A most well known incident in the epic Mahabharata …
Adapted excerpts from an article by Satya Chaitanya.
The twelfth chapter of the Vanaparva is an unusually long one, with one hundred and thirty-six verses in it. Among other things, Draupadi tells Krishna about her suffering in the Dice Hall. At this situation in the epic, there is plenty of space for her to express her misery and bitter grief at length. Draupadi speaks of what happened on that day in very moving, unforgettable words. She suggests female matters that women normally do not talk about, especially with men – but such is the burden of woe she carries in her heart that Draupadi tells Krishna how heavily she was bleeding at the time and how, seeing her extreme discomfiture, the Dhartarashtras heartily laughed at her humiliation in that assembly …
[Rajnam madhye sabhayam tu rajasatiparipluta drshtva cha mam dhartarashtra prahasan papachetasah – Vana 12.63].
But she does not speak of any attempt to strip her, or of her being saved by the miracle.
In heart-wrenching words, Drauapdi rejects Bheema’s strength and Arjuna’s Gandiva … [Dhig balam bheemasenasya, dhik parthasya cha gandeevam – Vana 12.67] … for neither could protect her on that day. An inconsolably wailing Draupadi tells Krishna : “I have no husbands, no sons, no relations. I have no brothers, no father. And I do not have even you, Krishna.”
[Naiva me patayas santi, na putra na cha bandhavah; na bhrataro naiva cha pita, naiva tvam madhusoodana – Vana 12.125]. It is doubtful if Draupadi ever spoke words more difficult to speak, words more painful to her and for us to hear.
But here again Draupadi, though she speaks of being dragged about, does not speak of being stripped in the assembly.
Also, she implies that Krishna too failed her – he did not do anything to save her, just as Bheema or Arjuna or her other husbands did nothing to save her.
Draupadi does not thank Krishna for saving her honour in the Dice Hall through the miracle. Nor does Krishna remind her saying, “But I saved you that day, Draupadi, by supplying an endless stream of cloths!” For, Krishna hadn’t appeared in the dice hall to save Draupadi, hadn’t caused any miracle to save her on that day. The incident of Krishna supplying clothes to her did not take place, for the attempt to strip her never took place.
There are scores of other occasions in the Mahabharata where the incidents of the Dice Hall on that day are mentioned, but none of them refers to the stripping of Draupadi. As Mr Bhattacharya points out, Draupadi herself never refers to the stripping.
The conclusion is clear : The stripping episode is an interpolation.
Read the complete article at: http://www.boloji.com/hinduism/094.htm