One among the one thousand names of Viṣṇu (Vishnu). Cruelty or ruthlessness is one of the many traits (dharma) of the human mind. Cruelty arises when deep seated anger takes root. Anger is one of the six cardinal sins of human nature. About the origin of anger, Bhagavadgīta (Bhagavadgita) explicates that continuous preoccupation over material wealth conduces people to become obsessed with it. Obsession leads to lust and lust gives rise to anger—
dhyāyato biṣayāna puṃsaḥ saṅgasteṣupajāyate
saṅgāt saṃjāyate kāmaḥ kāmāt krodho’bhijāyate.
In this context, Śaṅkarācārya (Shankaracharya), annotator of Bhagavadgītā, has said that when lust is hindered, it gives rise to anger—tasmāt kāmāt kutaścit pratihatāt krodho’bhijāyate. And this anger gives birth to cruelty.
Lord Viṣṇu is the ultimate manifestation of the Absolute or brahma; therefore, he is beyond such human considerations and hence unaffected by follies such as lust, anger, and consequently cruelty borne of such vices. He is thus extolled by the appellation of Akrūra.