There are 27 adhyayas and 2 sub-parvas in this parva (sections/chapters). The Stri Parva, the tenth book of the Mahabharata, is focused on women, as the name indicates. It talks about how the 18-day conflict affected the mothers, sisters, and wives of the combatants who perished. Additionally, it demonstrated how the battle aggrieved Dhritarashtra. The Jalapradanika Parva and Stri-vilapa Parva are divided into four subparvas and 27 chapters that make up the Stri Parva.
Stri Parva Mahabharat Overview
(1) Jalapradanika Parva (13 Chapters)
Women’s post-war pain and sadness are recited in Stri Parva. It starts out with expressing Dhritrashtra’s sorrow on the passing of all of his sons and grandkids. A book on dying and grieving was written by Sage Vyasa and Vidura, the Hastinapura kingdom’s prime minister, to help Vidura cope with his loss. The hypothesis of birth-rebirth is presented in these chapters. The Kaurava ladies and Dhristrashtra then go to the battleground. The three remaining Kuru soldiers catch up with Dhritarashtra as he travels. Having so encountered the king, those valiant warriors dispersed. The son of Drona departs for Vyasa’s sanctuary, where he subsequently meets and is defeated by the sons of Pandu in Sauptika Parva, while Kripa travels to Hastinapura, Kritavarman returns to his own kingdom, and Kritavarman travels to his own country. The women discuss their loss and the conflict, criticising both sides for starting it and causing tragedy.
Dhristrashtra encounters the Pandava brothers and women from the Pandava side. The Kaurava ruler, in retribution for the murder of Duryodhana, tries to kill Bhima by suffocating him with his arms. When Krishna discovers his terrible plans regarding Bhima, he snatches the real Bhima away and gives the king an iron statue instead. After smashing the statue, Dhritarashtra laments Bhima’s passing. Dhristrashtra apologises after Krishna confronts him with the truth and calls his conduct into question. Following that, the Pandavas visit Gandhari, the distraught and sobbing Kaurava mother who had lost all of her sons and grandchildren in battle, together with Krishna and sages. Due to her sadness at the loss of her boys, Gandhari wishes to curse King Yudhishthira. She is greeted by Sage Vyasa, who reminds her of the lesson she taught her sons: “Victory follows righteousness,” and offers her advice on the war’s justification. Gandhari responds that while she has forgiven the war, she finds it difficult to forget the unfair crimes that were committed throughout the conflict. She demands to know why cruelty (adharma) was utilised in the conflict and why the just war principles were broken. They argue about whether the prospect of a speedier peace justifies the deployment of weapons that kill without mercy, along with other atrocities and war crimes, by one side against the other. She then becomes enraged at Bhimasena’s conduct during their fight as well as his other heinous deeds in battle, such as consuming Dussasana’s blood. She is then reminded by Sage Vyasa of her son’s vicious crimes against the Pandavas. Then, enraged, Gandhari demands to know where King Yudhishthira is. King Yudhishthira approaches her while stuttering and holding hands. He acknowledges his shortcomings and gently informs her that he deserves to be cursed. The rage of Gandhari is subdued in the direction of Yudhishthira, who spoke those words and was stricken with terror. The wise men then provide an alternative viewpoint. Following Gandhari, the Pandava brothers encounter Kunti and Draupadi, two ladies who support the Pandavas and who share their own sorrow over the conflict. They lament and assert that while war is simple to start, it is never over and its effects last for an agonisingly long time.
(2) Stri-vilapa or Stri Parva (10 Chapters)
In later chapters of Stree Parva, Gandhari, who was very troubled, blamed Kesava for everything, accusing him of doing nothing while he had the authority to stop the war’s atrocities and unjust deeds. Then she curses Krishna, saying that his own Yadava clan will die in a similar way to how the Kuru line died. And the women of his race will mourn and grieve like the women of the Bharata race. With a hesitant smile, Krishna accepted her curse and thanked her for helping him complete his mission to kill every human being on Earth—the reason he had come to this planet in the first place. Dhristarashtra questions Yudhishthira about the number of casualties and survivors from the 18-day Kurukshetra War on either side. More than 1,660,000,000 men perished in the Kurukshetra War, according to Yudhishthira, while 240,165 individuals managed to flee. Dhritarashtra then requested that the king conduct the burial ceremonies for those who have no one to care for them. Yudhishthira, the wise son of Kunti, instructed his priests to carry it out. These dead bodies were gathered in thousands of piles, and Vidura ordered that they be set on fire at Yudhishthira’s request.
