View Larger Image. The story of Draupadi, one of the most fascinating characters in the Mahabharata. Strange as it may appear, Draupadi, the most accomplished heroine of the Mahabharata, happens to be the most suffering, sacrificing, and yet the most misunderstood character from the epic. Though counted among the five supremely virtuous women, honoured as pancha sati in mythology, the name Draupadi still bears stigma and is often contemptuously uttered by people in society as the woman who brought about the greatest war of all times. Pratibha Ray makes a determined effort for a balanced portrayal of the epic character and brings to the surface the broader and deeper aspects of Draupadis mind that lay submerged in the majestic sweep of the grand Mahabharata.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Yajnaseni by Pratibha Ray. Pradip Bhattacharya Translator. The story of Draupadi, one of the most fascinating characters in the Mahabharata.
Strange as it may appear, Draupadi, the most accomplished heroine of the Mahabharata, happens to be the most suffering, sacrificing, and yet the most misunderstood character from the epic. Though counted among the five supremely virtuous women, honoured as pancha sati in mythology, the name Dr The story of Draupadi, one of the most fascinating characters in the Mahabharata.
Though counted among the five supremely virtuous women, honoured as pancha sati in mythology, the name Draupadi still bears stigma and is often contemptuously uttered by people in society as the woman who brought about the greatest war of all times.
Pratibha Ray makes a determined effort for a balanced portrayal of the epic character and brings to the surface the broader and deeper aspects of Draupadi's mind that lay submerged in the majestic sweep of the grand Mahabharata. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published September 1st by Rupa Publishers first published More Details Original Title. Sarala Award , Moorti Devi Award Other Editions 7.
Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Yajnaseni , please sign up. Susmita Bose Yajnaseni emphasizes more on the deep level of friendship between Draupadi and Sri Krishna and in this story Karna doesn't really play a role of a jil …more Yajnaseni emphasizes more on the deep level of friendship between Draupadi and Sri Krishna and in this story Karna doesn't really play a role of a jilted lover, her love and devotion for Arjuna is brought to focus.
Also, Draupadi doesn't think of her mother-in-law as plotting against her in every situation. In Palace of Illusions, we see Draupadi subtly comparing Arjun to Karna- always regretting the gross insult she threw Karna's way during her Swayamvar, Karna as a love-sick person, and Kunti as the plotting mother-in-law.
But both books are equally engrossing and worth every bit of time spent in reading them. See all 5 questions about Yajnaseni…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Yajnaseni: The Story of Draupadi. Nov 30, Arun Divakar rated it liked it. The closest match that Draupadi of the Mahabharata has in the history of literature is perhaps Helen of Troy.
The similarity between them however ends with the fact that they were both harbingers of extremely destructive wars that transformed history. Helen in comparison had a cake walk of a life when compared with Panchali is my observation. Let us look at reasons why : Married off at a young age according to the stipulations of a code of ethics she scarcely understood, never had a voice in d The closest match that Draupadi of the Mahabharata has in the history of literature is perhaps Helen of Troy.
Let us look at reasons why : Married off at a young age according to the stipulations of a code of ethics she scarcely understood, never had a voice in determining who her life partner should be, by a single word was she forced to accept polygamy, this one act continued to be the wound that the entire world even in posterity loved to sprinkle salt on, suffered the greatest insult ever to a woman's integrity, watched all her sons slain in the great war at Kurukshetra and finally in the journey to the netherworld all her husbands left her when she fell by the wayside bereft and orphaned Draupadi is a blazing character from the epic and this is the epic through her eyes.
The name Yajnaseni symbolizes she who was born of the yajna the sacrificial fire which in another way is to say that she was not the biological daughter of her royal parents. After a show of strength which doubles up as the courting period, she is married off to a man she has heard of but never known of.
In an age when words and promises were sacrosanct, one word by her mother-in-law ends up making her the wife of not one but five men : the Pandavas. While all the five men are different, their attitude towards her initially is more like that of a domestic animal and not rising beyond that. Draupadi while bound in her love for Arjun, sacrifices everything to keep the unity of the Pandava family intact.
She tries many a time to break free of these chains of oppression but fails in every way. While the Ramayana is hailed as an epic of righteousness, Mahabharata is more humane in its machinations. It is mostly a history of oppression of women by men and the sly but ruthless moves by women which ends up tumbling empires! Through insults, tribulations, joys, sorrows and laughter she carries her family through and sails forth into her life until the dice game with the Kauravas arrive.
