“My Lord, it appears that You are to go personally to Hastināpura to conquer demoniac kings like Jarāsandha and Śiśupāla, to release the pious imprisoned kings, and also to perform the great Rājasūya sacrifice. Considering all these points, I think that Your Lordship should immediately proceed to Hastināpura.”
This advice of Uddhava’s was appreciated by all who were present in the assembly; everyone considered that Lord Kṛṣṇa’s going to Hastināpura would be beneficial from all points of view. The great sage Nārada, the elder personalities of the Yadu dynasty, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa Himself, all supported the statement of Uddhava. Lord Kṛṣṇa then took permission from His father, Vasudeva, and grandfather, Ugrasena, and He immediately ordered His servants Dāruka and Jaitra to arrange for travel to Hastināpura. When everything was prepared, Lord Kṛṣṇa especially bid farewell to Lord Balarāma and the King of the Yadus, Ugrasena, and after dispatching His queens along with their children and sending their necessary luggage ahead, He mounted His chariot, which bore the flag marked with the symbol of Garuḍa.
Before starting the procession, Lord Kṛṣṇa satisfied the great sage Nārada by offering him different kinds of articles of worship. Nāradajī wanted to fall at the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, but because the Lord was playing the part of a human being, he simply offered his respects within his mind, and, fixing the transcendental form of the Lord within his heart, he left the assembly house by the airways. Usually the sage Nārada does not walk on the surface of the globe but travels in outer space. After the departure of Nārada, Lord Kṛṣṇa addressed the messenger who had come from the imprisoned kings and told him that they should not be worried, for He would very soon arrange to kill the King of Magadha, Jarāsandha. Thus He wished good fortune to all the imprisoned kings and the messenger. After receiving this assurance from Lord Kṛṣṇa, the messenger returned to the imprisoned kings and informed them of the happy news of the Lord’s forthcoming visit. All the kings were joyful at the news and began to wait very anxiously for the Lord’s arrival.
The chariot of Lord Kṛṣṇa started for Hastināpura accompanied by many other chariots, along with elephants, cavalry, infantry and similar royal paraphernalia. Bugles, drums, trumpets, conchshells and horns all produced a loud auspicious sound which vibrated in all directions. The sixteen thousand queens, headed by the goddess of fortune Rukmiṇīdevī, the ideal wife of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and accompanied by their respective sons, all followed behind Lord Kṛṣṇa. They were dressed in costly garments decorated with ornaments, and their bodies were smeared with sandalwood pulp and garlanded with fragrant flowers. Riding on palanquins nicely decorated with silks, flags and golden lace, they followed their exalted husband, Lord Kṛṣṇa. The infantry soldiers carried shields, swords and lances in their hands and acted as royal bodyguards to the queens. In the rear of the procession were the wives and children of all the other followers, and there were many society girls also following. Many beasts of burden like bulls, buffalo, mules and asses carried the camps, bedding and carpets, and the women who followed were seated in separate palanquins on the backs of camels. This panoramic procession was accompanied by the shouts of the people and was full with the display of different colored flags, umbrellas and whisks and different varieties of weapons, dress, ornaments, helmets and armaments. Shining in the sunlight, the procession appeared just like an ocean with high waves and sharks.
In this way the procession of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s party advanced toward Hastināpura (New Delhi) and gradually passed through the kingdoms of Ānarta (Gujarat Province), Sauvīra (Surat), the great desert of Rājasthān, and then Kurukṣetra. Between those kingdoms were many mountains, rivers, towns, villages, pasturing grounds and mining fields. The procession passed through all these places in its advance. On His way to Hastināpura, the Lord crossed two big rivers, the Dṛṣadvatī and the Sarasvatī. Then He crossed the province of Pañcāla and the province of Matsya. In this way, He ultimately arrived at Hastināpura, or Indraprastha.
The audience of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is not at all commonplace. Therefore, when King Yudhiṣṭhira heard that Lord Kṛṣṇa had arrived in his capital city, Hastināpura, he became so joyful that all his bodily hairs stood on end in great ecstasy, and he immediately came out of the city to properly receive the Lord. He ordered the musical vibration of different instruments and songs, and the learned brāhmaṇas of the city began to chant the hymns of the Vedas very loudly. Lord Kṛṣṇa is known as Hṛṣīkeśa, the master of the senses, and King Yudhiṣṭhira went forward to receive Him exactly as the senses meet the consciousness of life. King Yudhiṣṭhira was the elder cousin of Kṛṣṇa. Naturally he had great affection for the Lord, and as soon as he saw Him, his heart became filled with great love and affection. He had not seen the Lord for many days, and therefore he thought himself most fortunate to see the Lord present before him. The King therefore embraced Lord Kṛṣṇa again and again in great affection.