sarvah purvavad avrtah
tato bala-dhvanim srutva
Sukadeva Gosvami continued: My dear King Pariksit, the doors inside and
outside the house closed as before. Thereafter, the inhabitants of the house,
especially the watchmen, heard the crying of the newborn child and thus awakened
from their beds.
te tu turnam upavrajya
devakya garbha-janma tat
yad udvignah pratiksate
Thereafter, all the watchmen very quickly approached King Kamsa, the ruler of
the Bhoja dynasty, and submitted the news of the birth of Devaki’s child. Kamsa,
who had awaited this news very anxiously, immediately took action.
sa talpat turnam utthaya
kalo ‘yam iti vihvalah
suti-grham agat turnam
Kamsa immediately got up from bed, thinking, “Here is Kala, the supreme time
factor, which has taken birth to kill me!” Thus overwhelmed, Kamsa, his hair
scattered on his head, at once approached the place where the child had been
tam aha bhrataram devi
krpana karunam sati
snuseyam tava kalyana
striyam ma hantum arhasi
Devaki helplessly, piteously appealed to Kamsa: My dear brother, all good
fortune unto you. Don’t kill this girl. She will be your daughter-in-law.
Indeed, it is unworthy of you to kill a woman.
bahavo himsita bhratah
My dear brother, by the influence of destiny you have already killed many
babies, each of them as bright and beautiful as fire. But kindly spare this
daughter. Give her to me as your gift.
nanv aham te hy avaraja
dina hata-suta prabho
datum arhasi mandaya
angemam caramam prajam
My lord, my brother, I am very poor, being bereft of all my children, but
still I am your younger sister, and therefore it would be worthy of you to give
me this last child as a gift.
yacitas tam vinirbhartsya
hastad acicchide khalah
Sukadeva Gosvami continued: piteously embracing her daughter and crying,
Devaki begged Kamsa for the child, but he was so cruel that he chastised her and
forcibly snatched the child from her hands.
tam grhitva caranayor
jata-matram svasuh sutam
Having uprooted all relationships with his sister because of intense
selfishness, Kamsa, who was sitting on his knees, grasped the newborn child by
the legs and tried to dash her against the surface of a stone.
sa tad-dhastat samutpatya
sadyo devy ambaram gata
The child, Yogamaya-devi, the younger sister of Lord Visnu, slipped upward
from Kamsa’s hands and appeared in the sky as Devi, the goddess Durga, with
eight arms, completely equipped with weapons.
The goddess Durga was decorated with flower garlands, smeared with sandalwood
pulp and dressed with excellent garments and ornaments made of valuable jewels.
Holding in her hands a bow, a trident, arrows, a shield, a sword, a conchshell,
a disc and a club, and being praised by celestial beings like Apsaras, Kinnaras,
Uragas, Siddhas, Caranas and Gandharvas, who worshiped her with all kinds of
presentations, she spoke as follows.
kim maya hataya manda
jatah khalu tavanta-krt
yatra kva va purva-satrur
ma himsih krpanan vrtha
O Kamsa, you fool, what will be the use of killing me? The Supreme
Personality of Godhead, who has been your enemy from the very beginning and who
will certainly kill you, has already taken His birth somewhere else. Therefore,
do not unnecessarily kill other children.
iti prabhasya tam devi
maya bhagavati bhuvi
bahu-nama babhuva ha
After speaking to Kamsa in this way, the goddess Durga, Yogamaya, appeared in
different places, such as Varanasi, and became celebrated by different names,
such as Annapurna, Durga, Kali and Bhadra.
devakim vasudevam ca
vimucya prasrito ‘bravit
After hearing the words of the goddess Durga, Kamsa was struck with wonder.
Thus he approached his sister Devaki and brother-in-law Vasudeva, released them
immediately from their shackles, and very humbly spoke as follows.
aho bhaginy aho bhama
maya vam bata papmana
bahavo himsitah sutah
Alas, my sister! Alas, my brother-in-law! I am indeed so sinful that exactly
like a man-eater [Raksasa] who eats his own child, I have killed so many sons
born of you.
sa tv aham tyakta-karunyas
kan lokan vai gamisyami
brahma-heva mrtah svasan
Being merciless and cruel, I have forsaken all my relatives and friends.
