Journey of Akrura to Gokula
1-2AKRŪRA, having set off in his quick travelling car, proceeded to visit Kṛṣṇa at the pastures of Nanda; and, as he went along, he congratulated himself on his superior good fortune, in having an opportunity of beholding a descended portion of the deity.
3-8“Now,” thought he, “has my life borne fruit; my night is followed by the dawn of day; since I shall see the countenance of Viṣṇu, whose eyes are like the expanded leaf of the lotus. I shall behold that lotus-eyed aspect of Viṣṇu, which, when seen only in imagination, takes away the sins of men. I shall to-day behold that glory of glories, the mouth of Viṣṇu, whence proceeded the Vedas, and all their dependant sciences. I shall see the sovereign of the world, by whom the world is sustained; who is worshipped as the best of males, as the male of sacrifice in sacrificial rites. I shall see Keśava, who is without beginning or end; by worshipping whom with a hundred sacrifices, Indra obtained the sovereignty over the gods.
9-15That Hari, whose nature is unknown to Brahmā, Indra, Rudra, the Aśvins, the Vasus, Ādityas, and Maruts, will this day touch my body. The soul of all, the knower of all, he who is all, and is present in all, he who is permanent, undecaying, all-pervading, will converse with me. He, the unborn, who has preserved the world in the various forms of a fish, a tortoise, a boar, a horse, a lion, will this day speak to me. Now the lord of the earth, who assumes shapes at will, has taken upon him the condition of humanity, to accomplish some object cerished in his heart. That Ananta, who holds the earth upon his crest, and who has descended upon earth for its protection, will this day call me by my name. Glory to that being, whose deceptive adoption of father, son, brother, friend, mother, and relative, the world is unable to penetrate. Glory to him, who is one with true knowledge, who is inscrutable, and through whom, seated in his heart, the Yogi crosses the wide expanse of worldly ignorance and illusion.
16-18I bow to him, who, by the performers of holy rites, is called the male of sacrifice (Yajñapuruṣa); by pious worshippers is termed Vāsudeva; and by the cultivators of philosophy, Viṣṇu. May he in whom cause and effect, and the world itself, is comprehended, be propitious to me, through his truth; for always do I put my trust in that unborn, eternal Hari; by meditation on whom, man becomes the repository of all good things.”
19-25His mind thus animated by devout faith, and meditating in this manner, Akrūra proceeded on his road, and arrived at Gokula a little before sunset, at the time of the milking of the cows; and there he saw Kṛṣṇa amongst the cattle, dark as the leaf of the full blown lotus; his eyes of the same colour, and his breast decorated with the Srivatsa mark; long armed, and broad chested; having a high nose, and a lovely countenance, brightened with mirthful smiles; treading firmly on the ground, with feet whose nails were tinted red; clad in yellow garments, and adorned with a garland of forest flowers; having a fresh-gathered creeper in his hand, and a chaplet of white lotus flowers on his head. Akrūra also beheld there Balabhadra, white as a jasmine, a swan, or the moon, and dressed in blue raiment; having large and powerful arms, and a countenance as radiant as a lotus in bloom; like another Kailāsa mountain, crested with a wreath of clouds.
26-31When Akrūra saw these two youths, his countenance expanded with delight, and the down of his body stood erect with pleasure: for this he thought to be supreme happiness and glory; this, the double manifestation of the divine Vāsudeva; this was the twofold gratification of his sight, to behold the creator of the universe: now he hoped that his bodily form would yield fruit, as it would bring him in contact with the person of Kṛṣṇa; and that the wearer of infinite forms would place his hand on his back; the touch of whose finger alone is sufficient to dispel sin, and to secure imperishable felicity: that hand which launches the fierce irresistible discus, blazing with all the flames of fire, lightning, and the sun, and slaughtering the demon host washes the collyrium from the eyes of their brides: that hand into which Bali poured water, and thence obtained ineffable enjoyments below the earth, and immortality and dominion over the gods for a whole Manvantara, without peril from a foe.
32-34“Alas! he will despise me, for my connexion with Kansa, an associate with evil, though not contaminated by it. How vain is his birth, who is shunned by the virtuous? and yet what is there in this world unknown to him who resides in the hearts of all men, who is ever existent, exempt from imperfection, the aggregate of the quality of purity, and identical with true knowledge? With a heart wholly devoted to him, then, I will approach the lord of all lords, the descended portion of Puruṣottama, of Viṣṇu, who is without beginning, middle, or end.”
 The commentator explains this to mean Hayagrīva, or Viṣṇu with the neck and head of a horse; who, it is said in the second book of the Bhāgavata, appeared at the end of a great sacrifice performed by Brahmā, and breathed from his nostrils the texts of the Vedas. The fourth Avatāra is always elsewhere said to be the Vāmana, or dwarf.