Once the world had great disturbance
Caused by the ruling of demoniac kings.
Though they posed as righteous rulers,
Only calamities did they bring.
Much aggrieved by such confusion,
The form of a cow did Bhumi take.
Before Lord Brahma, eyes o'erflowing,
Her obeisances did she make.
Weeping to invoke the Lord's compassion,
Earth's position she then stated.
All the demoniac activities
To Lord Brahma she related.
Brahma hastened to the milk-white ocean
With a host of demigods headed by Siva.
There resides the Supreme Lord Visnu
On the island Svetadvipa.
Arriving at the ocean shoreline,
They offered the Purusa-sukta prayer.
No response from Ksirodakasayi-Visnu
Caused Brahma to sit in meditation there.
From the Supreme Personality of Godhead
Came a message-transmission to Brahma's heart.
Brahma spoke this Vedic knowledge
And for Brahmaloka did depart.
The message imparted by Lord Visnu
Gave instruction simple and clear:
Demigods should take birth on this planet;
Soon Lord Krsna Himself would appear.
Thus spoke the father of all prajapatis
(Progenitors of universal population).
Four-armed Brahma clearly delivered
This transcendental information.
Now the pious King Surasena
Ruled the country known as Mathura,
Where Sri Krsna lives forever
Just as He always lives in Dvaraka.
Vasudeva, son of King Surasena,
Member of the Yadu dynasty,
Wed Devaka's maiden daughter
Devaki calm and gentle purity.
400 elephants adorned with golden garlands,
15,000 horses, trappings blazing,
Brilliant chariots with gold equipment,
Dancing maidservants, jewelry dangling
Thus the dowry of Devaki
Passed like brilliant sunset clouds.
Conchshells, drums, bugles resounded,
Vibrating the most pleasing sounds.
Kamsa, descendant of the the Bhoja dynasty,
Son of the pious Ugrasena,
Demon brother of pure Devaki,
Drove the wedding chariot.
In the midst of such rejoicing
Came a celestial sound vibration
Pronouncing Kamsa no more than a fool
And giving further information:
"You are driving the chariot of Vasudeva
Thinking your sister kind and true,
Yet the child of this same sister
Will be the cause of death to you!"
In great rage Kamsa drew his sword
And gripped Devaki by the hair.
So degraded was this brother
He would have killed her then and there.
Vasudeva was rightly astonished,
And he spoke with great conviction;
To prevent such shameful killing,
He argued with determined reason
"Dear Kamsa, you are a most famous king.
You are a Bhoja ksatriya bold.
Why should you stoop to kill a woman?
What is this fear of death you hold?
"Death and birth are born together
From the day of birth you began to die.
You cannot outwit this basic process.
Death is inevitable; do not try.
"The living entity is conditioned
And trapped by action and reaction.
The material nature has us captured,
Binding us by false attraction.
"When the mind is speculative
It is attracted by sense desire.
Form, taste, smell, sound and touch
To material contamination we aspire.
"So the material nature,
Solely by Lord Krsna's mercy,
According to our mental desire,
Offers another material body.
"Luminaries are sometimes reflected
On reservoirs of water, oil or ghee;
Although they may appear to be moving,
Planets maintain a separate identity.
"Similarly, because of illusion,
Enchanted by the influence of maya,
The living being forgets his true self
And identifies with this gross body.
Thus spoke Vasudeva to Kamsa
To save the life of his wife Devaki.
He begged Kamsa not to be overwhelmed
By the dictates of mind and body.
Vasudeva gave good instruction
And philosophical discrimination,
But Kamsa would not be pacified
Because of demoniac association.
A demon never cares for good instruction.
He has no use for morality.
He cannot accept truthful teachings,
However authorized they may be.
Thus the difference between demigod and demon
Is here explained quite clearly:
A demigod accepts this teaching
And applies it to his life sincerely.
Vasudeva thought as follows:
"Let me now save Devaki's life."
(After all it is a husband's duty
To maintain and protect his wife.)
Vasudeva then spoke again to Kamsa
With flattery and great respect,
For that is the science of diplomacy,
In which Vasudeva was most perfect.
"My dear brother-in-law, please consider
That there is no danger from my wife.
Because of some strange prophecy,
You are fearful for your life.
"But the prophecy has spoken only
Of the male children of your sister.
Please note, therefore, my good Kamsa:
There may not be sons in the future.
"But I give my word of honor:
All my sons I will bring to you,
And at such a time you may decide
Exactly what you shall do."
When Devaki gave birth to children,
A male child was the first-born.
Vasudeva delivered the infant to Kamsa
Just as he had previously sworn.
For a great soul like Vasudeva
Nothing can be considered painful
In carrying out prescribed duties,
No matter how distasteful.
Then to the faithless Kamsa
Came the sage Narada Muni.
He told Kamsa of the preparations
Made for Krsna as son of Devaki.
Narada informed Kamsa that everyone
Was preparing for the Lord's appearance.
After this warning from Narada,
Kamsa lost all his confidence.
He imprisoned Vasudeva and Devaki,
Killing each child year after year.
Knowing the demigods were on earth,
Kamsa acted out of fear.