After this, Mitravindā said, “My dear Draupadī, there was a great assembly of princes at my svayaṁvara ceremony [the personal selection of a husband]. Lord Kṛṣṇa was also present in that meeting, and He accepted me as His maidservant by defeating all the princes there. He immediately took me away to Dvārakā, exactly as a lion takes its prey from a pack of dogs. When I was thus taken away by Lord Kṛṣṇa, my brothers wanted to fight Him, and later they were defeated. Thus my desire to become the maidservant of Kṛṣṇa life after life was fulfilled.”
After this, Satyā addressed Draupadī in this way: “My dear Draupadī, my father arranged for an assembly for my svayaṁvara, and to test the strength and heroism of the prospective bridegrooms, he stipulated that they each fight with his seven ferocious bulls, which had long, sharp horns. Many heroic prospects tried to defeat the bulls, but unfortunately they were all severely struck, and they returned to their homes as defeated invalids. When Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa came and fought with the bulls, they were just like playthings for Him. He captured the bulls and roped each one of them by the nostrils. Thus they came under His control, just as a goat’s small kids come very easily under the control of children. My father was very much pleased and married me to Lord Kṛṣṇa with great pomp, giving as my dowry many divisions of soldiers, horses, chariots and elephants, along with hundreds of maidservants. Thus Lord Kṛṣṇa brought me to His capital city, Dvārakā. On the way back, He was assaulted by many princes, but Lord Kṛṣṇa defeated all of them, and thus I have the privilege of serving His lotus feet as a maidservant.”
After this, Bhadrā began to speak. She said, “My dear Draupadī, Lord Kṛṣṇa is the son of my maternal uncle. Fortunately, I became attracted to His lotus feet. When my father understood these feelings of mine, he personally arranged for my marriage, inviting Lord Kṛṣṇa to marry me and giving Him in dowry one akṣauhiṇī, or division of armed forces, along with many maidservants and other royal paraphernalia. I do not know whether I shall be able to have the shelter of Lord Kṛṣṇa life after life, but still I pray to the Lord that wherever I may take my birth I may not forget my relationship with His lotus feet.”
Then Lakṣmaṇā said, “My dear Queen, many times I heard the great sage Nārada glorifying the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa. I became attracted to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa when I heard Nārada say that the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, was also attracted to His lotus feet. Since then I have always been thinking of Him, and thus my attraction for Him has increased. My dear Queen, my father was very affectionate toward me. When he understood that I was attracted to Kṛṣṇa, he devised a plan like that devised by your father: during the svayaṁvara, the prospective bridegrooms had to pierce the eyes of a fish with their arrows. The difference between the competition in your svayaṁvara and mine was that in yours the fish was hanging openly on the ceiling, in clear view, but in mine the fish was covered and could be seen only by its reflection in a pot of water. That was the special feature of my svayaṁvara.
“The news of this device spread all over the world, and when the princes heard of it they arrived at my father’s capital city from all directions, fully equipped with armor and guided by their military instructors. Each of them desired to win me as his wife, and one after another they raised the bow and arrow left there for piercing the fish. Many could not even join the bowstring to the two ends of the bow, and without attempting to pierce the fish, they simply left the bow as it was and went away. Some with great difficulty drew the string from one end to the other, but being unable to tie the other end, they were suddenly knocked down by the springlike bow. My dear Queen, you will be surprised to know that at my svayaṁvara meeting there were many famous kings and heroes present. Heroes like Jarāsandha, Ambaṣṭha, Śiśupāla, Bhīmasena, Duryodhana and Karṇa were, of course, able to string the bow, but they could not pierce the fish, because it was covered, and they could not trace it out from the reflection. The celebrated hero of the Pāṇḍavas, Arjuna, was able to see the reflection of the fish on the water, but although with great care he traced out the location of the fish and shot an arrow, he did not pierce the fish in the right spot. But his arrow at least touched the fish, and so he proved himself better than all the other princes.