Śrīmad Bhāgavatam|Canto 10 Chapter 49

Akrūra’s Mission in Hastināpura

VERSE 10.49.1-2

śrī-śuka uvāca

sa gatvā hāstinapuraṁ
pauravendra-yaśo-’ṅkitam
dadarśa tatrāmbikeyaṁ
sa-bhīṣmaṁ viduraṁ pṛthām

saha-putraṁ ca bāhlīkaṁ
bhāradvājaṁ sa-gautamam
karnaṁ suyodhanaṁ drauṇiṁ
pāṇḍavān suhṛdo ’parān

SYNONYMS

śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; saḥ — he (Akrūra); gatvā — going; hāstina-puram — to Hastināpura; paurava-indra — of the rulers of the dynasty of Pūru; yaśaḥ — by the glory; aṅkitam — decorated; dadarśa — he saw; tatra — there; āmbikeyam — the son of Ambikā (Dhṛtarāṣṭra); sa — together with; bhīṣmam — Bhīṣma; viduram — Vidura; pṛthām — Pṛthā (Kuntī, the widow of King Pāṇḍu); saha-putram — with his son (namely, Somadatta); ca — and; bāhlīkam — Mahārāja Bāhlīka; bhāradvājam — Droṇa; sa — and; gautamam — Kṛpa; karṇam — Karṇa; suyodhanam — Duryodhana; drauṇim — the son of Droṇa (Aśvatthāmā); pāṇḍavān — the sons of Pāṇḍu; suhṛdaḥ — friends; aparān — other.

TRANSLATION

Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Akrūra went to Hastināpura, the city distinguished by the glory of the Paurava rulers. There he saw Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Bhīṣma, Vidura and Kuntī, along with Bāhlika and his son Somadatta. He also saw Droṇācārya, Kṛpācārya, Karṇa, Duryodhana, Aśvatthāmā, the Pāṇḍavas and other close friends.

VERSE 10.49.3

yathāvad upasaṅgamya
bandhubhir gāndinī-sutaḥ
sampṛṣṭas taiḥ suhṛd-vārtāṁ
svayaṁ cāpṛcchad avyayam

SYNONYMS

yathā-vat — appropriately; upasaṅgamya — meeting; bandhubhiḥ — with his relatives and friends; gāndinī-sutaḥ — Akrūra, son of Gāndinī; sampṛṣṭaḥ — inquired from; taiḥ — by them; suhṛt — of their dear ones; vārtām — for news; svayam — himself; ca — in addition; apṛcchat — asked; avyayam — about their well-being.

TRANSLATION

After Akrūra, the son of Gāndinī, had appropriately greeted all his relatives and friends, they asked him for news of their family members, and he in turn asked about their welfare.

VERSE 10.49.4

uvāsa katicin māsān
rājño vṛtta-vivitsayā
duṣprajasyālpa-sārasya
khala-cchandānuvartinaḥ

SYNONYMS

uvāsa — resided; katicit — some; māsān — months; rājñaḥ — of the King (Dhṛtarāṣṭra); vṛtta — the activity; vivitsayā — with the desire of finding out; duṣprajasya — whose sons were wicked; alpa — weak; sārasya — whose determination; khala — of mischievous persons (like Karṇa); chanda — the desires; anuvartinaḥ — who tended to follow.

TRANSLATION

He remained in Hastināpura for several months to scrutinize the conduct of the weak-willed King, who had bad sons and who was inclined to give in to the whims of mischievous advisers.

VERSE 10.49.5-6

teja ojo balaṁ vīryaṁ
praśrayādīṁś ca sad-guṇān
prajānurāgaṁ pārtheṣu
na sahadbhiś cikīṛṣitam

kṛtaṁ ca dhārtarāṣṭrair yad
gara-dānādy apeśalam
ācakhyau sarvam evāsmai
pṛthā vidura eva ca

SYNONYMS

tejaḥ — the influence; ojaḥ — skill; balam — strength; vīryam — bravery; praśraya — humility; ādīn — and so on; ca — and; sat — excellent; guṇān — qualities; prajā — of the citizens; anurāgam — the great affection; pārtheṣu — for the sons of Pṛthā; na sahadbhiḥ — of those who could not tolerate; cikīrṣitam — the intentions; kṛtam — had been done; ca — also; dhārtarāṣṭraiḥ — by the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra; yat — what; gara — of poison; dāna — the giving; ādi — and so on; apeśalam — unbecoming; ācakhyau — told; sarvam — everything; eva — indeed; asmai — to him (Akrūra); pṛthā — Kuntī; viduraḥ — Vidura; eva ca — both.

