Winning the divine grace is not that easy. No doubt God’s heart is softer than butter and would easily melt when the soothing heat of devotion is applied. However, the devotees need to do their bit to convince the Lord that they deserve His grace and compassion. Only at that point the divine grace arrives to do wonders for the devotees. This concept is best illustrated by a wonderful incident from the Mahabharata.
It was Duryodhana’s royal court. The Pandavas stand drooping their heads towards the earth in utter shame having been induced into and being defeated in the game of dice. The Kauravas were rejoicing and were full of arrogance and pride. Duryodhana was in the peak of his egotism. He was contemplating on every possible way to dishonor the Pandavas and make them infamous. Once Dharmaja, the eldest one lost all his brothers and also himself in the game of dice, all the Pandavas had become the slaves of wicked Duryodhana to follow his dictates. At that point, Dharmaja was forced to bet Draupadi, their consort who was the only property left with them then. The final bet was also lost and Draupadi turned angry at the act of her husband. Her eyes were burning like a live charcoal and were emitting fumes lamenting on the injustice caused to her.
Duryodhana had no courtesy or mercy at the plight of the Pandavas. He was full of evil and had no sense of decency whatsoever. He ordered that Draupadi be brought to the center of the court and induced Dushashana, his brother to disrobe her. Dushashana pulled Draupadi holding her hair locks and dragged her to the center of the court. He started pulling out the sari of Draupadi and she shouted for help in utter misery. No one had the guts to raise their voice against the injustice done. The eldest and the most noble were seated helplessly in the court without saying a word though they could not concede to the evil fancies of Duryodhana.
Draupadi started calling Lord Krishna to protect her honor. She used several names of Sri Krishna and sought His merciful help. During the process, she held her sari tightly shouting from the bottom of her throat. For quite some time, it appeared as though the Lord had not listened to her prayers. She continued to yell and chant the names of the Lord vigorously. There was no scene of any help. Draupadi realized the situation was turning worse. She had lost all hopes and fully confided in the Lord. She left her hold of the sari, raised her hands above her heads in prayer and shouted, “Oh, the most merciful one, the protector of the forlorn and the destitute, save me!”
Instantly, the divine help unfolded causing the sari miraculously lengthen into yards and yards. In fact, not able to pull out the never ending sari, Dushashana, the valiant one, got tired and fell on the ground helplessly. The entire court was amazed at the divine play. Later at a point of time, Draupadi had an occasion to ask Sri Krishna why He did not save her at once when she called out His divine name. The Lord replied, “Initially you were depending on your physical powers holding the sari. Once you released your hold and fully surrendered to me, I was moved to enter the scene to take care of you.” Yes, the Lord is always ‘Purna’ (full) and nothing that falls short of complete surrender can win His heart.