The Pandavas had finished their 12 years of exile and 1 year of incognito (staying in disguise). When the Pandavas arrived to reclaim back their kingdom, Duryodhana refused to return back Indraprastha. A war between the Pandavas and Kauravas was inevitable. They both started mobilizing their army and forces, seeking help from different kings who were on their side.
Finally, both Duryodhana and Arjuna decided to meet Krishna to seek His help. They both arrived at Dwaraka. Duryodhana was the first to arrive and when he went to meet Krishna, Krishna was sleeping on His beautiful couch. There were asanas (seats) on either side along the length of the couch. Duryodhana who was so full of ego did not want to sit near the Lord’s feet. He opted for the seat near the head of the couch and settled himself there. A few minutes later, Arjuna arrived. He saw Krishna resting, and though there was a seat at the foot of the couch, he preferred to stand near the Lord’s feet. With folded hands, he too waited patiently for the Lord to wake up.
When Krishna opened his eyes, He first saw Arjuna who was standing near His feet and asked the purpose of his visit. Before Arjuna could say anything, Duryodhana claimed that he was the first to arrive and Krishna should hear him first. Krishna was well aware that both of them had arrived to seek His help for the war. Krishna told Duryadhana that since He had seen Arjuna first and as he was younger than Duryodhana, he would get the first chance. Krishna placed two options before them and they had to choose one of them. On one side would be Krishna’s Narayani army consisting of 10,00,000 mighty warriors who would engage themselves in war, and on the other side would be Krishna Himself who would neither fight nor pick up any weapon.
Since Arjuna was given the first choice, he chose the Lord to be on his side. Duryodhana was very happy and thought Arjuna was foolish to have rejected such a huge and strong army. He asked for Krishna’s Narayani army and the Lord agreed. Duryodhana got what he wanted and very happily left Krishna’s palace. Krishna then turned to Arjuna and asked him why he had chosen Him who would not engage Himself in the war and not the powerful Narayani army. Arjuna offered his devoted prostrations to the Lord and said that the mere presence of Lord Krishna on his side was enough for the Pandavas to win the battle. He humbly requested the Lord to be his charioteer and guide him along the path to success and victory. Lord Krishna smilingly assured him! Arjuna indeed had made the right choice!!
Since the Lord was the SARATHI (Charioteer) of PARTHA (Arjuna), he became known as PARTHASARATHI.
In and through life's flow 'see' His Grace flooding all around you and His unseen hand ever supporting you. Make your life a celebration of His Presence.Let Him be the Parthasarathy of your life. - Swami Chinmayananda
[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]