Therefore, like a person who has killed a brahmana, I do not know to which
planet I shall go, either after death or while breathing.
daivam apy anrtam vakti
na martya eva kevalam
yad-visrambhad aham papah
svasur nihatavan chisun
Alas, not only human beings but sometimes even providence lies. And I am so
sinful that I believed the omen of providence and killed so many of my sister’s
ma socatam maha-bhagav
atmajan sva-krtam bhujah
jantavo na sadaikatra
O great souls, your children have suffered their own misfortune. Therefore,
please do not lament for them. All living entities are under the control of the
Supreme, and they cannot always live together.
bhuvi bhaumani bhutani
yatha yanty apayanti ca
nayam atma tathaitesu
viparyeti yathaiva bhuh
In this world, we can see that pots, dolls and other products of the earth
appear, break and then disappear, mixing with the earth. Similarly, the bodies
of all conditioned living entities are annihilated, but the living entities,
like the earth itself, are unchanging and never annihilated [na hanyate
samsrtir na nivartate
One who does not understand the constitutional position of the body and the
soul [atma] becomes too attached to the bodily concept of life. Consequently,
because of attachment to the body and its by-products, he feels affected by
union with and separation from his family, society and nation. As long as this
continues, one continues his material life. [Otherwise, one is liberated.]
tasmad bhadre sva-tanayan
maya vyapaditan api
manusoca yatah sarvah
sva-krtam vindate ‘vasah
My dear sister Devaki, all good fortune unto you. Everyone suffers and enjoys
the results of his own work under the control of providence. Therefore, although
your sons have unfortunately been killed by me, please do not lament for them.
yavad dhato ‘smi hantasmity
atmanam manyate ‘sva-drk
tavat tad-abhimany ajno
In the bodily conception of life, one remains in darkness, without selfrealization,
thinking, “I am being killed” or “I have killed my enemies.” As
long as a foolish person thus considers the self to be the killer or the killed,
he continues to be responsible for material obligations, and consequently he
suffers the reactions of happiness and distress.
ksamadhvam mama dauratmyam
ity uktvasru-mukhah padau
syalah svasror athagrahit
Kamsa begged, “My dear sister and brother-in-law, please be merciful to such
a poor-hearted person as me, since both of you are saintly persons. Please
excuse my atrocities.” Having said this, Kamsa fell at the feet of Vasudeva and
Devaki, his eyes full of tears of regret.
mocayam asa nigadad
devakim vasudevam ca
Fully believing in the words of the goddess Durga, Kamsa exhibited his
familial affection for Devaki and Vasudeva by immediately releasing them from
their iron shackles.
ksanta-rosa ca devaki
vyasrjad vasudevas ca
prahasya tam uvaca ha
When Devaki saw her brother actually repentant while explaining ordained
events, she was relieved of all anger. Similarly, Vasudeva was also free from
anger. Smiling, he spoke to Kamsa as follows.
evam etan maha-bhaga
yatha vadasi dehinam
sva-pareti bhida yatah
O great personality Kamsa, only by the influence of ignorance does one accept
the material body and bodily ego. What you have said about this philosophy is
correct. Persons in the bodily concept of life, lacking self-realization,
differentiate in terms of “This is mine” and “This belongs to another.”
mitho ghnantam na pasyanti
bhavair bhavam prthag-drsah
Persons with the vision of differentiation are imbued with the material
qualities lamentation, jubilation, fear, envy, greed, illusion and madness. They
are influenced by the immediate cause, which they are busy counteracting,
because they have no knowledge of the remote, supreme cause, the Personality of
kamsa evam prasannabhyam
anujnato ‘visad grham
Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Thus having been addressed in purity by Devaki
and Vasudeva, who were very much appeased, Kamsa felt pleased, and with their
permission he entered his home.
tasyam ratryam vyatitayam
kamsa ahuya mantrinah
tebhya acasta tat sarvam
yad uktam yoga-nidraya
After that night passed, Kamsa summoned his ministers and informed them of
all that had been spoken by Yogamaya [who had revealed that He who was to slay
Kamsa had already been born somewhere else].
akarnya bhartur gaditam
tam ucur deva-satravah
devan prati krtamarsa
After hearing their master’s statement, the envious asuras, who were enemies
of the demigods and were not very expert in their dealings, advised Kamsa as
evam cet tarhi bhojendra
anirdasan nirdasams ca
hanisyamo ‘dya vai sisun
If this is so, O King of the Bhoja dynasty, beginning today we shall kill all
the children born in all the villages, towns and pasturing grounds within the
past ten days or slightly more.
