Muṣṭika also struck Balarāma, and Balarāma returned the stroke with great force. Muṣṭika began to tremble and vomit blood. Distressed, he gave up his vital force and fell down just as a tree falls down in a hurricane. After the two wrestlers were killed, a wrestler named Kūṭa came forward. Lord Balarāma immediately caught him in His left hand and killed him nonchalantly. A wrestler of the name Śala came forward, and Kṛṣṇa immediately cracked his head with a kick. A wrestler named Tośala came forward and was killed in the same way. Thus all the great wrestlers were killed by Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, and the remaining wrestlers fled from the assembly out of fear for their lives. All the cowherd boyfriends of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma approached Them and congratulated Them with great pleasure. While trumpets resounded and drums were beaten, the leg bells on the feet of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma tinkled.
All the people gathered there began to clap in great ecstasy, and no one could estimate the bounds of their pleasure. The brāhmaṇas present began to praise Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma ecstatically. Only Kaṁsa was morose; he neither clapped nor offered benediction to Kṛṣṇa. Kaṁsa resented that the trumpets and drums should be played for Kṛṣṇa’s victory, and he was very sorry that the wrestlers had been killed and had fled the assembly. He therefore immediately ordered the band to stop playing and addressed his men as follows: “I order that these two sons of Vasudeva be immediately driven out of Mathurā. The cowherd boys who have come with Them should be plundered and all their riches taken away. Nanda Mahārāja should immediately be arrested and killed for his cunning behavior, and that rascal Vasudeva should also be killed without delay. Also my father, Ugrasena, who has always supported my enemies against my will, should be killed.”
When Kaṁsa spoke in this way, Lord Kṛṣṇa became very angry with him, and within a second He jumped onto the high dais of King Kaṁsa. Kaṁsa was prepared for Kṛṣṇa’s attack, for he knew from the beginning that Kṛṣṇa was to be the supreme cause of his death. Kaṁsa immediately unsheathed his sword and prepared to answer the challenge of Kṛṣṇa with sword and shield. As Kaṁsa wielded his sword up and down, hither and thither, Lord Kṛṣṇa, the supreme powerful Lord, caught hold of him with great force. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the shelter of the complete creation and from whose lotus navel the whole creation is manifested, immediately knocked the crown from the head of Kaṁsa and grabbed his long hair in His hand. He then dragged Kaṁsa from his seat to the wrestling dais and threw him down. Then Kṛṣṇa at once straddled his chest and began to strike him over and over again. Simply from the strokes of His fist, Kaṁsa lost his vital force.
To assure His parents that Kaṁsa was dead, Lord Kṛṣṇa dragged him just as a lion drags an elephant after killing it. When people saw this, there was a great roaring sound from all sides as some spectators expressed their jubilation and others cried in lamentation. From the day Kaṁsa had heard he would be killed by the eighth son of Devakī, he was always thinking of Kṛṣṇa with His wheel in hand, and because he was very much afraid of his death, he was thinking of Kṛṣṇa in that form twenty-four hours a day, without stopping—even while eating, while walking and while breathing—and naturally he got the blessing of liberation. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated, sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ: (BG 8.6) a person gets his next life according to the thoughts in which he is always absorbed. Kaṁsa was thinking of Kṛṣṇa with His wheel, which means Nārāyaṇa, who holds a wheel, conchshell, lotus flower and club.