There is one rumor that spread far and wide. That in the Maya sabhā, Draupadī ridiculed Duryodhana calling him the blind son of the blind father. One user also mentions it in his answer here:

Now it would be surprising to say that Pandavas were destroying Dharma. A few evidences are here below;

1] When Draupadi ridiculed Duryodhana saying 'Blind son of a Blind Father', she trampled Dharma. It was her human weakness, that made her say it.

There are other people who truly believe the above (doubtful) event has triggered the whole Mahābhārata war!

Here's how they have shown the scene on TV:

But the truth is, only four Pāṇḍavas (Bhīma, Arjuna, Nakula & Sahadeva) laughed when Duryodhana fell into a pool of water mistaking it for land. Even then, they didn't insult Duryodhana nor did they say anything remotely close to 'blind son of a blind father.' As for Draupadī, she was not even in present in the sabhā at the time:

That bull among men, Duryodhana, continued to dwell in that, assembly house (of the Pandavas). And with Sakuni, the Kuru prince slowly examined the whole of that mansion, and the Kuru prince beheld in it many celestial designs, which he had never seen before in the city called after the elephant (Hastinapore). And one day king Duryodhana in going round that mansion came upon a crystal surface. And the king, from ignorance, mistaking it for a pool of water, drew up his clothes. And afterwards finding out his mistake the king wandered about the mansion in great sorrow. And sometime after, the king, mistaking a lake of crystal water adorned with lotuses of crystal petals for land, fell into it with all his clothes on. Beholding Duryodhana fallen into the lake, the mighty Bhima laughed aloud as also the menials of the palace. And the servants, at the command of the king, soon brought him dry and handsome clothes. Beholding the plight of Duryodhana, the mighty Bhima and Arjuna and both the twins – all laughed aloud. Being unused to putting up with insults, Duryodhana could not bear that laugh of theirs. Concealing his emotions he even did not cast his looks on them. And beholding the monarch once more draw up his clothes to cross a piece of dry land which he had mistaken for water, they all laughed again. And the king sometime after mistook a closed door made of crystal as open. And as he was about to pass through it his head struck against it, and he stood with his brain reeling. And mistaking as closed another door made of crystal that was really open, the king in attempting to open it with stretched hands, tumbled down. And coming upon another door that was really open, the king thinking it as closed, went away from it. And, O monarch, king Duryodhana beholding that vast wealth in the Rajasuya sacrifice and having become the victim of those numerous errors within the assembly house at last returned, with the leave of the Pandavas, to Hastinapore.

So how did the rumor that Draupadī laughed at and ridiculed Duryodhana originate? Which scripture contains this version of the story?

What are the actual verses or their translation from the scripture that narrate the story of Draupadī laughing at Duryodhana?

  • 1
    As per the BORI edition, in the actual incident itself, it is not mentioned that Draupadi laughed at Duryodhana. Much less, calling him blind son of a blind father. When Duryodhana recounts this incident, however, he mentions Draupadi also laughing at him. (But who knows whether he was saying the truth?)
    – user16581
    Commented Nov 29, 2019 at 12:04
  • You're right. This is from Debroy's translation based on the critical edition: the fall, as reported by Vaiśampāyana and as reported by Duryodhana to Dhṛtarāṣṭra. The first version doesn't have Draupadi in it, the second does. So either Duryodhana was lying to Dhṛtarāṣṭra or some redactor added the Draupadi part later to the text. @LazyLubber Commented Nov 30, 2019 at 1:34
  • i waa about to ask this Q...
    – Lakhi
    Commented Nov 30, 2019 at 2:20
  • There is mention of drapadi laughing in SECTION XLIX ,At that, Bhima with Arjuna once more laughed derisively, and Draupadi also accompanied by other females joined in the laughter.
    – Goi Garg
    Commented Sep 19, 2020 at 20:33

3 Answers 3


According to this translation of the Āndhra Mahābhārata, it appears that along with all five Pāṇḍavas, Draupadī also laughed at Duryodhana:

Suyodhana walked on such a plain ground and fell into a deep pond and his clothes were wet. On seeing this Pandavas and Droupadi laughed. Dharmaja immediately gave him some clothes and ornaments.