TRANSLATION

Kuntī and Vidura described to Akrūra in detail the evil intentions of Dhṛtarāṣṭra’s sons, who could not tolerate the great qualities of Kuntī’s sons — such as their powerful influence, military skill, physical strength, bravery and humility — or the intense affection the citizens had for them. Kuntī and Vidura also told Akrūra about how the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra had tried to poison the Pāṇḍavas and carry out other such plots.

VERSE 10.49.7

pṛthā tu bhrātaraṁ prāptam
akrūram upasṛtya tam
uvāca janma-nilayaṁ
smaranty aśru-kalekṣaṇā

SYNONYMS

pṛthā — Kuntī; tu — and; bhrātaram — her brother (more exactly, the grandson of Vṛṣṇi, her own and Vasudeva’s tenth-generation ancestor); prāptam — obtained; akrūram — Akrūra; upasṛtya — approaching; tam — him; uvāca — she said; janma — of her birth; nilayam — the home (Mathurā); smarantī — remembering; aśru — of tears; kalā — with traces; īkṣaṇā — whose eyes.

TRANSLATION

Kuntīdevī, taking advantage of her brother Akrūra’s visit, approached him confidentially. While remembering her birthplace, she spoke with tears in her eyes.

VERSE 10.49.8

api smaranti naḥ saumya
pitarau bhrātaraś ca me
bhaginyau bhrātṛ-putrāś ca
jāmayaḥ sakhya eva ca

SYNONYMS

api — whether; smaranti — they remember; naḥ — us; saumya — O gentle one; pitarau — parents; bhrātaraḥ — brothers; ca — and; me — my; bhaginyau — sisters; bhrātṛ-putrāḥ — brother’s sons; ca — and; jāmayaḥ — women of the family; sakhyaḥ — girlfriends; eva ca — also.

TRANSLATION

[Queen Kuntī said:] O gentle one, do my parents, brothers, sisters, nephews, family women and girlhood friends still remember us?

VERSE 10.49.9

bhrātreyo bhagavān kṛṣṇaḥ
śaraṇyo bhakta-vatsalaḥ
paitṛ-ṣvasreyān smarati
rāmaś cāmburuhekṣaṇaḥ

SYNONYMS

bhrātreyaḥ — brother’s son; bhagavān — the Supreme Lord; kṛṣṇaḥ — Kṛṣṇa; śaraṇyaḥ — the giver of shelter; bhakta — to His devotees; vatsalaḥ — compassionate; paitṛ-svasreyān — the sons of His father’s sister; smarati — remembers; rāmaḥ — Lord Balarāma; ca — and; amburuha — like lotus petals; īkṣaṇaḥ — whose eyes.

TRANSLATION

Does my nephew Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality and the compassionate shelter of His devotees, still remember His aunt’s sons? And does lotus-eyed Rāma remember them also?

VERSE 10.49.10

sapatna-madhye śocantīṁ
vṛkānāṁ hariṇīm iva
sāntvayiṣyati māṁ vākyaiḥ
pitṛ-hīnāṁś ca bālakān

SYNONYMS

sapatna — of enemies; madhye — in the midst; śocantīm — who is lamenting; vṛkānām — of wolves; hariṇīm — a doe; iva — like; sāntvayiṣyati — will He console; mām — me; vākyaiḥ — with His words; pitṛ — of their father; hīnān — deprived; ca — and; bālakān — young boys.

TRANSLATION

Now that I am suffering in the midst of my enemies like a doe in the midst of wolves, will Kṛṣṇa come to console me and my fatherless sons with His words?

