At this time, Lord Kṛṣṇa was present among His relatives who were members of the kṣatriya class. To teach them through the exemplary character of King Nṛga, He said, “Even though a kṣatriya king may be as powerful as fire, it is not possible for him to usurp the property of a brāhmaṇa and utilize it for his own purpose. If this is so, how can ordinary kings, who falsely think themselves the most powerful beings within the material world, usurp a brāhmaṇa’s property? I do not think that taking poison is as dangerous as taking a brāhmaṇa’s property. For ordinary poison there is treatment—one can be relieved from its effects—but if one drinks the poison of taking a brāhmaṇa’s property, there is no remedy for the mistake. The perfect example is King Nṛga. He was very powerful and very pious, but due to the small mistake of unknowingly usurping a brāhmaṇa’s cow, he was condemned to the abominable life of a lizard. Ordinary poison affects only those who drink it, and ordinary fire can be extinguished simply by pouring water on it, but the araṇi fire ignited by the spiritual potency of a brāhmaṇa who is dissatisfied can burn to ashes the whole family of a person who provokes such a brāhmaṇa. [Formerly, the brāhmaṇas used to ignite the fire of sacrifice not with matches or any other external fire but with their powerful mantras, called araṇi.] If someone even touches a brāhmaṇa’s property, his family is ruined for three generations. However, if a brāhmaṇa’s property is forcibly taken away, the taker’s family for ten generations before him and ten generations after will be subject to ruination. On the other hand, if someone becomes a pure Vaiṣṇava, or devotee of the Lord, ten generations of his family before his birth and ten generations after will be liberated.”
Lord Kṛṣṇa continued: “If some foolish king who is puffed up by his wealth, prestige and power wants to usurp a brāhmaṇa’s property, he should be understood to be clearing his path to hell; he does not know how much he has to suffer for such an unwise act. If someone takes away the property of a very liberal brāhmaṇa who is encumbered by a large dependent family, then such a usurper is put into the hell known as Kumbhīpāka; not only is he put into this hell, but his family members also have to accept such a miserable condition of life. A person who takes away a brāhmaṇa’s property, whether it was originally given by him or by someone else, is condemned to live for at least sixty thousand years as a miserable insect in stool. Therefore I instruct you, all My boys and relatives present here, do not, even by mistake, take the possession of a brāhmaṇa and thereby pollute your whole family. If someone even wishes to possess such property, let alone attempts to take it away by force, the duration of his life will be reduced. He will be defeated by his enemies, and after being bereft of his royal position, when he gives up his body he will become a serpent, giving trouble to all other living entities. My dear boys and relatives, I therefore advise you that even if a brāhmaṇa becomes angry with you and calls you by ill names or curses you, still you should not retaliate. On the contrary, you should smile, tolerate him and offer your respects to the brāhmaṇa. You know very well that even I Myself offer My obeisances to the brāhmaṇas with great respect three times daily. You should therefore follow My instruction and example. I shall not forgive anyone who does not follow them, and I shall punish him. You should learn from the example of King Nṛga that even if someone unknowingly usurps the property of a brāhmaṇa, he is put into a miserable condition of life.”
Thus Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is always engaged in purifying the conditioned living entities, gave instruction not only to His family members and the inhabitants of Dvārakā but to all the members of human society. After this, the Lord entered His palace.