Panchakanya are considered role-model women.

Panchakanya(पञ्चकन्या, pañcakanyā), also known as the Five Virgins, is a group of five iconic heroines of Hindu epics, extolled in a hymn and whose names are believed to dispel sin when recited. They are Ahalya, Draupadi, Sita, Tara and Mandodari. Sits, Ahalya, Tara, Mandodari are from the epic Ramayana; while Draupadi is from Mahabharata.[1][2]

The panchakanya are venerated as ideal women and chaste wives in one view.

If so, how are Ahalya and Draupadi part of the list?

Ahalya committed adultery knowing that it is Indra, and Draupadi had multiple husbands, something forbidden by Hindu scripture but was exceptionally permitted to Draupadi.

How can these women be role-models?

  • 1
    This Panchakanya concept is not found in Hindu scripture. The Panchakanya shloka (there is more than one version of it) is most likely a subhashita so 'How can these women be role-models?' will lead to opinion-based answers. Feb 26, 2020 at 18:35
  • 2
    Faults are in all of us. Even supreme Gods Shiva and Vishnu are criticized at one point or the other. The adultery episode of Mata Ahalya is nothing to be ashamed of. Rather, it talks about the invincible forces of Maya from which even the best can't escape. In the physical world, both punya and paap originate from Devtas. We must accept and learn them, instead of judging them through biased lenses.
    – sbharti
    Aug 21, 2021 at 19:45

2 Answers 2


In this shlok there is no place for the word 'virgin'. This shlok is about the characteristics and Gunas of these great ladies! We (especially today's ladies) remember their quality and should have the great quality they had.

Draupadi had 5 husbands due to the wish of her last birth. Lord Shiva gave that boon to her.

Reference Reference


Draupadi is having 5 jivas in her even tough she is single,

1. Bharathi (future incarnation of saraswati and wife of mukhya prana) 2. Parvathi 3. Sacchi (wife of indra 4. Shyamala(wife of yama) 5. Usha Devi (wife of ashwni devas),

Due curse/sapa of brahma all the five devata stree was supposed to born in same deha that is Druapadi..

Krishna infact ask the view of draupadi before going sandhana with kauravas. All her husbands voted for No war. It was only Draupadi insists on war. There is no question of multiple husbands at any one point there is only one jiva is awake in her body by force of Mukhya prana inside her body.. Draupadi is veda abhimani devatha stree.. her marriage is presided by 3 avatars 1. Vedavyasa 2. Parasurama and 3. Sri Krishna.. when in the world such thing happens.. there is no question of chastity when vedavyasa himself vouches for that with Draupada. Draupadi is Ayonija not born of any womb..Along with dristadyumna..

Ahalya is brahmas putri, It was indra who makes her to have the desire by sitting inside her body

Actually there is no dosha in her.

Infact curse of Gautama rishi is boon for her as she was supposed to meet Lord srirama.


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