While Kṛṣṇa was dealing with Rukmī in this way, the soldiers of the Yadu dynasty, commanded by Balarāma Himself, broke the whole strength of Rukmī’s army just as an elephant in a pond discards the feeble stem of a lotus flower. In other words, as an elephant breaks the whole construction of a lotus flower while bathing in a reservoir of water, the military strength of the Yadus broke up Rukmī’s forces.
When the commanders of the Yadu dynasty came back to see Kṛṣṇa, they were all surprised to see the condition of Rukmī. Lord Balarāma became especially compassionate toward His sister-in-law, who was newly married to His brother. To please Rukmiṇī, Balarāma personally untied Rukmī, and to further please her, Balarāma, as the elder brother of Kṛṣṇa, spoke some words of chastisement. “Kṛṣṇa, Your action is not at all satisfactory,” He said. “This is an abomination very much contrary to Our family tradition! To cut someone’s hair and shave his mustache and beard is almost comparable to killing him. Whatever Rukmī might have been, he is now Our brother-in-law, a relative of Our family, and You should not have put him in such a condition.”
After this, to pacify Rukmiṇī, Lord Balarāma said to her, “You should not be sorry that your brother has been made odd-looking. Everyone suffers or enjoys the results of his own actions.” Lord Balarāma wanted to impress upon Rukmiṇī that she should not be sorry for the consequences her brother suffered due to his actions. There was no need of being too affectionate toward such a brother.
Lord Balarāma again turned toward Kṛṣṇa and said, “My dear Kṛṣṇa, a relative, even though he commits such a blunder and deserves to be killed, should be excused. For when such a relative is conscious of his own fault, that consciousness itself is like death. Therefore, there is no need to kill him.”
Balarāma again turned toward Rukmiṇī and informed her that the current duty of the kṣatriya in human society is so fixed that, according to the principles of fighting, one’s own brother may become an enemy. Then a kṣatriya does not hesitate to kill his own brother. In other words, Lord Balarāma wanted to instruct Rukmiṇī that Rukmī and Kṛṣṇa were right in not showing mercy to each other in the fighting, despite the family consideration that they happened to be brothers-in-law. Śrī Balarāma informed Rukmiṇī that kṣatriyas are typical emblems of the materialistic way of life; they become puffed up whenever there is a question of material acquisition. Therefore, when there is a fight between two belligerent kṣatriyas for kingdom, land, wealth, women, prestige or power, they try to put one another into the most abominable condition. Balarāma instructed Rukmiṇī that her affection toward her brother Rukmī, who had created enmity with so many persons, was a perverse consideration befitting an ordinary materialist. Her brother’s character was not at all admirable, considering his treatment of his friends, and yet Rukmiṇī, as an ordinary woman, was affectionate toward him. He was not fit to be her brother, and still Rukmiṇī was lenient toward him.
“Besides that,” Balarāma continued, “the consideration that a person is neutral or is one’s friend or enemy is generally made by persons in the bodily concept of life. Such foolish persons are bewildered by the illusory energy of the Supreme Lord. The spirit soul is of the same pure quality in any embodiment of matter, but those who are not sufficiently intelligent see only the bodily differences between animals and men, literates and illiterates, rich and poor, which cover the pure spirit soul. Such differences, observed merely on the basis of the body, are exactly like the differences between fires in terms of the various types of fuel they consume. Whatever the size and shape of the fuel, there is no such variety of size and shape in the fire which comes out. Similarly, in the sky there are no differences in size or shape.”