We all have at least one best friend with whom we share all our secrets without hiding anything because he/she is a friend who is special to us than all other friends. A friend with whom we can be just what we are. If for a boy there is a girl who is his special friend and with whom he shares all his secrets, he depends on her fervently. In many cases, a man and a woman when they share friendship can’t live without each other, but at the same time they are nothing more than just good friends. The thought of being in a relationship other than friendship never even touches their minds. The media has fuelled a man-woman’s friendship with an undercurrent of romance; it is portrayed as either the man or the woman at some point, falls for the other. But, that’s not true. There are men and women who have maintained great friendship without any romantic bonds. Lord Krishna and Draupadi’s friendship was one such friendship.
Draupadi and Krishna were best friends and loved each other as friends. All stories about him being a like a brother comes from analyses and interpretations from historians who cannot accept a woman and man just being friends. They were not in love, nor did they have feelings of siblings for each other, they were very good friends. Krishna called her ‘Sakhi’ and she called him ‘Sakha’ (friend). They were always there for each other. She was called Krishnaa not after Krishna but because she was of dark complexion. While many of the writers in their books have said that they both had feelings for each other, the truth is, each considered the other “sakha” and “sakhi”. So, the love they had was nothing more than the love for friends.
And if we suspect their relationship because Krishna robed Draupadi when she was being disgraced by Dusshasana; I think it just shows how shallow our thinking can be. Historical accounts are subject to frequent disagreement and most of the disagreement are due to the fact that accurate history is difficult to obtain, for a variety of reasons. Much information regarding the past has been lost. Many cultures have a rich oral history, but lack written documentations. A man cannot marry or love every woman whom he protects to save her from humiliation.
We make friendship cheaper by comparing it to other relationships. Why should we tag relationships with ‘brother’, ‘sister’, ‘cousin’, ‘child’ when two people can just be friends? The principles of good relationships are universal. They apply not only to romantic relationships, but also to platonic friendship and business relationships. You can love a friend as a friend just as much as you would love your life partner as a life partner. Krishna and Draupadi shared a great rapport; both of them were beautiful, talented, ambitious and capable humans. Both of them wanted to establish a ‘dharma rajya’ which means virtuous society. They shared the same ideals, morals and ideas and hence made great friends. Like great friends, they shared their hopes, fears and dreams together.
I think it is nice to have a friend, preferably of the opposite gender, for every man as well as woman to have a special friend, in whom he /she can totally confide in and depend on emotionally. Clearly such a strong bondage needs to be unconditional. It is something which does not exactly fit into a stereotype of traditional and age-old companionship.
Lord Krishna is worshipped more by girls because they see a perfect friend in him, he fits into the bill of being hailed as ‘a genuine friend in adversity’. Though Krishna’s special relationship with Draupadi sounds mythical, it’s a proof that a man and woman can be friends after all. It shows that a genuine friend protects his/her friend’s dignity, gives the right advice and supports the friend in all adversities. Like Krishna did – that unending supply of sari to Draupadi in the cheerharan. In this poetic description of a miracle lies a man’s ability to see a woman as a human being rather than an object or ownership and lust; as a person who isn’t tainted by what is inflicted upon her.
Have that special friend, who will hold you, no matter how edgy your journey becomes; have a Krishna/Draupadi in your life, who is always there for you. To me, Krishna and Draupadi symbolize this spirit of unconditional man-woman friendship. There are many versions described by many historians in which a sexual overtone is used to describe their camaraderie, but it is a fallacy. Their friendship did not ever rise above their trust in each other. Nor did it color their non-possessive acceptance of each other. It was a friendship of equals. It is very rarely found in a marriages or any man-woman relationships. Krishna and Draupadi shared a beautiful platonic bond. They showcased to the world that such connect was possible. A man and a woman can care about each other intensely, support each other unconditionally, and in arguments mock each other mercilessly. They bond well because of the richness and depth that friendships can possess.