The Kurukshetra war was on in full swing, and as it progressed, the losses for the Kauravas increased. Duryodhana began to suspect that Bhishma’s loyalty to the Pandavas had resulted in his fighting half heartedly. Accused of being disloyal to the side he was fighting on, Bhishma got angry. He told Duryodhana that he would soon prove to him how loyal he was. Coming to know of Bhishma’s words to Duryodhana, Draupadi feared for the lives of the Pandavas, and decided to approach Lord Krishna. The Lord was in the stable at the time, tending to the horses.
A charioteer’s job was not easy. He had to offer his shoulder for the warrior to step on when the warrior alighted. Krishna, as Arjuna’s charioteer, performed all the duties required of him on the battlefield. But Krishna’s duties did not end there, and He comforted the horses, which had been in the thick of the battle, and scratched their backs soothingly. He prepared food for the horses. His attention to the horses showed His simplicity.
Draupadi met Him, when He was in the stable, and expressed her fears to Him. She was afraid that Bhishma’s resolve to do more for the Kauravas, was going to result in harm to the Pandavas. Krishna assured her that He would make sure that no harm befell the Pandavas. The Lord always upholds dharma, and so He was determined to save the Pandavas.
Bhishma told Duryodhana to send Bhanumati (Duryodhana’s wife) to him, for he had some advice for her, which would save the Kauravas. As Bhanumati set off to meet Bhishma, Krishna told her to turn back, because there were wild animals in the area. He then took Draupadi, whose face was covered with a veil. She had come without footwear, and in order that her feet should not be hurt by thorns, Krishna lent her His sandals. He gave her His shawl, to protect her from the cold.
Bhishma mistook Draupadi for Bhanumati. He blessed her and said she would not be widowed. Then Draupadi lifted her veil, and Bhishma realised that Krishna was behind the trick. Bhishma said that he did penance to make the Kauravas win, but dharma would always prevail in the end. Krishna would ensure this.