When all the members of the royal assembly, including King Ugrasena, heard this message sent by Pauṇḍraka, they laughed very loudly for a considerable time. After enjoying the loud laughter of all the members of the assembly, Kṛṣṇa replied to the messenger as follows: “O messenger of Pauṇḍraka, you may carry My message to your master: ‘You are a foolish rascal. I directly call you a rascal, and I refuse to follow your instructions. I shall never give up the symbols of Vāsudeva, especially My disc. I shall use this disc to kill not only you but all your followers also. I shall destroy you and your foolish associates, who merely constitute a society of cheaters and the cheated. O foolish King, you will then have to conceal your face in disgrace, and when your head is severed from your body by My disc, it will be surrounded by meat-eating birds like vultures, hawks and eagles. At that time, instead of becoming My shelter, as you have demanded, you will be subject to the mercy of these lowborn birds. At that time your body will be thrown to the dogs, who will eat it with great pleasure.’ ”
The messenger carried the words of Lord Kṛṣṇa to his master, Pauṇḍraka, who patiently heard all these insults. Without waiting any longer, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa immediately started out on His chariot to punish the rascal Pauṇḍraka, the King of Karūṣa. Because at that time he was living with his friend the King of Kāśī, Kṛṣṇa surrounded the whole city of Kāśī.
King Pauṇḍraka was a great warrior, and as soon as he heard of Kṛṣṇa’s attack, he came out of the city with two akṣauhiṇī divisions of soldiers. The King of Kāśī also came out, with three akṣauhiṇī divisions. When the two kings came before Lord Kṛṣṇa to oppose Him, Kṛṣṇa saw Pauṇḍraka face to face for the first time. Kṛṣṇa saw that Pauṇḍraka had decorated himself with the symbols of the conchshell, disc, lotus and club. He carried an imitation Śārṅga bow, and on his chest was a mock insignia of Śrīvatsa. His neck was decorated with a false Kaustubha jewel, and he wore a flower garland in exact imitation of Lord Vāsudeva’s. He was dressed in yellow silken garments, and the flag on his chariot carried the symbol of Garuḍa, exactly imitating Kṛṣṇa’s. He had a very valuable helmet on his head, and his earrings, like swordfish, glittered brilliantly. On the whole, however, his dress and makeup were clearly imitation. Anyone could understand that he was just like someone onstage playing the part of Vāsudeva in false dress. When Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa saw Pauṇḍraka imitating His posture and dress, He could not check His laughter, and thus He laughed with great satisfaction.
The soldiers on the side of King Pauṇḍraka began to shower their weapons upon Kṛṣṇa. The weapons, including various kinds of tridents, clubs, poles, lances, swords, daggers and arrows, came flying in waves, and Kṛṣṇa counteracted them. He smashed not only the weapons but also the soldiers and assistants of Pauṇḍraka, just as during the dissolution of this universe the fire of devastation burns everything to ashes. The elephants, chariots, horses and infantry belonging to the opposite party were scattered by the weapons of Kṛṣṇa. Indeed, the whole battlefield became strewn with smashed chariots and the bodies of men and animals. There were fallen horses, elephants, men, asses and camels. Although the devastated battlefield appeared like the dancing place of Lord Śiva at the time of the dissolution of the world, the warriors on the side of Kṛṣṇa were very much encouraged by seeing this, and they fought with greater strength.
At this time, Lord Kṛṣṇa told Pauṇḍraka, “Pauṇḍraka, you requested Me to give up the symbols of Lord Viṣṇu, specifically My disc. Now I will give it up to you. Be careful! You falsely declare yourself Vāsudeva, imitating Me. Therefore no one is a greater fool than you.” From this statement of Kṛṣṇa’s it is clear that any rascal who advertises himself as God is the greatest fool in human society. Kṛṣṇa continued: “Now, Pauṇḍraka, I shall force you to give up this false representation. You wanted Me to surrender unto you. Now this is your opportunity. We shall now fight, and if I am defeated and you are victorious, I shall certainly surrender unto you.” In this way, after chastising Pauṇḍraka very severely, Kṛṣṇa smashed Pauṇḍraka’s chariot to pieces by shooting an arrow. Then with the help of His disc He separated Pauṇḍraka’s head from his body, just as Indra shaves off the peaks of mountains by striking them with his thunderbolt. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa also killed the King of Kāśī with His arrows. Lord Kṛṣṇa specifically arranged to throw the head of the King of Kāśī into the city of Kāśī itself so that his relatives and family members could see it. Kṛṣṇa did this just as a hurricane carries a lotus petal here and there. Lord Kṛṣṇa killed Pauṇḍraka and his friend Kāśīrāja on the battlefield, and then He returned to His capital city, Dvārakā.