I do not know nor comprehend if Krishna saved the dignity of Panchali on that day in the royal court of Hastinapur. All that I do know is that this is the grossest injustice a woman can be subjected to.
The fact that learned,wise, chivalrous men gave silent nods of assent to Draupadi's violation at the hands of Duryodhan and his brothers makes this act all the more heinous. Since this entire story is written by a woman and told from a woman's point of view, the helplessness and the rawness of this one scene is unmatched throughout the entire tale.
The best parts of Pratibha Ray's skills as a storyteller comes when she describes Draupadi's relation with her husbands. Her angst at the righteous and impeccable Yudhistir which is equal parts admiration and revulsion, the love laced with fear and respect for the titanic Bhim, sensual, poetic love for Arjun and motherly affection for Nakul and Sahdev are all captured very well here.
Inevitably, the Kurukshetra war arrives and danse macabre begins. The fabled war scenes are all muted in the tale for women never had a place in the battlefield here. There is however the heart wrenching pain at the death of sons, friends and blood relations.
I have time and over been made to believe by the Mahabharata that war wins only corpses and nothing beyond it. Unknowingly Arjun slays his eldest brother Karna who knew he would be killed but being true to the word to his dearest friend, went down that day with satisfaction. All sons of the Pandavas are slain in their sleep and none save a grandson remain to carry forth their legacy.
The incarnation of the divine, Krishna himself watches his entire clan kill off each other and later succumbs to the arrow of a hunter. Yudhistir becomes the king-emperor of a field of corpses! How fickle is life! Renouncing worldly pleasures, the five men and their wife travel through the Himalayas to reach the world of the divine.
For all her attachment to life, Draupadi falls along the way and without a second glance the man walk away. Putting down the bundle of all her troubles at the feet of her life long friend Krishna, she departs from this world of sorrows. After all these long descriptions , it is a matter of discomfort for me to say that this book's translation to English is a wonderful opportunity lost.
The dialog is at times so sappy that I had to remind myself that it is not a soap opera! It is an age old urban legend among many writers that the characters of epics need to speak language dipped in melodrama and dyed in flowery prose. My love for this epic and its characters made me turning pages but yes the dialog is an irritant here. Secondly, the books suffers from blind devotion to Krishna. While he remains the principle puppeteer of all the acts in the tale, here the author has painted him as an all knowing, supreme being with supernatural capabilities.
Krishna is more closer to Odysseus in his brilliant strategy, oratory and diplomatic skills but here he becomes a god beyond anyone's comprehension. A good section of people subscribe to this view but it ever since I have read into the lines of the epic, this view has never sat too well with me. It is a tale of being a woman in an exceedingly male chauvinistic society and of the inevitable fall of empires.
Just before I sat down to key in this review, on the news came up a title of an estranged father and mother selling off their 17 year old daughter to prostitution! Draupadi was perhaps the symbol of such atrocities against women in the ages to come and men like Dushasan now don other more subtler garbs and walk free among us. View all 16 comments. Feb 22, Anushree rated it did not like it Shelves: popsugar-reading-challenge Beware — This is a rant more than a review.
Finally, having completed reading this book, I am deeply aggrieved to say that this shall be the first book which is going to earn just 1 star from me. Had there been an option of 0 stars, well, I would have even chosen that.
Why, you think? Here's why. Pratibha Ray, in her afterword, narrated an incident about her sister named "Krishnaa" which had deeply affected her due to which she thought of reciting Draupadi's tale. She says the book is based on Beware — This is a rant more than a review. She says the book is based on Vyasdev's Mahabharata as also her own imagination and interpretation of the epic. At the risk of sounding brazenly outrageous unapologetically , I find that even someone like "Ekta Kapoor" would have done a better job at portraying at least some character of Draupadi.
To say this book was written in , when Indira Gandhi was reigning as the third prime minister of India reference only to the fact of she being a "woman" and nothing political whatsoever , is a sad state of affairs inasmuch as this book doesn't even portray Draupadi as a woman who could express her opinions firmly without being judged. It is just a passing reference in the book that the Pandavs held her opinion high, but when the matters of "Rajyakarbhar" or the working of the kingdom were concerned I do not find a just voice of Draupadi being raised.
Yajnaseni: The Story of Draupadi
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