The greatest tale in Hindu dharma, Mahabharata is full of stories that have the capacity to illuminate a person. From its internal meaning to its value in Hindu philosophy and practices, Mahabharata has developed a culture of its own amongst the Hindus. However, there are many secrets hidden in Mahabharata that not many are unaware of:
1. The birth of Draupadi
When Guru Dronacharya defeated Draupad – his friend – to take revenge by his students, Draupad had performed a yagya with the help of Tapasvis, and thus, Divya Kumar had been born. Along with that, a yagya devi was born from yagya and was named as Draupadi. There had been a foretelling, an akashvani, that Divya Kumar was born to kill Dronacharya, and Draupadi was born to fulfill all the rishis.
2. The marriage of Draupadi
In her previous life, Draupadi was unable to get married and thus had meditated upon Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva, having been impressed with her commitment, asked her for a wish, for which she wanted the husband with all 14 qualities, and repeated hat wish five times. The result was that she got five husbands in her next birth.
3. The virginity of Draupadi
When Narad Muni finds out about this marriage, he suggests that she can only be intimate with one in her situation. So she prayed Lord Shiva, and as you might have guessed, she had received a boon that she would regain her virginity periodically (some consider it to be a day, some consider year). So, every time she left one Pandava for another, she was a virgin.
4. The ‘Cheer Haran’
It is said that Krishna saved Draupadi at the ‘cheer-haran’. But it was not all him. According to Shiva Purana, she had received a boon by Rishi Durvasa. One day when the sage was walking around Ganga and had his loincloth carried away by the Ganga, Draupadi tore a piece of her garment to cover him. Thus, when she received the boon, it caused an unending stream of cloth when Dushasan tried to strip her.
5. The Truce between Pandavas and Kauravas
In fact, when Dhritarashtra and Bhishma Pitamah knew that Pandavas were alive, they were called to Hastinapur. In order to avoid any battle in the future, the property was divided into two equal halves between Pandavas and Kauravas. The kingdom of Pandavas started to look like heaven after their efforts, and thus, Yudhisthir called it as Indraprastha.
6. The Time Split for Draupadi
All the Pandavas made a rule that Draupadi would stay with each Pandava for a certain period of time. So, if she was with one of the Pandavas, then the others couldn’t come near to her, and if any of the people break the rule, then he has to spend 12 years of ‘banbas’ – life in the forest – as a bachelor.
7. The 12 years of Banabas
During Yudhisthir’s reign, one cow of a Brahmin got robbed and the Brahmin asked Arjuna for help. However, he had left his weapon at the palace. Considering how not protecting the cow is against the religion, he went back to collect it. But Yudhishthira was alone with Draupadi when he entered, thus, breaking the rule. So, he spent 12 years in the forest.
8. The sons and the other wife
From each of the Pandavas, Draupadi had one son and Yudhisthir had another wife – Devika.
9. The Privilege of Yudhishthir
When Krishna died, the Pandavas lost interest in the world and decided to go to heaven, along with their dog and Draupadi. In some way, each of them died one by one, with only Yudhisthir remaining alive. But because of his righteousness, he was the only human allowed in the world of the god alive.
10. The Surprise at heaven
When Yudhisthira entered the heaven, he was surprised to see Duryodhana there too. He came to know that he had the passage to heaven because he never showed cowardice and died a brave death in a holy place, Samanpanchaka.
11. The Choice of Krishna
Way before the war, Arjuna, and Duryodhana had gone to Krishna to seek his help. He had reached Krishna before Arjuna and sat near his head. Arjuna, on the other hand, sat next to his feet. When Krishna woke up, he saw Arjun first as his eye view was in the same diagonal position as his feet. Thus, Krishna asked Arjuna first about his purpose of his visit. But as Duryodhana had arrived first, he complained that he came first and his wishes should be fulfilled first. As Krishna saw Arjun first, he replied that he would first listen to Arjun. So, Arjun asks Krishna to come on his side, while Duryodhan asked for the army. And it was the army that Duryodhan was looking for, so he was more than happy.
12. The Wish and the Masterplan
Both got their wishes fulfilled. Arjuna got Krishna while Duryodhana got his army. So, it is a mistake to think that Krishna was the one who picked the choice.
13. The Drama
Krishna knew that Duryodhana would never consider Krishna as a God, and he also did not want to be at Kaurava’s side. Both Arjun and Duryodhan thought that their opponent’s choice was worthless.
14. The Reason
Krishna could have easily denied the wishes and left off the massive destruction of in the aftermath of the war. But as one of his missions on earth, he had to restore the balance on earth and get rid of powerful warriors. During those days, there were too many kings with too much power which had challenged the peace of society. Thus, he decided to give the army to Kauravas.
15. The Death of the army
It was Arjuna who killed Krishna’s army with the support of Krishna as his charioteer. The Narayani Sena fought against Arjuna and Arjuna killed them all.
16. The Imbalance of the army
If Krishna had given the 2 Narayani Sena to Pandava, then the size of the army would have been equal. However, Kaurava had more army.
17. The Reason for the imbalance
Had the size of armies been equal, then the winning side would have made a big remnant at the end of the war. Even though the Pandavas had a smaller army, they still had more army left in the end. In case they had started equal, then they would have more than 2 Akshauhinis of the army left, and no one would kill them. Krishna thus gave the army to the losing side.
18. The Yadavas
A group of yadavas fought from Pandavas, which included Krishna’ son Pradyumn. Satyaki fought from Pandavas side as Arjun was his teacher.
19. The Impartiality of Krishna
Even though Krishna fought against the Kauravas, he did not totally side with Pandavas, He fought the war as an independent body. He even protected the yadavas whenever he could, as part of his dharma. He just saw that the Pandavas were more abiding by the dharma and would fulfill his mission to establish dharma in the world. With that said, he had a good relationship with Kauravas. Banumathi – Duryodhana’s wife – was his devotee and did not see them as total evil, but just that their actions were causing evil.
20. The Call for dharma
Many times, Krishna asked Duryodhana to make a choice and strive for dharma. But it was all in vain.
source – Quora