1) The princes learnt all the divine astras from Dronacharya, who had in turn obtained them from Sri Parashurama. Among all of them, Arjuna excelled the most.
2) Bhima, through his inherent talent, knew the divine astras even more. However, he never considered the art of fighting through astras as a superior Dharma.
3) Requesting the Devatas can never be part of the excellent Bhagavata Dharma, can it? The principle is that even with Sri Hari himself nothing apart from knowledge, devotion and his contentment must be sought. That being the case it is self-evident that one should not ask anything from others. Isn’t an astra something that would grant a material benefit (victory against an enemy)?
4) Vrikodara is one who is always engaged in the pure Bhagavata Dharma. He never undertook any pursuits with material gains in mind. Therefore he never asked anything from either the Devatas or humans.
5) Even with Sri Hari he never asked anything for material gains. He asked Bhiksha too by employing a loud roar like how one receives tax from Vaishyas.
Note: This incident happens during the stay of the Pandavas in Ekachakranagara.
6) Apart from Sri Hari, he never lost to any other Devata. He never worshiped anyone else either. He never opposed anything that went against (the wishes of) Sri Hari.
7) Bhima never fought against any opponent in war when unarmed. He never used weapons against them thus. He never ran away from any battle. He never cheated or deceived people.
8) He never permitted even the final rites of those who hated Sri Hari. He too personally never performed them. He never conducted himself in any way that would bring joy to non-Vaishnavas.
9) Bhima did not make friendship with non-Vaishnavas. Nor did he make enmity with Vaishnavas. If someone derided Sri Vishnu even when he was not around, he would cut their tongues!
10) He would kill those whose conduct went against Sri Vishnu. He used to get others also to kill such people. Bhima never was in doubt on matters of Dharma or knowledge.
11) He never deployed his knowledge as a means of survival even when under the greatest danger. That is why he never answered the questions of Yama or Nahusha.
12) As per the orders of Sri Hari he employed astras to counter and defeat the astras of Ashwathama. Similarly he used astras against Alambusa when he resorted to fighting invisibly. Apart from these situations, he never used astras at any cost.
13) Apart from Arjuna, there was none who was equal to Ashwathama when it came to proficiency with astras. Therefore, in order to show the proficiency of Bhima in all branches of knowledge, Sri Krishna had ordered Bhima to use astras against Ashwathama and against Alambusa.
14) Sri Krishna had ordered Bhima, keeping in mind the ways of the world, to bow before those Devatas who appeared in person and to those who were elder to him and those who were elderly relatives.
15) Even during such instances, Bhima bowed only to Sri Vishnu who was inside them and not to others. During the two incidents when he used astras, he did so by encouraging the Devatas to release those astras, and not by requesting them.
16) After Bhima, it was only Draupadi who was always on the path of Bhagavata Dharma. Therefore, she did not ask Dhritharashtra any boon for herself.
17) Similarly, she did not curse the sons of Dhritharashtra even when under the greatest danger. Neither through her words nor in her thoughts did she ever go against Sri Keshava.
18) The others (Devatas) even though devotees did deviate from the path of Dharma a few times.
19) Balarama spoilt his mind (against Sri Krishna) for the sake of the Syamantaka jewel. During the incident involving the protection of the Brahmana’s kid, Arjuna insulted Sri Krishna.
20) Pradyumna, Uddhava, Samba, Aniruddha and the others opposed the giving of Subhadra into Arjuna’s hands knowing fully well that it was the wish of Sri Krishna. Satyaki sometimes used to think that Arjuna was equal to Sri Krishna.