The war had lasted eighteen days when the Pandavas declared victory over the Kauravas. Draupadi greeted her husbands as they returned from the battlefield, draping them with garlands of triumph: Yudhishthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, Sahadeva.
"Come, Krishna!" Draupadi said, turning to Krishna who was still standing on Arjuna's chariot. "I made a garland for you too!"
Krishna smiled; then, as he dismounted, the chariot burst into flames.
"Drona had actually destroyed the chariot days ago with a fire-missile," he explained.
Thus the Pandavas realized that their victory was all thanks to Krishna: his power had saved them again and again.
Inspired by: Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata by Devdutt Pattanaik.
Notes: This story is on p. 285. Pattanaik tells the story as a lesson in humility for Arjuna: he expects Krishna to dismount first, as the charioteer normally would, but Krishna tells Arjuna to get down first which angers Arjuna; then, Arjuna realizes that Krishna acted as he did only for Arjuna's protection.
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