Akrura's Transcendental Journey - Part 1

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!

Akrura is one of the greatest devotees of the Lord Krishna. However, by providence he was placed under the demoniac King Kamsa. Akrura's case is similar to the case of Mahajana Bhishmadeva who was serving Duryodhana in Kuru dynasty. It was a longing wish of Akrura to have Lord's darshana while he was serving Kamsa. But, apparently, he had no courage to inform Kamsa. But Krishna is so merciful that He arranges everything for devotees. In this material world too, if we show slight inclination to go to Krishna, Lord comes running with great compassion and pleasure to take us and Lord will see that we will have no hurdles on the path of devotional service.

The word 'akrura' means 'one who is not krura or cruel', which means kind. We should become Akrura in our material life. Unfortunately, we are cruel in every second of our life. We hurt others. We enjoy hurting others. We cannot tolerate others. As Guru Maharaj says, we are non-vegetarians because our mouth is slaughterhouse. Not only our mouth, our mind is slaughterhouse. Purpose of this offering on Akrura is to meditate how much Akrura, a pure devotee of Lord, was excited to have Lord's darshan, how much he remembers Lord on his way to Gokula and Lord's transcendental beauty, qualities etc, how much he was engrossed in it. We visit temple to have Lord's darshan. We have daily darshan at home. But do we have intense desire to have Lord's darshana? Are we longing to see the Lord? Is it not becoming ritual or mechanical? Before going further, let us recite one beautiful prayer by Indra to Lord Krishna in Srimad Bhagavatam SB 10.27.10,

namas tubhyaṁ bhagavate puruṣāya mahātmane
vāsudevāya kṛṣṇāya sātvatāṁ pataye namaḥ

Obeisances unto You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the great Soul, who are all pervading and who resides in the hearts of all. My obeisances unto You, Krishna, the chief of the Yadu dynasty.

Srimad Bhagavatam 10th Canto and Chapter 36 gives wonderful account of Akrura's selection by King Kamsa to bring Lord Krishna and Balaram to Mathura. Narada Muni informs Kamsa that Krishna and Balarama are not sons of Nanda Maharaj but of Vasudeva and Devaki. It is these two boys who killed Kamsa's men. Upon hearing this, King Kamsa became furious and lost control of his senses. He, at once wanted to kill Vasudeva. However, Narada Muni restrained him. After Narada Muni left, King Kamsa sent many demons to kill Krishna. But no one were successful.

Then Kamsa called for Akrura, the most eminent of the Yadus. Here, Bhagavatam calls Akrura, the most eminent. Kamsa addresses Akrura as most charitable one and no one is as kind as Akrura among Bhojas and Vrshnis. Kamsa praises him for carrying out his duties soberly and begs favor from him. Here, interestingly Kamsa compares Akrura to Lord Vishnu and himself to Indra who takes shelter of Lord Vishnu. Surprisingly, Kamsa is aware of Akrura's transcendental qualities and he knows very well that no one can bring Krishna to Mathura other than Akrura. Kamsa instructs Akrura to bring Krishna and Balarama on the pretext of bow sacrifice, so that he will kill them, thereafter kill Vasudeva, his father Ugrasena, uncle Devaka and all his enemies.

Position of Akrura, great devotee of Lord, was awkward. He is overwhelmed with idea of meeting Lord, however, he has been chosen by the king to bring the Lord to Mathura for killing. Akrura was sad and he is warning Kamsa that whatever he planned need not materialize. Further, he wonderfully says in Bhagavatam 10.36.39,

manorathān karoty uccair jano daiva-hatān api
yujyate harṣa-śokābhyāṁ tathāpy ājñāṁ karomi te

An ordinary person is determined to act on his desires even when fate prevents their fulfillment. Therefore he encounters both happiness and distress. Yet even though such is the case, I will execute your order.

Akrura is clearly hinting to Kamsa about his imminent death. Further, he gives a message to all of us that we helplessly have to face distress if we are determined to act for fulfillment of desires, which is beyond our control. Above statement of Akrura is supported by Bhagavatam 4.24.66, where in Lord Siva in his prayers to Lord Krishna says, "My dear Lord, all living entities within this material world are mad after planning for things, and they are always busy with a desire to do this or that. This is due to uncontrollable greed. The greed for material enjoyment is always existing in the living entity, but Your Lordship is always alert, and in due course of time You strike him, just as a snake seizes a mouse and very easily swallows him."

Krishna willing, we shall continue to learn more about Akrura's transcendental journey in the subsequent offerings.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Manohar Suvarna
Abu Dhabi.

Moderator's Note: Shri Manohar Suvarna Prabhuji is a sincere, honest and dedicated devotee attending the congregation programs in Abu Dhabi for more than ten years. Having been influenced by the transcendental touch of our beloved Gurudev HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj, he has very seriously taken to the study of Srimad Bhagavatam in a systematic manner and is an excellent preacher of Srimad Bhagavatam and Srimad Bhagavad Gita. His punctual presence in the Mangala arati without fail is an example for everyone to follow. He is regularly contributing for Shri Radha Neel madhav Temple construction project with great love and a magnanimous heart. He exudes so much faith, enthusiasm, innocence, positive energy and love for Krishna that it is impossible not to get attracted by his preaching.