In the country named India, in the modern day state of Uttar Pradesh stands
a little town near the river Yamuna. it is known as - Mathura, a holy city.
it is the birthplace of Lord Krishna.
5,000 years ago, Mathura was under the rule of a tyrannical king named
Kamsa. Kamsa was so greedy and cunning that he not even spared his father
Ugrasena; having imprisoned him kamsa declared himself to be the King of
Mathura. Ugrasena was a nice ruler, and Kamsa was just the opposite. It was
a trying time for the commoners of Mathura to put up with Kamsa's
extravagance and unfair rule. above all this, Kamsa locked his horns time
and again with the rulers of the Yadu dynasty which led to frequent wars and
troubled the peace-loving citizens of Mathura.
But soon a happy news came. Crown princess Devaki was getting married to
King Vasudev of the Yadus. The Mathura citizens welcomed the wedding, for it
surely meant that Kamsa’s frequent wars with the Yadu dynasty would come to
Soon the much-awaited day arrived. Mathura wore a festive look. Everyone was
in festive spirits. Even the usually desolate citizens of Mathura were
looking happy. and that was a great thing to see, since the people of
Mathura did not smile often. How cold they, with such an awful king like
Kamsa to guide them.
Soon, Devaki was married to King Vasudev. Kamsa, cunning as he was, thought,
"Now, Vasudev’s kingdom is as good as mine”.
After the wedding, he decided to drive the royal couple home himself to
shower on them a kingly courtesy as was prevalent in those days. But it so
happened that as soon as Kamsa took the reins of the wedding chariot, a
divine voice thundered from the sky,” Evil Kamsa, you don’t know it. But
know now that by giving Devaki’s hand to Vasudev, you have signed your own
death warrant. The eighth son born to Vasudev and Devaki will kill you!”
Hearing this, Kamsa froze with fear. But then he became angry. He
immediately thought of killing Devaki for he thought, "How can a child be
born when the mother is dead?” So he drew out his sword and raised it to
King Vasudev was horrified at this cruelty and fell on his knees. "O
Kamsa..” he begged, "…please don’t kill your sister. I shall personally
surrender to you all the children she gives birth to, so that the voice of
the Oracle doesn’t come true.”
The evil king vacillated. "Then you will live in my palace as prisoners,” he
declared and Vasudev had no choice than accepting his verdict. Kamsa smiled
happily. The one person he loved in the whole wide world was his sister and
he decided to spare her life. He was content at the thought that the
situation was under his control. After all, he was not going to let her
children live, was he?
Kamsa confined Devaki and her husband King Vasudev in the palace dungeons
and kept them under constant watch. Every time Devaki gave birth to a child
in the dungeons, Kamsa destroyed the child. In this manner, he killed seven
children born to Devaki. He turned a deaf ear to all the heart- rending
cries of his sister.
Nine years passed before Devaki got pregnant for the eighth time. Kamsa,
troubled by the fear of his possible death, lost his appetite and slept
poorly at night. But he waited for the birth of his nemesis with murderous
In the palace dungeons, Vasudev was trying his best to console his wife, but
Devaki was terrified.” My eighth child will be born in a day,” she wailed.
"And my cruel brother will kill this one too. Oh mighty Gods, please save my
The night soon ended and the next day arrived. Devaki spent most of the day
in tears. Dusk gave way to a terrible night as had not been seen earlier in
Mathura. It seemed that the whole world understood Devaki’s mind and joined
her in mourning for the unborn child. The winds howled angrily and skies
seemed to have split apart to pour wrathful rains.
Suddenly there was pin drop silence. And then it was broken by the sound of
the cry of a divine child. It was of the eighth child, a son, born to Queen
Devaki at midnight in the prison.
As soon the child was born, the prison was filled with a dazzling, blinding
light. Devaki fainted at the sight and Vasudev was mesmerized. The light
converged into a sphere and the same voice of the Oracle that scared Kamsa,
now spoke to Vasudev:
" Take this child across the River Yamuna to the Gokul kingdom, ruled by
your friend King Nanda. His wife Queen Yashoda has just given birth to a
daughter. Exchange your son for this girl child and return to the prison
immediately, before anyone comes to know about the birth of this child.”
Without a word, he new father picked up his son to follow the Oracle’s
advice. He felt grieved to separate the newborn child from his mother but he
knew that there was no other way he could save his son.
Vasudev also felt very doubtful. There were a hundred soldiers waiting
outside. And it was a dark, fearsome night. How could he go out, unnoticed
But what he saw astonished him greatly. All his questions were answered one
by one. As he approached the gate with the child in his arms, the prison
doors opened automatically. He came out slowly to find to his utter surprise
that all the guards were in a state of hypnotic sleep.
Vasudev left Mathura and soon approached the banks of the Yamuna river. The
river seemed to be boiling white and seething with anger, due to fierce
winds and rain. It looked alive and ready to devour the first person to set
foot in it!
