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Draupdi was married to 5 men , which was unusual . I have heard people saying that she had five souls in her. Is it true ?

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    5 atmas is absurd if you read the sankhya and Vedanta answers on the site. Draupadi and why/ how she has many husbands explained. hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/22826. Mahabharata has a story of her past life where she asked for a sarvagunopeta husband 5 times from Lord Shiva. That explains the number 5.
    – Adiyarkku
    Feb 25, 2023 at 3:34

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Harihi Om.

It’s true as per Tattvavada. Dvaita Vedaanta has a concept known as ‘aavesha’, or the presence of multiple Aatmas in one body. Shripaada Madhvacharya used this concept to explain the reason why Draupadi had five husbands.

The Paandavas were amshas of certain devatas, from whom they were born.

  • Yudhishtira: an amsha of Yama
  • Bheema: an amsha of Mukhya Praana (as per the Garuda Puraana and Brahmaanda Puraana)
  • Arjuna: an amsha of Indra and Nara (an expansion of Shri Vishnu)
  • Nakula and Sahadeva: amshas of the two Ashvins

Importantly, the ‘amshas’ of devatas in this context, are as good as their own avataaras. As the devatas are omnipresent, only their amshas appear as human beings (the Paandavas).

Moreover, one may ask how Arjuna was an amsha of both Indra and Nara. This will be explained later in the answer, as it is similar to Draupadi’s case.

Draupadi’s identity, however, is contradicted by the Puraanas:

  • The Garuda Puraana says that Draupadi was an avataara of Bhaarati, the wife of Vaayu.
  • The Naarada and Vaayu Puraanas mention that she was an avataara of Shachi, Yami (Shyaamala, the wife of Yama) and Bhaarati, the wife of Vaayu.

So, this is the simple explanation: Draupadi’s body did not belong to a single entity. It was shared by five souls: Shyaamala Devi, Bhaarati Devi, Shachi Devi and the Usha-Devis (the wives of the Ashvins).

She had the Avesha of Shachi, Shyaamala and the Usha-devis also. Since these Devis are under the refuge of Indra, Dharma and the Ashwini-devatas (respectively) they too are known as Sri.

-Mahaabhaarata Taatparya Nirnaya, Chapter 18, Shlokas 98–101

So, as per Tattvavada: Draupadi Devi was primarily the avataara of Bhaarati Devi and had the aaveshas of four other Devis, leading her to have five husbands. Aavesha is not a permanent effect, but occurs whenever required and the amshas of those devatas influence the person’s body.

Hope this answers the question.

Shri Krshnaarpanamastu.

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