When the matter remained undecided, Sahadeva began to speak in favor of Lord Kṛṣṇa. He said, “Lord Kṛṣṇa, the best amongst the members of the Yadu dynasty and the protector of His devotees, is the most exalted personality in this assembly. Therefore I think that He should without any objection be offered the honor of being worshiped first. Although demigods such as Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva, Indra and many other exalted personalities are present in this assembly, no one can be equal to or greater than Kṛṣṇa in terms of time, space, riches, strength, reputation, wisdom, renunciation or any other consideration. Anything considered an opulence is fully present in Kṛṣṇa. As an individual soul is the basic principle of the growth of his material body, Kṛṣṇa is the Supersoul of this cosmic manifestation. All Vedic ritualistic ceremonies, such as the performance of sacrifices, the offering of oblations into the fire, the chanting of the Vedic hymns and the practice of mystic yoga, are meant for realizing Kṛṣṇa. Whether one follows the path of fruitive activities or the path of philosophical speculation, the ultimate destination is Kṛṣṇa; all bona fide methods of self-realization are meant for understanding Kṛṣṇa. Ladies and gentlemen, it is superfluous to speak about Kṛṣṇa, because every one of you exalted personalities knows the Supreme Brahman, Lord Kṛṣṇa, for whom there are no material differences between body and soul, between energy and the energetic, or between one part of the body and another. Since everyone is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, there is no qualitative difference between Kṛṣṇa and all living entities. Everything is an emanation of Kṛṣṇa’s energies, material and spiritual. Kṛṣṇa’s energies are like the heat and light of fire; there is no difference between the quality of heat and light and the fire itself.
“Also, Kṛṣṇa can do anything He likes with any part of His body. We can execute a particular action with the help of a particular part of our body, but He can do anything and everything with any part of His body. And because His transcendental body is full of knowledge and bliss in eternity, He doesn’t undergo the six kinds of material changes—birth, existence, growth, production, dwindling and vanishing. Unforced by any external energy, He is the supreme cause of the creation, maintenance and dissolution of everything that be. By the grace of Kṛṣṇa only, everyone is engaged in the practice of religion, the development of economic conditions, the satisfaction of the senses and, ultimately, the achievement of liberation from material bondage. These four principles of progressive life can be executed by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa only. He should therefore be offered the first worship in this great sacrifice, and no one should disagree. Just as by watering the root of a tree one automatically waters the branches, twigs, leaves and flowers, or as by supplying food to the stomach one automatically nourishes all parts of the body, so by offering the first worship to Kṛṣṇa we shall satisfy everyone present in this meeting, including the great demigods. If anyone is charitably disposed, it will be very good for him to give charity only to Kṛṣṇa, who is the Supersoul of everyone, regardless of his particular body or individual personality. Kṛṣṇa is present as the Supersoul in every living being, and if we can satisfy Him, then every living being will automatically be satisfied.”
Sahadeva was fortunate to know of the glories of Kṛṣṇa, and after describing them in brief, he stopped speaking. After this speech, all the members present in that great sacrificial assembly applauded, confirming his words continuously by saying, “Everything you have said is completely perfect. Everything you have said is completely perfect.” King Yudhiṣṭhira, after hearing the confirmation by all present, especially by the brāhmaṇas and learned sages, worshiped Lord Kṛṣṇa according to the regulative principles of the Vedic injunctions. First of all, King Yudhiṣṭhira, along with his brothers, wives, children, other relatives and ministers, washed the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa and sprinkled the water on their heads. After this, he offered Lord Kṛṣṇa various kinds of yellow silken garments and presented heaps of jewelry and ornaments before Him for His use.
King Yudhiṣṭhira felt such ecstasy by honoring Kṛṣṇa, his only lovable object, that tears glided down from his eyes, and although he wanted to see Lord Kṛṣṇa, he could not see Him very well. When Lord Kṛṣṇa was thus worshiped by King Yudhiṣṭhira, all the members present in the assembly stood up with folded hands and began to chant, “Jaya! Jaya! Namaḥ! Namaḥ!” All joined together to offer their respectful obeisances to Kṛṣṇa, and there were showers of flowers from the sky.
In that meeting, King Śiśupāla was also present. He was an avowed enemy of Kṛṣṇa for many reasons, especially because of Kṛṣṇa’s having stolen Rukmiṇī from his intended marriage ceremony. Therefore, he could not tolerate such honoring of Kṛṣṇa and glorification of His qualities. Instead of being happy to hear the glories of the Lord, he became very angry. When everyone offered respect to Kṛṣṇa by standing up, Śiśupāla remained in his seat, but as he became angrier at Kṛṣṇa’s being honored, he stood up suddenly, raised his hand and spoke very strongly and fearlessly against Lord Kṛṣṇa in such a way that Lord Kṛṣṇa could hear him distinctly.