It is said "Whenever
the Satanic values come to prevail on the earth and the righteous
values decline, the Supreme Being (the Godhead) embodies Himself forth
as a human-being in order to uproot vice and to establish virtue so
that the earth may get rid of sinners. History stands witness to this
fact. The birth of Lord Krishna, thousands of years ago, can be cited
as an example to prove this fact"
Earth, at that time, was suffering from the tortures of demoniac powers
that were at their hey-day. The pitch darkness of sin prevalent
everywhere was devouring noble values mercilessly. When the mother
Earth could not tolerate all this, she approached Lord Brahma, the
Creator of the world. Lord Brahma escorted her to Lord Vishnu to ask
for His help, Hearing the woeful tale of the Mother Earth, the Lord
consoled her saying. "Don't worry, Goddess Earth! I myself shall come
in the form of Krishna in order to rid you of the clutches of sinners."
This was the background of the incarnation of Lord Krishna. The story
begins when Kansa, son of Ugrasena, the old ruler of Mathura, was
escorting her cousin Devaki and her husband Vasudeva to her in-laws
lust after her marriage with Vasudeva. On tire way, Kansa was startled
to hear a divine voice, which said, "O cruel king! The eighth son of
this very cousin of yours will be your killer.
Having heard the
divine words, Kansa felt worried and at the same time he flew into a
rage. Though his love for his cousin, Devaki, was immense, yet he now
considered her to be his murderer's birth-giver. So, he made up his
mind to kill Devaki instantly. Having resolved to put Devaki to death,
Kansa drew out his sword and thundered, "I will put an end to Devaki's
life. Wherefrom, then, will my murderer be born? When the tree is not
there, there can't be any fruit." Vasudeva was an old friend of Kansa.
He requested the king with folded hands, "Friend! What are you up to?
Devaki is your cousin. I think that you want the divine prophecy not to
come true. So, I give a solemn word to hand over each and every baby to
you as soon as it is born to us." Kansa agreed to what his friend had
offered. He said, "All right! I will not kill Devaki but must keep you
imprisoned here at Mathura. I won't let you go to your own place."
Kansa returned to Mathura along with Devaki and Vasudeva. He took them
prisoners near his palace. At the same time, he imprisoned his old
father, King Ugrasena, so that he might seize the throne and declare
himself king of Mathura. He was sure that his father, if allowed to
continue as king, would not let him kill the babies born to Devaki the
babies born to Devaki.
In due course of time, Devaki gave birth to
her first son. Vasudeva sent the information of this birth to Kansa
through the guards of the prison. Kansa sent for Vasudeva along with
the baby. When Vasudeva came to Kansa with his son in his arms, Kansa
was pleased with him as he had fulfilled his promise. So, he returned
the baby to him and Vasudeva came back to the prison happy and
satisfied. But after an hour or so, Kansa reached the prison in person.
He was almost mad in rage. Ill-advised by someone, he had taken a firm
decision to kill each baby born to her cousin Devaki. So, he snatched
the baby from her and struck it on a stone with the result that it was
killed there and then. In like manner, Kansa put five more sons of
Devaki to death one by one. Out of Kansa's fear, Rohini, the second
wife of Vasudeva left Mathura and began to live at Gokul. Now Devaki
was again in the family way for her seventh issue. Miraculously, her
pregnancy got transferred to Rohini and she gave birth to a son who was
named Balram. In course of time, Devaki was to deliver her eighth son
and she was extremely worried. Vasudeva consoled her saying that it was
this baby who was destined to put an end to the excesses of sinful
In due course of time, Devaki gave birth to her first son.
Vasudeva sent the information of this birth to Kansa through the guards
of the prison. Kansa sent for Vasudeva along with the baby. When
Vasudeva came to Kansa with his son in his arms, Kansa was pleased with
him as he had fulfilled his promise. So, he returned the baby to him
and Vasudeva came back to the prison happy and satisfied. But after an
hour or so, Kansa reached the prison in person. He was almost mad in
rage. Ill-advised by someone, he had taken a firm decision to kill each
baby born to her cousin Devaki. So, he snatched the baby from her and
struck it on a stone with the result that it was killed there and then.
In like manner, Kansa put five more sons of Devaki to death one by one.
Out of Kansa's fear, Rohini, the second wife of Vasudeva left Mathura
and began to live at Gokul. Now Devaki was again in the family way for
her seventh issue. Miraculously, her pregnancy got transferred to
Rohini and she gave birth to a son who was named Balram. In course of
time, Devaki was to deliver her eighth son and she was extremely
worried. Vasudeva consoled her saying that it was this baby who was
destined to put an end to the excesses of sinful Kansa.
After a long
wait, the month of August (Bhandon) approached and soon it was the
eighth day of the waning moon. Devaki and Vasudeva, fettered in chains,
were sitting in their prison-room lost in endless worry. Suddenly,
clouds began to thunder and lightning flashed alarmingly. Through an
open window of the prison entered a dazzling beam of light and a
fascinating voice resounded, "Devaki! I am Vishnu. And I am going to be
born to you shortly." Then the voice addressed Vasudeva, "Vasudeva!
