Akrura’s Longing for Shri Krishna

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Akrura’s Longing for Shri Krishna
In the divine land Braj, the towns of Mathura and Vrindavan are located close to each other. Yet, for Akrura, it was the longest journey of his life.  It is said that when one visits Vrindavan to see the Lord, he / she should have the same longing that Akrura once had. During the descension of Lord Krishna, he had waited for this day for the past twelve years.
From the very day Krishna was born, Akrura knew that his little nephew was none other than the Lord of the universe.  If only Krishna had grown up in Mathura, the devoted uncle that he was, Akrura would have carried him around everywhere on his shoulders and never let him down. As such he had been a dutiful minister to Kamsa, but within his heart the yearning to see his Krishna grew by the minute.  Without Krishna’s will, none can get even the tiniest glimpse of him but when he wills, even a tyrant like Kamsa facilitates one’s meeting with Krishna. Akrura was very well cognizant of Kamsa’s plan. He knew that he was being sent to Vrindavan only to drag Krishna into Kamsa’s wicked conspiracy but there was no doubt in his mind that everything was happening exactly as per Krishna’s plan.
As he set out in his chariot, he wondered how he would introduce himself to Krishna. Perhaps, he could introduce himself as an uncle and very befittingly hug Krishna. But that sounded quite absurd in his mind. How can there exist an uncle to the creator of the creator? Perhaps he could introduce himself as a devotee and simply fall at his lotus feet. But that sounded even more absurd. He knew Krishna was sarvagya, the ‘all-knowing’. Krishna was the one who created him and he was the one who gave him the good fortune of becoming a devotee. So in effect, it would be like introducing Krishna’s creation to Krishna and that just didn’t sound right!
While these questions whirled around in his mind, his eyes fell on several foot prints along the path. Some footprints had the marks of conch and discus in them and some didn’t. He immediately recognized them as the footprints of Krishna and his dear friends. He brought his chariot to a screeching halt. For Akrura, it was like seeing Krishna himself. He carefully got down so as to not muddle them and gently put his cheek against them. What penance had those cowherd boys done to walk next to him, with their hands on his shoulders? What penance did they do to have Krishna carry them on his back? Perhaps applying the dust of their feet on his head would give him some of their fortune! He smeared it all over his body! He knew that Krishna had the most special place in his heart for those boys. Now that the dust of their feet was all over his body, Akrura felt sure that he had entered Krishna’s heart! His feet became light as feather as he jumped up high in sheer bliss!
The next moment, his heart became heavy with love. He fell down low and burst into tears. Krishna’s foot prints caught him like a father’s arms. Like a baby, he curled himself and cried uncontrollably, kissing them to his heart’s content. He felt sure that Krishna would hold him in a soft embrace. His heart filled with anticipation. How was Krishna going to receive him? Would he be waiting at the door? Would Balaram be next to him? Would they recognize him? Would they take him inside their house? These questions not only made his head spin, but fueled his chariot as well! If it had traveled any faster, it would have raced past light, for it was taking him to see the light of his life, the apple of his eyes, his treasure trove, his darling Krishna!


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