|Canto 10: The Summum Bonum||Chapter 83: Draupadī Meets the Queens of Kṛṣṇa|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.83.19
yathā svayaḿ-vare rājñi
matsyaḥ pārthepsayā kṛtaḥ
ayaḿ tu bahir ācchanno
dṛśyate sa jale param
yathā — just as; svayam-vare — in (your) svayaḿ-vara ceremony; rājñi — O Queen; matsyaḥ — a fish; pārtha — Arjuna; īpsayā — with the desire of obtaining; kṛtaḥ — made (into a target); ayam — this (fish); tu — however; bahiḥ — outwardly; ācchannaḥ — covered; dṛśyate — was seen; saḥ — it; jale — in water; param — only.
Just as a fish was used as a target in your svayaḿ-vara ceremony, O Queen, to assure that you would obtain Arjuna as your husband, so a fish was also used in my ceremony. In my case, however, it was concealed on all sides, and only its reflection could be seen in a pot of water below.
Arjuna is famous as the most expert bowman. Why, then, could he not hit the fish target at Śrīmatī Lakṣmaṇā's svayaḿ-vara ceremony just as he had done once before to win Draupadī? Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī explains: The target at Draupadī's svayaḿ-vara had been covered only partially, so that a marksman could see it if he looked straight up the pillar on which it was placed. To shoot Lakṣmaṇā's target, however, it was necessary to aim by looking up and down at the same time, an impossible feat for any mortal. Therefore only Kṛṣṇa could strike the target.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
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