The miner who had helped the Pandavas build the canal out of palace after the burning of the house of lac come back had come back and closed the hole. He had done such a skillful job that nobody realized that the Pandavas could have escaped the fire.
Realizing that they were not yet powerful enough to fight against the sons of Dhirdarashtra, the Pandavas along with their mother were in hiding in the villages near the banks of the river Ganga.
That was the time when they were hiding in the village of Ekachakra. While they were hiding there, Bheema killed a monster named Bakasura to protect the family in whose house they were staying.
Destiny definitely worked in mysterious ways here.
In the village of Ekachakra, a man who had traveled far and wide for the study of the Vedas came and stayed in the house of the Pandavas. There the man spoke of all the kingdoms that he had visited. That was when the man spoke of how Arjuna helped his teacher Drona in defeating the King Drupada of Panchala. The man who told the stories had no idea to whom he was telling the story! The man further told the Pandavas about the birth of the three children of King Drupada – Shikandi, Dhrishtadhyumna and Draupadi.
All the five Pandavas were smitten the minute they heard of the beauty of Draupadi. None of them spoke out aloud but all the five of them wanted to marry this dark, celestial beauty.
Kunti realized this almost immediately and immediately made preparations to leave for the kingdom of Panchala,
Together as they were about to set out to the kingdom of Panchala, they had a very distinguished guest coming to meet them. The Pandavas were shocked when standing before them was none other than their own great-grandfather Veda Vyasa, the son of Satyavathi!
As they bowed to the sage, the sage told them a very interesting story. 'Before you begin your journey, my children, there is something that you need to know! A story!'
The Pandavas looked at each other wondering what the great man had to say when he continued.
'In times of old, there lived an illustrious sage who had a beautiful daughter! The daughter was extremely intelligent and well-versed in all the arts but she unfortunately could not get married!'
'The daughter wanted to get married and she performed severe penances to Lord Shiva! After Lord Shiva appeared before her, the woman was completely speechless. But when the Lord Shiva agreed to grant her a boon, the woman spoke of the topmost wish in her mind.
She said 'I want a husband! Oh, I definitely want a husband! I need a husband! I need to have a husband! Please Lord, I want to have a husband!'
Lord Shiva heard the woman and smiled to himself. 'I grant you your boon! You shall not have one husband! You shall have five of them!'
The woman was aghast as she rapidly shook her head. 'No! My Lord! I wish for only one husband!'
The three-eyed Lord shook his head. 'You asked for a husband not once, but five times...so in another life you shall have five husbands!'
The Pandavas listened to this story as Sage Veda Vyasa continued. 'I think that sage's daughter has been reborn now! I think you will meet her when you travel to the kingdom of Panchala! Go and fulfill yours and her destiny, my children!'
With these blessings, the sages vanished from there, as the Pandavas set out for the capital of Panchala.
Meanwhile Drupada who had been defeated by Arjuna had actually been spell-bound by the archery of the young man. Though Arjuna had worked for Drona, Drupada could not forget the fact that Arjuna was the most faultless archer ever. As much as Drupada wanted revenge on Drona, Drupada wanted to somehow be related to Arjuna. And so the minute Draupadi had sprung up from the sacrificial fire, the only desire Drupada had was to marry Draupadi to Arjuna.
But then Drupada got the information about the death of the Pandavas in the house of lac. Drupada was devastated.
He finally decided that if he could have not have Arjuna as his son-in-law, he needed to have someone who was atleast half as talented as Arjuna, as his son-in-law.
So for this purpose, Drupada organized a difficult archery contest which only the likes of Arjuna would win. He invited the people from all over the country to participate in the contest with the condition that the winner could marry his daughter.