kim udyamaih karisyanti
jya-ghosair dhanusas tava
The demigods always fear the sound of your bowstring. They are constantly in
anxiety, afraid of fighting. Therefore, what can they do by their endeavors to
asyatas te sara-vratair
While being pierced by your arrows, which you discharged on all sides, some
of them, who were injured by the multitude of arrows but who desired to live,
fled the battlefield, intent on escaping.
kecit pranjalayo dina
bhitah sma iti vadinah
Defeated and bereft of all weapons, some of the demigods gave up fighting and
praised you with folded hands, and some of them, appearing before you with
loosened garments and hair, said, “O lord, we are very much afraid of you.”
na tvam vismrta-sastrastran
When the demigods are bereft of their chariots, when they forget how to use
weapons, when they are fearful or attached to something other than fighting, or
when their bows are broken and they have thus lost the ability to fight, Your
Majesty does not kill them.
kim ksema-surair vibudhair
raho-jusa kim harina
sambhuna va vanaukasa
brahmana va tapasyata
The demigods boast uselessly while away from the battlefield. Only where
there is no fighting can they show their prowess. Therefore, from such demigods
we have nothing to fear. As for Lord Visnu, He is in seclusion in the core of
the hearts of the yogis. As for Lord Siva, he has gone to the forest. And as for
Lord Brahma, he is always engaged in austerities and meditation. The other
demigods, headed by Indra, are devoid of prowess. Therefore you have nothing to
tathapi devah sapatnyan
nopeksya iti manmahe
Nonetheless, because of their enmity, our opinion is that the demigods should
not be neglected. Therefore, to uproot them completely, engage us in fighting
with them, for we are ready to follow you.
yathamayo ‘nge samupeksito nrbhir
na sakyate rudha-padas cikitsitum
yathendriya-grama upeksitas tatha
ripur mahan baddha-balo na calyate
As a disease, if initially neglected, becomes acute and impossible to cure,
or as the senses, if not controlled at first, are impossible to control later,
an enemy, if neglected in the beginning, later becomes insurmountable.
mulam hi visnur devanam
yatra dharmah sanatanah
tasya ca brahma-go-vipras
tapo yajnah sa-daksinah
The foundation of all the demigods is Lord Visnu, who lives and is worshiped
wherever there are religious principles, traditional culture, the Vedas, cows,
brahmanas, austerities, and sacrifices with proper remuneration.
tasmat sarvatmana rajan
gas ca hanmo havir-dughah
O King, we, who are your adherents in all respects, shall therefore kill the
Vedic brahmanas, the persons engaged in offering sacrifices and austerities, and
the cows that supply milk, from which clarified butter is obtained for the
ingredients of sacrifice.
vipra gavas ca vedas ca
tapah satyam damah samah
sraddha daya titiksa ca
kratavas ca hares tanuh
The brahmanas, the cows, Vedic knowledge, austerity, truthfulness, control of
the mind and senses, faith, mercy, tolerance and sacrifice are the different
parts of the body of Lord Visnu, and they are the paraphernalia for a godly
sa hi sarva-suradhyakso
hy asura-dvid guha-sayah
tan-mula devatah sarvah
ayam vai tad-vadhopayo
yad rsinam vihimsanam
Lord Visnu, the Supersoul within the core of everyone’s heart, is the
ultimate enemy of the asuras and is therefore known as asura-dvit. He is the
leader of all the demigods because all the demigods, including Lord Siva and
Lord Brahma, exist under His protection. The great saintly persons, sages and
Vaisnavas also depend upon Him. To persecute the Vaisnavas, therefore, is the
only way to kill Visnu.
evam durmantribhih kamsah
saha sammantrya durmatih
brahma-himsam hitam mene
Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Thus, having considered the instructions of his
bad ministers, Kamsa, who was bound by the laws of Yamaraja and devoid of good
intelligence because he was a demon, decided to persecute the saintly persons,
the brahmanas, as the only way to achieve his own good fortune.
danavan grham avisat
These demons, the followers of Kamsa, were expert at persecuting others,
especially the Vaisnavas, and could assume any form they desired. After giving
these demons permission to go everywhere and persecute the saintly persons,
Kamsa entered his palace.
te vai rajah-prakrtayas
satam vidvesam acerur
Surcharged with passion and ignorance and not knowing what was good or bad
for them, the asuras, for whom impending death was waiting, began the
persecution of the saintly persons.
ayuh sriyam yaso dharmam
lokan asisa eva ca
hanti sreyamsi sarvani
My dear King, when a man persecutes great souls, all his benedictions of
longevity, beauty, fame, religion, blessings and promotion to higher planets
will be destroyed.