The Story of the Divine Birth of Dhrishtadyumna and Draupadi

This incident happened after GuruDakshina period where Drupad, king of Panchala was defeated by Pandava Arjuna and captured alive. He was dragged into the Drona’s feet. He was badly humiliated by this incident.

Drupad was not only humiliated, he lost half his kingdom to Drona. He was seething in anger. He longed for a son who could avenge him. He came to the conclusion that only by benefaction and the deeds of some great brahmin, can he achieve such a son capable of defeating and killing Drona. Drupad searched far and wide. Finally, the king saw that there were two Brahman sages named Yaja and Upayaja, both of rigid vows and souls under complete control and belonging to the most superior order. They were both devoted to the study of the ancient institutes and sprung from the race of Kashyapa. He discovered that these two Brahmanas were well-able to help him in the attainment of his object. The king then, with great assiduity and singleness of purpose, began to court this pair of excellent Brahmanas.

First he approached Upayaja and begged his services in return for a lot of rewards. Upayaja declined but Drupad was not one to give up so easily.

Finally (after a year of homage) Upayaja said, “What you seek from me is not possible. But my elder brother Yaja has no scruples and he will help you attain your goal.

Hearing this, Drupad went to Yaja and after paying homage, desired from him the fulfillment of his desires. “O Yaja, perform that sacrifice by means of which I may obtain a son invincible in battle and capable of slaying Drona. Ready am I to give thee ten thousand kine“, is what Drupad said.

But Yaja knew that this huge task was impossible for him to complete alone and hence he sent for his brother Upayaja to assist him. Yaja told his younger brother that the whole task will be on his own account and Upayaja will not have to bear any consequences for the same. Upayaja agreed. Upayaja said to Drupad, “O king, a child shall be born unto thee, endued, as thou desirest, with great prowess, great energy, and great strength” and asked him to get all the material required for such a yagya.

Yaja, after having poured volumes of butter on the sacrificial fire, commanded Drupad’s queen, saying, ‘Come hither, O queen, O daughter-in-law of Prishata! A son and a daughter have arrived for thee!” Hearing this, the queen said, “O Brahman, my mouth is yet filled with saffron and other perfumed things. My body also beareth many sweet scents; I am hardly fit for accepting (the sanctified butter which is to give me offspring). Wait for me a little, O Yaja! Wait for that happy consummation.” Yaja, however, replied, “O lady, whether thou come or wait, the object of the sacrifice cannot wait. It shall be accomplished as the oblation has already been prepared by me and sanctified by Upayaja’s invocations.

Having said this, Yaja poured the sanctified libation on the fire. As soon as that happened, huge flames arose from the yagya pyre and from these flames arose a young man resembling a celestial who possessing the effulgence of fire, and was terrible to behold. With a crown on this head and his body encased in excellent armour, sword in hand, and bearing a bow and arrows, he frequently sent forth loud roars. And immediately after his birth, he ascended an excellent chariot and went about in it for some time. Then the Panchalas in great joy shouted, “Excellent, Excellent.” Then, the voice of some invisible spirit in the skies said, “This prince has been born for the destruction of Drona. He shall dispel all the fears of the Panchalas and spread their fame. He shall also remove the sorrow of the king.

But this was not the end. The flames leapt up once again. And there arose, from the center of the sacrificial platform, a woman also, who was fiery and blazing as the fire itself, and yet exceedingly beautiful. Her eyes were black, and large as lotus-petals, her complexion was dark, and her locks were blue and curly. Her nails were beautifully convex, and bright as burnished copper, her eye-brows were fair, and her build exceedingly curvy. She resembled the veritable daughter of a celestial born among men.


कुमारी चापि पाञ्चाली वेदीमध्यात्समुत्थिता।

सुभगा दर्शनीयाङ्गी स्वसितायतलोचना॥

An incorporeal voice said, “This dark-complexioned girl will be the first of all women, and she will be the cause of the destruction of many Kshatriyas. This slender-waisted one will, in time, accomplish the purpose of the gods, and along with her many a danger will overtake the Kauravas.

Beholding the wonderful boy and girl, Drupad’s wife said to Yaja, “Let these two know no one other than myself as their mother“. “So be it“, said Yaja.

Then the Brahmanas present there, their expectations fully gratified, bestowed names upon the new-born pair, “Let this son of king Drupad, be called Dhrishtadyumna, because of his excessive audacity and because of his being born like Dyumna with a natural mail and weapon.” And turning to the girl, they said, “Because this daughter is so dark in complexion, she should be called Krishnaa (the dark).

Thus were born those twins of the great sacrifice of Drupad. And the great Drona, bringing the Panchal prince into his own abode, taught him all weapons in requital of half the kingdom he had formerly taken from Drupad. The high-souled son of Bharadwaja, regarding destiny to be inevitable, did what would perpetuate his own great deeds.

Post Author: Prasanna Bhalerao

IT Professional with interest in History, Mythology and Photography. Likes to travel and see interesting places.

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