The purpose of the Lord’s incarnations is to establish Dharma and to uproot Adharma. So, the Lord Himself descends to this earth and sets right the moral order governing this universe. When He incarnates, He adheres to the life of a human being keeping His extraordinary powers under wraps and exercising it only during exigencies, said Sringeri Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji in a lecture.
For instance, when Ashwathama killed the foetus in Uttara’s womb, Subadra, Draupadi and Uttara turned to Lord Krishna for refuge. The Lord then chose to exercise His special powers and give life to the dead child. It was a superhuman feat which none but the Almighty could accomplish.
But the same Lord did not choose to bring back to life Abhimanyu who had been killed in the war. Not all the sorrow of Arjuna could make the Lord bring back Abhimanyu.
Similarly, when the Lord faced many threats to His life right from His birth from the delegates of Kamsa, He had to exercise His extra-human power to quell the danger. He had to instruct Vasudeva to carry Him across the Yamuna.
Yudhishtira adheres to the cause of Dharma while Duryodhana tries to foil his commitment to it. Krishna overtly sides with the Pandavas. Though Krishna does not interfere when Yudhishtira chooses to play the game of dice with Sakuni, He manifests His amazing power when He shields Draupadi’s modesty from being outraged in the most unprecedented manner.
Duryodhana once sent Sage Durvasa to Yudhishtira’s hermitage hoping that Yudhishtira’s failure to provide hospitality to the sage and his retinue would anger the sage to curse him. Already Krishna had seen to it that the Pandavas would have the Akshaya Patra (the gift of a special vessel from the sun god) to feed them during their exile. Durvasa comes to their hermitage seeking hospitality. Krishna is invoked and sure enough, He eats the morsel of food left inadvertently in the vessel. This left the guests with a feeling of satiety that comes after a hearty meal.