“ ‘Dear Lord, because we are now surrendered souls at Your lotus feet, You can give us relief from the entrapment of fruitive action made possible by the form of Jarāsandha. Dear Lord, it is known to You that Jarāsandha possesses the power of ten thousand elephants, and with this power he has imprisoned us, just as a lion hypnotizes a flock of sheep. Dear Lord, You have already fought with Jarāsandha eighteen times consecutively, out of which You have defeated him seventeen times by surpassing his extraordinarily powerful position. But in Your eighteenth fight You exhibited Your human behavior, and thus it appeared that You were defeated. Dear Lord, we know very well that Jarāsandha cannot defeat You at any time, for Your power, strength, resources and authority are all unlimited. No one can equal You or surpass You. Your apparent defeat by Jarāsandha in the eighteenth engagement was nothing but an exhibition of human behavior. Unfortunately, foolish Jarāsandha could not understand Your tricks, and he has since then become puffed up over his material power and prestige. Specifically, he has arrested and imprisoned us, knowing fully that as Your devotees we are subordinate to Your sovereignty.’ ”
The messenger concluded, “Now I have explained the awful position of the kings, and Your Lordship can consider and do whatever You like. As the messenger and representative of all those imprisoned kings, I have submitted my words before Your Lordship and presented their prayers to You. All the kings are very anxious to see You so that they can all personally surrender at Your lotus feet. My dear Lord, be merciful upon them and act for their good fortune.”
At the very moment the messenger of the imprisoned kings was presenting their appeal before the Lord, the great sage Nārada arrived. Because he was a great saint, his hair was dazzling like gold, and when he entered the assembly house it appeared that the sun-god was personally present in the midst of the assembly. Lord Kṛṣṇa is the worshipable master of even Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, yet as soon as He saw that the sage Nārada had arrived, He immediately stood up with His ministers and secretaries to receive the great sage and offer His respectful obeisances by bowing His head. The great sage Nārada took a comfortable seat, and Lord Kṛṣṇa worshiped him with all paraphernalia, as required for the regular reception of a saintly person. While trying to satisfy Nāradajī, Lord Kṛṣṇa spoke the following words in His sweet and natural voice.
“My dear great sage among the demigods, I think that now everything is well within the three worlds. You are perfectly eligible to travel everywhere in space—in the upper, middle and lower planetary systems of this universe. Fortunately, when we meet you we can very easily take information from Your Holiness of all the news of the three worlds, for within this cosmic manifestation of the Supreme Lord there is nothing concealed from your knowledge. You know everything, and so I wish to question you. Are the Pāṇḍavas doing well, and what is the present plan of King Yudhiṣṭhira? Will you kindly let Me know what they want to do at present?”
The great sage Nārada spoke as follows: “My dear Lord, You have spoken about the cosmic manifestation created by the Supreme Lord, but I know that You are the all-pervading creator. Your energies are so extensive and inconceivable that even powerful personalities like Brahmā, the lord of this particular universe, cannot measure Your inconceivable power. My dear Lord, You are present as the Supersoul in everyone’s heart by Your inconceivable potency, exactly like the fire which is present in everyone but which no one can see directly. In conditioned life, all living entities are within the jurisdiction of the three modes of material nature. As such, they are unable to see Your presence everywhere with their material eyes. By Your grace, however, I have seen many times the action of Your inconceivable potency, and therefore when You ask me for the news of the Pāṇḍavas, which is not at all unknown to You, I am not surprised at Your inquiry.
“My dear Lord, by Your inconceivable potencies You create this cosmic manifestation, maintain it and again dissolve it. Only by dint of Your inconceivable potency does this material world, although a shadow representation of the spiritual world, appear to be factual. No one can understand what You plan to do in the future. Your transcendental position is always inconceivable to everyone. As far as I am concerned, I can simply offer my respectful obeisances unto You again and again. In the bodily concept of existence, everyone is driven by material desires, and thus everyone develops new material bodies one after another in the cycle of birth and death. Being absorbed in such a concept of existence, one does not know how to get out of this encagement of the material body. By Your causeless mercy, my Lord, You descend to exhibit Your various transcendental pastimes, which are illuminating and full of glory. Therefore I have no alternative but to offer my respectful obeisances unto You.
“My dear Lord, You are the Supreme, Parabrahman, and Your pastimes as an ordinary human are another tactical resource, exactly like a play on the stage in which the actor plays parts different from his own identity. Because the Pāṇḍavas are Your cousins, You have inquired about them in the role of their well-wisher, and therefore I shall let You know about their intentions. Now please hear me.