Was Draupadi the main cause of Mahabharata

Chapter 15 - Gandhari's reproach and appeasement

Vaisampayana said:
When Bhimasena heard these words from Gandhari, he looked at her in awe and spoke to appease her:
Whether called just or unjust, I did it out of desperation to end the battle. So now may you forgive me. Your mighty son could not be beaten by anyone in a fair and just fight. That's why I did what was unfair. Duryodhana herself used to fight Yudhishthira with unfair means. He was always sneaky towards us. That is why I have resorted to this unfair act. Your son was the only undefeated warrior on his side. So that this brave prince wouldn't hit me in a club fight and rob us of our kingdom again, that's why I acted that way. You know what your son said to Draupadi, the princess of Panchala, when she was wrapped in a single dress during her period. Without beating Duryodhana, it was impossible for us to rule this whole earth with its seas peacefully. It is for this reason that I have acted this way. Your son did us a great deal of injustice. In the midst of the gathering, he even bared his left thigh in front of Draupadi. Your son deserved to be killed by us for this malevolent behavior. However, at the behest of the righteous King Yudhishthira, we held back and endured the treaty that was then drawn up. With all this, oh queen, your son provoked a deadly enmity between us. Our sufferings in the forest were great (where we were banished by your son). This is how I acted in remembrance of it. By killing Duryodhana in battle, we were able to achieve the end of our enmity. Yudhishthira got his kingdom back and we were freed from anger.

After hearing these words from Bhima, Gandhari said:
If you like my son that way (for his superiority in battle) praise, he did not deserve such a death. However, he did everything you told me to do. But still: When Vrishasena killed the horses of Nakula, oh Bharata, you drank the blood from Dushasana's body in battle! Such an act is cruel and is censured by all good people. This only suits a person who is highly immoral. It was a malevolent act, oh Bhima, that you did with it, and utterly unworthy of you!

To which Bhima replied:
It is truly unworthy to drink a stranger's blood. But what should you say about your own blood? Such a brother is like your own self. There is no difference between them. That's why the blood is (what I should have drunk), oh mother, did not flow over my lips and teeth. The god of death be my witness! My hands alone were stained with Dushasana's blood. With this act I struck the Kauravas, who cheered euphorically at the sight of the steeds of Nakula killed by Vrishasena, with agony. When Draupadi, with her curly black hair, was seized after the game of dice, I spoke certain words in my anger. Those words stuck in my memory and I would have to consider myself a Kshatriya for the remainder of my life if I had left these vows unfulfilled. For this reason, oh queen, I did this deed. May you not blame me, O Gandhari, for this! You did not restrain your sons in their youth. Why would you want to blame us today for something we are innocent of?

Gandhari said:
Undefeated by everyone, you killed that old man's hundred sons. Oh child, why haven't you spared at least one son, whose guilt may not have been so great, from this old couple who have now lost their kingdom? Why didn't you at least give this blind couple some support? Oh child, even though you live unscathed after killing all of my children, I would be without grief today if you had only walked the path of righteousness.

Vaisampayana continued:
After saying these words, Gandhari angrily asked about the death of all her sons and grandchildren after Yudhishthira and said, "Where is the King?" Thereupon Yudhishthira approached in awe and spoke humbly with folded hands:
Here is Yudhishthira, oh goddess, that cruel murderer of your sons! I truly deserve your curses because I am the cause of this all-out downfall. Oh curse me! I do not desire this life, nor the kingdom, or any wealth. In killing such friends because of me, I have proven myself to be a great fool and friend hater.

After Yudhishthira had spoken so in her presence and was seized with fear, Gandhari sighed deeply and long, but was silent, well versed in the rules of justice. But the wrathful look of the Kuru Queen, blessed with great foresight and truthfulness, penetrated under the folds of the cloth that covered her eyes and met the tip of Yudhishthira's toe as the king bowed to lie at her feet . As a result, the king, whose nails were all particularly beautiful before, got a burned nail on his toe. At this sight Arjuna stepped up behind Vasudeva, and the other sons of Pandu also recoiled restlessly. But Gandhari, having overcome her anger, comforted the Pandavas as a mother should. And after they had received their blessing, the strong heroes went together to Kunti, this famous mother of heroes. But Kunti, who had not seen her sons for so long, was overwhelmed by her feelings, covered her face with her dress and began to cry. So the mother cried for a while with her children, and then Kunti looked at the many wounds and scars on their bodies that were left behind by innumerable weapons. She hugged and caressed each of her sons repeatedly. Then she wept together with Draupadi, who had lost all of her children and was now overwhelmed by grief, sank to the bare earth and complained piteously loudly.

And Draupadi said:
Oh venerable lady, where did all your grandchildren go with Abhimanyu? Seeing you in this agony, why don't they appear before you to comfort you? Oh, after losing all of my children, what use is this kingdom to me now?

Then Kunti picked up the crying and deeply sad princess from Panchala and began to comfort this lady with the big eyes. Finally, Kunti, accompanied by Draupadi and her sons, went to the no less troubled Gandhari. And when Gandhari recognized the presence of the glorious lady with her daughter-in-law, she said:
Don't worry so, oh daughter! Look at me, I'm as grief-stricken as you are. I think the irresistible passage of time has brought us this widespread downfall. Inevitably, as it was, this terrible battle did not arise out of the free will of the people. So what happened what Vidura with great wisdom foretold after even Krishna's request for peace went unnoticed. Therefore, do not grieve over this inevitable matter, especially since it has now happened. Men who fell in battle should not be lamented. I am in the same position as you. Who should be able to comfort us? It was also through my fault that this first of the families was destroyed.

Here ends with the 15th chapter the Jalapradanika Parva in the Stree Parva in the blessed Mahabharata.