He took her from the midst of very powerful heroes headed by King Caidya [Śiśupāla] who were competing for her hand in marriage, belittling them all. He took others in a similar manner. So he has many children like Pradyumna and Sāmba. He even took thousands of women at once by killing Bhauma. They were no longer single, no longer pure, but oh how perfectly they express the highest aspirations of femininity! The Lotus-Eyed Husband always stays within their homes, with heartfelt gifts and caresses.
“He took her” refers to Kṛṣṇa’s first queen, Rukmiṇī. “He took others” refers to Satyabhāmā and Jāmbavatī. “Thousands” refers to all the women who had been kidnapped into the harem of King Bhauma. Kṛṣṇa killed Bhauma to rescue these women. Having been members of the harem, they were no longer good candidates for marriage, but Kṛṣṇa ignored such formalities and married them all.
A significant portion of male attractiveness lies in heroism and strength, which represents his capacity to defeat other men and thus protect women and children from harassment. Here, the city ladies appreciate the unparalleled extent to which Kṛṣṇa, the ultimate and original male, displays such heroic and manly attractiveness by boldly belittling and destroying other men to claim his brides.
Most of the remaining portion of male attractiveness lies in his ability to be gentle and sensitive to a woman. Truly attractive men (among whom even the most legendary cannot hold a candle to Kṛṣṇa) are bold and aggressive when appropriate, but gentle and sensitive at other times.
The city girls appreciate Kṛṣṇa’s gentleness as well as his boldness. He paid loving attention to each and every one of his thousands of wives. It is difficult for one man to pay sufficient attention to even two or three women, but Kṛṣṇa did so for thousands. Kṛṣṇa is the original Godhead and his form is formlessness itself. Thus he easily exists in thousands of different places simultaneously. In fact, because Kṛṣṇa is omnipresent he never leaves his beloved consorts. Even when he was on the chariot in the road of Hastinapura, he still remained with his wives in their palaces. And while at home with them the scene is always one of intimate, heartfelt love expressed through carefully chosen gifts and gentle caresses.
Female attractiveness – the real sort, which makes a man see a woman as wife, not a date – mainly depends on the purity of her love and devotion, for these are the qualities than enable a woman to repair and mend the troubles of men and children. Women from the harem of a fallen king would not exactly seem to be emblems of pure loving fidelity and devotion. But Kṛṣṇa was deeply attracted to all of them, and flaunted all social convention to marry them. Why? It is because they possessed the most attractive quality of all – abject devotion and love of the All-Attractive. This quality is the perfection of devotion, and therefore the perfection of femininity. The women liberated from Bhauma’s harem were therefore exemplars of the highest virtues of femininity.
The number of wives and children of Kṛṣṇa is impossible, of course, because Kṛṣṇa himself is impossibility in reality. He is the unlimited being. Numbers are insignificant in regards to his unfathomable dimension.
Hearing all this talk from the city ladies, Hari sent them his blissful glance and smile. Then he departed.
An ordinary human cannot hear the chatter of women on the rooftops when he is surrounded by drums and trumpets and crowds. But Kṛṣṇa is Paramātmā, the spiritual substance linking every ear to every soul. Thus he can easily hear everything and anything. The last thing he did before his chariot left the city is cast a love-laden, smiling glance upon the dear women who were speaking so affectionately about him.
One can hardly imagine the surge of bliss felt by those women upon receiving such a glance.
To summarize the salient points raised by the ladies of Hastinapura:
- Kṛṣṇa is the Complete Original Male who alone exists. Everything else is his energy, which flows out from and returns into him. The ladies wish to return into him in a highly intimate and personal manner, which is far superior to the impersonal and tasteless manner conceived by yogis and priests.
- Kṛṣṇa is more virile than any other man – from his seed comes all the life born from the womb of the material and spiritual worlds.
- Kṛṣṇa is not merely attractive to young, impressionable girls – the gods and godly strive to purify their hearts of selfishness so they too can see him as these girls do.
- Kṛṣṇa is the most enjoyable topic for song, poems, and even for chit-chat.
- The more intimately one embraces Kṛṣṇa, the more intimately Kṛṣṇa reveals himself. Understanding him in his officious feature as the creator, maintainer and destroyer of the universes is only the beginning of tasting what he truly is.
- Understanding the motive of his actions as the will to balance good and bad in the world is only the beginning of knowing the real inspiration behind his deeds.
- These ladies are fortunate to see him, but his family is more fortunate. He no longer lives with his family, though, so the residents of his city are even more fortunate because they regularly see him. Most fortunate of all those citizens are his queens, who always drink the nectar of his lips. But most fortunate of all his lovers are the cowherd girls of Vrindavana, who are so deeply and constantly connected to Kṛṣṇa that the mere hope of his kiss brings realization of Kṛṣṇa deeper than the queens can taste in thousands of kisses. So the ultimate hope of the ladies of Hastinapura is to gain a place, any place, among these cowherd girls.
- Kṛṣṇa is infinitely more attractive than any other brave and heroic man, and infinitely more attentive a lover than any doting gentleman.
It is very difficult to argue with these sublime conclusions.