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The five Pandavas married Draupadi as a common wife
SB Canto 1
Draupadī was gained in this Pāñcāladeśa by Arjuna, but by order of Kuntī all five of the Pāṇḍava brothers became equally the husbands of Pāñcālī, or Draupadī. She was married with five Pāṇḍavas in the presence of Vyāsadeva.
SB 1.13.3-4, Purport: When the Pāṇḍavas were banished from the kingdom by the intrigues of Duryodhana, Kuntī followed her sons, and she equally faced all sorts of difficulties during those days. During the forest life one demon girl, Hiḍimbā, wanted Bhīma as her husband. Bhīma refused, but when the girl approached Kuntī and Yudhiṣṭhira, they ordered Bhīma to accept her proposal and give her a son. As a result of this combination, Ghaṭotkaca was born, and he fought very valiantly with his father against the Kauravas. In their forest life they lived with a brāhmaṇa family that was in trouble because of one Bakāsura demon, and Kuntī ordered Bhīma to kill the Bakāsura to protect the brāhmaṇa family against troubles created by the demon. She advised Yudhiṣṭhira to start for the Pāñcāladeśa. Draupadī was gained in this Pāñcāladeśa by Arjuna, but by order of Kuntī all five of the Pāṇḍava brothers became equally the husbands of Pāñcālī, or Draupadī. She was married with five Pāṇḍavas in the presence of Vyāsadeva.
The five Pāṇḍavas married her as a common wife, and each of them begot a son in her.
SB 1.13.3-4, Purport: Draupadī: The most chaste daughter of Mahārāja Drupada and partly an incarnation of goddess Śacī, the wife of Indra. Mahārāja Drupada performed a great sacrifice under the superintendence of the sage Yaja. By his first offering, Dhṛṣṭadyumna was born, and by the second offering, Draupadī was born. She is therefore the sister of Dhṛṣṭadyumna, and she is also named Pāñcālī. The five Pāṇḍavas married her as a common wife, and each of them begot a son in her. Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira begot a son named Pratibhit, Bhīmasena begot a son named Sutasoma, Arjuna begot Śrutakīrti, Nakula begot Śatānīka, and Sahadeva begot Śrutakarmā. She is described as a most beautiful lady, equal to her mother-in-law, Kuntī. During her birth there was an aeromessage that she should be called Kṛṣṇā. The same message also declared that she was born to kill many a kṣatriya. By dint of her blessings from Śaṅkara, she was awarded five husbands, equally qualified. When she preferred to select her own husband, princes and kings were invited from all the countries of the world. She was married with the Pāṇḍavas during their exile in the forest, but when they went back home Mahārāja Drupada gave them immense wealth as a dowry. She was well received by all the daughters-in-law of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. When she was lost in a gambling game, she was forcibly dragged into the assembly hall, and an attempt was made by Duḥśāsana to see her naked beauty, even though there were elderly persons like Bhīṣma and Droṇa present. She was a great devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and by her praying, the Lord Himself became an unlimited garment to save her from the insult. A demon of the name Jaṭāsura kidnapped her, but her second husband, Bhīmasena, killed the demon and saved her. She saved the Pāṇḍavas from the curse of Maharṣi Durvāsā by the grace of Lord Kṛṣṇa. When the Pāṇḍavas lived incognito in the palace of Virāṭa, Kīcaka was attracted by her exquisite beauty, and by arrangement with Bhīma the devil was killed and she was saved. She was very much aggrieved when her five sons were killed by Aśvatthāmā. At the last stage, she accompanied her husband Yudhiṣṭhira and others and fell on the way. The cause of her falling was explained by Yudhiṣṭhira, but when Yudhiṣṭhira entered the heavenly planet he saw Draupadī gloriously present there as the goddess of fortune in the heavenly planet.
On the order of mother they accepted Draupadī as a common wife.
Lecture on SB 1.7.15 -- Vrndavana, September 13, 1976: Draupadī's five sons were killed—five sons by five husbands. You know the history of Draupadī. She had five husbands, which is forbidden nowadays. Although in some hilly districts still this system is current, that one woman has got five or six husbands—this practice was there even in high circle—that is now forbidden. Devareṇa sutotpattiṁ kalau pañca vivarjayet. Don't try to imitate Draupadī. That is not allowed in this age.
- aśvamedhaṁ gavālambhaṁ
- sannyāsaṁ pala-paitṛkam
- devareṇa sutotpattiṁ
- kalau pañca vivarjayet
- [Cc. Ādi 17.164]
So draupadī-patīnām. Patīnām is plural number. So she had five husbands, all the brothers. We should not imitate that. This is possible by Draupadī, not by others.
Lecture on SB 1.15.50 -- Los Angeles, December 27, 1973: So draupadī-patīnām. Patīnām is plural number. So she had five husbands, all the brothers. We should not imitate that. This is possible by Draupadī, not by others. So although she had five husbands, the Pāṇḍavas—Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, Bhīma, Arjuna, Nakula, Sahadeva—but at the time of retirement, they did not care what will happen to their wife. The same husbands, when they saw that their wife was insulted in the assembly of the Kurus... Draupadī was insulted because they lost Draupadī in gambling. Just see. Gambling is so dangerous. The bet was the wife. The Pāṇḍavas and the Kurus were playing on chess. And they lost their kingdom, they lost their wife, then they were ordered to be banished for twelve years and one year incognito.