The brāhmaṇas continued: “According to Vedic injunction, women are not allowed to undergo the purificatory process of initiation by the sacred thread, nor are they allowed to live as brahmacāriṇīs in the āśrama of the spiritual master, nor are they advised to undergo the strict disciplinary procedures, nor are they very expert in discussing the philosophy of self-realization. And by nature they are not very pure, nor are they very much attached to auspicious activities. Therefore, how wonderful it is that these women have developed transcendental love for Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of all mystic yogīs! They have surpassed all of us in firm faith and devotion unto Kṛṣṇa. Although we are considered to be masters in all purificatory processes, we did not actually know what their goal is because we are too much attached to the materialistic way of life. Even though we were reminded of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma by the cowherd boys, we disregarded Them. We now think that the Supreme Personality of Godhead simply played a trick of mercy on us by sending His friends to beg food from us. Otherwise, He had no need to send them. He could have satisfied their hunger then and there just by willing to do so.”
If someone denies the self-sufficiency of Kṛṣṇa on hearing that He was tending the cows for His livelihood, or if someone doubts His not being in need of the food, thinking that He was actually hungry, then such a person should understand that the goddess of fortune is always engaged in His service. In this way the goddess can break her faulty habit of restlessness. In Vedic literatures like the Brahma-saṁhitā it is stated that Kṛṣṇa is served in His abode with great respect by not only one goddess of fortune but many thousands. Therefore it is simply illusion for one to think that Kṛṣṇa begged food from the brāhmaṇas. It was actually a trick to show them mercy by teaching them that they should accept Him in pure devotional service instead of engaging in ritualistic ceremonies. The Vedic ceremonial paraphernalia, the suitable place, the suitable time, the different grades of articles for performing the ritualistic ceremonies, the Vedic hymns, the process of sacrifice, the priest who is able to perform the sacrifice, the fire, the demigods, the performer of the sacrifice and the religious principles are all meant for understanding Kṛṣṇa, for Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu and the Lord of all mystic yogīs.
“Because He has appeared as a child in the dynasty of the Yadus, we were so foolish that we could not understand that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead,” the brāhmaṇas said. “But on the other hand, we are very proud because we have such exalted wives who have developed pure transcendental service of the Lord without being shackled by our rigid opposition. Let us therefore offer our respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa, under whose illusory energy, called māyā, we are absorbed in fruitive activities. We therefore pray to the Lord to be kind enough to excuse us because we are simply captivated by His external energy. We transgressed His order without knowing His transcendental glories.”
The brāhmaṇas repented their sinful activities. They wanted to go personally to offer their obeisances unto Him, but being afraid of Kaṁsa, they could not go to Kṛṣṇa and surrender unto Him. In other words, it is very difficult for one to surrender fully unto the Personality of Godhead without being purified by devotional service. The example of the learned brāhmaṇas and their wives is vivid. The wives of the brāhmaṇas, because they were inspired by pure devotional service, did not care for any kind of opposition. They immediately went to Kṛṣṇa. But the brāhmaṇas, although they had come to know the supremacy of the Lord and were repenting, were still afraid of King Kaṁsa because they were too much addicted to fruitive activities.