Chapter 4: The Atrocities of King Kamsa
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2018-11-17, 3:35 AM
    Chapter 4: The Atrocities of King Kamsa

    (1) S'rî S'uka said: 'With all the outer and inner doors of the building closed as before, the guards of the prison woke up when they heard the newborn child cry. (2) They hurried to report it to the king of Bhoja who fearfully awaited the time that Devakî would deliver. (3) He quickly got out of bed and said: 'The Time has arrived' and went perturbed, with his hair on his head disheveled, immediately to the place of birth.

    (4) The chaste Devakî miserably and full of pity said to Kamsa, her brother: 'All good fortune to you, this girl will be your daughter-in-law. You should not kill a woman. (5) Following the voice from above you have killed many children brilliant as fire my brother. Please allow me this one daughter. (6) I am still your poor younger and childless sister, is it not? Oh master, dear brother, hold back, you owe me this last child.'

    (7) S'rî S'uka said: 'In tears clasping her baby she pleaded most piteously, but he most cruelly with a growl tore it away from her hands. (8) Having abandoned all his familial affection he took the newborn child of his sister by the legs and wanted to smash the daughter against the stone floor. (9) But it slipped midair out of his hands and appeared that very instant in the sky as Devî [Durgâ] the younger sister of Vishnu with her eight mighty arms complete with weapons [see also 8.12: 40]. (10-11) Adorned with sandalwood pulp, flower garlands, valuable jewels and being nicely dressed she held a bow, a lance, arrows, a shield, a sword, a conch, a lotus and a disc. With different presentations being worshipped by the Siddhas [the perfected ones], the Câranas [the venerable ones], the Gandharvas [the singers of heaven], the Apsaras [the dancing girls], the Kinnaras [the ones specially talented] and the Uragas [the 'divine snakes'] she said the following: (12) 'What's the use of killing me oh fool! He, your former enemy [see 1.68] who will kill you, has already been born [and is now] somewhere else. Stop the unnecessary killing of poor little babies.'

    (13) After the Goddess of the immense power of mâyâ thus had spoken to him, she [disappeared and] became known in different places on earth under diverse names [such as Annapûrnâ, Durgâ, Kâlî and Bhadrâ, see 10.2: 10 & 11]. (14) When Kamsa heard the words she spoke he was struck with wonder and forthwith released Devakî and Vasudeva saying humbly: (15) 'My dear sister and brother-in-law, I, because of my sins behaving like a cannibal eating his own kids, have alas killed your many sons. (16) I am really such a one who mercilessly cruel denies his relatives and friends their life. What kind of world is someone who engages like a brahmin-killer, heading for here or in the hereafter? (17) Not just human beings, but also heaven can speak a lie. Just because I believed the prophecy I most sinfully killed all my sister's children! (18) Oh blessed souls, do not lament over your sons, for all who are born are bowed down by their own deeds [in a previous life, see footnote 3 ch. 1]. Living beings have to abide by their fate and cannot always live in the same place. (19) Everything on earth and is produced from earth [like pots] appears and disappears again. This physical body similarly undergoes change, but the soul, just like the earth element itself, does not [compare 10.3: 15-17]. (20) When one without knowledge of this difference [between body and soul] does not properly identify with the self and one thus falsely being united with the body is of separation [in one's heart and society], one cannot break through the repetition of one's conditioned life [viz. one can only unite in consciousness]. (21) Because everyone unwillingly has to face the consequences of his own actions, you, my dear sister, should not lament over your sons who found their death because of me. (22) As long as one does not know oneself [as a soul] and one with a mistaken notion thinks of oneself as someone who kills or gets killed [thus as being a body], one is an ignoramus running into the pains of material distress [see also B.G. 3: 9 & 18: 17 and nitya-mukta]. (23) Please forgive me my atrocities, you are both saintly, humble and loving souls!' Saying this he clasped the feet of his sister and brother-in-law with tears rolling down his cheeks.

    (24) Trusting in the words of Durgâ he released Vasudeva and Devakî from their shackles and thus proved his heart for the family. (25) Because he showed remorse Devakî was relieved of her anger with her brother and Vasudeva also gave up his anger. He said to him with a smile: (26) 'What you said about embodied souls in the grip of ignorance is correct oh man of great fortune, one thus makes a difference between one's own interest and that of others. (27) When people consider everything as existing separately, they go at each other's cost and are filled with lamentation, lust, fear, hate, greed, illusion and madness. Discriminating like that one does not see one's continuity [the 'thread', the soul, one's connectedness].'

    (28) S'ri S'uka said: 'Kamsa thus free from impurities being answered by the appeased Devakî and Vasudeva, took leave and entered his palace. (29) After the night had passed Kamsa called for his ministers and informed them about everything that the 'Slumber of Yoga', Durgâ [or Yoga-mâyâ], had said. (30) Upon hearing what their master had to say the Daitya opponents of the demigods, who resented them and were not that skilled, replied [see also B.G. 9: 12]: (31) 'Well in that case oh King of Bhoja, let us right now kill all the children about ten days old or younger in every town, village and pasturing ground. (32) What can the demigods do in their fear to fight? They are always so nervous to hear the sound of your bowstring! (33) Facing your many devoted arrows hitting them from all sides they fled away from the fighting to save their lives. (34) Some of those inhabitants of heaven, with their hair and clothing in disarray and bereft of their weapons, folded miserably their hands before you and said: 'You have made us so afraid!' (35) And you killed none of them when they were scared to death, had lost their chariots, did not know how to use their weapons anymore, wanted other things than fighting or when their bows were broken and they couldn't respond any longer. (36) What to say about the position taken by the so very powerful gods? Away from the fighting they can boast! And what of Lord Hari? He is hiding in the heart! Should we fear Lord S'iva then? He is living in the forest! And Indra then? He is not much of a hero either! And Brahmâ? He always meditates! (37) Still we think that the demigods because of their enmity should not be overlooked. Engage us, your faithful followers, therefore to uproot them! (38) Just like a disease of the body that once neglected in its acute stage by men cannot be treated anymore and senses that being disregarded [later on cannot be controlled], similarly a great enemy that became too strong cannot be removed. (39) Lord Vishnu is the foundation of the demigods. He lies at the bottom of the traditional religious duties and the brahminical order with its cows, its scholars, its penances and the sacrifices that need to be paid [see also 7.5: 31]. (40) We therefore by all means oh King, will endeavor to put an end to the brahmins and their brahminical talk, those repenters so busy with their sacrifices and cows that deliver the ghee! (41) The scholars, the cows and the Vedas; the austerity, the truthfulness and the sense control; the equanimity, the faith, the mercy, the tolerance as also the ceremonies, are all part of Hari. (42) He is the leader of all the Suras and the enemy of the Asuras. He is in all hearts. At His feet all the demigods, including their controller [S'iva] and the four-faced one [Brahmâ], are found. Really, the only way to prevent Him is to persecute all His sages, devotees and saints.'

    (43) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus rather ignorantly deliberating with his evil counselors, Kamsa, who as a demon was ruled by the Lord of Death, thought that the best thing he could do was to persecute the brahmins [and their followers]. (44) After he gave the Dânavas, those adherents of violence and destruction who could assume any form, permission to fight all the repenters in the world, the demons spread in all directions. Kamsa then returned to his quarters. (45) Filled with a passion of the deepest darkness they bewildered, with the shadow of death hanging over them, engaged in the persecution of the virtuous souls. (46) The benedictions of a long life, beauty, fame, religion, talents and a place in heaven of a person trespassing against great personalities, are all destroyed.'