One bright morning, Krishna and his wife Satyabhama decided to visit Indra. He received them personally and took them to his palace. After some rest, Indra requested them to take a walk in his famous garden. The flowers that bloomed in all the colors of the rainbow delighted Satyabhama. She walked among them, admiring one flower after another. Finally her eyes fell on the Parijat. “What is this wonderful flower?” she asked Krishna. “It is the Parijat,” replied Krishna. “I haven’t seen this flower before,” remarked Satyabhama. “Where did Indra get it from?” “The Parijat came up along with many other things when the great ocean was churned by the gods and the demons to obtain the elixir of life. That’s when Indra took it, and brought it to his garden,” replied Krishna.
For a moment, Satyabhama was lost in thought. She looked up and said, “But this was not right of Indra. If the Parijat came up at the time of the churning of ocean then it is common property and should belong to everyone, not just one person. In any case, I fail to see why it should belong to Indra alone. He hasn’t done anything special to deserve it. Has he?”
“Perhaps you right,” agreed Krishna, “ the Parijat ought to be enjoyed by all. You rightly said it is not Indra’s personal property.” Then let us take it away to the earth,” said Satyabhama eagerly. “I shall plant it in my garden and share the flowers with everyone in Dwarka.” “Very well, if that’s what you wish,” said Krishna. “Yes, I do desire it,” said Satyabhama. “I shall wear the flowers in my hair and if people outside Dwarka ask for them, they too shall have them.”
Krishna smiled and pulled up the Parijat tree from its roots. He laid it on the back of Garuda, who was waiting to carry them back to the earth. Just as they were about to start, the guards at the gate of Nandan Kanan stopped them. “Stop!” they cried . “Where are you taking the Parijat? It belongs to our queen, Indrani. You can not steal it.”
“Stealing?” cried Satyabhama, “This tree came up at the time of churning of the ocean and is not anyone’s personal property. We have every right to take it back to earth and let everyone enjoy its flowers. It is selfish to keep it to yourself.”
“You cannot steal the Parijat. Indra will fight you and you cannot stand up to him,” said the guards contemptuously. “All the Gods will back him up as well. What can a single person like you do against our heavenly force? Better give up the tree and get back to earth before anyone realizes what you were about to do.”
“How dare you!” cried Satyabhama, her eyes flashing. “Go and tell Indra that we are taking away the Parijat. Let him fight Krishna if he dares.” The guards rushed to inform Indra about the invasion. They also repeated Satyabham’s words to Indrani who was livid with rage. “How dare Satyabhama, a mere human being, criticize the queen of heaven and steal her property? Indra, you must teach them a lesson!” she shouted.
“Krishna may be an incarnation of Vishnu, but at the moment he is the prince of Dwarka and belongs to the human race. He cannot annoy the inmates of heaven,” Indrani continued. Indra picked up the lightning, his chief weapon, and prepared to fight Krishna. All the Gods and stars in heaven supported him. Getting back the Parijat was now a matter of prestige and they could not possibly allow Krishna to take it away.