When Kṛṣṇa entered the wrestling arena with Balarāma and Their friends, He appeared differently to different people according to their different relationships (rasas) with Him. Kṛṣṇa is the reservoir of all pleasure and all kinds of rasas, both favorable and unfavorable. He appeared to the wrestlers exactly like a thunderbolt. To the people in general He appeared as the most beautiful personality. To the females He appeared to be the most attractive male, Cupid personified, and thus He increased their lust. The cowherd men who were present there looked upon Kṛṣṇa as their own kinsman, coming from the same village of Vṛndāvana. The impious kṣatriya kings who were present saw Him as the strongest ruler and their chastiser. To the parents of Kṛṣṇa, Nanda and Yaśodā, He appeared to be the most loving child. To Kaṁsa, the king of the Bhoja dynasty, He appeared to be death personified. To the unintelligent, He appeared to be an incapable personality. To the yogīs present, He appeared to be the Supersoul. To the members of the Vṛṣṇi dynasty He appeared to be the most celebrated descendant. Thus appreciated differently by different kinds of people present, Kṛṣṇa entered the wrestling arena with Balarāma and His cowherd boyfriends. Having heard that Kṛṣṇa had already killed the elephant Kuvalayāpīḍa, Kaṁsa knew beyond doubt that Kṛṣṇa was formidable. He thus became very much afraid of Him. Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma had long arms. They were beautifully dressed, and They were attractive to all the people assembled there. They were dressed as if They were going to act on a dramatic stage, and They drew the attention of all people.
The citizens of Mathurā City who saw Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, became very much pleased and began to look on His face with insatiable glances, as if they were drinking the nectar of heaven. Seeing Kṛṣṇa gave them so much pleasure that it appeared as if they were not only drinking the nectar of seeing His face but were also smelling the aroma and licking up the taste of His body and were embracing Him and Balarāma with their arms. They began to talk among themselves about the two transcendental brothers. For a long time they had heard of the beauty and activities of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, but now they were personally seeing Them face to face. They thought that Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were two plenary incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, who had appeared in Vṛndāvana.
The citizens of Mathurā began to recite Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes—His birth as the son of Vasudeva, His being taken into the care of Nanda Mahārāja and his wife in Gokula, and all those events leading to His coming to Mathurā to favor them. They spoke of the killing of the demon Pūtanā, as well as the killing of Tṛṇāvarta, who came as a whirlwind. They also recalled the deliverance of the twin brothers from within the yamala-arjuna trees. The citizens of Mathurā spoke among themselves: “Śaṅkhacūḍa, Keśī, Dhenukāsura and many other demons were killed by Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma in Vṛndāvana. Kṛṣṇa also saved all the cowherd men of Vṛndāvana from a devastating fire. He chastised the Kāliya snake in the water of the Yamunā, and He curbed the false pride of the heavenly king, Indra. Kṛṣṇa held up the great Govardhana Hill in one hand for seven continuous days and saved all the people of Gokula from incessant rain, hurricane and hailstorm.” They also began to remember other enlivening activities: “The damsels of Vṛndāvana were so much pleased by seeing Kṛṣṇa’s beauty and participating in His activities that they forgot the troubles of material existence. By seeing Kṛṣṇa and thinking of Him, they forgot all sorts of fatigue.” The Mathurā citizens discussed the dynasty of Yadu, saying that because of Kṛṣṇa’s appearance in this dynasty the Yadus would remain the most celebrated family in the whole universe. The citizens of Mathurā then began to talk about Balarāma. They spoke of His very beautiful lotus-petal eyes, and they remarked of Him, “This boy has killed the Pralamba demon and many others also.” While they were thus talking about the activities of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, they heard the vibrations of different bands announcing the wrestling match.