Whenever negativity achieves stability, Krishna comes as a destabilizing factor. Upholding the truth and undoing the false constitutes the job description of an incarnation
Just like goose bumps arise all over the skin heralding fear, demoniac kings rise up on the surface of the earth creating terror. In every brink and corner of the world, insensitive self-conscious rulers reigned. The name Kamsa stood apart from the numerous names in this category, and not just stood, he towered over all others. He created a niche for himself to an extent that the world said, even if one is a demon, one should not be as bad as Kamsa .
Kamsa was the son of Ugrasena and also a blot on Ugrasena’s good name. Desperate to become the world supremo, he ruthlessly eliminated foes; and those he couldn’t eliminate, he forged friendships with. Thus unlikeminded people came together for a world un-liked purpose! The deceiver Putana, the ill-habited Sakata, the falsely proud Trnavarta, the greedy Vatsasura, the cunning Baka, the cruel Agha, the ignorant Dhenuka, the lusty Pralamba, the proud Ariñta, the cheater Vyoma and, the boastful Kesi – these warlords became the buddies of Kamsa . Of course his greatest ally was Jarasandha, the king of Magadha province and his circumstantial father-in-law. These biggies were the trend-setters for this age. They became inspirational icons for many such ambitious upcoming leaders to make it big quick by breaking all codes of dharma.
Relationships that are embarked upon to achieve new goals are called circumstantial relationships. Be assured that when circumstances change, so do the relationships.
Burdened by these upstarts, Mother Earth in the form of a humble and gentle cow ran towards Brahma with hope in her heart and desire for peace in her mind. Many problems do not have solutions even at the highest material level. This is precisely when personalities like Brahma, who are composed entirely of intelligence, beseech a spiritual solution. Brahma took shelter of Lord Vishnu lying on the Milk Ocean. The kind Lord assured Brahma that He would soon take birth in the Yadu dynasty as the son of Devaki , the sister of Kamsa , and cause the annihilation of the demoniac rulers.
Just like a lock and key are created together, every problem also has a concomitant solution. Kamsa was a problem, and the Lord assured Brahma that an apt solution to this complicated problem would take birth very soon. A lock imprisons and the key liberates.
As Kamsa was micro-planning his expansion, the demigods were cooperating with the macroplanning of the Lord and taking birth in the kingdoms of Yadu, Bhoja and Andhaka dynasties as well as surrounding villages like Vrindavan.
he first step of the Lord’s plan was executed on a day when Kamsa was simultaneously celebrating his victories and the marriage of his favorite sister, Devaki . So happy was Kamsa that day that he personally decided to chauffeur the newly married couple to their home. This humble act of Kamsa brought admiration in the eyes of Vasudeva, the son of Çurasena and Devaki ’s husband.
The entire Bhoja dynasty was surprised to see this kind and loving side of Kamsa . However, this admiration could not last long!
In the midst of all the pomp, music, dance and celebrations, Kamsa had visibly relaxed. The residents of Mathura could not remember the last time they had seen their ruthlessly ambitious prince in such a light mood.
The horses of Kamsa ’s chariot suddenly neighed and stopped abruptly causing Kamsa to momentarily lose balance. He was suddenly shoved out of his reverie and put face to face with an impossible-to-believe experience. A streak of lightening landed right in front of his chariot and a thunderous laughter from an unembodied voice echoed in the sky. “You fool! Death is looming over you and you celebrate? The very person for whom you celebrate today will eventually be the cause of your death. The eighth child of Devaki will be your nemesis.”
The insecure Kamsa wanted to annihilate Devaki then and there itself. But with the promise of the truthful Vasudeva to submit every child born to them at Kamsa ’s disposal, Kamsa restrained himself. Eventually, unable to handle the mental pressure of having his instruments of death freely roaming around, he imprisoned Devaki and Vasudeva.
Over time, the desire to inherit his father’s kingdom got the better of Kamsa . This was naturally aided by the birth of insecurity after the supernatural proclamation. Thus one fine day, he unceremoniously took over the kingdom, throwing his old weak father, Ugrasena into the prison. The solution to insecurity is not in altering the game of life but in altering the frame of mind.
As promised, every child that was born to Vasudeva and Devaki was painfully handed over to Kamsa . And Kamsa mercilessly thrashed each one of them on the stone walls of the prison, leaving gory splashes on the walls as agonizing memories for the despondent parents. Six years and six splashes later, Kamsa began to worry about his future. Every kill, rather than increasing his selfconfidence, only increased his anxiety. On the other hand, every loss, rather than decreasing the confidence of the couple, only increased their faith in the divine prediction.
Confidence is not a by-product of external power and charisma but a re-product of internal faith in God’s assurances.
The royal confusion started in the royal palace of the royal king on the day the seventh child was to take birth. The child was declared stillborn. Kamsa was royally confused now. Was this to be considered birth of the seventh child? Was the next child the eighth or seventh?
As Kamsa twisted and turned in his bed restlessly, Vasudeva and Devaki found immense solace. Though they did not understand the unfolding events, or how the child had suddenly disappeared from the womb, they still trusted God’s plans. How could they know that the child had been transferred from Devaki ’s womb to the womb of Vasudeva’s first wife, Rohini, by the internal energy of Vishnu ? But they definitely knew one thing: Their savior and the savior of the entire world, was coming soon!
The seventh child of Devaki was Balarama, who is Ananta Sesa , the original spiritual master. The entry of the spiritual master always precedes the entry of Krishna in our lives. The role of the spiritual master is to ensure that the heart is clean for Krishna to enter and reside.