VERSE 10.49.11

kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa mahā-yogin
viśvātman viśva-bhāvana
prapannāṁ pāhi govinda
śiśubhiś cāvasīdatīm

SYNONYMS

kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa — O Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa; mahā-yogin — possessor of the greatest spiritual power; viśva-ātman — O Supreme Soul of the universe; viśva-bhāvana — O protector of the universe; prapannām — a surrendered lady; pāhi — please protect; govinda — O Govinda; śiśubhiḥ — along with my children; ca — and; avasīdatīm — who am sinking down in distress.

TRANSLATION

Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa! O great yogi! O Supreme Soul and protector of the universe! O Govinda! Please protect me, who have surrendered to You. I and my sons are being overwhelmed by trouble.

VERSE 10.49.12

nānyat tava padāmbhojāt
paśyāmi śaraṇaṁ nṛṇām
bibhyatāṁ mṛtyu-saṁsārād
īsvarasyāpavargikāt

SYNONYMS

na — no; anyat — other; tava — Your; pada-ambhojāt — than the lotus feet; paśyāmi — I see; śaraṇam — shelter; nṛṇām — for men; bibhyatām — fearful; mṛtyu — of death; saṁsārāt — and rebirth; īśvarasya — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; āpavargikāt — which give liberation.

TRANSLATION

For persons fearful of death and rebirth, I see no shelter other than Your liberating lotus feet, for You are the Supreme Lord.

VERSE 10.49.13

namaḥ kṛṣṇāya śuddhāya
brahmaṇe paramātmane
yogeśvarāya yogāya
tvām ahaṁ śaraṇaṁ gatā

SYNONYMS

namaḥ — obeisances; kṛṣṇāya — to Kṛṣṇa; śuddhāya — the pure; brahmaṇe — the Absolute Truth; parama-ātmane — the Supersoul; yoga — of pure devotional service; īśvarāya — the controller; yogāya — the source of all knowledge; tvām — You; aham — I; śaraṇam — for shelter; gatā — have approached.

TRANSLATION

I offer my obeisances unto You, Kṛṣṇa, the supreme pure, the Absolute Truth and the Supersoul, the Lord of pure devotional service and the source of all knowledge. I have come to You for shelter.

VERSE 10.49.14

śrī-śuka uvāca

ity anusmṛtya sva-janaṁ
kṛṣṇaṁ ca jagad-īśvaram
prārudad duḥkhitā rājan
bhavatāṁ prapitāmahī

SYNONYMS

śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; iti — as expressed in these words; anusmṛtya — remembering; sva-janam — her own relatives; kṛṣṇam — Kṛṣṇa; ca — and; jagat — of the universe; īśvaram — the Supreme Lord; prārudat — she cried loudly; duḥkhitā — unhappy; rājan — O King (Parīkṣit); bhavatām — of your good self; prapitāmahī — the great-grandmother.

TRANSLATION

Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Thus meditating on her family members and also on Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of the universe, your great-grandmother Kuntīdevī began to cry out in grief, O King.

VERSE 10.49.15

sama-duḥkha-sukho ’krūro
viduraś ca mahā-yaśāḥ
sāntvayām āsatuḥ kuntīṁ
tat-putrotpatti-hetubhiḥ

SYNONYMS

sama — equal (with her); duḥkha — in distress; sukhaḥ — and happiness; akrūraḥ — Akrūra; viduraḥ — Vidura; ca — and; mahā-yaśāḥ — most famous; sāntvayām āsatuḥ — the two of them consoled; kuntīm — Śrīmatī Kuntīdevī; tat — her; putra — of the sons; utpatti — of the births; hetubhiḥ — with explanations about the origins.

TRANSLATION

Both Akrūra, who shared Queen Kuntī’s distress and happiness, and the illustrious Vidura consoled the Queen by reminding her of the extraordinary way her sons had taken birth.

VERSE 10.49.16

yāsyan rājānam abhyetya
viṣamaṁ putra-lālasam
avadat suhṛdāṁ madhye
bandhubhiḥ sauhṛdoditam

SYNONYMS

yāsyan — when he was about to go; rājānam — the King (Dhṛtarāṣṭra); abhyetya — going up to; viṣamam — biased; putra — toward his sons; lālasam — ardently affectionate; avadat — he spoke; suhṛdām — relatives; madhye — among; bandhubhiḥ — by well-wishing relatives (Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Balarāma); sauhṛda — in friendship; uditam — what had been said.

