All conciliation attempts had failed. The battle of Mahabharata was certain to take place. Hectic parleys were on. Both Kauravas and Pandvas were busy working out all possible alliances with other states and persuade their armies for the battle.
Bhagwan Sri Krishna enjoyed the most exalted position. Invincibility of the side supported by him was indisputable. He was related to Kauravas and Pandvas both by blood.
Duryodhana had already succeeded in obtaining promises of support from the grand warriors like Bhishma Pitamah, Dronacharya, Ashwatthama, and Kripacharya etc. They were all committed to fight for him. However, the charisma of Bhagwan Sri Krishna was incomparable. His stance was yet to be disclosed.
Duryodhana was extremely apprehensive about his plight, in case Bhagwan Krishna decided to be on Arjuna’s side. Though, Arjuna, a childhood friend of Bhagwan Krishna, was confident of his support, but he had yet to discuss his battle plans with him. The mode of support was also not clear yet. Still, even Arjuna was somewhat apprehensive. What, if the Political stratagem got the better of friendship?
Accompanied with such apprehensions, both Duryodhana and Arjuna proceeded, to entreat Bhagwan Krishna for his support. Incidentally, Duryodhana was the first to arrive at Bhagwan Krishna’s abode. At that time Bhagwan Krishna was occupied with Yoga Nidra (Yogic Sleep). The door of his chamber was left open or as one may guess, the Omniscient lord had already envisaged a scheme, under the initial act of which he entered into divine Yoga Nidra, just before Duryodhana arrived.
Duryodhana unobstructed entered the chamber, only to find Bhagwan Krishna asleep. Duryodhana decide to wait and occupied one of the two easy chairs placed close to the head-side of the bed. While he was waiting for the lord to wake up, Arjuna arrived there too. Like Duryodhana, he also decided to wait for the lord to emerge from his Yoga Nidra. However, the ardent devotee of the lord that he was, all his attention was directed towards the sacrosanct feet of the Lord. As such, after paying his obeisance quietly with folded hands, he seated himself near the feet of the lord, unmindful of the chairs placed at the head-side of the bed, one of which was already occupied by Duryodhana.
After a short while, Bhagwan Krishna woke up or playacted to awaken. As was obvious, the first person to meet his eyes was Arjuna. “What brings you here Arjuna?” asked the lord. However, before Arjuna could answer, Duryodhana interceded “Lord, I reached before him”. Bhagwan Krishna smiled, as his oblique glance caught sight of Duryodhana, sitting on the chair by his side.
His smile was an indication that their case was already decided, even before they put forth any plea. The direct and the first glance flashes on the one with humility of will (intellect) and of wish (mind) and of action (Senses). Where actions are in perfect harmony with one’s wish and will; such a humble and simple devotee deserves, and completely so, the bounty of blessings of the Lord. However, the one who is entangled in the web of material desires will always have a wavering weak will. Such a person will never be able to concentrate devotedly on any action. Lord’s merciful bounty is not for him, for his channels capable of imbibing the Lord’s bounty, are ever choked with the meshes of material desires and dotted with craters of sensory cravings. He seeks the bounty of the lord but does not deserve the capability of imbibing it.
Both Arjuna and Duryodhana, submitted their entreaties before Bhagwan Krishna, the dexterous strategist. “I never disappoint anyone who comes to me.” Spoke the serene voice. “I will help you both. One of you can get all my army, complete with weaponry, and the other one gets myself. ME, alone. Mind you, though, that even in the battle ground, I will not use any weapon. Choice is yours. However, Arjuna will have the first say. Tell me Arjuna, What do you wish to opt for? All my warriors alongwith weapons, or my weapon less self?”
“Lord”, Arjuna spoke with all humility at his command, “With you on my side, I do not need any warrior or weapon. I wish to have you alone.”
Perturbed by apprehension that Arjuna, having the first right of choice, would opt for the army, Duryodhana, heaved a sigh of relief. “It is alright for me”, he said, trying to hide his excitement which however, was quite obvious on his face. “I will have the Army.”
Both Arjuna and Duryodhana were glad. They had received what they sought. (But who was the ultimate winner? Victory is where Lord Krishna is.)
After Duryodhana had left, Bhagwan Krishna turned toward Arjuna. “Arjuna, why did you prefer me to my army? I told you, I will not even handle any weapon. What do you expect from me?”
“My Lord”, replied Arjuna, “I will make you my charioteer. You will drive my chariot. In the battle ground, I will go whichever spot you lead me to. I will fight whoever you face me with.”
This is the sentiment of a submissive devotee. ‘I am the machine. You are the operator. I will do whatever you make me do. I will sit where you ask me to.’ Prepared thus, the devotee becomes an enabled knower, through the divine power and knowledge.
How many sadhaks entreat God to grant them God himself, nothing more, nothing less. Such a seeker is but one in billions, and that is true devotion.
There are different categories of devotees, as follows – (We will not talk about those, who turn their back towards God and want to achieve their aim, on the basis of their ego only).
1) Some devotees worship God just for material gains but are not concerned much with realization of God. Devotees they nevertheless are, because the fact remains that they are somehow connected with God, for whatever reasons. Sooner or later, they will start loving God himself.
2) There is a category of devotees who crave for God as well as for material achievements. Out of these :
a) Some advanced devotees wish to attain material goals, but only as per the providence of God. They do not use unfair means to attain their goal.
b) Some more advanced devotees are not averse to material attainments, but they strive essentially for realization of God.
3) Some exalted devotees aim only at the realization of God. Material attainment is completely out of their wish list. Such devotees are more likely to advance faster towards realization.
4) There are rare devotees like Arjuna who even while living in the thick of all material attractions, can not be enticed away, nor can even the gravest of persecution or adversity deter them from marching consistently and perseveringly on their avowed path of realization of God. Be it the tempests and the troubled oceans, they continue to swim through their path. God always lives along such devotees.
This was the state, Arjuna was in. “Let Duryodhana take all the army, but I will ever stick on to the merciful providence of my lord”.