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Draupadi: Woman Leader par excellence : Mahabharat Katha

The Mahab­harat is full of deep and insight­ful con­ver­sa­tions. The Drau­pa­di-Satyaba­ma sam­va­da appears in the Vana Par­va of the Mahab­haratha. The con­ver­sa­tion high­lights the admin­is­tra­tive capa­bil­i­ties of Drau­pa­di and the metic­u­lous nature of women lead­er­ship dur­ing those times. Shri Krish­na’s wife Satyaba­ma is curi­ous about the uncon­di­tion­al love and obe­di­ence of the Pan­davas towards Drau­pa­di. She asks Drau­pa­di if this was due to her beau­ty or any spe­cial drug that she uses or any ascetic pow­ers. Drau­pa­di replies that using beau­ty or drugs was only done by wicked peo­ple. Drau­pa­di says:

  1. She treat­ed her hus­bands and their oth­er wives with great devo­tion with­out any sense of jeal­ousy

  2. She took bath and had food only when all her hus­bands ate and infact all the atten­dants had their food

  3. She nev­er indulged in angry speech or any­thing that spreads hatred

  4. She knew the names and qual­i­ties of each and every one of the 1 lakh maids that served the kings

  5. She was the one who framed the rules to be observed by the one lakh hors­es and ele­phants that fol­lowed Yud­hishthi­ra

  6. All com­plaints about them was heard and resolved by her

  7. She knew the names of all atten­dants, ser­vants, cowherds, shep­herds and sol­diers. She knew their prob­lems and what they need­ed

  8. She super­vised the trea­sury while the Pan­davas where tak­ing care of the dharmic pur­suits

  9. She was the only one among the Pana­davas to know the exact income and expen­di­ture of the king­dom

  10. She bore the entire load of the king­dom day and night

  11. She woke up ear­ly and slept late, so much so that day and night were the same for her

The insights pro­vid­ed by Drau­pa­di clear­ly demon­strates the exalt­ed nature of women lead­er­ship where the minut­est details are tak­en care and each per­son is offered equal amount of care and com­pas­sion. It does take super human effort but if one keeps aside one’s own per­son­al whims and fan­cies, there is noth­ing that one can­not achieve. Drau­padi’s mes­sage to Satyaba­ma shows a path to all women of today who are just burst­ing with ener­gy to achieve some­thing but who feel stuck some­where. Admin­is­ter­ing the home is not an easy task and Drau­pa­di had achieved excel­lence in that as well. When you throw your­self com­plete­ly into some­thing, the “you” real­ly becomes irrel­e­vant.

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