What is the most heart-wrenching moment in Mahabharata?

What is the most heart-wrenching moment in Mahabharata?

Maharaja Yudhisthira was anxious.

Sisupala, cousin of Krsna had gone on a mindless verbal offensive against the Lord. Now, his head lay separated from the body. Krsna had cut it off in between the ceremony!

Maharaja Yudhisthira approached Vyasadeva and said

O great illustrious sage! You are the knower of the past, present and future. My mind is reeling. My heart is troubled. Why did this have to happen during the Rajasuya Yajna? Please help allay my anxiety.

The omniscient sage Vyasadeva replied

My dear Yudhisthira, the Yajna is a success. You are now Emperor of the world. Make no doubt about that. However, the event that took place is a portent of a great massacre that will take place thirteen years from today. All the warriors of the world will be slaughtered mercilessly, for the Earth is crumbling under the weight of these demoniac beings. You and your brothers will help bring about this massive transformation, by the diktat of Kala.

Maharaja Yudhisthira was aghast. He did not want to be the cause of the death of millions.

Thinking as such, he said to Vyasadeva

If this is so, then hear me O great sage, hear of my vow! I vow to never disobey my elders, and to always do as they say. This is my firm conviction, and I will give up my life before I even think of breaking this vow.


Messengers rushed to the assembly of Krsna, where He was seated along with all members of the Yadu dynasty. They informed Him of Maharaja Yudhisthira’s discussion with Vyasadeva, and the vow he’d taken.

Hearing this, Krsna didn’t respond. He merely laughed. However, everyone who heard this laughter, found their hearts skip a beat, and an incomprehensible dread filled their hearts.

Krsna said softly, almost pensively

So, Yudhisthira has just sealed the fate of this world. The great battle of our times will proceed unchecked. Kala has spoken!


Mother Draupadi, clutching desperately at the cloth covering her body, asked a pertinent question to the royal assembly of Hastinapura, as she was dragged in by the evil-minded Dusashana.

The sinless Draupadi pleaded

Tell me dear grandsire, virtuous son of Mother Ganga, protector of the Kuru clan, embodiment of righteousness and virtue - can a man who has lost himself, be in a position to put somebody else at stake?

Maharaja Yudhisthira had been invited to play dice by the wicked Dhritarashtra, at the hostile request of his envious son Duryodhana. They were aware of Yudhisthira’s vow. Being duty-bound to his vow, Maharaja Yudhisthira accepted the invite, and lost everything to the skilled and deceitful hands of Shakuni - his wealth, kingdom, property, weapons, brothers, and himself. And now as a last resort, as if directed by the hands of fate, he’d staked his own wife - the most virtuous and chaste, Queen Draupadi.


Bhishmadeva had no clear answer to Draupadi’s question. Years later when lying on the bed of arrows, he confessed it was the effect of the food and gifts he’d eaten and received at the wicked house of the Kurus, that had subverted his intelligence.

But right now, his compromised intelligence and misplaced loyalties bound him tight to the technicality of the situation, not letting his perspective broaden to see the higher principle - Mother Draupadi’s honour.

And so, seeing the silence and confusion amongst the elders, and at the instigation of Karna and Shakuni, Duryodhana ordered his brother Dusashana to disrobe the gentle lady, for she was now their slave.


As Dusashana proceeded towards Draupadi, she looked at her husbands, the sons of Pandu. Their faces were downcast. Bhima was enraged, yet like a lion in a cage, he was helpless and tied to the will of his elder brother Maharaja Yudhisthira. The will of Yudhisthira was the will of Providence. Draupadi sensed the helplessness of her husbands. They were duty-bound. The righteous Yudhisthira would never break Dharma. She was proud of his dedication to word and virtue. Yet it pained her immeasurably to see her husbands being humiliated in this manner. And now, the wicked Kurus were coming for her - their most prized possession.

Can a prey meant for lions be defiled by a pack of hyenas? How could this be!?

Draupadi felt her heart sinking.

Dusashana caught hold of Draupadi’s cloth, and attempted to disrobe her. Mother Draupadi wept grievously. The destruction of the illustrious Kuru dynasty was inevitable! Everybody in the assembly wept with Draupadi, including the sons of Dhritarashtra, their hearts pained and outraged at what was going on. Only four members were filled with pleasure at this ghastly and most sinful scene - Duryodhana, Dusashana, Karna and Shakuni.

Mother Draupadi trying to hold onto her dignity with her hands in order to prevent the cloth from falling off, wailed piteously

Where is Arjuna’s Gandiva - the divine bow that strikes fear in the hearts of all beings, including the celestials? Where is Bhima’s mighty arms - that can crush the life air out of the greatest and most terrible demons? Where is Maharaja Yudhisthira’s righteousness and adherence to Dharma? And where is the resourcefulness and intelligence of the twins - Nakula and Sahadeva?

Mother Draupadi crying and burning in humiliation continued

My dear Krsna, I am being drowned in this great and terrible Kuru ocean! My dear Kesava, O Murari, O Govinda, please save me! please save me! please save me! You are my only refuge! I have nowhere else to go! Nobody besides You can save me! O Soul of the universe, O most merciful and compassionate Lord, please deliver me from this bottomless ocean of distress with Your lifeboat of salvation and grace!

As soon as Mother Draupadi raised both her hands in the air, calling out to Krsna for help and salvation in complete faith, love and surrender, the Lord seated a thousand miles away in Dwaraka immediately heard the pleas of His pure devotee, and using His inconceivable mystic potencies, manifested as the limitless supply of cloth, covering Draupadi’s body and protecting her dignity and honour.


It is interesting to note what Mother Draupadi did when Dusashana gave up all attempts to disrobe her.

Still burning and crying from humiliation, she straightened and composed herself, and with all humility and sincerity spoke

My dear Kuru elders, I am your daughter-in-law, and because I was dragged into the assembly with force and without prior notice, I didn’t get the chance to properly show my respects, as a daughter-in-law should to the elders of the family. So please accept my humble obeisances and forgive this transgression of etiquette on my part.

Mother Draupadi bowed to the Kuru elders inspite of the harrowing ordeal!

I think being in the age that we are, I’ll have to repeat that, if not for y’all, then at least for myself - Mother Draupadi after all the humiliation meted out to her husbands and herself in public, bowed down sincerely to the assembled elders, asking for forgiveness at not being able to show her respects when dragged into the assembly!

I really don’t what to say. This is beyond my capacity to describe in words.

If this great injustice and atrocity committed against Mother Draupadi doesn’t break our hearts, I don’t know what will! It’s like a sharp arrow just pierced right through!


It is a fact that all members present that day in the assembly of the Kurus who witnessed the vastra-haran of Draupadi, met with painful deaths in the great battle of Kurukshetra, including the most illustrious personality - Mahajana Gangaputra Bhishma!

Such is the impeccable orchestration of the Lord.

It is said that Krsna was angry with the Pandavas as well for failing to protect Draupadi, and had decided to send them to the abode of Yamaraja, just as He’d arranged for the others.

However, whenever He saw the Sindoor that adorned the forehead of Draupadi, He’d stop Himself from enacting this wrath on the sons of Pandu. He did not want to put the gentle Draupadi under further distress. Such is the love that the Lord has for His pure devotee, the most glorious Mother Draupadi ki Jaya!

Mother Krishnaa [Draupadi] is the emblem of unity, forgiveness and grace in relationships, and that is why she attracted the grace of the almighty Lord Himself, Sri Krsna Saranam Mamah … !