(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Seeing Him coming out [see 50: 57] like the moon rising, most beautiful to behold, with a dark complexion, a yellow silk garment, the S'rîvatsa on His chest, the brilliant Kaustubha gem decorating His neck, His mighty, long four arms and eyes as pink as newly grown lotuses; His always effulgent, clean, joyful smile to His beautiful cheeks, His lotuslike face and the display of His shark-shaped earrings, thought he [Kâlayavana]: 'This person indeed must be Vâsudeva with the S'rîvatsa, the four arms, the lotus-eyes, the wearing of forest-flowers and with the great beauty. From the marks Nârada mentioned can He be no one else, going there without weapons on foot; I'll fight Him without weapons!' The Yavana thus decided, in pursuit wanted to catch Him who had turned His face away and fled, He, who is unattainable even to the mystic yogis. (7) With every step He made seemed He to be within the reach of his hands and after that way having covered a great distance placed He the lord of the Yavanas before a mountain cave. (8) In his pursuit insulting Him with words like 'Fleeing is for You being born in the Yadu-dynasty improper!', could he, whose mischief had not found its end [yet], not get hold of Him. (9) Even though He was insulted this way, entered the Supreme Lord the mountain cave, but when the Yavana followed Him saw he lying there another man. (10) 'And now, bringing me this long distance is He lying down here like a saint!' and thus erroneously thinking him to be Acyuta, struck he him full force with his foot. (11) The man, waking up after a long period of sleep, slowly opened his eyes and, looking about in every direction, saw him standing beside him. (12) O descendant of Bharata he as such, was by the glance, the angered man cast on him, in a moment burnt to ashes by a fire that generated from within his own body [*].'
(13) The honorable king [Parîkchit] said: 'Who precisely was that person, o brahmin, of which family was he and of what powers; why had he retreated into the cave to sleep and of whose seed was he born that destroyer of the Yavana?'
(14) S'rî S'uka said: 'He is known as Mucukunda. He was born in the Ikshvâku dynasty as a son of Mândhâtâ [see 9.6: 38 and 9.7]. He is a great personality devoted to the brahminical and someone true to his vow in battle. (15) He, on the request of the godly headed by Indra who were terrified because of the Asuras, was for a long time of service to assure them their protection. (16) They, obtaining Guha ['from the cave'; Skanda or Kârttikeya] as their protector of heaven, then said to Mucukunda: 'O King, please desist from the trouble your good self has to protect us. (17) You forgetting all your personal desires have, with abandoning a kingdom in the world of man, for our protection removed those [asura] thorns, o hero. (18) Your children, your queens and your other relatives, ministers, advisors and subjects are not alive now, are not of this time anymore; time swept them away. (19) Time, more powerful than the powerful, is the Supreme Inexhaustible Lord in Control who, playing a game of herdsman and flock, sets the mortal beings in motion. (20) All good fortune to you, choose today any benediction from us except for the one of liberation, for only the Supreme Inexhaustible Lord S'rî Vishnu is capable of that.'
(21) He, for his great fame thus addressed by the demigods, respectfully saluted them and laid himself down in a cave to enjoy the sleep the gods had granted him [**]. (22) After the barbarian was turned into ashes revealed the Supreme Lord, the great hero of the Sâtvatas, Himself to the wise Mucukunda. (23-26) Looking at Him, He who was as dark as a cloud, in a yellow, silken garment, the S'rîvatsa on His chest, the brilliant Kaustubha gem glowing, the four arms and the beautifying Vaijayantî garland; His attractive, calm face and glittering shark-shaped earrings, His affectionate smile appealing to all mankind, His glance, His youthful handsome form, His noble gait and His fire that was like that of a lion - was he, as highly intelligent as he was, overwhelmed by His effulgence, which was a splendor unassailable indeed, and posed he in doubt hesitantly a question. (27) Sr'î Mucukunda said: 'Who are You to join with me in the wilderness in a mountain cave, with Your feet like the petals of a lotus walking the thorny ground? (28) Maybe You're the Supreme Lord, the origin of all empowered beings, or else the god of fire, the sun-god, the moon-god, the king of heaven or perhaps a ruler from another planet? (29) I think You're the God of the three personalities of the demigods, the Greatest, because You dispel the darkness of the cave [the 'heart'] like a lamp with its light. (30) O Most Eminent Among Man, if You like, if You can, veraciously describe for us eager to hear, Your birth, activities and lineage. (31) We from our side, o tiger among men, are descendants of Ikshvâku, a family of kshatriyas. And I, born from the son of Yuvanâs'va, am called Mucukunda o Lord. (32) Because I remained awake for a long time was I, fatigued in my senses and overwhelmed by sleep, to my comfort lying in this solitary place and have I now been awakened by someone. (33) That person turned to ashes indeed out of his own sinful conduct only, and Your good Self so glorious, o Chastiser of Enemies, I saw following immediately thereafter. (34) Because of Your unbearable effulgence are we, diminished in our faculties, not able to behold You, o most Gracious One; You are to be honored by all embodied beings!'
