Lord Kṛṣṇa's forgiving quality is described in the Mahābhārata in connection with His forbidding the killing of Śiśupāla. King Śiśupāla was the monarch of the Cedi Kingdom, and although he happened to be a cousin of Kṛṣṇa's, he was always envious of Him. Whenever they would meet, Śiśupāla would try to insult Kṛṣṇa and call Him ill names as much as possible. In the arena of the rāja-sūya sacrifice of Mahārāj Yudhiṣṭhira, when Śiśupāla began to call Lord Kṛṣṇa ill names, Kṛṣṇa did not care and remained silent. Some of the people at the arena were prepared to kill Śiśupāla, but Kṛṣṇa restricted them. He was so forgiving. It is said that when there is a thundering sound in the clouds, the mighty lion immediately replies with his thundering roar. But the lion doesn't care when all the foolish jackals begin to make their less important sounds.
Śrī Yāmunācārya praises Kṛṣṇa's power of forgiveness with the following statement: "My dear Lord Rāmacandra, You are so merciful to have excused the crow's clawing on the nipples of Jānakī simply because of his bowing down before You." Once Indra, the King of heaven, assumed the form of a crow and attacked Sītā (Jānakī), Lord Rāmacandra's wife, by striking her on the breast. This was certainly an insult to the universal mother, Sītā, and Lord Rāmacandra was immediately prepared to kill the crow. But because later on the crow bowed down before the Lord, He excused his offense. Śrī Yāmunācārya further says in his prayer that the forgiving power of Lord Kṛṣṇa is even greater than that of Lord Rāmacandra, because Śiśupāla was always in the habit of insulting Kṛṣṇa—not only in one lifetime, but continually throughout three lives. Still, Kṛṣṇa was so kind that He gave Śiśupāla the salvation of merging into His existence. From this we can understand that the goal of the monist to merge into the effulgence of the supreme is not a very difficult problem. Persons like Śiśupāla who are consistently inimical to Kṛṣṇa can also get this liberation.
A person who does not express his mind to everyone, or whose mental activity and plan of action are very difficult to understand, is called grave. After Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa had been offended by Brahmā, Brahmā prayed to Him to be excused. But in spite of his offering nice prayers to Kṛṣṇa, Brahmā could not understand whether Kṛṣṇa was satisfied or still dissatisfied. In other words, Kṛṣṇa was so grave that He did not take the prayers of Brahmā very seriously. Another instance of Kṛṣṇa's gravity is found in connection with His love affairs with Rādhārāṇī. Kṛṣṇa was always very silent about His love affairs with Rādhārāṇī, so much so that Baladeva, Kṛṣṇa's elder brother and constant companion, could not understand the transformations of Kṛṣṇa on account of His gravity.
A person who is fully satisfied in himself, without any hankering, and who is not agitated even in the presence of serious cause for distress, is called self-satisfied.
An example of Kṛṣṇa's self-satisfaction was exhibited when He, Arjuna and Bhīma went to challenge Jarāsandha, the formidable king of Magadha, and Kṛṣṇa gave all credit to Bhīma for the killing of Jarāsandha. From this we can understand that Kṛṣṇa never cares at all for fame, although no one can be more famous.
An example of His not being disturbed was shown when Śiśupāla began to call Him ill names. All the kings and brāhmaṇas assembled at the sacrificial arena of Mahārāj Yudhiṣṭhira became perturbed and immediately wanted to satisfy Kṛṣṇa by offering nice prayers. But all these kings and brāhmaṇas could not discover any disturbance in Kṛṣṇa's person.