Draupadi was the daughter of King
Drupada. Preparations were being made for her marriage. The bridegroom was to be chosen in
a 'Swayamvara'. There was a contest. The man who could shoot an arrow to hit the eye of a
fish-like target suspended high above would win her. Arjuna, the third among the five
Pandava brothers, succeeded. It was at the Swayamvara that Krishna became his friend and
the friend of the Pandavas. Arjuna was a matchless warrior. Krishna thought that he could
destroy all the evil men in the world through Arjuna.
Later Subhadra, Krishna's sister, married Arjuna. So Arjuna and Krishna come closer.
The Pandavas grew in strength They started preparing for the Rajasuya Sacrifice. The
Pandava army marched forth. Arjuna was in command, with him was Krishna.
Bhima, Arjuna and Krishna arrived in Magadha. There was a grim duel between Bhima and
Jarasandha. Although Bhima had the upper hand Jarasandha could not be killed. Bhima was
getting tired. So Krishna made a sign. Bhima understood him; he took jarasandha by the
legs and tore him into two and flung the pieces in opposite directions.
Shishupala, too, bore a grudge against Krishna. At the time of the Rajasuya Sacrifice,
Dharmaraja offered the first honours to Krishna. Shishupala resented this. He abused
Krishna using filthy language. Krishna hurled his 'Chakra' at Shishupala and cut off his
Duryodhana was the son of Dhritarashtra, the uncle of the Pandavas. The successes and
the popularity of the Pandavas made Duryodhana jealous.He invited Dharmaraja to a game of
dice. Dharmaraja staked and lost everything. He staked and lost Draupadi, too.Duryodhana
was intoxicated with success and behaved like a mad man. He summoned Draupadi to the royal
court. In the open assembly, Dusshasana, Durodhanas brothers, attempted to strip her
naked. No one came to her rescue. In great anguish Drapadi cried out to Krishna for help.
Krishna blessed her, and the sari the was wearing became endless. The honour of Drapadi
was saved. She took oath that she would tie her hair only after Dusshasana was killed.
The Pandavas had to spend twelve years in exile in the forests and then spend a year
after that in disguise. This was the penalty for defeat, according To the conditions of
the match. They had to face innumerable difficulties.But Krishna always came to their
rescue.Once Durvasa, a short-tempered Sage, came to the Pandavas with hundreds of his
disciples. They were all to be Dharmarajas guests. They went for a bath and were to
return in a short time. The Pandavas were nervous, for there was no food to serve.
Draupadi prayed to Krishna. He appeared at once. He said, "Draupadi, I am hungry,
give me food." Draupadi both laughed and wept. Krishna asked her to bring the vessel
which she used to cook food.
He ate the food sticking to one side of the vessel. He said he was satisfied. That very
moment Durvasa and his disciples suddenly felt as if they had eaten sumptuously. Durvasa
realised that Krishna had saved the Pandavas. After twelve years in the forest the
Pandavas had to spend a year in disguise, without being recognized by any one. They spent
this period in the court of Virata.
So the Pandavas had spent thirteen years in exile, according to the conditions of the
game of dice. They justly demanded that Duryodhana should give them back their kingdom.
But Duryodhana was greedy, and also jealous. He declared that, if the Pandavas wanted
their kingdom, they could fight for it.