Arjuna’s Choice


Arjuna’s chariot from the Mahabharata

On the eve of the battle, both Duryodhana and Arjuna came to Krishna while he was asleep. Duryodhana, who was full of pride, stood beside Krishna’s head. Arjuna, who was all humility, sat at Krishna’s feet. There they waited for Krishna to wake up.

After a while, Krishna awoke and his eyes fell on Arjuna. Then he turned round and saw Duryodhana. Krishna asked what they were doing there at that hour, and they explained that they had both come to ask for his help in the battle.

Duryodhana said, “I was here first, Krishna. I came before Arjuna. You have to fulfil my desire first.”

It was true that Duryodhana had arrived a few minutes earlier than Arjuna. But Krishna said, “True, you came first, Duryodhana, but I saw Arjuna first. I have to fulfil his desire first. Besides, he is younger than you, and the younger one gets the first choice.” Duryodhana was unhappy, but Krishna said, “There should be no quarrel. Both of you are dear to me, and I promise you both that I shall fulfil your desires.”

Arjuna bowed and said, “Krishna, you know that the battle is imminent. I want you to take my side.”

Duryodhana was furious. He said, ‘stop, Arjuna! I want Krishna on my side!”

Krishna said, “If both of you want me, I have to choose one side. But I want to please both of you. Here is my suggestion: I shall be on one side, and my vast army will be on the other side. Now, you have to choose, and Arjuna has the first choice.”

Arjuna immediately said, “Krishna, I want you! I don”t need your army. I want you only!”

From ‘Tales of the Mahabharata’ by Sri Chinmoy

Published by Citadel Books

More stories from The Mahabharata

  1. The source of the Mahabharata’s
  2. The Family Tree
  3. Arjuna’s choice
  4. Ashwatthwama
  5. Balarama
  6. Dhritarashtra
  7. In the Forest
  8. Vishma’s Birth
  9. Yayati

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