: When actions that are supposed to run ahead smoothly get thwarted, the reason could only be destiny. None can counteract the influence of destiny. In a lecture, Srimati Jaya Srinivasan drew attention to the interesting perspectives on destiny that the Rama and Krishna avatars project.

In the Ramayana , the Lord went along with destiny. The news of the cancellation of the coronation left Rama unperturbed while the entire Ayodhya was fuming with the utter injustice meted out to Rama.

The Lord advises Lakshmana not to blame Kaikeyi for the present condition since a more powerful destiny drives her thought, word and action. It is not the river's fault if there is no water in it. But in Krishna avatar, the Lord charts the fate of the Pandavas and Kauravas according to their deserts. He takes charge of the overt prevalence of Adharma reflected in the attitude and the actions of Dhritarashtra and Duryodhana. After the 13-year period of exile, the Pandavas realise that war was imminent since the chances of getting back their kingdom now looked remote. Both sides had to get ahead with the war preparations and they independently had to build their allies.

When Lord Krishna is told that both Arjuna and Duryodhana are proceeding to Dwaraka to seek His help, He plans the immediate future for them, anticipating their individual nature and expectations. He receives them in His sleeping chamber where He poses to be asleep. The first entrant Duryodhana, takes his seat near the head of the bed of the Lord. Arjuna, who followed later, is pleased to sit near the Lord's feet.

The all-knowing Lord, pretending to wake up, welcomes Arjuna and then turns His attention to Duryodhana. Duryodhana says he came first and has a claim on Him. But the Lord said that since He saw Arjuna first, he would offer His help to him. Anyway He stated that He would not take up arms. He placed His entire army on one side and His own Self on the other and asked Arjuna to make his choice. The devotee and friend Arjuna chose the Lord and Duryodhana too was pleased to have the backing of Krishna's formidable army.