After her wedding with the five Pandavas, Draupadi approached her mother-in-law, Kunti, with reverence. Kunti, filled with joy, pronounced several blessings on Draupadi.

I read through this passage of the Unabridged Mahabharata with a lot of interest because the blessings pronounced by elders to the younger members of their family give us insight into what the culture and that particular section of society held as important.

Let’s take a look at Kunti’s blessings to Draupadi with this view of understanding what a noble and royal mother-in-law would bless her daughter-in-law with.

First of all, Kunti blesses Draupadi with the characteristics of illustrious women known at that time.

Next, she blesses Draupadi with happiness resulting from material possessions, luck, and prosperity.

After that, Kunti blesses Draupadi with the ability to be devoted to her husbands and to wait on her noble husbands when they are engaged in grand sacrifices. Along with devotion to her husbands, Kunti also blesses her daughter-in-law with generosity, so she may not only entertain worthy guests who come to her palace but also give away to brahmanas the material things of the world that have been conquered by her husbands.

She blesses Draupadi with a long life and, as a queen, she is also blessed with the possession of gems that would make Draupadi happy. I like how Kunti balances the material with the spiritual, or artha with dharma.

Finally, Kunti blesses Draupadi with heroic children as well as male progeny who would take their ancestral line ahead.

Author’s Note: These blessings pronounced by Kunti to Draupadi give us a glimpse into what was considered important by those who were noble and royal, in those times. I love how Kunti balances artha, kama, and dharma in her blessings. This balance has always been the foundation of the Sanatana Dharma. Interestingly, Kunti doesn’t speak of moksha, perhaps, because it is not in her power to bless someone with moksha. Those blessings would come from higher spiritual forces such as Lord Krishna or Lord Shiva.