exceptional and unconventional polyandrous marriage, her proactive role in the life of the Pāṇḍavas and particularly in the Dice-Game episode, and how her powerful impact leads to the Kurukṣetra War. The author understands the Mahābhārata as an itihāsa-narrative on gender war as much the perceived male-male war, and Draupadī as the Vāc-Sarasvatī of the Mahābhārata connecting the Vedān Pañcamān with the Vedas. With such understanding, the author traces the depiction of Draupadī in cultural memory, in classical Sanskrit literature, in Buddhist and Jain literature, in puraṇas, in temple sculptures and bas-reliefs.


ISBN: 978-81-963350-9-0





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