1-2. Sukadeva Gosvami said: Akrura went to Hastinapura, the city distinguished by the glory of the Paurava rulers. There he saw Dhrtarastra, Bhisma, Vidura and Kunti, along with Bahlika and his son Somadatta. He also saw Dronacarya, Krpacarya, Karna, Duryodhana, Asvatthama, the Pandavas and other close friends.
3. After Akrura, the son of Gandini, 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.
4. He remained in Hastinapura 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.
5-6. Kunti and Vidura described to Akrura in detail the evil intentions of Dhrtarastra’s sons, who could not tolerate the great qualities of Kunti’s sons—such as their powerful influence, military skill, physical strength, bravery and humility—or the intense affection the citizens had for them. Kunti and Vidura also told Akrura about how the sons of Dhrtarastra had tried to poison the Pandavas and carry out other such plots.
7. Kuntidevi, taking advantage of her brother Akrura’s visit, approached him confidentially. While remembering her birthplace, she spoke with tears in her eyes.
8. [Queen Kunti said:] O gentle one, do my parents, brothers, sisters, nephews, family women and girlhood friends still remember us?
9. Does my nephew Krsna, the Supreme Personality and the compassionate shelter of His devotees, still remember His aunt’s sons? And does lotus-eyed Rama remember them also?
10. Now that I am suffering in the midst of my enemies like a doe in the midst of wolves, will Krsna come to console me and my fatherless sons with His words?
11. Krsna, Krsna! 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.
13. I offer my obeisances unto You, Krsna, 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.
14. Sukadeva Gosvami said: Thus meditating on her family members and also on Krsna, the Lord of the universe, your great-grandmother Kuntidevi began to cry out in grief, O King.
15. Both Akrura, who shared Queen Kunti’s distress and happiness, and the illustrious Vidura consoled the Queen by reminding her of the extraordinary way her sons had taken birth.
16. The ardent affection King Dhrtarastra felt for his sons had made him act unjustly toward the Pandavas. Just before leaving, Akrura approached the King, who was seated among his friends and supporters, and related to him the message that his relatives—Lord Krsna and Lord Balarama—had sent out of friendship.
17. Akrura said: O my dear son of Vicitravirya, O enhancer of the Kurus’ glory, your brother Pandu having passed away, you have now assumed the royal throne.
18. 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.
19. 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 Pandu’s sons and your own.
20. 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.
22. 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.
23. 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.
24. 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.
25. 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.
26. Dhrtarastra 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.
27. Even so, gentle Akrura, 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.
28. Who can defy the injunctions of the Supreme Lord, who has now descended in the Yadu dynasty to diminish the earth’s burden?
29. 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.
30. Sukadeva Gosvami said: Having thus apprised himself of the King’s attitude, Akrura, the descendant of Yadu, took permission from his well-wishing relatives and friends and returned to the capital of the Yadavas.
31. Akrura reported to Lord Balarama and Lord Krsna how Dhrtarastra was behaving toward the Pandavas. Thus, O descendant of the Kurus, he fulfilled the purpose for which he had been sent.