(35) Thus addressed by the king replied the Supreme Lord and Origin of All Creation, smiling broadly, with words deep as the rumbling of clouds. (36) The Supreme Lord said: 'My births, activities and names are there by the thousands, My dearest, limitless as they are they cannot even be enumerated by Me! (37) Some time, after many lives, one might count the particles of dust on earth, but never ever so My many qualities, activities, names and births. (38) Not even the greatest sages counting My births and activities taking place to the three of time [past, present, future], o King, can reach the end of them [compare 8.5: 6 and 8.23: 29]. (39-40) Nonetheless, o friend, just hear from Me about the current one, this Speaker. In the past I was beseeched by Lord Brahmâ [see 3.9 and also 10.14] to secure the dharma and destroy the demons who are a burden to the earth, and so I descended into the Yadu dynasty in the home of Vasudeva and do the people as such call Me Vâsudeva, the son of Vasudeva. (41) Kâlanemi I killed [see 10.8: 56], Kamsa [10.44], Pralamba [10.18] and others envious of the virtuous, and this Yavana, o King was burned by your scorching glance. (42) I, that very same person caring for the devotees, approached this cave for the sake of favoring you, because you in the past have often prayed for it. (43) Tell Me what you want Me to bless you with, o saintly King, I will give you all that you desire; any person who has satisfied Me, will never again need to lament.'
(44) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus being addressed bowing down to Him spoke Mucukunda remembering the words of Garga [***], being filled with joy knowing He was Nârâyana the [original] Godhead. (45) S'rî Mucukunda said: 'This person, not of worship for You, can, bewildered by Your deluding potency mâyâ o Lord, not see his own benefit when he, wishing for happiness, gets cheated as a family man - or also as a woman - who being entangled goes for things that bring misery. (46) The person who somehow or other attaining to what is rarely obtained in this world - a human form and not the paws, but not being of worship doesn't try to go, o sinless one, for Your lotuslike feet, has, impure in his mentality, like an animal fallen in the blind well of his home. (47) O Unconquerable One, wasting my time on this, I built a kingdom and opulence that now are all gone; intoxicated as an earthly ruler who mistakes the mortal frame for himself, suffered I endless anxieties getting attached to children, wives, riches and land. (48) Minding this body, which is a confinement like a pot or a wall, I thus thought myself to be a god among man, surrounded as I was by chariots, elephants, horses, infantry and generals with whom I traveled around on this earth without seriously regarding You in my great pride. (49) Forgetful about what needs to be done, hankering for sense objects endlessly ruminating with an ever growing greed, is one suddenly confronted with You, the one who does mind; You are like what death is to a mouse in front of a hungry snake that licks its fangs. (50) Previously named 'the king' riding chariots furnished with gold or fierce elephants is that same one unavoidably with the Time of Your body called 'feces', 'worms' and 'ashes' [see also 16.4: 2-6]. (51) Full circle having conquered the directions with no opposition to fear and being seated on a throne and praised by kings alike is the person in his home like a pet led about, sexually borrowing his happiness from women, o Lord. (52) In that enviously reaching for more, performs he with penance his duties in strictly avoiding pleasures, but thinking of himself as 'I the greater sovereign' can he, whose urges are so pronounced, not attain happiness. (53) When it happens that the wandering person reaches the end of his material existence will at that time o Infallible One, the association of the good and honest [the sat-sanga] be found after which next the devotion is born for Him who for the virtuous is the only goal as the Lord of the Higher [cause] and Lower [effects]. (54) I think o Lord that, with the spontaneous removal of the attachment to my kingdom, You've been merciful with me: it is that for which the saintly rulers of endless stretches of land pray when, wishing the solitude, they enter the forest. (55) I do not desire anything else but to be of service at Your feet that to those not desiring a material life are the object of desire, the boon sought, o Almighty one; what faithful man of worship for You, the Bestower of the Path of Emancipation, o Lord, would as a boon choose for that which causes his bondage? (56) Therefore o Lord, entirely putting aside the worldly blessings from which one is entangled in the modes of passion, ignorance and goodness, am I approaching You, the Original Person of Pure Knowledge free from mundane designations who is nondual and supreme above the modes. (57) For long was I full of remorse distressed in the world being tormented by disturbances; with my six enemies [the senses and the mind] never satisfied there was no way to find peace o Bestower of the Shelter, please o Lord protect me who facing these dangers, o Supreme Soul, approached Your lotusfeet, the truth free from sorrow ridding of fear.'
(58) The Supreme Lord said: 'O great King, emperor of all, even though being tempted to ask for benedictions were you, capable of mind, impeccable in not being spoiled by desires. (59) Please know that the fact that you were tempted with benedictions was to prove your freedom from bewilderment; never is the exclusive[-ly to Me devoted] intelligence of the bhaktas diverted by material blessings. (60) With those who in not being devoted to Me are occupying themselves with breathing exercises and such, is, since they did not eliminate the traces of material desire [the vâsanâs], o King, observed that again their minds awaken [to sense-gratification]. (61) Wander this earth as you like and may, with your mind fixed on Me, there for you thus always be the devotion for Me that does not fail. (62) Following the dharma of the ruling class you've killed living beings when you were hunting and with other actions; that sin you should uproot completely in fully being focussed in penances in which you seek My shelter. (63) In your birth immediately hereafter o King, will you, becoming a supreme well-wisher to all living beings, be a fine brahmin going for Me only [see also B.G. 5: 29].'