The date for the Kurukshetra war has been fixed, and it is time for each side to line up their friends and allies. A crucial question is on whose side Lord Krishna will be. Duryodhana has marital ties with Krishna’s family. But then Arjuna is kin to Krishna, too. Both sides decide to seek His help. The Lord is fully aware that both parties will come to Him for help. He pretends to be asleep, even as Duryodhana enters. Not wanting to wake up Krishna, Duryodhana seats himself at the head of Krishna’s bed, for he reasons that this would befit a king of his stature. Soon after, Arjuna enters, but humbly chooses to sit at Krishna’s feet.
Krishna, the author of everyone’s destiny, gives up his pretence of sleeping, and welcomes Arjuna. Duryodhana protests that he was the first to arrive. The Lord then offers Duryodhana two choices. Duryodhana can either have the entire army of Krishna. Or, he can have on his side, Krishna Himself, but on one condition. Krishna will not take up any weapon during the war. Duryodhana foolishly chooses to have Krishna’s army, while Arjuna is wise enough to know the advantages of having Krishna on his side, even if Krishna does not wield any weapon during the war.
The turn of events proves that Arjuna chose wisely, for Krishna not only protects the Pandavas from harm, but in piquant situations, he also offers them advice. One such instance was when Aswattama was captured by Arjuna for killing the sons of the Pandavas, V.S. Karunakarachariar explained in a discourse. Arjuna had promised Draupadi that he would capture the killer of her children and she could have her revenge on him. But when Draupadi sees Aswattama, she wants him to be let off, for he is the son of Arjuna’s guru Drona. Yudishthira also wants Aswattama to be let off. But Bhima insists that Aswattama should be killed. So Arjuna asks Krishna what he should do. Krishna says Arjuna should do what would please everyone! He then explains that Arjuna should cut off the jewel that adorns the tuft of Aswattama. The humiliation thus meted out to Aswattama would be equal to death. Thus having Krishna on their side was the best thing that happened to the Pandavas.