All the kings present, belonging to the Kuru dynasty, Matsya dynasty, Kekaya dynasty and Sṛñjaya dynasty, were very angry and immediately took up their swords and shields to kill Śiśupāla, who was so foolish that he was not even slightly agitated, although all the kings present were ready to kill him. Śiśupāla did not care to think of the pros and cons of his foolish talking, and instead of stopping when he saw that all the kings were ready to kill him, he stood to fight with them and took up his sword and shield. When Lord Kṛṣṇa saw that they were going to fight in the arena of the auspicious Rājasūya-yajña, He personally pacified them. Out of His causeless mercy He Himself decided to kill Śiśupāla. When Śiśupāla was abusing the kings who were about to attack him, Lord Kṛṣṇa took up His disc, as sharp as the blade of a razor, and immediately separated Śiśupāla’s head from his body.
When Śiśupāla was thus killed, a great roar and howl went up from the crowd. Taking advantage of that disturbance, the few kings who were supporters of Śiśupāla quickly left the assembly out of fear for their lives. Then the fortunate Śiśupāla’s spirit soul immediately merged into the body of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the presence of all, exactly as a burning meteor falls to the surface of the globe. The merging of Śiśupāla’s soul into the transcendental body of Kṛṣṇa reminds us of the story of Jaya and Vijaya, who fell to the material world from the Vaikuṇṭha planets upon being cursed by the four Kumāras. For their return to the Vaikuṇṭha world, it was arranged that both Jaya and Vijaya, for three consecutive births, would act as deadly enemies of the Lord, and that at the end of these lives they would return to the Vaikuṇṭha world and serve the Lord as His associates.
Although Śiśupāla acted as the enemy of Kṛṣṇa, he was not for a single moment out of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He was always absorbed in thought of Kṛṣṇa, and thus he first got the salvation of sāyujya-mukti, merging into the existence of the Supreme, and was finally reinstated in his original position of personal service. The Bhagavad-gītā corroborates the fact that one who is absorbed in the thought of the Supreme Lord at the time of death immediately enters the kingdom of God after quitting his material body. After the salvation of Śiśupāla, King Yudhiṣṭhira rewarded all the members present in the sacrificial assembly. He sufficiently remunerated the priests and learned sages for their engagement in the execution of the sacrifice, and after performing all this routine work, he took his bath. This bath at the end of the sacrifice is also technical. It is called the avabhṛtha bath.
Lord Kṛṣṇa thus enabled the performance of the Rājasūya-yajña arranged by King Yudhiṣṭhira to be successfully completed, and, being requested by His cousins and relatives, He remained in Hastināpura for a few months more. Although King Yudhiṣṭhira and his brothers were unwilling to have Lord Kṛṣṇa leave Hastināpura, Kṛṣṇa arranged to take permission from the King to return to Dvārakā, and thus He returned home along with His queens and ministers.
The story of the fall of Jaya and Vijaya from the Vaikuṇṭha planets to the material world is described in the Seventh Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The killing of Śiśupāla has a direct link with that narration of Jaya and Vijaya, but the most important instruction we get from this incident is that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, being absolute, can give salvation to everyone, whether one acts as His enemy or as His friend. It is therefore a misconception that the Lord acts with someone in relationship of friend and with someone else in the relationship of enemy. His being an enemy or friend is always on the absolute platform. There is no material distinction.
After King Yudhiṣṭhira took his bath at the conclusion of the sacrifice and stood in the midst of all the learned sages and brāhmaṇas, he seemed exactly like the King of heaven and thus looked very beautiful. King Yudhiṣṭhira sufficiently rewarded all the demigods who participated in the yajña, and, being greatly satisfied, all of them left, praising the King’s activities and glorifying Lord Kṛṣṇa.
When Śukadeva Gosvāmī narrated these incidents of Kṛṣṇa’s killing Śiśupāla and described the successful execution of the Rājasūya-yajña by Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, he also pointed out that after the successful termination of the yajña only one person was unhappy. He was Duryodhana. Duryodhana by nature was very envious because of his sinful life, and he appeared in the dynasty of the Kurus like a chronic disease personified to destroy the whole family.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī assured Mahārāja Parīkṣit that the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa—the killing of Śiśupāla and Jarāsandha and the releasing of the imprisoned kings—are all transcendental vibrations, and that anyone who hears these narrations from authorized persons will immediately be freed from all the reactions of the sinful activities of his life.