Marriage of Draupadi
In particular, Arjuna was the best friend and disciple of Sri Krishna. Arjuna respected Sri Krishna as his chosen ideal and guide. On the other hand, princess Draupadi had accepted Sri Krishna as her brother and guide. Therefore, Sri Krishna was interested in the marriage of Draupadi.with Arjuna.
Draupadi was very brave and beautiful. She was equally intelligent. She put a condition for her marriage. She would wed the prince who would pierce the eye of the rotating wooden fish by looking at its reflection.
Accordingly, a pole was erected in the courtyard at the tip of which a rotating device was fixed. On the top this device was mounted a wooden fish and at the bottom was kept a tub of water where reflection of the fish could be seen. The competing prince had to look at this reflection and hit the eye of the fish above with an arrow. Only one chance would be given to each desirous prince.
Many princes from all over India had come to try their luck in getting her as bride. Duryodhana, Karna, Arjuna and other Pandavas were a few amongst these. But as was obvious, the difficult test could allow only the best archer to succeed. Arjuna, in the disguise of a Brahmin, was one such fellow! Draupadi was waiting for Arjuna to succeed. Sri Krishna present as an observer also felt likewise.
Soon the competition began. One after another, great archers tried their skills, but in vain. Then arose Karna, the expert. Saluting the king and others present in the court, he approached to undertake the difficult but possible test that would give him Draupadi as his bride. Sri Krishna, always alert to rescue his devotees from the difficult situations, pointed Draupadi to object as it was likely that this great archer could win.
Draupadi got up and raised the objection saying, "O noble one, please let me know your credentials. Of what state you are the prince or the king? who are your parents? As far I know you a lowly sut-putra, and such I have no desire to marry you. You do not qualify to take this test."
The insult made Karna red with anger, but he could do nothing. What Draupadi said was true and everyone in the hall agreed. Duryodhana got up and protested saying, "O proud princess, you have insulted my friend who is the king of Anga province. I command you to apologize." But Draupadi was not be intimidated. She replied, "O prince of Hastinapur, I agree with what you say, but that still does not alter the status of your friend Karna. Out of charity and your mercy he had become the king, and not of his own. I cannot marry him."
The duo of Duryodhana and Karna left the court of king Drupad, father of Draupadi, and vowed to avenge the insult at some later time.