PRATHIKAMI went to Draupadi as
ordered by his master. He said to her: "O
revered princess, Yudhishthira fell under
the spell of the game of dice and has
wagered and lost even you. Now you
belong to Duryodhana. I have come by
Duryodhana's command to take you to
serve in his household as maid servant,
which will hereafter be your office."
Draupadi, the spouse of the emperor who
had performed Rajasuya, was
dumbfounded, at this strange message.
She asked: "Prathikami, what do you say?
Which prince would pledge his wife? Had
he nothing else to pawn?"
Prathikami answered: "It is because he
had already lost all other possessions and
had nothing else left that he played
offering you as a stake."
Then he told her the whole story of how
Yudhishthira had lost all his wealth and
had finally betted her, after having first
forfeited his brothers and himself.
Though the news was such as to break the
heart and kill the soul, still, Draupadi soon
regained her fortitude and, with anger
blazing from her eyes, said: "O charioteer,
return. Ask of him who played the game
whether in it he first lost himself, or his
wife. Ask this question in the open
assembly. Bring me his answer and then
you can take me." Prathikami went to the
assembly and, turning to Yudhishthira,
asked of him the question put by
Yudhishthira remained speechless.
Then Duryodhana bade Prathikami bring
Panchali herself there to question her
husband. Prathikami went again to
Draupadi and humbly said: "Princess, the
mean-minded Duryodhana desires you to
go to the assembly and ask your question
Draupadi answered: "No. Return to the
assembly and put the question and
demand an answer."
Prathikami did so.
Enraged, Duryodhana turned to his
brother Duhsasana and said: "This man is
a fool and is afraid of Bhima. Go and
fetch Draupadi even if you have to drag
Thus commanded, the wicked Duhsasana
at once sped with joy on his errand. He
proceeded to the place where Draupadi
was, shouting: "Come, why do you delay?
You are now ours. Be not shy, beautiful
lady. Make yourself agreeable to us, now
that you have been won by us.