loka-palais ca pujitan
yatha kakah purodasam
saparyam katham arhati
How can you pass over the most exalted members of this assembly — topmost sages dedicated to the Absolute Truth endowed with powers of austerity, divine insight and strict adherence to severe vows, sanctified by knowledge and worshiped even by the rulers of the universe? How does this cowherd boy, the disgrace of His family, deserve your worship, any more than a crow deserves to eat the sacred purodasa rice cake?
The great commentator Sridhara Svami has analyzed Sisupala’s words as follows. The term go-pala means not only “cowherd” but also “protector of the Vedas and the earth.” Similarly, kula-pamsana has a double meaning. Sisupala intended it to mean “the disgrace of His family,” which is its meaning when divided as above. But the word may also be analyzed as ku-lapam amsana, giving a totally different meaning. Kulapam indicates those who prattle with crooked words contrary to the Vedas, and amsana, derived from the verb amsayati, means “destroyer.” In other words, he was praising Lord Krsna as “He who vanquishes all misguided and frivolous speculations about the nature of truth.” Similarly, although Sisupala wanted to compare Lord Krsna to a crow with the words yatha kakah, these words may also be divided yatha a-kakah. In that case, according to Srila Sridhara Svami, the word kaka is a combination of ka and aka, which indicate material happiness and misery. Thus Lord Krsna is akaka in the sense that He is beyond all material misery and happiness, being on the pure, transcendental platform. Finally, Sisupala was right in saying the Lord Krsna does not deserve merely the purodasa rice cake, offered to the lesser demigods as a substitute for the heavenly beverage soma. In fact, Lord Krsna deserves to receive everything that we possess, since He is the ultimate proprietor of everything, including ourselves. Thus we should give Lord Krsna our life and soul, not merely a ritualistic offering of rice cakes.