Fire: the elemental nature of Draupad?

Ford, Jessica (2012) Fire: the elemental nature of Draupad? Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

My thesis focuses on the elemental characteristics of Draupadi, the heroine of the classical Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata. I examine key scenes from the classical Sanskrit Mahabharata that demonstrate Draupadi's link to the element fire, a link the epic makes, I argue, through the attribution to Draupadi of characteristics firepossesses according to Hindu thought; power, destruction, and purification. Draupadi's fiery characteristics often influence the plot of the epic significantly, and it becomes clear that these characteristics play a role in the grand cosmic scheme of the epic. Draupadi is among the instigators of the great war that causes massive destruction. However, this violent destruction occurs at the end of an age (yuga) and as part of the god Krsna's divine plan and thus entails purification of the world prior to the beginning of a new age. -- In the Mahabharata, Draupadi's association with fire begins from her birth from a sacrificial fire altar and colors her behavior throughout the epic, but her connection with fire is also emphasized and developed further in living traditions of worship of her as a goddess. Indeed, traditions of worship exist in which fire is an essential element in the nature of the goddess Draupadi, and in ritual observances centered on her, most notably the firewalking ceremony.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/6110
Item ID: 6110
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 123-127).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Religious Studies
Date: 2012
Date Type: Submission

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