Draupadi was extremely beautiful, intelligent and virtuous woman, with her body smelling like a fresh bloom lotus. There are few women in Hindu mythology who were aggressive and who spoke their mind in a world of men. Draupadi was one of them. She is considered by many as the first feminist of Indian mythology. At the time of her birth, a celestial voice had proclaimed: "This unparalleled beautyhas taken birth to uproot the Kauravas and establish the rule of religion". The circumstances leading toher birth began to take shape while her father was yet young.Drupad was the prince of Panchal. His father King Prushta sent him to the hermitage of sage Agniveshfor his education. There Drupad got acquainted with a brahmin, Drona, the son of sage Bharadwaj. In amoment of camaraderie Drupad swore that they would equally share whatever the two owned. Bothwent their different ways after completing their education.In due course Drupad became the king of Panchal. But life was not good to Drona and he was steepedin poverty. In despair he turned to Drupad, in hope for help, based on the promise once made byDrupad. However, Drupad insulted Drona and told him that friendship took place only between equalsand he could help Drona only if he came begging for alms, instead of quoting the promise of Drupad based on friendship. Drona left but the insult festered in his soul, waiting for an appropriate time to burst out.In time, Drona was appointed the instructor in warfare to the royal princes of Hastinapur, the sons of Pandu and Dhritarashtra. However, time could not douse the flames of revenge still burning within him.As gurudakshina (fees that were due to an instructor, after the students' education was complete) heasked the princes to get Drupad to him as a prisoner. The princes being skilled in the art of warfaresuccessfully brought King Drupad bound in chains to Drona. The brahmin laughingly said to the king,"Once you had promised me half your wealth, but had refused to redeem the pledge. Today I own allyour wealth, but I will honor our childhood bond, I will give half to you and let bygones be bygones."But Drupad was not willing to let bygones to bygones. It was now his turn to nurse the insult. He wastoo old himself to take revenge. None of his three sons, Shikhandi, Satyajit and Vikra, were skilledenough to defeat Drona. In order to obtain such an offspring he requested sage Yaja to conduct asacrifice. Yaja was assisted by his younger brother Upayaja (some text say that Yaja assisted Upayaja)and hence two offerings were prepared. From his first offspring to the sacrificial fire a full-grown sonemerged, armed with a sword and a bow. He was Drishtadyumna, destined to slay Drona. From thesecond offering a full-grown daughter emerged, whose dazzle blinded the eye. She was Draupadi.When Draupadi emerged from the fire there was an oracle that she would side with God against the evilKauravas.[Draupadi is the only instance we come across in epic mythology of a sati becoming a kanya. It isstated that in an earlier birth as Nalayani (also named Indrasena), she was married to Maudgalya, anirascible sage afflicted with leprosy. She was so utterly devoted to her abusive husband that when afinger of his, dropped into their meal, she took it out and calmly ate the rice without revulsion. Pleased by this, Maudgalya offered her a boon, and she asked him to make love to her in five lovely forms. Asshe was insatiable, Maudgalya got fed up and became an ascetic. When she remonstrated and insistedthat he continue their love-life, he cursed her to be reborn and have five husbands to satisfy her lust.Thereupon she practiced severe penance and pleased Lord Shiva with her prayers. He granted a boon toher. Nalayani said that she wanted a husband and to ensure that her request was heard, she repeated itfive times in all. Shiva then said that in her next life she would have five husbands. She obtained the boon of regaining virginity after being with each husband. ] Thus, by asserting her womanhood andrefusing to accept a life of blind subservience to her husband, Nalayani, the sati, was transformed intoYajnaseni, the kanya. Some sources have a slightly different narration. Draupadi made her request onlyonce but she added a long list of qualities that she wanted in her husband. Lord Shiva said that it would be impossible to find one man with all these qualities. Hence she would have five husbands in her nextlife. All of them together would posses the qualities she had enumerated. [According to BrahmavaivartaPurana, she is the reincarnation of the maya Sita (shadow Sita - wife of Lord Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and hero of Ramayana) who, in turn, was Vedavati, reborn after molestation at Ravana'shands, and would become the "Lakshmi of the Indras"] (one of the forms of Goddess Lakshmi, eternalconsort of Lord Vishnu) in heaven.