Bheema reacts to Krishna's advice to prepare for war with a suggestion that Krishna should try all possible ways to avoid war! Asks him to deal with Duryodhana, who is adamant by nature without threatening him, as that will only provoke. 'It is clear that Duryodhana's behaviour is taking our clan towards destruction. If the elders can convince Duryodhana to be reasonable with us, we could even follow him. My brother is ready for this and even Arjuna, who is kinder, does not want a war.'
A very surprised Krishna asks Bheema with a smile 'Bheemasena! In the past, you were always advocating war, wanted to kill the kauravas. You were like the smouldering ember or a man with an unbearable burden. You behaved as if you had lost your mind! You would gnash your teeth and take a vow that you would smash Duryodhana with your mace! How is that you are now advocating peace? '
'As the war is becoming a reality, are you afraid? Is your heart palpitating? Are your legs become wooden with fear? This change in you is like leaving pandavas adrift in the middle of an ocean. I am very surprised. It is as unnatural as if the mountain has moved! Bheema get strong and give up this defeatist attitude. This does not suit you, a khsatriya does not enjoy what he has not won through a fierce combat!'
Bheema is stung by Krishna's remark. 'Achyuta! You have totally misunderstood me. It appears that even if you have known me a long time, you do not know my true abilities. It may be the reason why you have ridiculed me. I should not boast, but I have to, after your criticism! If the earth and the sky decide to squeeze me between them out of anger, I can push them aside and escape. I have yet to see anyone who can extricate himself from the grip of my arms. I can crush all those attacking us with just my feet. This is as clear as the brightness of sun. If you did not know this, you will surely see it in a battlefield. I had to speak, as your words hurt me like the prick of a sharp pin. I am not scared, I can face the world. I chose to swallow all my anguish as I did not want to see the extinction of our clan. Hence the suggestion to seek friendship and peace!'
Krishna pacifies Bheema, tells him that there is no doubt about his abilities and spoke to him with affection and not in anger. Only wanted to know his intentions. Then adds, 'There is no guarantee in human endeavours. Even the best thought out plans may go awry, blown away as it were by the wind. Even plans, which are just, may not succeed as they could be opposed by the will of gods. But by their efforts, humans could also succeed in feats thought impossible, without any hindrance. Hence the world cannot give up efforts. A wise man who attempts to combine the will of god with his own efforts will neither be too agitated if it fails or feel too happy with success. It is possible that we may not win, in case of a war with the kauravas. In such an event, there should be no excessive grief .'
' I will try for peace. If I succeed, I will get a good name and your wish is fulfilled. In case they do not accept my proposal there will be a frightful war. Then the burden will fall on you. You and Arjuna must shoulder the burden and inspire others. I will be Arjuna's charioteer as per his wishes. I did not know your mind and spoke a little harshly just to spur you.'