How Draupadi Was Protected by Krishna's Grace
Sadhguru: Krishna was not present when the Kauravas tried to disrobe Draupadi in public. He was not even aware of the scene because when he was about to go to the Rajasuya Yagna, Shalva, a king who held a grudge against him, came and raided Dwaraka. He and his men killed people and burnt homes, cattle and everything. Those of the Yadavas who managed to escape ran into the forest and hid there. On top of that, Shalva kidnapped Krishna’s father Vasudeva and took him away. By the time Krishna reached Dwaraka, the whole place was burnt and devastated, and the survivors were all in hiding. When they saw him, they came back down. He organized the reestablishment of the community and the reconstruction of the city and sent his son to go and somehow achieve the release of his kidnapped father. Since he was involved in all this, he was not aware of what was going on in Hastinapur.
If Krishna was not even aware of Draupadi’s predicament, how did he reach out to her? How did this miracle happen that she was guarded? This is a question of Grace. People constantly ask me this – some gently, some sarcastically, some in an accusing manner – how does Grace work? For Grace to function, I need not be mentally aware of what is happening to you. Through an initiation into a spiritual process, a certain investment of energy has been made, which functions as Grace. If I wish to be aware of what is happening with someone, I can be aware. But most of the time, I do not wish to be aware because too many things are going on. For those who are receptive, Grace works. For those who are not receptive, Grace does not work.
In a similar vein, Udhava once asked Krishna, “In many situations, I have seen beyond any doubt that you are a divine manifestation. There is so much about you which is beyond man. But then how come people are struggling and you cannot handle their problems with a snap of your fingers?” Krishna smilingly said, “No one can work a miracle unless the recipient is in full faith. Even the great Mahadeva cannot work a miracle unless there is receptivity and faith. When people are not receptive, you cannot expect miracles.”
There is a beautiful story: one day, Krishna was having lunch. Satyabhama was serving him. Halfway through the meal, he got up and said, “One of my devotees is in trouble. I need to go.” He washed his hands and went. Just before the gate, he suddenly stopped, turned around, and came back. Satyabhama asked, “You left midway through lunch, saying your devotee is in trouble, but then you turned back. What happened?” Krishna said, “A devotee of mine was chanting, ‘Krishna, Krishna,’ with eyes closed. A hungry tiger approached him. The man would have gotten killed, so I thought I will reach out and I left. But by the time I was near the gate, the fool had picked up a stone – so I turned back.”
For Grace to function, the person who is the source of that Grace does not need to be mentally aware of the situation. The investment of energy that has been made through the initiation functions by itself. You just have to open up the bounty that has been given to you. Do not think of faith in the sense of how people are talking about miracles – they just lost control over their imagination. In his lifetime, Krishna himself generated faith in lots of people, but still not in adequate measure for who he was. That has always been so – when the greatest ones came, the greatest things did not happen because they were too far ahead. In a way, medium-scale ones did better because they operated on a level that people understand, but they could not take them to the ultimate.
Grace becomes accessible and available to you only when you create the necessary openness within you, which means you have to be willing to keep yourself aside. If you say “Krishna, Krishna” and pick up a stone, it will not work. Similarly, if you say, “Sadhguru, Sadhguru” and pick up a stone, even if I want to, it will not work because Grace is very subtle. And as already said, it is not at all necessary that the one through which Grace functions is mentally aware of what is happening. That is why though Krishna was not aware of Draupadi’s predicament at that moment, still Grace worked for her.
Editor’s Note: Watch the introductory episode of the Leela series, where Sadhguru explores the essence of Krishna and the path of Leela.