The leaders of the Kuru dynasty, especially Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Duryodhana, were joyful because they knew very well that Lord Balarāma was a great well-wisher of their family. There were no bounds to their joy on hearing the news, and so they immediately welcomed Uddhava. In order to properly receive Lord Balarāma, they all took in their hands auspicious paraphernalia for His reception and went to see Him outside the city gate. According to their respective positions, they welcomed Lord Balarāma by giving Him in charity nice cows and arghya (a mixture of ārati water and an assortment of items such as honey, butter, flowers and sandalwood pulp). Because all of them knew the exalted position of Lord Balarāma as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they bowed their heads before the Lord with great respect. They all exchanged words of reception by asking one another about their welfare, and when such formalities were finished, Lord Balarāma, in a great voice and very patiently, submitted before them the following words for their consideration: “My dear friends, this time I have come to you as a messenger with the order of the all-powerful King Ugrasena. Please, therefore, hear the order with attention and great care. Without wasting a single moment, please try to carry out the order. King Ugrasena knows very well that you warriors of the Kuru dynasty improperly fought with the pious Sāmba, who was alone, and that with great difficulty and unrighteous tactics you have arrested him. We have all heard this news, but we are not very much agitated because we are most intimately related to one another. I do not think we should disturb our good relationship; we should continue our friendship without any unnecessary fighting. Please, therefore, immediately release Sāmba and bring him, along with his wife, Lakṣmaṇā, before Me.”
When Lord Balarāma spoke in a commanding tone full of heroic assertion, supremacy and chivalry, the leaders of the Kuru dynasty did not appreciate His statements. Rather, all of them became agitated, and with great anger they said, “Oh! These words are very astonishing but quite befitting the Age of Kali; otherwise how could Balarāma speak so vituperatively? The language and tone used by Balarāma are simply abusive, and due to the influence of this age it appears that the shoes befitting the feet want to rise to the top of the head, where the helmet is worn. We are connected with the Yadu dynasty by marriage, and because of this they have been given the chance to come live with us, dine with us and sleep with us; now they are taking advantage of these privileges. They had practically no position before we gave them a portion of our kingdom to rule, and now they are trying to command us. We have allowed the Yadu dynasty to use the royal insignias like the whisk, fan, conchshell, white umbrella, crown, royal throne, sitting place and bedstead, along with everything else befitting the royal order. They should not have used such royal paraphernalia in our presence, but we did not check them due to our family relationships. Now they have the audacity to order us to do things. Well, enough of their impudence! We cannot allow them to do any more of these things, nor shall we allow them to use these royal insignias. It would be best to take all these things away; it is improper to feed a snake with milk, since such merciful activities simply increase his venom. The Yadu dynasty is now trying to go against those who have fed them so nicely. Their flourishing condition is due to our gifts and merciful behavior, and still they are so shameless that they are trying to order us. How regrettable are all these activities! No one in the world can enjoy anything if members of the Kuru dynasty like Bhīṣma, Droṇācārya and Arjuna do not allow them to. Exactly as a lamb cannot enjoy life in the presence of a lion, without our desire it is not even possible for the demigods in heaven, headed by King Indra, to find enjoyment in life, what to speak of ordinary human beings!” Actually the members of the Kuru dynasty were very much puffed up due to their opulence, kingdom, aristocracy, family tradition, great warriors, family members and vast, expansive empire. They did not even observe common formalities of civilized society, and in the presence of Lord Balarāma they uttered insulting words about the Yadu dynasty. Having spoken in this unmannerly way, they returned to their city of Hastināpura.
Although Lord Balarāma patiently heard their insulting words and simply observed their uncivil behavior, from His appearance it was clear that He was burning with anger and was thinking of retaliating with great vengeance. His bodily features became so much agitated that it was difficult for anyone to look at Him. He laughed very loudly and said, “It is true that if a man becomes too much puffed up because of his family, opulence, beauty and material advancement, he no longer wants a peaceful life but becomes belligerent toward all others. It is useless to give such a person good instruction for gentle behavior and a peaceful life; on the contrary, one should search out the ways and means to punish him.” Generally, due to material opulence a man becomes exactly like an animal. To give an animal peaceful instructions is useless, and the only means is argumentum ad baculum. In other words, the only means to keep animals in order is a stick. “Just see how impudent are the members of the Kuru dynasty! I wanted to make a peaceful settlement despite the anger of all the other members of the Yadu dynasty, including Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself. They were preparing to attack the whole kingdom of the Kuru dynasty, but I pacified them and took the trouble to come here to settle the affair without any fighting. Yet these rascals behave like this! It is clear that they do not want a peaceful settlement, for they are factually warmongers. With great pride they have repeatedly insulted Me by calling the Yadu dynasty ill names.