Gradually Akrūra learned from Kuntī and Vidura that the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra were intolerant and envious of the five Pāṇḍava brothers because of their extraordinary learning in military science and their greatly developed bodily strength. The Pāṇḍavas acted as truly chivalrous heroes, exhibited all the good qualities of kṣatriyas and were very responsible princes, always thinking of the welfare of the citizens. Akrūra also learned that the envious sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra had tried to kill the Pāṇḍavas by poisoning them.
Akrūra happened to be one of the cousins of Kuntī; therefore, after meeting him, she began to inquire about her paternal relatives. Thinking of her birthplace and beginning to cry, she asked Akrūra whether her father, mother, brothers, sisters and other friends at home still remembered her. She especially inquired about Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, her glorious nephews. She asked, “Does Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is very affectionate to His devotees, remember my sons? Does Balarāma remember us?” Inside herself, Kuntī felt like a she-deer in the midst of tigers, and actually her position was like that. After the death of her husband, King Pāṇḍu, she was supposed to take care of the five Pāṇḍava children, but the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra were always planning to kill them. She was certainly living like a poor innocent animal in the midst of several tigers. Being a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa, she always thought of Him and expected that one day Kṛṣṇa would come and save them from their dangerous position. She inquired from Akrūra whether Kṛṣṇa proposed to come to advise the fatherless Pāṇḍavas how to get free of the intrigues of Dhṛtarāṣṭra and his sons. Talking with Akrūra about all these affairs, she felt herself helpless and exclaimed, “My dear Kṛṣṇa, my dear Kṛṣṇa! You are the supreme mystic, the Supersoul of the universe. You are the real well-wisher of the whole universe. My dear Govinda, at this time You are far away from me, yet I pray to surrender unto Your lotus feet. I am now grief-stricken with my five fatherless sons. I can fully understand that but for Your lotus feet there is no shelter or protection. Your lotus feet can deliver all aggrieved souls because You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One can be safe from the clutches of repeated birth and death by Your mercy only. My dear Kṛṣṇa, You are the supreme pure one, the Supersoul and the master of all yogīs. What can I say? I can simply offer my respectful obeisances unto You. Accept me as Your fully surrendered devotee.”
Although Kṛṣṇa was not present before her, Kuntī offered her prayers to Him as if she were in His presence face to face. This is possible for anyone following in the footsteps of Kuntī. Kṛṣṇa does not have to be physically present everywhere. He is actually present everywhere by spiritual potency, and one simply has to surrender unto Him sincerely.
When Kuntī was offering her prayers very feelingly to Kṛṣṇa, she could not check herself and began to cry loudly before Akrūra. Vidura was also present, and both Akrūra and Vidura became very sympathetic to the mother of the Pāṇḍavas and began to solace her by glorifying her five sons, namely Yudhiṣṭhira, Arjuna, Bhīma, Nakula and Sahadeva. They pacified her, saying that her sons were extraordinarily powerful; she should not be perturbed about them, since they were born of great demigods like Yamarāja, Indra and Vāyu.
Akrūra decided to return home and report on the strained circumstances in which he found Kuntī and her five sons. He first wanted to give good advice to Dhṛtarāṣṭra, who was so favorably inclined toward his own sons and unfavorably inclined toward the Pāṇḍavas. When King Dhṛtarāṣṭra was sitting among friends and relatives, Akrūra began to address him, calling him Vaicitravīrya. Vaicitravīrya means “the son of Vicitravīrya.” Vicitravīrya was the name of Dhṛtarāṣṭra’s father, but Dhṛtarāṣṭra was actually the begotten son not of Vicitravīrya but of Vyāsadeva. Formerly it was the system that if a man were unable to beget a child, his brother could beget a child in the womb of his wife (devareṇa sutotpattiḥ). That system is now forbidden in this Age of Kali. Akrūra called Dhṛtarāṣṭra Vaicitravīrya sarcastically because he was not actually begotten by his father. He was the son of Vyāsadeva. When a child was begotten in the wife by the husband’s brother, the child was claimed by the husband, but of course the child was not begotten by the husband. This sarcastic remark pointed out that Dhṛtarāṣṭra was falsely claiming the throne on hereditary grounds. Actually Pāṇḍu had been the rightful king, and in the presence of Pāṇḍu’s sons, the Pāṇḍavas, Dhṛtarāṣṭra should not have occupied the throne.