Once upon a time, when the Pandavas were exiled by the Kauravas, they had to go to the forest and were accompanied by many rishis. Though they were leading contented lives, the problem for food was faced daily by them. Yudhistira, being the eldest among the Pandavas was concerned and so he asked a rishi on how to solve the problem. The rishi said that it could be solved by worshipping the sun god. Yudhistira then started to worship the sun god and soon he descended from above. He asked Yudhistira as to what he sought from him and to this he said that he needed a solution to solve the hunger problem which was faced daily by the rishis and the Pandavas. The sun god then manifested a golden vessel called the Akshayapatra and gave it to him. He said that if a little food was put into the vessel, it would become full till the brim and will continue to refill itself until Draupadi has finished her meal. After Draupadi ate her meal, it would become empty. Yudhistira thanked the sun god and went home taking the vessel.
All the Pandavas and the rishis were able to eat to their hearts’ content now, thanks to the Akshayapatra. Though they were in exile, they were now able to lead a proper and contented life. One day, sage Durvasa along with a few rishis came to the court of the Kauravas and said that he would be staying here until a yajna was completed. Duryodhana was pleased and told him he was welcome to stay as long as he pleased. After this however, Duryodhana came up with an evil plan and told sage Durvasa that it would be better if he and the rishis went and met with the Pandavas too. He also told sage Durvasa specifically to visit the Pandavas after lunch time, knowing fully well that they would have completed their lunch and the Akshayapatra would be empty. Duyrodhana’s evil plan was to make sage Durvasa curse them as he was short tempered. Sage Durvasa agreed and taking the other rishis, he went to the forest where the Pandavas were in exile.
The Pandavas had just completed their lunch and Draupadi too had finished eating. She was just keeping the vessel aside, when sage Durvasa arrived with his rishis. He came and told Yudhisthira about his stay at Hastinapura and then asked him for food. Yudhisthira knew that the Akshayapatra was empty and that sage Durvasa would get angry if he was refused anything. So, in order to get time to think, he told sage Durvasa to have a bath before eating. Sage Durvasa considered this to be a good idea and so he went to the river to take a bath. Yudhistira told this to Draupadi and she too did not know what to do. So, she prayed to Lord Krishna and asked for his help. Lord Krishna then appeared in front of her and asked her what happened. Draupadi narrated everything to him and after this Lord Krishna asked her to feed him. Draupadi grew frustrated as she had just finished narrating everything to him. But Lord Krishna insisted that she bring him the vessel and show it to him.