While the men were meeting in that way, the women also met one another in the same manner. They embraced one another in great friendship, smiling very mildly, and looked at one another with much affection. When they were embracing one another in their arms, the saffron and kuṅkuma spread on their breasts was exchanged from one person to another, and they all felt heavenly ecstasy. Due to such heart-to-heart embracing, torrents of tears glided down their cheeks. The juniors were offering obeisances to the elders, and the elders were offering their blessings to the juniors. They thus welcomed one another and asked after one another’s welfare. Ultimately, however, all their talk was only of Kṛṣṇa. All the neighbors and relatives were connected with Lord Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes in this world, and as such Kṛṣṇa was the center of all their activities. Whatever activities they performed—social, political, religious or conventional—were transcendental.
The real elevation of human life rests on knowledge and renunciation. As stated in the First Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, devotional service rendered to Kṛṣṇa automatically produces perfect knowledge and renunciation. The family members of the Yadu dynasty and the cowherds of Vṛndāvana had their minds fixed on Kṛṣṇa. That is the symptom of perfect knowledge. And because their minds were always engaged in Kṛṣṇa, they were automatically freed from all material activities. This stage of life is called yukta-vairāgya, as enunciated by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. Knowledge and renunciation, therefore, do not mean dry speculation and renunciation of activities. Rather, one must start speaking and acting only in relationship with Kṛṣṇa.
In this meeting at Kurukṣetra, Kuntīdevī and Vasudeva, who were sister and brother, met after a long separation, along with their respective sons and daughters-in-law, children and other family members. By talking among themselves, they soon forgot all their past miseries. Kuntīdevī especially addressed her brother Vasudeva as follows: “My dear brother, I am very unfortunate because not one of my desires has ever been fulfilled; otherwise how could it happen that although I have such a saintly brother as you, perfect in all respects, you did not inquire from me as to how I was passing my days in a distressed condition of life?” It appears that Kuntīdevī was remembering the miserable days when she had been banished with her sons through the mischievous plans of Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Duryodhana. She continued: “My dear brother, I can understand that when providence goes against someone, even one’s nearest relatives forget him. In such a condition, even one’s father, one’s mother or one’s own children will forget him. Therefore, my dear brother, I do not accuse you.”
Vasudeva replied to his sister, “My dear sister, do not be sorry, and do not blame me in that way. We should always remember that we are all only toys in the hands of providence. Everyone is under the control of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is under His control only that all kinds of fruitive actions and their reactions take place. My dear sister, you know that we were very much harassed by King Kaṁsa, and by his persecutions we were scattered here and there. We were always full of anxieties. Only in the last few days have we returned to our own places, by the grace of God.”
After this conversation, Vasudeva and Ugrasena received the kings who came to see them, and they sufficiently welcomed them all. Seeing Lord Kṛṣṇa present on the spot, all the visitors felt transcendental pleasure and became very peaceful. Some of the prominent visitors were as follows: Bhīṣmadeva, Droṇācārya, Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Duryodhana, Gāndhārī along with her sons, King Yudhiṣṭhira along with his wife, and the Pāṇḍavas along with Kuntī, as well as Sañjaya, Vidura, Kṛpācārya, Kuntībhoja, Virāṭa, Bhīṣmaka, King Nagnajit, Purujit, Drupada, Śalya, Dhṛṣṭaketu, the King of Kāśī, Damaghoṣa, Viśālākṣa, the King of Mithilā, the King of Madras (formerly known as Madra), the King of Kekaya, Yudhāmanyu, Suśarmā, Bāhlika along with his sons, and many other rulers subordinate to King Yudhiṣṭhira.