Religious Studies and Theology, Vol 33, No 1 (2014)

The Element of a Good Marriage: Fire, Draupadī, and Marital Relationships

Jessica Ford
Issued Date: 17 Jun 2014

Abstract


This article discusses the marital relationship of Draupadī, the heroine of the Mahābhārata, and her five husbands, the Pāṇḍava brothers, with a focus on Draupadī’s connection to fire. Using textual analysis, the article examines the epic’s portrayal of interactions between Draupadī and her husbands to demonstrate how the epic explores Draupadī’s link to fire. Beginning with her birth from a sacrificial fire altar, Draupadī’s association with fire colors her behavior throughout the epic, including her relationships with her husbands. Her fiery personality can be seen as she incites her husbands out of passivity and into action, often on her own behalf. She ignites within them the spark that often leads to the main actions of the epic’s plot.

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DOI: 10.1558/rsth.v33i1.47

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