Mucukunda's Liberation - Part 1

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

Mucukunda was one of the great devotees of Lord Krishna. He was born in the Ikshvaku dynasty as the son of Mandhata. He followed brahminical culture although was a born kshatriya. He was longing for darshan of Lord Krishna. We will try to purify ourselves by contemplating on good qualities of Mucukunda and his invaluable realizations, which pleased Lord Krishna and led to Mucukunda's liberation. 

1. Renouncement pleases Krishna: At the request of Indra and demigods, Mucukunda fought against demons and protected demigods from demons for hundreds of years. He renounced his family, and kingdom for the cause of demigods. When demigods obtained Kartikeya as their general, demigods requested Mucukunda to give up his duty. It was then demigods informed Mucukunda that His family and relatives are no longer there to serve him. Further, saintly King Mucukunda never thought about his personal desire, sense enjoyment and luxury all along. Now, as demigods were very much pleased with his dedicated and selfless services, they offered him benediction. Here, again it is amazing that Mucukunda did not ask for kingdom, queens, servants and soldiers as benediction. This is the quality of devotee of Lord Krishna. He asked for the strange benediction of long sleep and no one to disturb him. One who disturbs his sleep will be burnt to ashes by his glance. Mucukunda went to mountain cave and slept there for a long time. Bhagavatam says he slept for such a long time that when he woke up he realized that it is Kaliyuga wherein size of men, animals, plants have drastically reduced.

Kalayavana, son of Gargya, born out of Lord Siva's boon to his father was a terror to Yadu dynasty. There is a small story for the birth of Kalayavana. Once, Gargya was ridiculed by his brother-in-law as a eunuch, and when the Yadavas heard this they laughed heartily. Angered by their laughter, Gargya set out for the south, thinking, 'May I have a son who will bring terror to the Yadavas.' He worshipped Lord Shiva and got a son Kalayavana. Once Kalayavana enquired Narada Muni about the strongest people on the earth. Narada Muni responded that Yadus were strongest. This is the strange reason for which Kalayavana wished to fight with Supreme Lord Krishna. But Krishna avoided fighting and wanted Kalayavana to be killed by his devotee Mucukunda. Thus, Lord Krishna led Kalayavana into the mountain cave where Mucukunda was sleeping. Kalayavana was very angry, although he followed Krishna swiftly, for he could not catch Him. Inside the cave, Kalayavana found someone sleeping. Thinking him to be Krishna, Kalayavana kicked him with all his strength. It was Mucukunda, who woke up from sleep angrily and glanced at Kalayavana, burning him to ashes.

Now, Lord Krishna reveals his four-armed beautiful effulgent form to Mucukunda. Adorned with a Vaijayanti garland, the Lord displayed His handsome, peaceful face, which attracts the eyes of all mankind with its shark-shaped earrings and affectionately smiling glance. The beauty of His youthful form was unexcelled. Mucukunda was overwhelmed by Lord's effulgence. After introducing himself as fallen kshatriya, Mucukunda hesitatingly, humbly asked the Lord who he was. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 10.51.34, Mucukunda very nicely glorifies the Lord as follows.

tejasā te ’viṣahyeṇa bhūri draṣṭuṁ na śaknumaḥ
hataujasā mahā-bhāga mānanīyo ’si dehinām

Your unbearably brilliant effulgence overwhelms our strength, and thus we cannot fix our gaze upon You. O exalted one, You are to be honored by all embodied beings.

Here, we need to learn from Mucukunda, the quality of a devotee who paid obeisances to Lord and glorified Him even before knowing that he is Supreme Personality of Godhead. He did not glorify his dynasty, nor he boast about his selfless service to demigods. He accepted Lord's supremacy.

Krishna willing, we shall continue to learn more about Mucukunda in the subsequent offerings.

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