When Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared before Mucukunda, the King saw Him dressed in a yellow garment, His chest marked with the symbol of Śrīvatsa, and the Kaustubha-maṇi jewel hanging around His neck. Kṛṣṇa appeared before him with four hands, as viṣṇu-mūrti, with a garland called Vaijayantī hanging from His neck down to His knees. He looked lustrous, His face was beautifully smiling, and He wore nice jeweled earrings on His ears. Kṛṣṇa appeared more beautiful than a human can conceive. Not only did He appear in this feature, but He glanced over Mucukunda with great affection, attracting the King’s mind. Although He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the oldest of all, He looked like a fresh young boy, and His movements were just like those of a free deer. Still, He appeared extremely powerful; His influence and vast power are so great that every human being should be afraid of Him.
When King Mucukunda saw Kṛṣṇa’s magnificent features, he wondered about His identity, and with great humility he asked the Lord, “My dear Lord, may I inquire how it is that You happened to be in the cave of this mountain? Who are You? I can see that Your feet are just like soft lotus flowers. How could You walk in the forest, full of thorns and pebbles? I am simply surprised to see this! Are You not, therefore, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the most powerful amongst the powerful? Are You not the original source of all illumination and fire? Can I consider You one of the great demigods, like the sun-god, the moon-god or Indra, King of heaven? Or are You the predominating deity of some other planet?”
Mucukunda knew well that every higher planetary system has a predominating deity. He was not ignorant like modern men who think that this planet earth is full of living entities and all others are vacant. The inquiry from Mucukunda about Kṛṣṇa’s being the predominating deity of a planet unknown to him is quite appropriate. Because he was a pure devotee of the Lord, King Mucukunda could immediately understand that Lord Kṛṣṇa, who had appeared before him in such an opulent feature, could not be one of the predominating deities of the material planets. He must be the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, who has many Viṣṇu forms. Mucukunda therefore took Him to be Puruṣottama, Lord Viṣṇu. He could see also that the dense darkness within the mountain cave had been dissipated by the Lord’s presence; therefore He could not be other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Mucukunda knew very well that wherever the Lord is personally present by His transcendental name, qualities, form and so on, there cannot be any darkness of ignorance. He is like a lamp placed in the darkness; He immediately illuminates a dark place.
King Mucukunda was eager to know the identity of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and therefore he said, “O best of human beings, if You think I am fit to know Your identity, kindly tell me who You are. What is Your parentage? What is Your occupational duty, and what is Your family tradition?” King Mucukunda thought it wise, however, to identify himself to the Lord first; otherwise he had no right to ask the Lord’s identity. Etiquette is such that a person of less importance cannot ask the identity of a person of higher importance without first disclosing his own identity. King Mucukunda therefore told Lord Kṛṣṇa, “My dear Lord, let me first inform You of my identity. I belong to the most celebrated dynasty of King Ikṣvāku, but personally I am not as great as my forefather. My name is Mucukunda. My father’s name was Māndhātā, and my grandfather was the great king Yuvanāśva. I was very much fatigued due to not resting for many thousands of years, and because of this all my bodily limbs were slack and almost incapable of acting. To revive my energy, I was taking rest in this solitary cave, but I have been awakened by some unknown man who has forced me to wake up although I was not willing to do so. For such an offensive act, I have burned this person to ashes simply by glancing over him. Fortunately, now I can see You in this grand and beautiful feature. I think, therefore, that You are the cause of my killing my enemy. My dear Lord, I must admit that due to Your bodily effulgence, unbearable to my eyes, I cannot see You properly. I can fully realize that the influence of Your effulgence has diminished my power. I can understand that You are quite fit for being worshiped by all living entities.”