Panchakanya

800px-Draupadi_and_Pandavas 800px-Ravivarmapress_Rama_familyPanchakanya

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(The intention of this blog is not to hurt any religious sentiments but to voice out some individual views, and yes if you are not well versed with mythology and history, this blog might seem gibberish.)

 

* Hey, come on in. Long time no see.

**Yeah, been busy. What are you up to?

* Nothing much actually, thinking of writing something about Panchakanya’s

** Panch.. Who?

* You know, the Panchakanya, the 5 ladies of Hindu mythology. From Ramayana and Mahabharata. Ahalya, Draupadi, Kunti, Tara and Mandodari.

**Ohh, what about them?

* They are the 5 ideal types of Indian women. Victim of their fate and society and yet held their head high for their sacrifices.

**Hmm really? Tell me about them

* Well to tell the long story short.

Ahalya was married to an elderly sage Gautama. Tricked by king of the Gods Indra to have sex with him. Gautama caught them in act, cursed them both. Ahalya turned into stone till she gets the touch of lord Rama to get her human form back.

Draupadi, wife of Pandavas. Won in a competition by Arjuna. Later got married to all the five brothers as their Kunti mother unknowingly wished for it.

Kunti again was the fiery women who single handedly brought up all of her 3 sons and his husband second wife Madri’s 2 sons. Took care of the kingdom till Pandavas and Kauravas reached their adulthood.

Tara was the wife of monkey king Vali and was an honest and upright woman who opposed to her husband’s wrong doing to his brother Sugriva.

Mandodari was the wife of demon king Ravana, who stood by her husband though she knew he was wrong. Yet till death of his she didn’t leave his side.

**Okay, I am aware of the Hindu mythology, but what is that you wanna do with all these information?

* Well writing a story about their dutiful sacrifices..

**Dutiful what??

* Sacrifices. They gave away so much for the betterment…

**Don’t agree.

* Why?

**They sure did some selfless acts but mostly they were just like us, driven by their desire.

* Explain!!!

**Okay. Let’s take Ahalya, do you really think she did not know when she was copulating with Indra, I mean come on, her husband was an old sage and Indra is like ever young. Do you think she cant feel the difference?

* Subject to a debate.

**Alright, Wasn’t it the same Draupadi who confessed she had a desire for Karna? That if he was to be proved as Kunti’s son earlier, she would have happily made her home with 6 husbands. Come on now, she didn’t even object to the idea of being wife of 5 men, 5 brothers.

* Points taken.

**Now Kunti was a clever clever woman and a master manipulator. None of her son fathered by Pandu, her own husband. She even conceived before marriage with Karna. All her 3 sons are fathered by Dharma, Vayu and Indra, 3 mythological Hindu gods. When she came to know Arjuna won the hands of Draupadi, she knew this princess can be a trouble; she might even be a cause of dispute between 5 brothers. So she played the trick and asked the brothers to share what Arjuna won.

*So you were saying, she wasn’t only a royal widow but a shrewd politician as well.

**Pretty much. Ok let’s take Tara. She hardly opposes Vali when he took his brother Sugriva’s wife Ruma as his concubine. And after Vali is killed she got married to Sugriva and became the power behind the throne. We hardly get a trace of Ruma’s existence after Vali was killed and Sugriva was made the king. What does that tell you?

* That perhaps Tara was not only an intelligent woman but also an ambitious one.

** Exactly. And so is Mandodari. Again she hardly opposed Ravana for keeping Sita in captivity and after his death; she got married to the most hated character possible in Ramayana, Vibhishana, traitor to the country and to his brother. And stayed as the Queen of Lanka.

* Okay, so are you saying these Panchakanyas are not as virtuous as they are projected in our mythology?

**Exactly the opposite. They all are virtuous, ambitious and ahead of their time but caged in the prison of society. The conservative and morally corrupt, male chauvinistic society who’s eager to tagged women as goddesses so only they have license to play the gods.

* Haven’t we changed after all these years? After thousands of years?

**No my friend, even now we are the same. We are surrounded by Panchakanyas, and we still kept them in cage without them realizing how powerful and charismatic they are…..

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