प्रहस्य किञ्चिन्नोवाच प्रभावज्ञोऽनुजस्य स: ॥ १६ ॥
bhagavān mādhavo balaḥ
prahasya kiñcin novāca
prabhāva-jño ’nujasya saḥ
tān — them; tathā — in such a condition; kātarān — distressed; vīkṣya — seeing; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; mādhavaḥ — the master of all mystic knowledge; balaḥ — Lord Balarāma; prahasya — gently smiling; kiñcit — anything at all; na — did not; uvāca — say; prabhāva-jñaḥ — knowing the power; anujasya — of His younger brother; saḥ — He.
The Supreme Lord Balarāma, the master of all transcendental knowledge, smiled and said nothing when He saw the residents of Vṛndāvana in such distress, since He understood the extraordinary power of His younger brother.
Śrī Balarāma is the plenary expansion of Lord Kṛṣṇa and is thus nondifferent from Him. They are, in fact, the same Absolute Truth manifest in separate forms. According to Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, Lord Balarāma was laughing because He thought, “Kṛṣṇa never cares to play with Me in My form of Śeṣa Nāga, but now He is playing with this ordinary, mundane snake named Kāliya.”
The question may arise as to why Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma allowed Their loving devotees to suffer such great anguish during Kṛṣṇa’s temporary imprisonment within the coils of Kāliya. It must be remembered that because the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana were completely liberated souls, they did not experience material emotions. When they saw their beloved Kṛṣṇa in apparent danger, their love for Him intensified to the highest degree, and thus they merged completely into the ecstasy of love for Him. The whole situation has to be seen from the spiritual point of view, or it will not be seen at all.