Mahabharata: How Udupi fed the Kurukshetra warriors
The Mahabharat is one of the two major epics in Sanskrit of ancient India. It contains over one lakh couplets and is thrice as long as the Bible. However, only a fraction of the narration actually deals with the main story with the rest containing additional myths and teachings.
It clearly states: “what is found here may be found elsewhere but what is not found here cannot be found elsewhere.”
King Udupi and the lunch made for warriors
Five thousand years ago, the Kurukshetra war, between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, was the mother of all battles. All the kings – hundreds of them – aligned themselves on one side or the other. The king of Udupi however chose to remain neutral. He spoke to Krishna and said, ‘Those who fight battles have to eat. I will be the caterer for this battle.’ Many of the Udupi people are caterers even today.
The battle lasted 18 days, and every day, thousand soldiers died. So the Udupi king had to cook that much less food, otherwise it would go waste. The amazing thing was that every day, the food was exactly enough for all the soldiers and no food was wasted. After a few days, people were amazed, ‘How is he managing to cook the exact amount of food!’ No one could know how many people had died on any given day.
When someone asked the kind of Udupi, ‘How do you manage this?’ the king replied, ‘Every night I go to Krishna’s tent. Krishna likes to eat boiled groundnuts in the night so I peel them and keep them in a bowl. After he is done I count how many nuts has he eaten. If it’s 10 peanuts, I know tomorrow 10,000 people will be dead. So the next day when I cook lunch, I cook for 10,000 people less.