The leaders of the Kuru dynasty, especially Dhrtarastra and Duryodhana, were joyful because they knew very well that Lord Balarama 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 Balarama, 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 Balarama by giving Him in charity nice cows and arghya (a mixture of arati water and an assortment of items such as honey, butter, flowers and sandalwood pulp). Because all of them knew the exalted position of Lord Balarama 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 Balarama, 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 Samba, 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 Samba and bring him, along with his wife, Laksmana, before Me."
When Lord Balarama 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 Balarama speak so vituperatively? The language and tone used by Balarama 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 Bhisma, Dronacarya 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 Balarama they uttered insulting words about the Yadu dynasty. Having spoken in this unmannerly way, they returned to their city of Hastinapura.
Although Lord Balarama 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 Krsna 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.
"Even the King of heaven, Indra, abides by the order of the Yadu dynasty; and you consider King Ugrasena, the head of the Bhojas, Vrsnis, Andhakas and Yadavas, to be the leader of a small phalanx! Your conclusion is wonderful! You do not care for King Ugrasena, whose order is obeyed even by King Indra. Consider the exalted position of the Yadu dynasty. They have forcibly used both the assembly house and the parijata tree of the heavenly planets, and still you think that they cannot order you. Don't you even think that Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, can sit on the exalted royal throne and command everyone? All right! If your thinking is like that, you deserve to be taught a very good lesson. You have thought it wise that the royal insignias like the whisk, fan, white umbrella, royal throne and other princely paraphernalia not be used by the Yadu dynasty. Does this mean that even Lord Krsna, the Lord of the whole creation and the husband of the goddess of fortune, cannot use this royal paraphernalia? The dust of Krsna's lotus feet is worshiped by all the great demigods. The Ganges water inundates the whole world, and since it emanates from His lotus feet, its banks have turned into great places of pilgrimage. The principal deities of all planets engage in His service and consider themselves most fortunate to take the dust of the lotus feet of Krsna on their helmets. Great demigods like Lord Brahma, Lord Siva and even the goddess of fortune and I are simply plenary parts of His spiritual identity, and still you think that He is not fit to use the royal insignia or even sit on the royal throne? Alas, how regrettable it is that these fools consider us, the members of the Yadu dynasty, to be like shoes and themselves like helmets. It is clear now that these leaders of the Kuru dynasty have become mad over their worldly possessions and opulence. Every statement they made was full of crazy proposals. I should immediately take them to task and bring them to their senses. If I do not take steps against them, it will be improper on My part. Therefore, on this very day I shall rid the whole world of any trace of the Kuru dynasty. I shall finish them off immediately!"
While talking like this, Lord Balarama seemed so furious that He looked as if He could burn the whole cosmic creation to ashes. He stood up steadily and, taking His plow in His hand, began striking the earth with it, separating the whole city of Hastinapura from the earth, and then He began to drag the city toward the flowing water of the river Ganges. This caused a great tremor throughout Hastinapura, as if there had been an earthquake, and it seemed that the whole city would be dismantled.
When all the members of the Kuru dynasty saw that their city was about to fall into the water of the Ganges, and when they heard their citizens howling in great anxiety, they immediately came to their senses and understood what was happening. Thus without waiting another second they brought forward their daughter Laksmana. They also brought Samba, who had forcibly tried to take her away, keeping him in the forefront with Laksmana at his back. All the members of the Kuru dynasty appeared before Lord Balarama with folded hands just to beg the pardon of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Now using good sense, they said, "O Lord Balarama, reservoir of all pleasures, You are the maintainer and support of the entire cosmic situation. Unfortunately we were all unaware of Your inconceivable potencies. Dear Lord, please consider us most foolish. Our intelligence was bewildered and not in order. Therefore we have come before You to beg Your pardon. Please excuse us. You are the original creator, sustainer and annihilator of the whole cosmic manifestation, and still Your position is always transcendental. O all-powerful Lord, great sages speak about You. You are the original puppeteer, and everything in the world is just like Your toy. O unlimited one, You have a hold on everything, and like child's play You hold all the planetary systems on Your head. When the time for dissolution comes, You close up the whole cosmic manifestation within Yourself. At that time, nothing remains but Yourself lying in the Causal Ocean as Maha-Visnu. Our dear Lord, You have appeared on this earth in Your transcendental body just for the maintenance of the cosmic situation. You are above all anger, envy and enmity. Whatever You do, even in the form of chastisement, is auspicious for the whole material existence. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You because You are the imperishable Supreme Personality of Godhead, the reservoir of all opulences and potencies. O creator of innumerable universes, let us fall down and offer You our respectful obeisances again and again. We are now completely surrendered unto You. Please, therefore, be merciful upon us and give us Your protection." When the prominent members of the Kuru dynasty, from grandfather Bhismadeva to Arjuna and Duryodhana, had offered their respectful prayers in that way, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Balarama, immediately became softened and assured them that there was no cause for fear and that they need not worry.
For the most part it was the practice of the ksatriya kings to inaugurate some kind of fighting between the parties of the bride and bridegroom before the marriage. When Samba forcibly took away Laksmana, the elder members of the Kuru dynasty were pleased to see that he was actually the suitable match for her. In order to see his personal strength, however, they fought with him, and without respect for the regulations of fighting, they all arrested him. When the Yadu dynasty decided to release Samba from the confinement of the Kurus, Lord Balarama came personally to settle the matter, and, as a powerful ksatriya, He ordered them to free Samba immediately. The Kauravas were superficially insulted by this order, so they challenged Lord Balarama's power. They simply wanted to see Him exhibit His inconceivable strength. Thus with great pleasure they handed over their daughter to Samba, and the whole matter was settled. Duryodhana, being affectionate toward his daughter Laksmana, had her married to Samba in great pomp. For her dowry, he first gave 1,200 elephants, each at least 60 years old; then he gave 10,000 nice horses, 6,000 chariots, dazzling just like the sunshine, and 1,000 maidservants decorated with golden ornaments. Lord Balarama, the most prominent member of the Yadu dynasty, acted as guardian of the bridegroom, Samba, and very pleasingly accepted the dowry. Balarama was very satisfied after His great reception from the side of the Kurus, and accompanied by the newly married couple, He started toward His capital city of Dvaraka.
Lord Balarama triumphantly reached Dvaraka, where He met with many citizens who were all His devotees and friends. When they all assembled, Lord Balarama narrated the whole story of the marriage, and they were astonished to hear how Balarama had made the city of Hastinapura tremble. It is confirmed by Sukadeva Gosvami that in those days the river flowing through the city of Hastinapura, present-day New Delhi, was known as the Ganges, although today it is called the Yamuna. From authorities like Jiva Gosvami it is confirmed that the Ganges and Yamuna are the same river flowing in different courses. The part of the Ganges which flows through Hastinapura to the area of Vrndavana is called the Yamuna because it is sanctified by the transcendental pastimes of Lord Krsna. The part of Hastinapura which slopes toward the Yamuna becomes inundated during the rainy season and reminds everyone of Lord Balarama's threatening to cast the city into the Ganges.