TRANSLATION

The ardent affection King Dhṛtarāṣṭra felt for his sons had made him act unjustly toward the Pāṇḍavas. Just before leaving, Akrūra approached the King, who was seated among his friends and supporters, and related to him the message that his relatives — Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Balarāma — had sent out of friendship.

VERSE 10.49.17

akrūra uvāca

bho bho vaicitravīrya tvaṁ
kurūṇāṁ kīrti-vardhana
bhrātary uparate pāṇḍāv
adhunāsanam āsthitaḥ

SYNONYMS

akrūraḥ uvāca — Akrūra said; bhoḥ bhoḥ — O my dear, my dear; vaicitravīrya — son of Vicitravīrya; tvam — you; kurūṇām — of the Kurus; kīrti — the glory; vardhana — O you who increase; bhrātari — your brother; uparate — having passed away; pāṇḍau — Mahārāja Pāṇḍu; adhunā — now; āsanam — the throne; āsthitaḥ — have assumed.

TRANSLATION

Akrūra said: O my dear son of Vicitravīrya, O enhancer of the Kurus’ glory, your brother Pāṇḍu having passed away, you have now assumed the royal throne.

VERSE 10.49.18

dharmeṇa pālayann urvīṁ
prajāḥ śīlena rañjayan
vartamānaḥ samaḥ sveṣu
śreyaḥ kīrtim avāpsyasi

SYNONYMS

dharmeṇa — religiously; pālayan — protecting; urvīm — the earth; prajāḥ — the citizens; śīlena — by good character; rañjayan — delighting; vartamānaḥ — remaining; samaḥ — equally disposed; sveṣu — to your relatives; śreyaḥ — perfection; kīrtim — glory; avāpsyasi — you will achieve.

TRANSLATION

By religiously protecting the earth, delighting your subjects with your noble character, and treating all your relatives equally, you will surely achieve success and glory.

VERSE 10.49.19

anyathā tv ācaraḻ loke
garhito yāsyase tamaḥ
tasmāt samatve vartasva
pāṇḍaveṣv ātmajeṣu ca

SYNONYMS

anyathā — otherwise; tu — however; ācaran — acting; loke — in this world; garhitaḥ — condemned; yāsyase — you will attain; tamaḥ — darkness; tasmāt — therefore; samatve — in equanimity; vartasva — remain situated; pāṇḍaveṣu — toward the Pāṇḍavas; ātma-jeṣu — toward your sons; ca — and.

TRANSLATION

If you act otherwise, however, people will condemn you in this world, and in the next life you will enter the darkness of hell. Remain equally disposed, therefore, toward Pāṇḍu’s sons and your own.

VERSE 10.49.20

neha cātyanta-saṁvāsaḥ
kasyacit kenacit saha
rājan svenāpi dehena
kim u jāyātmajādibhiḥ

SYNONYMS

na — not; iha — in this world; ca — and; atyanta — perpetual; saṁvāsaḥ — association (dwelling together); kasyacit — of anyone; kenacit saha — with anyone; rājan — O King; svena — with one’s own; api — even; dehena — body; kim u — what to speak then; jāyā — with wife; ātma-ja — children; ādibhiḥ — and so on.

TRANSLATION

In this world no one has any permanent relationship with anyone else, O King. We cannot stay forever even with our own body, what to speak of our wife, children and the rest.

VERSE 10.49.21

ekaḥ prasūyate jantur
eka eva pralīyate
eko ’nubhuṅkte sukṛtam
eka eva ca duṣkṛtam

SYNONYMS

ekaḥ — alone; prasūyate — is born; jantuḥ — a living creature; ekaḥ — alone; eva — also; pralīyate — meets his demise; ekaḥ — alone; anubhuṅkte — enjoys as is due him; sukṛtam — his good reactions; ekaḥ — alone; eva ca — and surely; duṣkṛtam — bad reactions.

TRANSLATION

Every creature is born alone and dies alone, and alone one experiences the just rewards of his good and evil deeds.

