The Azhvars are revered for their Bhakti laden Pasurams which also teach about Prapatti or Surrender to Narayana, one of the main tenets of Sri Vaishnavas.

One of the most significant Sharanagatis found in our scriptures is that done by Draupadi, when she calls out to Govinda in the midst of the Sabha.

But there are many who say that this episode is an interpolation into the Mahabharata and that Duhshasana only dragged Draupadi to the Sabha, thus falsifying the whole Sharanagati episode. So what do the Azhvars say on this Sharanagati?

1 Answer 1


Draupadi is mentioned in two verses of Thirumangai Alwar's Periya Thirumozhi, a collection of his poems. First of all there is this verse from his poem Virperu Vizhavum, in praise of the deity of the Parthasarathy Krishna Temple:

andanan Siruvan araSart am araSarku
iLaiyavan aNiyizhaiyai Senru
endamakku urimai Sei ena tariyAdu
emberumAn aruL enna|
Sandam al kuzhalAL alakkaN nooTTruvar tam
peNDirum eidi noolizhappa
indiran Siruvan tEr mun ninrAnai
tiruvallikkENi kaNDEnE||

The blind king Dhritrashtra’s son, king of kings Duruyodhana, and his younger brother Dusshasana went to the beautiful jeweled Draupadi and said, “Serve me”, Unable to bear this, the dark tressed one prayed, “Lord, save me!”, when Lo! The lord took her grief and gave it to the others’ wives, making them lose their marriage thread. He drove Indra-born-Arjuna’s chariot. I have seen Him in Tiruvallikkeni.

Then there is this verse from his poem Anrarar, in praise of the deity of the Thiruneermalai Vishnu Temple:

tAngAdadu Or ALariyAi avuNan tannai
veeDa munindu avanAl amarum
poongOdaiyar pongeri moozhha viLaittu
aduvanriyum venrikoL vALamaril |
pAngAha mun aivarODu anbaLavi
padiTTraindiraTTippaDai vEndar paDa
neengA cheruvil niraikAttavanukku
iDam mAmalaiyAvadu neermalaiyE ||

The Lord came as a terrible man-lion with Uncontrollable rage and killed the angry Hiranya, dispatching his flower-decked queens into the fire. Then in the victorious war, he befriended the five Pandavas, killed the mighty hundred and protected Draupadi’s fair name. Tirunirmalai is His great hill abode.

Now only the first verse explicitly refers to Draupadi's act of Sharanagati, but I'd argue that the second verse alludes to it as well, insofar as Krishna "protected Draupadi's fair name" as a reward for her Sharanagati.

  • Is that all? Because then it would confirm to the theory that Duhshasana only dragged her by the hair (which is what even Bhagavatam says) and did not attempt to disrobe her.
    – Surya
    Mar 1, 2016 at 15:04
  • @Surya But the first verse says that she prayed to Krishna to save her. I think that's a clear reference to the disrobing incident. Mar 1, 2016 at 15:35
  • No in the Udyoga Parva Draupadi says that when Duhshasana pulled her hair she cried 'Govinda'.
    – Surya
    Mar 1, 2016 at 16:34
  • @Surya No, the Udyoga Parva doesn't say she said Govinda as soon as she was dragged. It says "I was seized by the hair, dragged into the assembly and insulted in the very sight of the sons of Pandu and in thy life-time. O Kesava, the sons of Pandu, the Panchalas, and the Vrishnis being all alive, exposed to the gaze of the assembly I was treated as a slave by those sinful wretches. And when the Pandavas beholding it all sat silent without giving way to wrath, in my heart I called upon thee. O Govinda, saying,--Save me, O save me!" Mar 1, 2016 at 18:00
  • Are you sure that these are the only two verses that talk about the subject? (Also, do you know the full Nalayiram?)
    – Surya
    Mar 24, 2016 at 17:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .