File:The Humiliation of Draupadi.jpg

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English: An Illustration from the Mahabharata: The Humiliation of Draupadi

India, Kangra, circa 1830-40 With the blind king Dhritarashtra flanked by the Kauravs seated in a golden pavilion, the Pandavas at left in the foreground with heads bowed in shame as their wife is stripped of her garments, Krishna's miracle illustrated by the multiple lengths of cloth at her feet Opaque pigments with gold on wasli 9¼ x 11¾ in. (30.4 x 29.8 cm.), framed

Notes: Property from a private collection, Michigan

Draupadi's cheer-haran, literally meaning stripping of one's clothes, marks a definitive moment in the story of Mahabharata. Her husbands, the Pandavas are tricked by their cousins, the Kauravas, into a fixed game of dice in which they lose their all their wealth and kingdom. Yudhishthira, the eldest and most-respected Pandava, is then goaded into gambling away each brother. Still the Kauravas are not satisfied by this humiliation, so they taunt Yudhishthira further into betting his wife. Against the protests of the family elders, who argue a woman cannot be put at stake, Yudhishthira puts Draupadi as a bet for the next round. When the Kauravas win, the eldest one Duryodhana, commands his younger brother Dushasana to forcefully bring her to the gathering. Dushasana drags her into the court by her hair. Drunk with power, Dushasana tries to strip Draupadi of her sari. Seeing her husbands unable or unwilling to help her, Draupadi prays to Lord Krishna to protect her. As Dushasana unwraps layers and layers of her sari, it keeps getting extended. Finally, a tired Dushasana backs off without being able to remove her clothing.

Given this final insult that Draupadi faced, the younger Pandavas break their silence and vow to avenge these and further humiliations, which culminates in the epic battle, the Mahabharata.
Date between 1830 and 1840
Author Unknown


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