There lived a King named Ugrasen. He had two children, prince Kansa and princess Devaki. Prince Kansa was evil by nature. When Kansa grew up, he imprisoned his own father Ugrasen and made himself a king.
Soon, his sister Devaki was married to King Vasudev. However, after the wedding, Kansa heard a divine warning from the sky, "O King! Your sister’s eighth son will grow up to kill you." After Kansa heard this, he was afraid. Immediately he imprisoned his own sister Devaki and her husband king Vasudev, and kept them under continuous watch.
When Devaki became pregnant for the eighth time, King Vasudev’s friend’s (King Nanda’s) wife Yashoda was also pregnant. The eighth child, Lord Krishna, was born to queen Devaki at midnight in the prison.
As stated in the Bhagavad-gita, the Lord says that His appearance, birth, and activities, are all transcendental, and one who understands them factually becomes immediately eligible to be transferred to the spiritual world. The Lord's appearance or birth is not like that of an ordinary man who is forced to accept a material body according to his past deeds.He appears out of His own sweet pleasure. When the time was mature for the appearance of the Lord, the constellations became very auspicious. At that time, in all directions, east, west, south, north, everywhere, there was an atmosphere of peace and prosperity. There were auspicious stars visible in the sky, and on the surface in all towns and villages or pasturing grounds and within the minds of everyone there were signs of good fortune. The rivers were flowing full of waters, and lakes were beautifully decorated with lotus flowers. The forests were full with beautiful birds and peacocks. All the birds within the forests began to sing with sweet voices, and the peacocks began to dance along with their consorts. The wind blew very pleasantly, carrying the aroma of different flowers.
As soon as the eighth child was born, Lord Vishnu appeared in divine form and the prison was filled with a dazzling light. Both Devaki and Vasudev prayed to Lord Vishnu. At the same time as Lord Krishna was born in the prison, the divine energy of Lord Vishnu was born in Gokul, as a baby girl to queen Yashoda.
|Vasudev Taking the Lord Krishna Across the River|
Vasudev immediately followed the advice. As he carried the child in his arms, he found that the prison doors opened automatically and the guards were put to sleep by God. Vasudev approached the Yamuna River, which was very turbulent due to fierce winds and rain. However, as soon as Vasudev reached the riverbank, the river parted and made way for Vasudev carrying the divine child. Vasudev reached the opposite bank of the river safely and found all the people of Gokul fast asleep. He entered the palace of king Nanda and queen Yashoda, and put the baby Krishna in the place of Yashoda’s baby girl. Then Vasudev returned to the prison with the baby girl.
As soon as Vasudev laid the baby girl by Devaki’s side, the prison doors shut automatically. The guards were now awake and were startled by the cries of the baby girl. The guards ran to Kansa and announced the birth of the eighth child.
Kansa rushed to execute the child in the prison, remembering the divine warning that the eighth child would kill him. Devaki appealed, "O Kansa, this baby is a girl, and not the boy that the divine warning told you about. How can this child harm you?" However, Kansa ignored her, snatched the child from her lap, and hurled the child against the prison wall.
The child did not fall down; instead, she flew up and appeared in the sky as a Goddess with eight arms, each arm carrying a weapon. She said, "O evil king! You will gain nothing by killing me. The one who will destroy you is elsewhere." Then the Goddess disappeared. Kansa freed Vasudev and Devaki from prison.
Meanwhile, there was great rejoicing in Gokul, hailing the birth of a son in the household of Nanda. Nanda named the child Krishna. Entire Gokul wore a festive appearance. The streets were swept clean and all the houses were decorated with flags and flowers. Cows were smeared with turmeric, and adorned with peacock feathers and garlands. All people of Gokul danced in joy and flocked to Nanda’s house to see baby Krishna and to offer gifts.