Saturday, November 26, 2016

903. Disrobing of Draupadi.....!!!

Rolling the twin dice in the hand and a mischievous grin on his lips Gandharanaresh Shakuni raised his left eyebrow to glance at Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Pandavas brothers. The stake that was pledge after losing his entire kingdom, his brothers and himself was Draupadi, the wife of all the five brothers. 

“Five” said Yudhishthira with a shaky voice. The dice rolled down on to the mat settling to show the single dots on each of them. “Its Two, Draupadi is our daasi (Slave) now” shouted Dushyasana, the brother of Duryodhana. At that period of time tradition and customs gave the master the right to do whatever he liked with the slave. He could sell them or gift them to someone else, make them do whatever he wished and do with them whatever he desired. 

“Bring her to this courtyard and disrobe her.” was the order Duryodhana gave to Dushyasana. She is pulled by hair and dragged to the courtyard. Draupadi, the women of substance wanted the elders present in the court to answer her. She wanted to know if her husbands had lost themselves first or was she placed as stake first. Bhishma the eldest of the lot looked at the whole situation from the perspective of Duryodhana’s ownership rights. He did not see the woman in distress being humiliated. Drona and Krupa too could look beyond Dharma. Pandavas brothers too were bound to Dharma. While Yudhishthira saw Draupadi as mere stake in the game of dice, his brothers felt Dharma does not allow them to act against their elder brother. 

We all know Dushyasana made the horrible decision to start disrobing the bride and the pride of Kuru Vamsha. Knowing that none of them present in the assembly including her husbands could rescue her, Draupadi finally calls out to Sri Krishna.     

Sri Krishna has no hesitations to come to her rescue. He sees the whole situation clearly from His higher moral standpoint. Here is a woman in distress want of help, He is capable of rendering that help and so He helps her. Whether Yudhishthira was right in using her as stake, whether she was rightfully lost in the game of dice, was she now the slave and other such questions related to Dharma became immaterial to Him. He rose above such petty questions and viewed with absolute clarity the human situation there. He intervened decisively showing how He can effortlessly rise to levels of higher morality when the occasion demands. 

Rising above conventional morality to levels of higher morality depending on the situation is the quality of a transformational leader. A transformational leader has wisdom to acquire a vision which is beyond Dharma. He has the ability to communicate that vision and also has courage to act according to that vision. Sri Krishna preaches Arjuna in Bhagavad-Gita to develop such a vision and the prerequisite qualities required to obtain that vision. Superficially that vision could mean that the end justifies the means. It is disastrous if a malevolent uses that vision as a smoke shield. We are witnessing such incidents in the society. As what is supposed to be a great vision for one who is immersed in selfish and avaricious motives spell devastation to others. 

The only perspective from which the end can justify the means is when our goals are set by a truly noble heart. A heart that wishes good to all.  An individual with such a heart loves the world as much as he loves himself and is willing to sacrifice anything and everything for the good of other. It is only then that one rises to the level of higher morality – which surpasses the dictum of Dharma.

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