The two sides then jointly execute passage ceremonies in the Ganges in honour of those who lost their lives fighting, with the wives of heroes, creating a sombre and depressing scene. Then Kunti announced to her sons, while sobbing, that Karna was their older brother. Offer water sacrifices together with jewellery and mail to their oldest brother, who was born of her by the god of day. The Pandavas started to cry for Karna after hearing their mother’s hurtful comments. King Yudhishthira the Just indulged in these kinds of loud lamentations frequently before offering water oblations to his dead brother. The ladies began to weep loudly, and the monarch, Yudhishthira, ordered the wives and family members of Karna to be brought before him. The ceremony was over, and the king emerged from the Ganga with extremely aroused senses.
The latter two chapters of Stri Parva contain passing rituals as well as Vyasa and Vidura’s dissertation on death and sadness. Chapters 2 through 7 also contain sasra through the story of the man, the forest, the bees, the honey, the elephant, and a well.
The four subparvas of the Stri Parva are as follows:
(1) Vishoka Parva, consists 2 chapters
(2) Stri Parva, contain 10 chapters
(3) Shraddha Parva, consisting of 2 chapters
(4) Jalapradanika Parva, consisting of 13 chapters
The Stri Parva, a section dedicated to women, explains how the war affected the women in the community whose sons and brothers lost their lives while serving in the military. The play began with Dhritarashtra upset about the death of his a hundred sons and other family members. Sanjaya was comforting him as he wept for their passing. He also regretted allowing Duryodhana the freedom to make hasty choices. Even Lord Krishna, who made a sincere effort to avert the battle, expressed remorse that he hadn’t heeded his instruction. He was comforted by even Vyasa and Vidura who said that everyone will eventually die.
Draupadi and the other Panchala ladies arrived to greet Dhritarashtra before Yudhishthira and his brothers. They then travelled to the Ganges riverbank, where the ladies were weeping bitterly and cursing Yudhishthira for all the suffering she had brought them. Yudhishthira sympathised with their suffering and made an effort to comfort them.
Despite all that had occurred, Yudhishthira, his brothers, and Krishna went to meet Dhritarashtra, and they all treated him with the deepest reverence. However, Dhritarashtra was still dissatisfied with them and wished to get revenge on Bhima for the murder of his son Duryodhana. Bhima was swapped out with a phoney Bhima made of iron, but Krishna knew what was on his mind. When Dhritarashtra touched the hard statue, he mistook it for Bhima, and with the purpose to harm him, he pressed it firmly. He applied so intense pressure that the idol crumbled and hit the ground. Sanjaya informed him that since the conflict was finished, he should have committed the evil deed. After realising his error, Dhritarashtra fell into a state of intense grief and sadness. Following this occurrence, Dhritarashtra let go of all of his mental resentment toward the Pandava brothers.
The 100 Kaurava brothers, all of whom were killed at the conclusion of the war, were raised by Gandhari, the wife of Dhritarashtra, who the Pandavas and Krishna later visited. Gandhari was enraged at the Pandava brothers in her heart. Her ire was largely motivated by the fact
Because it was unfaithful of Bhima to assault Duryodhana under the navel and kill him. She made the decision to curse when she saw the boys. But before she could curse the good brothers who were initially opposed to the war, Vyasa arrived and comforted her. Then Bhima revealed to her how Duryodhana had mistreated Draupadi in front of the court. Gandhari acknowledged her son’s error. Her rage, however, remained unabated. The brothers were extremely alarmed by Gandhari’s fury. Fear caused Yudhishthira’s nails to become black. When Arjuna saw Yudhishthira’s plight, he hid behind Krishna. Through the bandage covering her eyes, Gandhari was able to see Yudhishthira’s black nails as she dropped to her feet. She pardoned the Pandava brothers once her rage cooled. Additionally, she assisted the Pandava brothers in soothing Draupadi, who was also sobbing a lot.
By the time this Parva came to a close, Krishna had even admitted to Gandhari that it was her fault for having encouraged Duryodhana’s immoral behaviour. The Kauravas wouldn’t have been wiped out if she had corrected him when she should have. Then Kunti disclosed Karna’s birth secret. Yudhishthira was quite upset that he and Arjuna had killed his older brother after learning the truth. Then he cursed the women, telling them they would never be able to keep a secret.
You can read other chapters from the table below. Click on the respective link to understand about the summary of that book/section of Mahabharata.
Mahabharat All Chapters Summary Guide
|1) Adi Parva||10) Sauptika Parva|
|2) Sabha Parva||11) Stri Parva|
|3) Vana Parva||12) Shanti Parva|
|4) Virata Parva||13) Anushasana Parva|
|5) Udhyoga Parva||14) Ashvamedha Parva|
|6) Bhishma Parva||15) Ashramavasika Parva|
|7) Drona Parva||16) Mausala Parva|
|8) Karna Parva||17) Mahaprasthanika Parva|
|9) Shalya Parva||18) Swaraga Arohana Parva|