|IntroductionThe wife of the great Pandavas
renowned alike for her loveliness and her granite will. Volcanic, she reduced her enemies
to the ashes. But her story is a saga of suffering. This fiery princess bent on vengeance
could be compassionate and generous, too.
It was early morning. Mother was already up and at her
work. As usual she chanted some slokas (short stanzas in Sanskrit) as she did her
After a few slokas in praise of the Lord, there was one,
which began with the names of the sacred rivers of the land the Ganga, the
Godavari, the Brahmaputra, the Gomati and the Saraswati.
Mother chanted the sacred names of pure and virtuous women
of olden days - Ahalya, Draupadi. Seetha, Thara and Mandodari.
Little Usha was awake. Having heard these slokas every
morning she too had learnt them by heart.
But merely singing the slokas along with Mother would not
satisfy Usha. She was now of an age when children want to know everything. She would ask
so many questions. Where was the river Ganga born? Which sea did the river Godavari
And many more questions.
Today also little Usha asked a question.
"Mother, who was Draupadi?"
Mother caressed little Usha and said, "Draupadi was a
heroic princess. One who was firm. A woman with an unbending will. She was greatly devoted
to Lord Krishna. Usha, now read your lessons. In the night I shall tell you the story of
At night, the mother was eager to narrate the story, the
daughter was eager to listen to it.