Chapter XXI - 74 Home | Index | Previous | Next

"When these words fell on his ears, Dharmaraja felt a shock: his heart very nearly stopped. He consulted Droupadi and discovered that the vessel had been cleaned nicely and kept aside. They all sank in sorrow, fearing what might happen to them. 'Ten thousands to be fed ! O God! What has this day in store for us?', they lamented, lost in grief. For Droupadi, the ideal housewife, the chance to entertain guests with food was a welcome gift, but, at this late hour, when so many had to be fed so soon, in the jungle where no provisions were available, she became desperate. 'The guest who has landed on us is the celebrated Durvasa, whose attainments and capabilities are known all over the world. By a mere thought, he can turn those who anger him into ashes! Alas, what terrible calamity awaits us my lords!', she wondered and shivered in fear."

"She could not decide on any plan to feed the horde that had descended on her. Who else could help her out than the Lord, the saviour of the good, Krishna. 'O, Gopala! Save my lords; guard us from the destruction threatening us; show us some means of satisfying these ascetics and this sage'. She called upon Krishna, with tears streaming from her eyes, and with anguish gnawing at her heart. She pleaded yearningly with the Lord. Whatever may be in store for her, she did not mind; but, she prayed that her husbands be saved and her Mangalyam "married status" retained intact. She wept aloud, in irrepressible grief. The Pandava brothers heard the wail; their agony was doubled; they too prayed to Krishna, their only refuge. 'O, Nandanandana, you rescued us from calamity after calamity designed by the Kauravas. You guarded us as the eyelids guard the eye. Why have you plunged us in this awful distress today? Pardon our sins and faults; save us from this dire peril; help us to satisfy the sage and his huge retinue.'"

"The prayers of the Pandavas and the tears of Droupadi softened the heart of Krishna, at Mathura, and moved Him from there. Footfalls were heard; the Pandavas whose heads were bent with anxiety about Durvasa returning from the river, raised their eyes and saw Krishna entering their hut, scattering brightness with His smile, His yellow robe trailing along the ground. They exclaimed, 'Krishna! Krishna!' and ran towards the Lord. Droupadi heard that voice and hurried out of the inner apartment; she surmised it must be some sign of the grace of God that might be showered on them. But when she saw Krishna, she hastened to fall at His feet and wash them with her tears. 'Save me, save my Mangalyam, satisfy the sage and his followers. Krishna, the consummate director of this universe-drama, appeared unconcerned with their anxieties, but immersed only in His own hunger! He said, 'Droupadi! This is strange. I am hungry. First, appease My hunger and then you can ask Me what you need. Give Me, immediately, some little food!' and put out His palm, as if He could not wait."