While Arjuna aided and abetted Agni in the burning of the Khandava forest by not letting any living being escape, he even killed Takshaka's wife, he saves the life of Maya, a rakshasa, as Krishna is about to kill Maya with his chakra. This lone act of compassion could be because Maya falls at his feet asking for his mercy or for more complex reasons beyond his understanding. Anyway, as Arjuna promises not to harm him, Krishna allows Maya to live .
Maya, the architect of the asuras, wants to show his gratitude in some way. Arjuna does not want anything. But as he keeps insisting, Arjuna relents but lets Krishna decide: 'I will not accept anything for myself. Do something that will please Krishna'.
We are now let into the mind of Krishna by the Author: Krishna, the incarnation of Vishnu, had been born on earth for the purpose of establishing dharma. Krishna knew that the time had come when the world had to be shaken out of its complacency. He was Narayana and Arjuna was Nara. They had been born on earth for a purpose. Mother earth had complained to him that she could not bear the burden of sin any longer. He had assured her that he would come to help. In his minds eye Krishna saw the future of the world. He saw the field of Kurukshetra strewn with the bodies of the kings of the world.....Krishna thought of all these things and decided to begin the act of destruction.
Krishna then tells Maya that Yudhisthira is very dear to him and asks a unique Sabha be built to please Yudhisthira. Maya is very happy about this and starts planning the hall in his mind. Maya later discusses the plan with the Pandavas and Krishna and on an auspicious day, Maya begins the construction of the great palace known in the future as Mayasabha. Krishna then leaves for Dwaraka fondly seen off by the Pandavas till the outskirts of Indraprastha.
Maya gets busy with the preparations for the building. He goes to a lake called Bindusaras near mount Kailasa. A sacred spot where the river Ganga was released drop by drop from the matted lock of lord Shankara. Collects all the gems he had hidden there. Several hundreds of slaves carry these to Indraprastha. Also brings a conch called devadatta as a gift for Arjuna and a gada for Bheema.
It takes Maya fourteen months to build it. It excels even Sudharma, the sabha of Indra, in its splendour. In the garden flowers bloom in season and out of season. The walls glistened and gleamed with the precious gems embedded in them. It was built so cleverly that one can see only the glow from the gems, and not the gems themselves. Maya went to the Pandava and told them that the sabha was ready. He took them round. They were speechless with amazement. Arjuna and Maya embrace each other. Maya departs honored by Yudhisthira with many gifts.
On an auspicious day, the Pandavas enter the sabha. Gifts are distributed profusely to the poor and to the brahmins. Fame of the sabha spreads far and wide. People from all over the world come to see, all except the sons of Dhritharastra. Several young princes who came, stay back to learn archery from Arjuna. Pandavas are very happy.
Kunti is now sure that her sons are well established! They are quite powerful. It was not possible to harm the sons of Kunti. She thinks of the days following the burning of the house of lac, of the months spent in Ekachakra where they had to beg for food. All those dark days are over. Their sun had risen. They were safe, secure from the evil thoughts of Duryodhana and Sakuni.