The Perfection of Teasing

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.60.10-12 - The Perfection of Teasing (download mp3)
by Nanda Dulal Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.60.10
sri-bhagavan uvaca
raja-putripsita bhupair
mahanubhavaih srimadbhi

The Supreme Lord said: My dear princess, you were sought after by many kings as powerful as the rulers of planets. They were all abundantly endowed with political influence, wealth, beauty, generosity and physical strength.

SB 10.60.11
tan praptan arthino hitva
 caidyadin smara-durmadan
datta bhratra sva-pitra ca
 kasman no vavrse ’saman

Since your brother and father offered you to them, why did you reject the King of Cedi and all those other suitors, who stood before you, maddened by Cupid? Why, instead, did you choose Us, who are not at all your equal?

SB 10.60.12
rajabhyo bibhyatah su-bhru
 samudram saranam gatan
balavadbhih krta-dvesan
 prayas tyakta-nrpasanan

Terrified of these kings, O lovely-browed one, We took shelter in the ocean. We have become enemies of powerful men, and We practically abandoned Our royal throne.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti comments on this verse as follows: “The Lord’s mentality here can be understood as follows: ‘When I gave Rukmini a single flower from the heavenly parijata tree, Satyabhama showed such a torrent of fury that I could not pacify her even by bowing down at her feet. Only when I gave her a whole parijata tree was she satisfied. Rukmini, however, did not display any anger even when she saw Me give Satyabhama the whole tree. So how can I enjoy the nectar of angry words from this wife, who never feels jealousy, who is supremely sober and who always speaks pleasingly?’ Thus considering, the Supreme Lord decided, ‘If I speak like this to her, I will be able to provoke her anger.’ This is how some authorities explain Krsna’s speech to Rukmini.”

According to the acarya, here the words balavadbhih krta-dvesan prayah indicate that Lord Krsna opposed almost all the contemporary kings during His incarnation, befriending only a few, such as the Pandavas and loyal members of His dynasty. Of course, as stated in the beginning of the Tenth Canto, Lord Krsna appeared specifically because the earth was overburdened by innumerable bogus kings and He wanted to remove this burden.

Finally Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti points out that the word tyakta-nrpasanan, “giving up the king’s throne,” indicates that after Lord Krsna killed Kamsa He humbly gave the royal throne to His grandfather Ugrasena, although the Lord Himself was entitled to it.