Suyodhana felt ashamed of that. He immediately left for Hastinapuram. His heart was filled with jealousy and the magnificent Maya Sabha became a heartburning for him. He was deteriorating day by day.

Recounting the incident later, Duryodhana says the following to Dhṛtarāṣṭra:

O my King Dhrutarashtra! To have a glance of Dharmaja plaing dice game is itself a Yaaga. That is the only way left to grab all his wealth. I will tell you one thing. Please listen. After you all returned back to Hastinapura, I remained in Indraprastha to see Maya Sabha. In Maya Sabha I experienced some unpleasantness at the hands of Pandavas especially Droupadi. She laughed at me when I fell into a pond by mistake. That laughing of Droupadi is still piercing my heart like an arrow. If we tolerate the prosperity of our enemies, it will destroy us. Therefore, we have to grab the kingdom and wealth of Pandavas by hook or by crook. Then only my heart will remain in peace.

But there's no mention of Draupadī calling Suyodhana 'Blind Son of a Blind Father' so that part of the story might be based on a different version of the Mahābhārata.

You can find the relevant original verses of Āndhra Mahābhārata in Telugu along with their meaning at ebooks.tirumala.org (p. 293 of 404)

  • 4
    I wouldn't call the Andhra Mahabharata a scripture, it's just a regional text based on Vyasa's Mahabharata, with some artistic license and/or folklore mixed in. Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 2:11
  • You may add Verses (screenshot) from here (Pg- 177).
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 3:06
  • 2
    @KeshavSrinivasan IMO, before we can call something e.g., Vyasa's MB as 'scripture' we need to have the original, unaltered version of that work, which as of today is still a work-in-progress. I don't consider BORI CE of MB scripture anymore. It's just a patchwork of several manuscripts of MB and layers and layers of interpolations. 200 years ago, before there were CE's of VR or MB all local works on MB were considered scriptures. I wouldn't be surprised if BORI starts adding back some stuff from AMB and other works to their CE to make some stories with plot holes coherent. Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 3:55
  • 4
    @KeshavSrinivasan Also, AFAIK, Āndhra Mahābhārata is just translation of the Vyasa MB available at the time. So I wouldn't call it folklore or that the Kavitrayam (Trinity of poets) used artistic license while translating etc. Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 3:58
  • @TheDestroyer Thanks, will add a link to the pdf in my answer. Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 4:04

Kshemendra, 11th Century C.E. in his Bharatamanjari too alludes to the incident:

Bhima, with brother(s), and the Raaja lalanaa: (royal women), all laughed at Duryodhana: See image here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1alVotE3tTCNmOV34zxBQeztbJrCtL5Ff7F9sMiyFBQI/edit?usp=sharing



There is mention of drapadi laughing but no mention of saying anything. From SECTION XLIX, Mahabharata

...And when I was tired, they that brought those valuable articles from distant

p. 101

regions used to wait till I was able to resume my labour. Bringing jewels from the lake Vindu, the Asura architect Maya constructed (for the Pandavas) a lake-like surface made of crystal. Beholding the (artificial) lotuses with which it was filled, I mistook it, O king for water. And seeing me draw up my clothes (while about to cross it), Vrikodara (Bhima) laughed at me, regarding me as wanting in jewels and having lost my head at the sight of the affluence of my enemy. If I had the ability, I would, O king, without the loss of a moment, slay Vrikodara for that. But, O monarch, if we endeavour to slay Bhima now, without doubt, ours will be the fate of Sisupala. O Bharata, that insult by the foe burneth me. Once again, O king, beholding a similar lake that is really full of water but which I mistook for a crystal surface, I fell into it. At that, Bhima with Arjuna once more laughed derisively, and Draupadi also accompanied by other females joined in the laughter. That paineth my heart exceedingly.

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