Another year passed in anxiety for Kamsa and in hope for Vasudeva and Devaki . Kamsa secured his palaces tightly and increased the security of the jail a hundred fold. It was impossible for even a mosquito to enter or exit the prison without his consent. On the D-day, Kamsa put the whole city on red alert and sat prepared fully armed and dressed in his armor ready to fight a war. The moment he received the signal of the birth of his enemy, he would once and for all put an end to his angst.
Hopelessness is a sign of atheism, and hope is a sign of reliance on God.
In the last few visits, his sister had appeared more and more effulgent, as if the child within Devaki ’s womb was radiating the effulgence. Though his intelligence told him so, his ego was unwilling to accept it. He finally managed to discard this reality as an illusion.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, to fulfill the promise to the demigods and relieve the earth of her burden, had appeared within the mind of Vasudeva and from his mind entered into the mind of Devaki and finally settled into her holy womb. The moment the effulgence entered into her womb, Devaki witnessed all kinds of personalities entering into their solitary prison cell to offer respect to her with silent prayers.
On the night when the astrological influence of Rohiëé star was prominent, under perfect planetary formations, with auspicious omens everywhere and though it was the eighth day of the waning moon, the full moon appeared joyously to celebrate the appearance of the Supreme Lord into his own dynasty, the lunar dynasty. With such a perfect setting, at the stroke of mid-night, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna , appeared as an effulgent child holding the conch, club, disc and lotus in His four hands. Ornamented in the most dazzling jewels, dressed in yellow silk, His blackish-blue complexion contrasted with the shining ornaments on His persona.
Vasudeva and Devaki ’s seven years of sacrifice took a new turn. More selfless the sacrifice, more beautiful is its result. Though he had already sacrificed so much, Vasudeva mentally offered millions of cows in charity to the brahmaëas sharing his joy.
The first words that the fortunate parents heard from their child were an instruction, “Take Me to Vrindavan and replace Me with the girl born to Yashoda and Nanda.”
Devotees expect nothing from the Lord except service and the Lord has nothing to offer His devotees, except service.
The selfless Vasudeva and the sobbing Devaki abided by His instructions. As Vasudeva walked with the dazzling baby, the chains dropped off, the doors to the prison house slid open, the guards dozed into a helpless sleep and the swelling Yamuna river welcomed Vasudeva into Vrindavan. Exchanging the babies, Vasudeva returned to the confines of the prison cell. Hearing the cry of the newborn baby, the drowsy guards rush to apprise Kamsa .
New confusion surrounds Kamsa when he finds his sister Devaki pleading to spare her daughter. How can the demigods do this to him? His death to be caused by a girl! What kind of a joke was this? Analyzing carefully, he realized that this whole affair had been illogical and all his calculations had failed him. He could not take any chances. As he pulled the girl from Devaki ’s arms and threw her in his six times successful style, the girl slipped and assumed a terrific form, seated on a lion holding unlimited weapons in her numerous hands. With a shrill laughter, she clearly informed Kamsa that the cause of his death was already born elsewhere.
Kamsa panicked! What next? He had no idea what he should be doing and where his killer would be. Enraged, he tried eliminating every child born within the last ten days in the vicinity of Mathura. But miraculously, the son of Vasudeva and Devaki , the death of Kamsa , survived.
In the next eleven years, Kamsa sent unlimited demons who were his friends and allies across his kingdom to finish off his enemy. But whoever reached Vrindavan never returned. Vrindavan naturally became a black hole for Kamsa , and he directed all his forces there. When he zoomed into his target and realized that no one was able to defeat Krishna , he decided to call Krishna to Mathura so that he could personally take care of Him. For eleven long years after His birth and for eight long years before His birth, Kamsa had been meditating on Krishna .
During these eleven years in Vrindavan, time seemed to have stopped for the vraja-vasés. All their lives they would remember every gesture of Krishna ’s body, every word from Krishna ’s lips, every song from Krishna ’s flute, every step from Krishna ’s feet and every look from Krishna ’s eyes. The life of every person in Vrindavan revolved around these eleven years. Time will not influence the people here anymore.
The power of remembrance has to be used in remembering Krishna ’s pastimes and glories. By filling the storage capacity of their minds with Krishna -katha, the residents of Vrindavan left no space for worries and anxieties to occupy.
The meditation was now unbearable for Kamsa . The meditation became an agitation. Unable to wait any longer, Kamsa sent his trusted minister Akrura to get Krishna and Balarama into Mathura.
A yogi waits for Krishna to enter his mind out of grace, but a bhogi forces Krishna to enter into his life undeservingly. Though you may be able to force Krishna into your life, you cannot control what He will do, once He enters.
Kamsa ordered the two brothers to participate in a wrestling match with his mountainous wrestlers, Canura and Mustika. ”When a mountain steps on a mole hill, all that remains will be dust,” thought Kamsa in his haughty pride. Little did he realize that with a few flings of Their arms, Krishna and Balarama not only destroyed the enormous combatants but simultaneously and painfully crushed Kamsa ’s monumental pride.
Kamsa ’s jaw dropped and so did his hopes. And even before Kamsa could recover his breath, Krishna jumped up toward his throne, hauled him down, and battered him on his chest. The one that gave unlimited trouble to the world could trouble no more. Most people who witnessed this could hardly believe that such a universal tyrant could be subdued so easily!
Impossibility is a term only in the minds of mankind. And over-confidence is a term only in the minds of the wrong-kind.
“Bravo! Bravo! Krishna – Balarama ki jai!” hailed all over the universe. The universal heroes were satisfied seeing the gesture of gratitude in the eyes of the world.
Subha Vilasa Dasa is a motivational speaker and a spiritual lifestyle coach. He is also the author of the six-volume series Ramayana – The Game of Life (Book 1). His email: firstname.lastname@example.org