By asking this benediction from the Lord, the sage Nārada showed the ideal prayer of all pure devotees. A pure devotee never asks for any kind of material or spiritual benediction from the Lord; his only prayer is that he may not forget the lotus feet of the Lord in any condition of life. A pure devotee does not care whether he is put into heaven or hell; he is satisfied anywhere, provided he can constantly remember the lotus feet of the Lord. Lord Caitanya taught this same process of prayer in His Śikṣāṣṭaka, in which He clearly stated that all He wanted was devotional service, birth after birth. A pure devotee does not even want to stop the repetition of birth and death. To a pure devotee, it does not matter whether he has to take birth again in the various species of life. His only ambition is that he not forget the lotus feet of the Lord in any condition of life.
After departing from the palace of Rukmiṇī, Nāradajī wanted to see further activities of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s internal potency, yogamāyā; thus he entered the palace of another queen. There he saw Lord Kṛṣṇa engaged in playing chess with His dear wife and Uddhava. The Lord immediately got up from His personal seat and invited Nārada Muni to sit there. The Lord again worshiped him with as much paraphernalia for reception as He had used in the palace of Rukmiṇī. After worshiping him properly, Lord Kṛṣṇa acted as if He did not know what had happened in the palace of Rukmiṇī. He therefore told Nārada, “My dear sage, when Your Holiness comes here, you are full in yourself. Although We are householders and are always in need, you don’t require anyone’s help, for you are self-satisfied. Under the circumstances, what reception can We offer you, and what can We possibly give you? Yet, since Your Holiness is a brāhmaṇa, it is Our duty to offer you something as far as possible. Therefore, I beg you to please order Me. What can I do for you?”
Nāradajī knew everything about the pastimes of the Lord, so without further discussion he simply left the palace silently, in great astonishment over the Lord’s activities. He then entered another palace. This time Nāradajī saw that Lord Kṛṣṇa was engaged as an affectionate father petting His small children. From there he entered another palace and saw Lord Kṛṣṇa preparing to take His bath. In this way, Saint Nārada entered each and every one of the sixteen thousand residential palaces of the queens of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and in each of them he found Kṛṣṇa engaged in different ways.
In one palace he found Kṛṣṇa offering oblations to the sacrificial fire and performing the ritualistic ceremonies of the Vedas as enjoined for householders. In another palace he found Kṛṣṇa performing the pañca-yajña sacrifice, which is compulsory for a householder. This yajña is also known as pañca-sūnā. Knowingly or unknowingly, everyone, especially the householder, commits five kinds of sinful activities. When we receive water from a water pitcher, we kill many germs that are in it. Similarly, when we use a grinding machine or eat food, we kill many germs. When sweeping a floor or igniting a fire we kill many germs, and when we walk on the street we kill many ants and other insects. Consciously or unconsciously, in all our different activities, we are killing. Therefore, it is incumbent upon every householder to perform the pañca-sūnā sacrifice to rid himself of the reactions to such sinful activities.
In one palace Nārada found Lord Kṛṣṇa feeding brāhmaṇas after performing ritualistic yajñas. In another palace Nārada found Kṛṣṇa silently chanting the Gāyatrī mantra, and in a third he found Him practicing fighting with a sword and shield. In some palaces Lord Kṛṣṇa was found riding on horses, elephants or chariots and wandering hither and thither. Elsewhere He was found lying down on His bedstead taking rest, and somewhere else He was found sitting in His chair, being praised by the prayers of His different devotees. In some of the palaces He was found consulting with ministers like Uddhava on important matters of business. In one palace He was found surrounded by many young society girls, enjoying in a swimming pool. In another palace He was found giving well-decorated cows in charity to the brāhmaṇas, and in another palace He was found hearing the narrations of the Purāṇas and of histories such as the Mahābhārata, which are supplementary scriptures for disseminating Vedic knowledge to common people by narrating important instances in the history of the universe. Somewhere Lord Kṛṣṇa was found enjoying the company of a particular wife by exchanging joking words with her. Somewhere else He was found engaged with His wife in religious ritualistic functions. Since it is necessary for householders to increase their financial assets for various expenditures, Kṛṣṇa was found somewhere engaged in matters of economic development. Somewhere else He was found enjoying family life according to the regulative principles of the śāstras.
In one palace He was found sitting in meditation as if concentrating His mind on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is beyond these material universes. Meditation, as recommended in authorized scripture, is meant for concentrating one’s mind on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu. Lord Kṛṣṇa is Himself the original Viṣṇu, but because He played the part of a human being, He taught us definitely by His personal behavior what is meant by meditation. Somewhere Lord Kṛṣṇa was found satisfying elderly superiors by supplying them things they needed. Somewhere else Nāradajī found that Lord Kṛṣṇa was engaged in discussing topics of fighting, and somewhere else in making peace with enemies. Somewhere Lord Kṛṣṇa was found discussing the ultimate auspicious activity for the entire human society with His elder brother, Lord Balarāma. Nārada saw Lord Kṛṣṇa engaged in getting His sons and daughters married with suitable brides and bridegrooms in due course of time, and the marriage ceremonies were being performed with great pomp. In one palace the Lord was found bidding farewell to His daughters, and in another He was found receiving a daughter-in-law. People throughout the whole city were astonished to see such pomp and ceremonies.