Draupadi – dishonored yet honorable

Draupadi – dishonored yet honorable

By Chaitanya Charan das

Draupadi. Her admirable character is revealed in the most humiliating incident of her life – her disrobing by the wicked Dushasana. Though victimized in body, she refuses to be victimized in her heart. Her exceptional character transforms the lowest point in her life into the highest point. The incident in which she is the most dishonored, she emerges as the most honorable.

On that dark day, her period has just ended and she has emerged after bathing, wearing a single cloth before she puts on her royal dress as the chief queen of the reigning monarch. Unknown to her, the monarch Yudhisthira has, in a rigged gambling match, lost everything, including all his property, his brothers, himself and finally her.

The jeering Karna suggests that Draupadi be brought into the assembly and be disrobed publicly for she was now the Kauravas’ slave. If the Kauravas had succeeded in disrobing her, whether they would have physically violated her in the public assembly is doubtful. The atrocious idea was not just driven by lust but by power play – the Kauravas saw Draupadi not as a person, but as a tool to demean the Pandavas. Objectification of women runs through and through in the Kauravas’ attitude. They order a court messenger to summon Draupadi to the palace.

When the messenger informs her that she has been summoned to the assembly and tells her all that has transpired there, she is aghast. But pulling herself together with amazing speed, she comes up with a strategy to buy time. She tells the messenger to ask the assembly whether she had been rightly gambled and lost when Yudhishtira had already gambled and lost himself – when he was not his own master, was he her master to have gambled her?

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Qualitative upgradation through forgiveness

Qualitative upgradation through forgiveness

By Shubha Vilas Das 

When it comes to making relations work for a lifetime, probably the most powerful and handy tool available is forgiveness. Every relationship goes through a patch where it begins to ferment from love to hate. The search is for a process that stops the fermentation from taking place.

When one embraces hate one forgets. When one embrace love one forgives. Hatred is like a storm. Every storm always begins with a small speck of dirt. Very soon the entire sky is engulfed by a dust tornado. Similarly, every hate begins with a single doubt that has hurt the ego. Very soon every corner of your intellect is covered by the tornado of negative thoughts about the person who has caused the hurt till love is just not visible. The feeling of being hurt is the highest when the person who has hurt you the most is the very person you love the most.

Forgiveness is the sign of being concerned about the future and hatred is the sign of being stuck to the past. Harbouring hatred means egoistic prosperity and emotional poverty. When you send hate signals to someone who has hurt you, your ego feels massaged at having got back aptly. But the flip side is that your emotions feel hurt, as the relationship of love has been stabbed from your side also. When the virus of hatred enters into your system it wrecks you emotionally.

Adopting forgiveness means egoistic depression and emotional prosperity. The ego is bound to feel depressed when you don’t retaliate while succumbing to hurt. However, with forgiveness, the relationship survives the storm of hatred. Forgiving when you are right means you value being right in the relationship over being right in your opinion.

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Tolerance and Sturdy

Srila-Bhaktisiddhanta-Saraswati-Thakura1 Bhaktisidhanta Saraswati Thakura

Suppose you are in this Krishna conscious society. Now, you cannot expect that all the members of the society will be first-class men. How can we expect? We are collecting members of the society from all classes of men. So there may be a man in goodness, a man in the passion and a man in the ignorance. But if you think, 'Oh, this man is not good. That man is not good,' oh...No. You should be tolerant. You haven't got any connection with this man or that man. You are connected with the philosophy, with the process of life, and you are connected...Just like the same example: suppose you are on the ship. You do not find just all men to your choice. There may be different kinds of men. But what is that to you? You have to cross the Atlantic Ocean, patiently cross. Just sit down tightly on the ship and take advantage of the opportunity. That is your business."

by (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, New York, January 3, 1967)
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