Yudhishthira approached Krishna and said, “I do not want war. I prefer peace, but Duryodhana is not willing to return our kingdom. I am willing to take just five villages, but he does not want to give anything to us. Please suggest what I should do now.”
Krishna said that he would go to Hastināpura with a peace proposal and convince Duryodhana to be fair to the Pāṇdavas. But, Yudhishthira was worried that if Krishna were to go there alone, the Kauravas might harm Him. Krishna smiled and said, “Do not worry. No one in Hastināpura can harm me.” Krishna decided to go on a chariot filled with weapons, and driven by Sātyaki, a friend of Krishna and Arjuna, and also a powerful warrior.
The Pāṇdavas said that they would accept whatever Lord Krishna is able to get from the Kauravas. When the Kauravas heard that Krishna is coming to Hastinapura, they sent a message to him requesting him to stay in their palace. They also invited him to eat lunch and dinner cooked in their royal kitchen. The Kauravas thought, since they are powerful and rich, Krishna might get impressed by their royalty and power. He might then agree to a deal that benefits only the Kauravas and does not get the Pāṇdavas anything. But, Krishna told the Kauravas – “We should eat food at someone else’s place only when we are in trouble or when they call us with love or respect. I am not in trouble, and you do not love me or respect me. So, I cannot come.”
When Krishna arrived at Hastinapura, he first went to see his aunt and mother of Pāṇdavas, Queen Kunti, who loved and respected Krishna a lot. Then, he went to the home of Vidura, the step Uncle of both the Kauravas and the Pāṇdavas. Vidura was the son of a maidservant and lived humbly and ate very simple food comprised of fruits and vegetables. But, he was famous for being very wise and knowledgeable, and was very fair and honest. Krishna requested Vidura for food and ate whatever simple food that Vidura offered him.
This beautiful incident shows that we should not just visit and enjoy the hospitality of people, who are strong, powerful and rich, but who have no love or respect for us. Many times, we accept their invitation for the fear of annoying them and thinking that we will get some benefit out of them. But, behaving in this manner is wrong. Instead, we should serve and pay attention to people, who are truthful, knowledgeable and honest, or who love us and respect us – even if they are old, poor and humble. The second teaching of this story is that in the eyes of Bhagavān, we are great only if we are truthful. Not necessarily if we are rich, handsome, powerful or famous.