When Mucukunda, the celebrated descendant of the Ikṣvāku dynasty, was favored by Lord Kṛṣṇa, he circumambulated the Lord within the cave and then came out. On coming out of the cave, Mucukunda saw that the human species had surprisingly been reduced in stature to pygmy size. Similarly, the trees had also been far reduced in size, and Mucukunda could immediately understand that the current age was Kali-yuga. Therefore, without diverting his attention, he began to travel north. Eventually he reached the mountain known as Gandhamādana, where there were many trees, such as sandalwood and other flowering trees, whose fragrance made anyone who reached them joyful. He decided to remain in that Gandhamādana Mountain region to execute austerities and penances for the rest of his life. It appears that this place is situated in the northernmost part of the Himalayan Mountains, where the abode of Nara-Nārāyaṇa is situated. This place is still existing and is called Badarikāśrama. In Badarikāśrama he engaged himself in the worship of Lord Kṛṣṇa, tolerating all kinds of pains and pleasures and the other dualities of this material world. Lord Kṛṣṇa returned to the vicinity of Mathurā, where He fought with the soldiers of Kālayavana and killed them one after another. After this, He collected all the booty from the dead bodies, and under His direction it was loaded on bullock carts and brought back to Dvārakā.
Meanwhile, Jarāsandha again attacked Mathurā, this time with bigger divisions of soldiers, numbering twenty-three akṣauhiṇīs.
Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa wanted to save Mathurā from the eighteenth attack of the great military divisions of King Jarāsandha. To prevent further killing of soldiers and to attend to other important business, Lord Kṛṣṇa left the battlefield without fighting. Actually He was not at all afraid, but He pretended to be an ordinary human being frightened by the immense quantity of soldiers and resources of Jarāsandha. Without any weapons Kṛṣṇa left the battlefield. Although His lotus feet were as soft as the petals of a lotus flower, He proceeded for a very long distance on foot.
This time, Jarāsandha thought that Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were very much afraid of his military strength and were fleeing the battlefield. He followed Them with all his chariots, horses and infantry. He thought Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma to be ordinary human beings, and he was trying to measure the activities of the Lord. Due to this pastime Kṛṣṇa is known as Raṇacora, which means “one who has left the battlefield.” In India, especially in Gujarat, there are many temples of Kṛṣṇa known as temples of Raṇacorajī. Ordinarily, if a king leaves the battlefield without fighting he is called a coward, but when Kṛṣṇa enacts this pastime, leaving the battlefield without fighting, He is worshiped by the devotees. A demon always tries to measure the opulence of Kṛṣṇa, whereas a devotee never tries to measure His strength and opulence but always surrenders unto Him and worships Him. By following in the footsteps of pure devotees, we can know that Kṛṣṇa, the Raṇacoraji, left the battlefield not because He was afraid but because He had some other purpose. The purpose, as it will be revealed, was to attend to a confidential letter sent by Rukmiṇī, His future first wife. Kṛṣṇa’s leaving the battlefield is a display of one of His six opulences. Kṛṣṇa is the supreme powerful, the supreme wealthy, the supreme famous, the supreme wise and the supreme beautiful; similarly, He is the supreme renouncer. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam clearly states that He left the battlefield in spite of having ample military strength. Even without His militia, He alone would have been sufficient to defeat the army of Jarāsandha, as He had done seventeen times before. Therefore, His leaving the battlefield is an example of His supermost opulence, renunciation.
After traversing a very long distance, the brothers pretended to become tired. To mitigate Their weariness, They climbed up a mountain many miles above sea level. This mountain was called Pravarṣaṇa due to constant rain, for the peak was always covered with clouds sent by Indra. Jarāsandha took it for granted that the two brothers were afraid of his military power and had hidden Themselves at the top of the mountain. First he tried to find Them, searching for a long time, but when he failed he decided to trap and kill Them by setting fires around the peak. He therefore surrounded the peak with firewood and set it ablaze. As the fire spread more and more, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma jumped from the top of the mountain down to the ground—a distance of eighty-eight miles. Thus, while the peak was burning up, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma escaped, unseen by Jarāsandha or his men. Jarāsandha concluded that the two brothers had burned to ashes and that there was no need of further fighting. Thinking himself successful in his efforts, he left the city of Mathurā and returned to his home in the kingdom of Magadha. Gradually Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma reached the city of Dvārakā, which was surrounded by the sea.