Seeing King Mucukunda eager to know about His identity, Lord Kṛṣṇa answered smilingly as follows: “My dear King, it is practically impossible to tell about My birth, appearance, disappearance and activities. Perhaps you know that My incarnation Anantadeva has unlimited mouths, and for an unlimited time He has been trying to narrate fully about My name, fame, qualities, activities, appearance, disappearance and incarnations, but still He has not been able to finish. Therefore, it is not possible to know exactly how many names and forms I possess. It may be possible for a material scientist to estimate the number of atomic particles which make up this earthly planet, but the scientist cannot enumerate My unlimited names, forms and activities. Many great sages and saintly persons have tried to list My different forms and activities, yet they have failed to make a complete list. But since you are so eager to know about Me, I may inform you that I have now appeared on this planet just to annihilate the demoniac principles of the people in general and reestablish the religious principles enjoined in the Vedas. I have been invited for this purpose by Brahmā, the superintending deity of this universe, and thus I have now appeared in the dynasty of the Yadus as one of their family members. I have specifically taken My birth as the son of Vasudeva in the Yadu dynasty, and people therefore know Me as Vāsudeva, the son of Vasudeva. You may also know that I have killed Kaṁsa, who in a previous life was known as Kālanemi, as well as Pralambāsura and many other demons. They have acted as My enemies, and I have killed them. The demon who was present before you also acted as My enemy, and you have very kindly burned him to ashes by glancing over him. My dear King Mucukunda, you are My great devotee, and just to show you My causeless mercy I have appeared in this cave. I am very affectionately inclined toward My devotees, and in your previous life, before your present condition, you acted as My great devotee and prayed for My causeless mercy. I have therefore come to see you to fulfill your desire. Now you can see Me to your heart’s content. My dear King, now you may ask from Me any benediction you wish, and I am prepared to fulfill your desire. It is My eternal principle that anyone who comes under My shelter must have all his desires fulfilled by My grace.”
When Lord Kṛṣṇa ordered King Mucukunda to ask a benediction from Him, the King was joyful, and he immediately remembered the prediction of Garga Muni, who had foretold long before that in the twenty-eighth millennium of Vaivasvata Manu, Lord Kṛṣṇa would appear on this planet. As soon as he remembered this prediction, he understood that the Supreme Person, Nārāyaṇa, was present before Him as Lord Kṛṣṇa. He immediately fell down at His lotus feet and began to pray as follows.
“My dear Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, I can understand that all living entities on this planet are illusioned by Your external energy and enamored of the illusory satisfaction of sense gratification. Being fully engaged in illusory activities, they are reluctant to worship Your lotus feet, and because they are unaware of the benefits of surrendering unto Your lotus feet, they are subjected to various miserable conditions of material existence. They are foolishly attached to so-called society, friendship and love, which merely produce different kinds of miseries. Illusioned by Your external energy, everyone, whether man or woman, is attached to this material existence, and all are engaged in cheating one another in a great society of the cheaters and the cheated. These foolish persons, not knowing how fortunate they are to have obtained this human form of life, are reluctant to worship Your lotus feet. By the influence of Your external energy, they are attached to the glare of material activities, to so-called society, friendship and love, like dumb animals that have fallen into a dark well.” The example of a dark well is given because in the fields there are many wells, unused for years and covered over by grass, and poor animals, not knowing of them, fall into them, and unless rescued they die. Being captivated by a few blades of grass, the animals fall into a dark well and meet death. Similarly, foolish persons, without knowing the importance of the human form of life, spoil it simply for sense gratification and die without any useful purpose.
“My dear Lord, I am not an exception to this universal law of material nature. I am also a foolish person who has wasted his time for nothing. And my position is especially difficult. On account of my being situated in the royal order, I was more puffed up than ordinary persons. An ordinary man thinks he is the proprietor of his body or his family, but I began to think in that way on a larger scale. I wanted to be the master of the whole world, and as I became puffed up with ideas of sense gratification, my bodily concept of life became stronger and stronger. My attachment for home, wife and children, for money and supremacy over the world, became more and more acute; in fact, it was limitless. So I remained always attached to thoughts of my material living conditions.
“Therefore, my dear Lord, I wasted so much of my valuable lifetime with no benefit. As my misconception of life intensified, I began to think of this material body, which is just a bag of flesh and bones, as the all in all, and in my vanity I believed I had become the king of human society. In this misconception of bodily life I traveled all over the world, accompanied by my military strength—soldiers, charioteers, elephants and horses. Assisted by many commanders and puffed up by power, I could not trace out Your Lordship, who always sit within my heart as the most intimate friend. I did not care for You, and this was the fault of my so-called exalted material condition. I think that, like me, all living creatures are careless about spiritual realization and are always full of anxieties, thinking, ‘What is to be done? What is next?’ But because we are strongly bound by material desires, we continue to remain in craziness.