“In comparison to Śiśupāla, with his personal qualities, I am nothing. And you may personally realize it. I am surprised that you rejected the marriage with Śiśupāla and accepted Me, who am inferior in comparison to Śiśupāla. I think Myself completely unfit to be your husband because you are so beautiful, sober, grave and exalted. May I inquire from you the reason that induced you to accept Me? Now, of course, I may address you as My beautiful wife, but still I may inform you of My actual position—that I am inferior to all those princes who wanted to marry you.
“First of all, you may know that I was so much afraid of Jarāsandha that I could not dare live on the land, and thus I have constructed this house within the water of the sea. It is not My business to disclose this secret to others, but you must know that I am not very heroic; I am a coward and am afraid of My enemies. Still I am not safe, because all the great kings of the land are inimical to Me. I have personally created this inimical feeling by fighting with them in many ways. Another fault is that although I am on the throne of Dvārakā, I have no immediate claim. Although I got a kingdom by killing My maternal uncle, Kaṁsa, the kingdom was to go to My grandfather; so actually I have no possession of a kingdom. Besides that, I have no fixed aim in life. People cannot understand Me very well. What is the ultimate goal of My life? They know very well that I was a cowherd boy in Vṛndāvana. People expected that I would follow in the footsteps of My foster father, Nanda cMahārāja, and be faithful to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and all Her friends in the village of Vṛndāvana. But all of a sudden I left them. I wanted to become a famous prince. Still I could not have any kingdom, nor could I rule as a prince. People are bewildered about My ultimate goal of life; they do not know whether I am a cowherd boy or a prince, whether I am the son of Nanda Mahārāja or the son of Vasudeva. Because I have no fixed aim in life, people may call Me a vagabond. Therefore, I am surprised that you could select such a vagabond husband.
“Besides this, I am not very much polished, even in social etiquette. A person should be satisfied with one wife, but you see that I have married many times, and I have more than sixteen thousand wives. I cannot please all of them as a polished husband. My behavior with them is not very nice, and I know that you are very conscious of it. I sometimes create a situation with My wives which is not very happy. Because I was trained in a village in My childhood, I am not well acquainted with the etiquette of urban life. I do not know the way to please a wife with nice words and behavior. And from practical experience it is found that any woman who follows My way or becomes attracted by Me is ultimately left to cry for the rest of her life. In Vṛndāvana, many gopīs were attracted to Me, and now I have left them, and they are living but are simply crying for Me in separation. I have heard from Akrūra and Uddhava that since I left Vṛndāvana all My cowherd boyfriends, the gopīs and Rādhārāṇī, and My foster father, Nanda Mahārāja, are simply crying constantly for Me. I have left Vṛndāvana for good and am now engaged with the queens in Dvārakā, but I am not well behaved with any of you. So you can very easily understand that I have no steadiness of character; I am not a very reliable husband. The net result of being attracted to Me is to acquire a life of bereavement only.
“My dear beautiful princess, you may also know that I am always penniless. Just after My birth, I was carried penniless to the house of Nanda Mahārāja, and I was raised just like a cowherd boy. Although My foster father possessed many hundreds of thousands of cows, I was not the proprietor of even one of them. I was simply entrusted with taking care of them and tending them, but I was not the proprietor. Here also I am not the proprietor of anything, but am always penniless. There is no cause to lament for such a penniless condition; I possessed nothing in the past, so why should I lament that I do not possess anything at present? You may note also that My devotees are not very opulent; they also are very poor in worldly goods. Persons who are very rich, possessing worldly wealth, are not interested in devotion to Me, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness. On the contrary, when a person becomes penniless, whether by force or by circumstances, he may become interested in Me if he gets the proper opportunity. Persons who are proud of their riches, even if they are offered association with My devotees, do not take advantage of consciousness of Me. In other words, the poorer class of men may have some interest in Me, but rich men have no interest. I think, therefore, that your selection of Me was not very intelligent. You appear very intelligent, trained by your father and brother, but ultimately you have made a great mistake in selecting your life’s companion.