VERSE 10.49.22

adharmopacitaṁ vittaṁ
haranty anye ’lpa-medhasaḥ
sambhojanīyāpadeśair
jalānīva jalaukasaḥ

SYNONYMS

adharma — by irreligious means; upacitam — gathered; vittam — wealth; haranti — steal; anye — other persons; alpa-medhasaḥ — of one who is unintelligent; sambhojanīya — as requiring support; apadeśaiḥ — by the false designations; jalāni — water; iva — as; jala-okasaḥ — of a resident of the water.

TRANSLATION

In the guise of dear dependents, strangers steal the sinfully acquired wealth of a foolish man, just as the offspring of a fish drink up the water that sustains the fish.

VERSE 10.49.23

puṣṇāti yān adharmeṇa
sva-buddhyā tam apaṇḍitam
te ’kṛtārthaṁ prahiṇvanti
prāṇā rāyaḥ sutādayaḥ

SYNONYMS

puṣṇāti — nourishes; yān — which things; adharmeṇa — by sinful activity; sva-buddhyā — thinking them to be his own; tam — him; apaṇḍitam — uneducated; te — they; akṛta-artham — his purposes frustrated; prahiṇvanti — abandon; prāṇāḥ — life air; rāyaḥ — wealth; suta-ādayaḥ — children and others.

TRANSLATION

A fool indulges in sin to maintain his life, wealth and children and other relatives, for he thinks, “These things are mine.” In the end, however, these very things all abandon him, leaving him frustrated.

VERSE 10.49.24

svayaṁ kilbiṣam ādāya
tais tyakto nārtha-kovidaḥ
asiddhārtho viśaty andhaṁ
sva-dharma-vimukhas tamaḥ

SYNONYMS

svayam — for himself; kilbiṣam — sinful reaction; ādāya — taking on; taiḥ — by them; tyaktaḥ — abandoned; na — not; artha — the purpose of his life; kovidaḥ — knowing properly; asiddha — unfulfilled; arthaḥ — whose goals; viśati — he enters; andham — blind; sva — his own; dharma — to the religious duty; vimukhaḥ — indifferent; tamaḥ — darkness (of hell).

TRANSLATION

Abandoned by his so-called dependents, ignorant of the actual goal of life, indifferent to his real duty, and having failed to fulfill his purposes, the foolish soul enters the blindness of hell, taking his sinful reactions with him.

VERSE 10.49.25

tasmāl lokam imaṁ rājan
svapna-māyā-manoratham
vīkṣyāyamyātmanātmānaṁ
samaḥ śānto bhava prabho

SYNONYMS

tasmāt — therefore; lokam — world; imam — this; rājan — O King; svapna — as a dream; māyā — a magic trick; manaḥ-ratham — or a fantasy in the mind; vīkṣya — seeing; āyamya — bringing under control; ātmanā — by intelligence; ātmānam — the mind; samaḥ — equal; śāntaḥ — peaceful; bhava — become; prabho — my dear master.

TRANSLATION

Therefore, O King, looking upon this world as a dream, a magician’s illusion or a flight of fancy, please control your mind with intelligence and become equipoised and peaceful, my lord.

VERSE 10.49.26

dhṛtarāṣṭra uvāca

yathā vadati kalyāṇīṁ
vācaṁ dāna-pate bhavān
tathānayā na tṛpyāmi
martyaḥ prāpya yathāmṛtam

SYNONYMS

dhṛtarāṣṭraḥ uvāca — Dhṛtarāṣṭra said; yathā — as; vadati — speak; kalyāṇīm — auspicious; vācam — words; dāna — of charity; pate — O master; bhavān — you; tathā — so; anayā — by this; na tṛpyāmi — I am not satiated; martyaḥ — a mortal; prāpya — attaining; yathā — as if; amṛtam — the nectar of immortality.

TRANSLATION

Dhṛtarāṣṭra said: O master of charity, I can never be satiated while hearing your auspicious words. Indeed, I am like a mortal who has obtained the nectar of the gods.

