By Swami Harshananda
Many great kings of the epic and the paurāṇic period were also deeply religious and intensely devoted to God. Mucukunda, one of the three sons of the king Māndhātā, the other two being Purukutsa and Ambarīṣa, was a rājarṣi of this type. After fighting with the rāksasas on behalf of the devas at their request and helping them to win, he got the boon of a long and deep sleep as rest. He was also assured that anyone disturbing his sleep would be reduced to ashes by his very look.
When the demon Kālayavana attacked Mathurā, Śrī Kṛṣṇa maneuvered to lead him into the dark cave where Mucukunda was sleeping. Kālayavana kicked Mucukunda thinking that he was Kṛsṅa. When Mucukunda opened his eyes in anger and looked at him, he was immediately reduced to ashes. As Kṛṣṇa appeared and revealed his divine form, Mucukunda praised him with a beautiful hymn. There is a hillock near Dholpur in Rajasthan. A cave in this hillock is said to be the place where Mucukunda slept.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore