GLIMPSES FROM Life & Times of BABA BAKHORAN DASS – a tribute to Draupadi

Baba Bakhoran Dass (BBD) has a very strong feeling that the greatest epic of the world is Mahabharat. BBD finds solution of all issues, past and present both. Even future can be predicted, if you have sufficient skills.

 

Now, to the present issue of Draupadi of Pataliputra. BBD finds that Draupadi of Panchal was described in the Mahabharata as being extraordinarily beautiful, one of the most beautiful women of her time. Draupadi is described as radiant and graceful as if she had descended from the city of Gods. Draupadi was composite Avatar of Goddesses Shyamala (wife of Dharma), Bharati (Wife of Vayu), Sachi (wife of Indra), Usha (wife of Ashwinis) and hence married their earthly counterparts in the form of the five Pandavas, most of the people believe that she was Sanchi, wife of Indra . Enraged at a jest by Shyamala, Sachi and Usha, Brahma cursed them to human birth. Draupadi’s characteristic fight against injustice reflects Parvati or her Shakti, Kali inhabiting Draupadi’s mortal flesh at times. At other times, Draupadi was docile and even waited to be rescued (as in case of Jayadratha and Jatasura) showing the qualities of other goddesses like Sachi and Usha. Other times, she showed astuteness in hiding their true identity and asking Bhima to kill Keechaka like Goddess Bharati would. Draupadi’s service to her husbands, she had said that she rises before anyone else, tolerates hunger and thirst, and goes to bed after the others. She also gave birth to five sons; all of her sons were killed by Ashwatthama. But since he was the son of the family guru, and she had such respect for their gurus, she forgave him. When the Pandavas had reached the end of their lives and were setting out to ascend to heaven by climbing up into the mountains, she was the last in line. But she was the first to fall and thus rise to heaven after her death. Her dedication and devotion make her one of the great personalities of Vedic culture. She was a multifaceted personality: she could be fiery and angry when the situation called for it, but she still had a compassionate nature. She encouraged people to face life with the same inner strength that she did. After the war, Draupadi looked after Gandhari and Dhritarashtra with respect and affection, even though their sons had wronged her in so many ways. Draupadi is eulogized as the epitome of chastity and truth by Hindus. She is praised for her extreme devotion to her husbands; mother-in-law and Sri Krishna. She is worshiped as a goddess in certain communities in South India. She is also considered as a feminist symbol by certain writers. The epic portrays her Draupadi as a brave woman who demanded justice directly from the King Dhritarashtra in Hastinapur kingdom when she was insulted by his sons. She as Sairandhri (literally: an expert maid, her assumed name during her exile in which she worked as Virat kingdom’s queen Sudeshna’s hair-stylist) again demanded justice directly from the king Virata when she was insulted by Kichaka(the brother of Queen Sudeshna, and the commander of king Virata’s forces). She criticised those kings (Virata and Dhritarashtra) for failing to give Justice to her and failing to protect a woman. She even criticised great warriors such as Bhishma, Drona, Kripacharya and even her five husbands for not saving her from the humiliation in Hastinapur.

 

BBD who was born in Magadh, performed his best during most of his effective tenure in and around Panchaal area find a lot of resemblance in his professional life and times with the Draupadi of Panchaal. Like Draupadi, as FR he had to satisfy more than one Unit head (incidentally they were 1+5 Gajraula, Hasanpur, Dhanaura, Bachhraun, Amroha and Joya) to start with. Like Draupadi, he is eulogized as the epitome of chastity and truth by those who were associated with him in any way of his professional life. She was a multifaceted personality: she could be fiery and angry when the situation called for it, but she still had a compassionate nature. She encouraged people to face life with the same inner strength that she did. Like Draupadi, efforts to disrobe him in front of elders were made, and all of the elders witnessed the drama as it was during her period. Whether BBD is getting too much of his character of megalomania?

Author: mahesh3006

A retired development banker with strong bias towards rural development through microcredit