VERSE 10.49.27

tathāpi sūnṛtā saumya
hṛdi na sthīyate cale
putrānurāga-viṣame
vidyut saudāmanī yathā

SYNONYMS

tathā api — nevertheless; sūnṛtā — pleasing words; saumya — O gentle one; hṛdi — in my heart; na sthīyate — do not remain steady; cale — which is unsteady; putra — for my sons; anurāga — by affection; viṣame — prejudiced; vidyut — lightning; saudāmanī — in a cloud; yathā — as.

TRANSLATION

Even so, gentle Akrūra, because my unsteady heart is prejudiced by affection for my sons, these pleasing words of yours cannot remain fixed there, just as lightning cannot remain fixed in a cloud.

VERSE 10.49.28

īśvarasya vidhiṁ ko nu
vidhunoty anyathā pumān
bhūmer bhārāvatārāya
yo ’vatīrṇo yadoḥ kule

SYNONYMS

īśvarasya — of the Supreme Lord; vidhim — the law; kaḥ — what; nu — at all; vidhunoti — can shake off; anyathā — otherwise; pumān — person; bhūmeḥ — of the earth; bhāra — the burden; avatārāya — in order to diminish; yaḥ — who; avatīrṇaḥ — has descended; yadoḥ — of Yadu; kule — in the family.

TRANSLATION

Who can defy the injunctions of the Supreme Lord, who has now descended in the Yadu dynasty to diminish the earth’s burden?

VERSE 10.49.29

yo durvimarśa-pathayā nija-māyayedaṁ
sṛṣṭvā guṇān vibhajate tad-anupraviṣṭaḥ
tasmai namo duravabodha-vihāra-tantra-
saṁsāra-cakra-gataye parameśvarāya

SYNONYMS

yaḥ — who; durvimarśa — inconceivable; pathayā — whose path; nija — by His own; māyayā — creative energy; idam — this universe; sṛṣṭvā — creating; guṇān — its modes; vibhajate — He distributes; tat — within it; anupraviṣṭaḥ — entering; tasmai — to Him; namaḥ — obeisances; duravabodha — unfathomable; vihāra — of whose pastimes; tantra — the purport; saṁsāra — of birth and death; cakra — the cycle; gataye — and liberation (coming from whom); parama-īśvarāya — to the supreme controller.

TRANSLATION

I offer my obeisances to Him, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who creates this universe by the inconceivable activity of His material energy and then distributes the various modes of nature by entering within the creation. From Him, the meaning of whose pastimes is unfathomable, come both the entangling cycle of birth and death and the process of deliverance from it.

VERSE 10.49.30

śrī-śuka uvāca

ity abhipretya nṛpater
abhiprāyaṁ sa yādavaḥ
suhṛdbhiḥ samanujñātaḥ
punar yadu-purīm agāt

SYNONYMS

śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; iti — thus; abhipretya — ascertaining; nṛpateḥ — of the King; abhiprāyam — the mentality; saḥ — he; yādavaḥ — Akrūra, the descendant of King Yadu; suhṛdbhiḥ — by his well-wishers; samanujñātaḥ — given permission to leave; punaḥ — again; yadu-purīm — to the city of the Yadu dynasty; agāt — went.

TRANSLATION

Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Having thus apprised himself of the King’s attitude, Akrūra, the descendant of Yadu, took permission from his well-wishing relatives and friends and returned to the capital of the Yādavas.

VERSE 10.49.31

śaśaṁsa rāma-kṛṣṇābhyāṁ
dhṛtarāṣṭra-viceṣṭitam
pāṇdavān prati kauravya
yad-arthaṁ preṣitaḥ svayam

SYNONYMS

śaśaṁsa — he reported; rāma-kṛṣṇābhyām — to Lord Balarāma and Lord Kṛṣṇa; dhṛtarāṣṭra-viceṣṭitam — the behavior of King Dhṛtarāṣṭra; pāṇḍavān prati — toward the sons of Pāṇḍu; kauravya — O descendant of the Kurus (Parīkṣit); yat — for which; artham — purpose; preṣitaḥ — sent; svayam — himself.

TRANSLATION

Akrūra reported to Lord Balarāma and Lord Kṛṣṇa how Dhṛtarāṣṭra was behaving toward the Pāṇḍavas. Thus, O descendant of the Kurus, he fulfilled the purpose for which he had been sent.