Take me to Nand Baba, Chief of Gokul, as soon as I am born. Just at the
time of my birth, a daughter will be born to Nand Baba's wife. Bring
the girl in lieu of me and put her into Devaki's lap." Hearing these
words of lord Vishnu, Vasudeva and Devaki folded their hands and began
to praise Him. Just at midnight was born Lord Krishna. The baby was
extremely -handsome and lovely. It seemed as if it were smiling to see
them: As soon as Vasudeva thought of carrying the baby to Nand Baba,
who lived at Gokul, his fetters got loose and he was free. And when he
got ready to go, the gates got opened and all the guards were lost in
deep slumber snoring heavily. So, Vasudeva came out unnoticed and
advanced on the path leading to Gokul.
Vasudeva left Mathura and reached the bank of the Yamuna, it began to
rain in torrents and Vasudeva felt worried for his son. But he did not
know that Sheshnaga was following him with his hood spread wide over
the baby with a view to protecting it from the downpour. Before long,
the Yamuna was also flooded. But Vasudeva was determined to reach Gokul
I with h is newborn baby. So, he went on proceeding forward making it a
question of life and death. He went down the ferry and made for the
other bank gradually. Piercing the strong current of the river, he
pushed-forward without looking back. At one stage, the water of the
Yamuna surged upwards with a vengeance but after touching the foot of
Lord Krishna, which he had hung down out of the basket, it receded to
its normal flow. Vasudeva felt encouraged and hastened towards the
other bank. Getting to it, he soon reached Gokul and made for and made
for Nand Baba's house taking help from whoever met him on the way. Nand
Baba was an old friend of Vasudeva and he was highly amazed to see
Vasudeva there with a baby in such a stormy weather.
Nand Baba said
to Vasudeva, "You-and here at this time! How did you get out of the
prison? I am highly pleased to see you here. What can I do for you, my
friend?" Vasudeva replied, "Friend! The time-schedule is very tight. I
have come over to you at the bidding of Lord Vishnu Himself. Here is my
eighth baby--Krishna." Then handing the baby across to Nand Baba,
Vasudeva again said, "You have got to protect safely this baby of mine
as I want to save him from the wrath of merciless Kansa," Nand Baba
replied assuringly, "Vasudeva! Don't worry at all. I will take care of
your son even at the cost of my life." Then Nand Baba again said, "I
have been blessed with a daughter right today. I request you to take
away my daughter in lieu of your son and put her in Devaki's lap so
that sinful Kansa doesn't have anything to doubt." Saying so, Nand Baba
took Krishna inside and put him by the side of his wife, Yashoda. And
picking up his own daughter from there, he brought it out and handed it
over to Vasudeva who, along with the baby-girl, hastened back to
Mathura. When he reached inside the prison, his fetters were again on
The gates also got closed and
the guards woke up to be alert on their duty. Not only this, even the
girl-baby began to weep as if she were born just then. The chief guard
of the prison ran to king Kansa and informed him of the birth of
Devaki's eighth issue. As soon as Kansa heard the news, he was beside
himself with joy and spoke: "After all Devaki has delivered her eighth
baby. I will go to the prison and put it to death in no time." Kansa
reached the prison-room before long and thundered, "Devaki! Hand over
this baby to me; I won't let it remain alive. "But friend! She is a
girl; what will you gain by killing it?" remarked Vasudeva. "Shut up!
Give it to me even if it is a girl." Saying these words, Kansa snatched
the infant girl from Devaki's hands and tried to strike it on a stone.
But the girl slipped out o~ his hand and flew upwards. While going up,
she said, "O sinful Kansa! I am a divine illusion. Your would-be killer
has been born and he is the eighth son of Devaki." As soon as Kansa
heard these words, awe-mixed disappointment overwhelmed his face.
for Gokul, the news of a son born to Nand Baba spread across in the
whole of the village. People began to flock to-congratulate Nand Baba
and his wife Yashoda. Whoever came near the baby could not help gazing
at his face fixedly. The ladies spoke several felicitating sayings to
see infant Krishna. Young dames were really lost seeing the baby. The
loveliness of infant Krishna, in fact, cast a Spell on whoever chanced
to see him. One of the ladies said, "Friends! Yashoda's lovely son has
such a charm that I feel like remaining by his side all the time."
Another said, "How lovely Nand Baba's son is! His charm is really
fascinating." "It seems as if Lord Vishnu Himself has come in the shape
of Yashoda's son," remarked a third woman. As for Nand Baba, he was
busy celebrating the birth of his son. He gave cows, corn, clothes and
ornaments in charity to the Brahmans, musicians and singers. Even small
boys and girls came to have a glimpse of infant Krishna. Each of them
brought some toy in the form of a present for the newborn. Some very
innocent children went to the extent of saying, "Little one! Grow up
soon, we will take you with us for play.