Lord Kṛṣṇa told King Yudhiṣṭhira that He is conquered by the love of one who has conquered his senses. One who has not conquered his senses cannot conquer the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the secret of devotional service. To conquer the senses means to engage them constantly in the service of the Lord. The specific qualification of all the Pāṇḍava brothers was that they always engaged their senses in the Lord’s service. One who thus engages his senses becomes purified, and with purified senses the devotee can actually render transcendental loving service to the Lord and conquer Him.
Lord Kṛṣṇa continued: “There is no one in the three worlds of the universe, including the powerful demigods, who can surpass My devotees in any of the six opulences, namely wealth, strength, reputation, beauty, knowledge and renunciation. Therefore, if you want to conquer the worldly kings, there is no possibility of their emerging victorious.”
When Lord Kṛṣṇa thus encouraged King Yudhiṣṭhira, the King’s face brightened like a blossoming flower because of transcendental happiness, and thus he ordered his younger brothers to conquer all the worldly kings in all directions. Lord Kṛṣṇa empowered the Pāṇḍavas to execute His great mission of chastising the infidel miscreants of the world and giving protection to His faithful devotees. In His Viṣṇu form, the Lord carries four weapons in His four hands—a lotus flower and a conchshell in two hands, and in the other two hands a club and a disc. The club and disc are meant for the infidel miscreants and demons, and the lotus flower and conchshell are for the devotees. But because the Lord is the Supreme Absolute, the result of all His weapons is one and the same. With the club and the disc He chastises the miscreants so that they may come to their senses and know that they are not all in all, for above them there is the Supreme Lord. And by bugling with the conchshell and offering blessings with the lotus flower, He always assures the devotees that no one can vanquish them, even in the greatest calamity. King Yudhiṣṭhira, being thus assured by the indication of Lord Kṛṣṇa, ordered his youngest brother, Sahadeva, accompanied by soldiers of the Sṛñjaya tribe, to conquer the southern countries. Similarly, he ordered Nakula, accompanied by the soldiers of Matsyadeśa, to conquer the kings of the western side. He sent Arjuna, accompanied by the soldiers of Kekayadeśa, to conquer the kings of the northern side, and he ordered Bhīmasena, accompanied by the soldiers of Madradeśa (Madras), to conquer the kings on the eastern side.
It may be noted that by dispatching his younger brothers to conquer in different directions, King Yudhiṣṭhira did not actually intend that they declare war upon the kings. Actually, the brothers started for different directions to inform the respective kings about King Yudhiṣṭhira’s intention to perform the Rājasūya sacrifice. The kings were thus informed that they were required to pay taxes for the execution of the sacrifice. This payment of taxes to Emperor Yudhiṣṭhira meant that the king accepted subjugation before him. In case of a king’s refusal to act accordingly, there was certainly a fight. Thus by their influence and strength the brothers conquered all the kings in different directions, and they were able to bring in sufficient taxes and presentations, which they brought before King Yudhiṣṭhira.
King Yudhiṣṭhira was very anxious, however, when he heard that King Jarāsandha of Magadha did not accept his sovereignty. Seeing King Yudhiṣṭhira’s anxiety, Lord Kṛṣṇa informed him of the plan explained by Uddhava for conquering King Jarāsandha. Bhīmasena, Arjuna and Lord Kṛṣṇa then started together for Girivraja, the capital city of Jarāsandha, dressing themselves in the garb of brāhmaṇas. This was the plan devised by Uddhava before Lord Kṛṣṇa started for Hastināpura, and now it was given practical application.
King Jarāsandha was a very dutiful householder, and he had great respect for the brāhmaṇas. He was a great fighter, a kṣatriya king, but he was never neglectful of the Vedic injunctions. According to the Vedic injunctions, the brāhmaṇas are considered to be the spiritual masters of all other castes. Lord Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna and Bhīmasena were actually kṣatriyas, but they dressed themselves as brāhmaṇas, and at the time when King Jarāsandha was to give charity to the brāhmaṇas and receive them as guests, they approached him.
Lord Kṛṣṇa, in the dress of a brāhmaṇa, said to the King, “We wish all glories to Your Majesty. We three guests at your royal palace have come from a great distance to ask you for charity, and we hope that you will kindly bestow upon us whatever we ask from you. We know about your good qualities. A person who is tolerant is always prepared to tolerate everything, even though distressful. Just as a criminal can perform the most abominable acts, a greatly charitable person like you can give anything and everything for which he is asked. For a great personality like you, there is no distinction between relatives and outsiders. A famous man lives forever, even after his death; therefore, any person who is completely fit and able to execute acts which will perpetuate his good name and fame and yet does not do so becomes abominable in the eyes of great persons. Such a person cannot be condemned enough, and his refusal to give charity is lamentable throughout his whole life. Your Majesty must have heard the glorious names of charitable personalities such as Hariścandra, Rantideva and Mudgala, who used to live only on grains picked up from the paddy field, and the great Mahārāja Śibi, who saved the life of a pigeon by supplying flesh from his own body. These great personalities have attained immortal fame simply by sacrificing the temporary and perishable body.” Lord Kṛṣṇa, in the garb of a brāhmaṇa, thus convinced Jarāsandha that fame is imperishable but the body is perishable. If one can attain imperishable name and fame by sacrificing his perishable body, he becomes a very respectable figure in the history of human civilization.