O Lady who resides in Gingee, my mother Our beautiful goddess I only believe in you, please assist us. For the exiled Pandavas, my mother You protected them as a heroic goddess. A popular refrain at the Draupadi temples and festivals of Tamil Nadu, where she is worshipped as a village deity, it situates her, preposterously, in a land far south of the kingdoms of the Kurus and the Panchalas, reimagining her as the guardian, not just of her five husbands but also of the people who live amid the granite hills of Gingee and its surroundings. We first hear snatches of the song at the Draupadi Amman temple in Melachery, north of Gingee Fort, a much-coveted 12th-century structure originally built by the Kon dynasty, and bordering a forest that legend says was the haunt of demons. The small shrine, deserted but for the priest who stayed back in anticipation of our visit, is the adi peetham, the font of a tradition of goddess worship in a region of Tamil Nadu known as Tondainadu that dates back to the Pallava period CE. You cannot keep her in the village.
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WhatsApp Draupadi is one of the most celebrated and loved characters of the Mahabharata. She is unapologetic and courageous and exudes strength and intellect.
She emerged as an ancient symbol of reform in a staunchly patriarchal setup. Her veneration thus, as a goddess sees no bounds. This permeated the worshipping traditions of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh as well as those of Sri Lanka.
She is referred to as Draupadi Amman and has a cult dedicated to her of the same name. Reclining statue of Draupadi The cult celebrates Draupadi as a village goddess and is present in small pockets of South India. She is seen as Grama Devatha village Goddess or Kula Devatha mother Goddess in several among the total of shrines that are dedicated to her. The cult traces its roots to the Pallava Dynasty. It is a part of the larger festival of celebration of the Mahabharata where tales from the epic are re-enacted and rituals or puja associated with the epic take place.
Some of these rituals celebrate the marriage of Draupadi to Arjuna where the idols of the divine couple are washed with water and milk and beautifully bejewelled. Devotees walk barefoot on fire embers to show their reverence for the goddess and to fulfill their wishes. This specific ritual is performed by men only. Legend says that Kali was born to assist Krishna in his bid to destroy all evil and arrogant kings of the world.
This also reinforces the notion of the proximity between Draupadi and Krishna. Draupadi as an incarnation of Kali Draupadi as a queen and as a goddess has revolutionised the study of the epic poem as well as its interpretation.
While some consider her to be the cause of the Kurukshetra war, others see her as a victim of male dominance and injustice. However, from within these spurious notions, Draupadi emerges as a true hero. She defied one and all through her passion and intensity and forever remains immortal.
The Cult of Draupadi, Volume 1: Mythologies: From Gingee to Kuruksetra
Etymology[ edit ] Like other epic characters, Draupadi is referred to by multiple names in the Mahabharata. Of the two variants of the name, the effeminate former is preferred over the more classical latter in Puranic texts. Birth of Dhristadyumna from yagna, made by Bilal Habsi, folio of Razmnama Vyasa telling the secret of the birth of Draupadi to Drupada. King Drupada of Panchala had been defeated by the Pandava prince Arjuna on behalf of Drona , who subsequently took half his kingdom. Draupadi emerged as a beautiful dark skinned young woman from the sacrificial fire after her sibling Dhrishtadyumna. At the Swayamvara, almost all the assorted monarchs were unable to complete the challenge.
Draupadi’s Cult Worships Her As A Goddess In This Community Of India
WhatsApp Draupadi is one of the most celebrated and loved characters of the Mahabharata. She is unapologetic and courageous and exudes strength and intellect. She emerged as an ancient symbol of reform in a staunchly patriarchal setup. Her veneration thus, as a goddess sees no bounds. This permeated the worshipping traditions of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh as well as those of Sri Lanka.
The Cult of Draupadi in Tamil Nadu: Interview with Professor Alf Hiltebeitel