The Father looked at his the face of his infant child and hesitated in
doubt. As if the river sensed his fear, the boiling subsided. But he had to
proceed nonetheless. Then a miracle happened. As soon as the feet of Lord
immersed in the river, the flow became normal and Yamuna made way for the
Lord. To his amazement, Vasudev saw a huge black snake raising its head from
the water behind him. He was scared out of his wits at first, but soon
realized that it meant no harm when he saw the serpent positioning its hood
like an umbrella to save the new born baby from rain. This snake was none
other than Sheshnag, the Snake-God, who is known to be the roofing canopy of
Lord Vishnu. It is mentioned in the texts that Krishna was the eighth
incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
Vasudev did not delay any further and proceeded in waist-deep water with
much difficulty. But in the end, not entirely believing his eyes, Vasudev
was able to cross the opposite bank of the river safely and entered the
village of Gokul.
It was past midnight and the people of Gokul were fast asleep. Thus, Vasudev
had no trouble in entering the palace of king Nanda, for the palace doors
were, as always, wide open. Nanda, unlike Kamsa, was a fair king and the
people under his reign didn't fear for intruders or thieves in the night.
Vasudev, by this time, had some idea that his child is really someone
special, it was a divine child. All his fears vanished for he understood
that when he has come this far, he will surely be able to complete the rest
of his journey. And that was what happened.
In no time, Vasudev reached his friend’s palace. Treading softly, Vasudev
entered queen Yashoda's quarters. She was sleeping peacefully in her bed and
her baby girl beside her was awake, staring at the door. It was almost as if
she was expecting him to come!
Vasudev scooped Yashoda's baby girl in his other arm and placed his son in
the empty space next to Yashoda. With tears in his eyes, Vasudev kissed his
son’s forehead. "Goodbye, my son," he whispered. Then, without looking back,
he left Gokul with Nanda's daughter in his arms.
With Sheshnag assisting him like before, Vasudev returned to the prison with
the girl-child. He entered his dark cell and laid the baby by Devaki's side.
As soon as the child felt the hard floor on her back, she opened her mouth
and cried lustily.
Claannnk!!! The prison doors closed. The guards suddenly awoke from their
sleep and became aware that a baby was born. They rushed to Kamsa to deliver
him the news. The eighth child, slayer of Kamsa, was born!
The evil King was both pleased and afraid to hear of the birth of his
nephew. He was pleased that he could finally kill the eighth child of his
sister and he was also afraid that he might not be able to do so.
But putting away all his fears, he rushed to the palace dungeons to execute
the child who was said to be his slayer. He reached the dungeons in great
anger. The palace guards trembled at his enraged face. Kamsa entered the
cell where his sister and her husband lived for the past nine years.
"Where is he?" he roared at the now-awake Devaki. "Where's my slayer?"
Devaki had regained her consciousness only after Vasudev switched the babies
and so, she thought that her eighth child was a daughter. She appealed to
her brother, "O Kamsa, my brother- my eighth child is a girl, and not the
son that the Oracle warned you about. How can she harm you? There is no way
she can. Please let your only niece live!"
Kamsa, as always, ignored her cries. He loved his life more than anything
else in the world. Love for his life had clouded his common sense and he
forgot the Oracle's warning about his slayer being a boy. In blind rage,
Kamsa snatched the baby girl from Devaki's lap, and hurled the child against
the prison wall.
But this time the baby did not die; instead, she flew up and for a second
remained suspended in the air to the utter amazement of everyone present
there. Then the prison was filled once again with a blinding light. Kamsa
covered his face from the intensity of the light. As the light subsided,
they realised that the child had changed into a ferocious Goddess!
She rose above Kamsa's head as the eight-armed form of Goddess Durga.
Dressed in shining garments and dazzling jewels, she looked terrible and
divine at the same time.
The Goddess looked in contempt and pity at the bewildered Kamsa. She said,
"Foolish Kamsa, there is no force on Heaven and earth that can kill me. So
how can you, wretched creature? You even if you could, you would have gained
nothing by killing me. For your slayer is already born! He is now well and
alive in a safe place. And one day, he will come in search of you and kill
you! You can’t resist him, no matter how hard you try!"
Saying so, she disappeared, leaving behind a terror-stricken Kamsa. Kamsa
felt humiliated by the turn of events. In his confusion, he freed Vasudev
and Devaki from prison.
Vasudev then narrated what happened on that night to his wife. Devaki,
though sad at her separation from her son, was happy for the baby. Both of
them prayed to God that her son should not fall into the clutches of his
evil uncle Kamsa.
Meanwhile, there was great rejoicing in Gokul. The cowherd tribes of Gokul
were smiling from ear to ear. A new baby boy was born to their loved King
Nanda ! The streets were swept clean and the houses were decorated with
colors, streamers and fragrant flowers. The whole place wore a festive look.
Everyone in the household of King Nanda was in a joyous mood. Nanda named
the child Krishna. Everybody in Gokul danced with joy and flocked to Nanda's
house to see the baby boy and to offer gifts.
But it did not escape anyone's notice that the child was like no ordinary
child. His skin had a dark - blue color as is seen in a cloud filled with
water during the monsoon season. His eyes twinkled merrily. He never cried
and always had a smile for everyone.
Yashoda felt very proud. "Ah my son!" she crooned lovingly at Little Krishna
. "my cute little son! You are surely going to be pampered and spoiled by
In this way was born Lord Krishna, the supreme God who is the creator of
everyone. He was born to save everyone from the terrible tyrants like Kamsa.
In his boyhood, he became the cynosure of all eyes- he won the hearts of all
men and women, wherever he went. And with his brother Balaram, he later went
back to Mathura and killed Kamsa. But that, as people say… is another story.