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Kichaka – Draupadi Episode In Sarala Mahabharata

The Kichaka – Draupadi in the Mahabharata happened during the life incognito in exile period of the Pandavas. The Sarala Mahabharata of Odisha has an entirely different take on the entire episode.

Pandavas had taken refuge in the kingdom of Virata. Matsya, the king of Virata, had married Sudeshna, sister of Kichaka. Kichaka was the chief commander of the army of Virata. 

When Draupadi, disguised as Sairindhri, lived in the kingdom of Birata, she sought the
help of Krishna and Surya Deva to evade the imminent danger of Virata’s brother-in-law
Kichaka to whose palace she had to go with a letter from the queen of Virata.

While praying to the Sun God she uses terms such as ‘one who wears garland of rays’ (Ansumali), ‘born of Aditi’ (Aditya), ‘God of destroyer of darkness’ (Timira bidarana Natha), and ‘the glowing Sun’ (Martanda). In course of the prayer she also recounts the greatness of Chandrabhaga and Konark. She prays to the Sun God to save her as he had saved her from utter shame and disgrace of being nude in the Kuru Sabha. This time Surya Deva sends his two wives, Chhaya and Maya, to stand on either side of her and save her from Kichaka’s carnal desire. 

(‘Sudesna Sairindhrinku Kichaka nikataku prerana O Sairindhrinkara Suryanku Prarthana’, lines 170-202, Sarala Mahabharata (Virata Parva).   ‘Chhaya Maya Sahajyare Draupadinkara gamana O Kichakara lanchhana, lines 1 to 40, Sarala Mahabharata (Virata Parva))