Draupadi forgave Ashwatthama but not the Kauravas. Why?

by Chaitanya Charan dasJuly 30, 2014

Answer Podcast

Transcribed by:  Geetanjali Nath

Question:  After the dishonor, Draupadi, is very revengeful. she says that the those who have dishonored her should be killed, and yet when her sons are killed by Aswathama   she comes up with forgiveness, so why is there difference. ?

Answer:  The important point in this is the duty based on her broad role as a kshyatriya lady. For Aswathama to kill the her five sons was very brutal act, but when Aswathama is brought in front of her, he is already been defeated and overpowered, and he is in one sense ………., he is not going to cause any further harm to anyone, and there is also an additional factor, that although Draupadi is grief struck , but still she is aware that according to the vedic quotes, one is a brahamana should not be physically hit, the vedic culture it is that the brahamana , women children cows , all these are to be protected. so that’s why even when manthra’s killing is exposed to………… , when they see that actually Bharat is very loyal to Lord Ram, they won’t punish Manthra, and Shatrughana actually catches manthra and beats……………….. Kaikai, and Kaikai also cannot passify Satrughana, and then Bharat comes and he says that  , “I am so angry with her and I would    punish her much more than this, but if we do this then Ram will be displeased with us. because Ram will not like us to violate  the courts of dharma and hurt a women, no mater how … she might be, and that’s why they………… so the point is these five groups of people, they are not meant to be harmed.actually not physically harmed. So that is the consideration Draupadi had at that particular time. the first is that Aswathama is no longer a major threat because of ……………he is completely overpowered, and we see that the way events evolve , he had already  lost his powers because of abuse of weapons and Krishna arranges through Arjuna to take away his jewel and he is practically left powerless. so even when revenge or corrective action is to be taken, there are many considerations . One consideration is that this specific person, what that person had done, the nature of that person, and also the kind of threat that person is going to cause to others.  so the first is that Aswathama was  ………, he was a  brahamana and not meant to be attacked, not meant to be physically injured according to  scriptures, not physically killed at least, and of course he also feel that …………… does not have any ……….as her husband is dead and at-least her son should stay on. and that is also a natural consideration. so that was the compassion there, but with respect to the panduas and kauravas the situation was different, when kauravas when they tried to dishonor her the situation was very different, because they were in full power, they were the rulers and if the rulers of the state are so brazen as to abuse a  queen  or another king. First of all for ruler to be so atrocious and violent , but for the rulers to be so brazen as to be so atrocious towards another and almost equal to their form. such people if they are let to be in power , then is no limit to what they can do. So the potential for abuse of power for the Kauravas was enormous. and now even then forgiveness canbe given if there is some signs of remorse or some desire for penance, but the kauravas never showed any thing like that. Duryodhana’s brazing    is seen as how he completely neglect and rejects Krishna’s peace proposal. So draupadi forgiveness at one point and venges on another point, they basically are dependent on the context and what is best not just for her own feelings, but for the whole society at large. So the keeping the kauravas in powr would have spealt ruination for society, and that’s why correcting them was importand , and they were  not proving to be corrected at all  then they should be punished. So at one level the kurukhstra war was to take venges against Draupadi becaing dishonoured , but if that was the only motive then the pandavas would not have gone , would have not send the peace messenger. and we see that Krishna when he went as peace messenger, at that time he was ready to accommodate, and we see that even ………so the point is that her dishonor was definety a major cause but the whole kurukshetra war was not just because somebody has been dishonored and that’s why we have to fight, Dishonor specially of a chaste women is a very serious one. but there are other socio-political factors also which were involved, and the rule of the kauravas would have been distructive for the whole world, if there was no war, that’s why they have been punished.  Thank you.

Hare Krishna

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Chaitanya Charan das

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