International Forum for NeoVedantins

Sri Krishna

Story of Sri Krishna: Part 2

Birth of Sri Krishna

Days passed by; tyranny of Kamsa increased. He levied unnecessary stiff taxes from farmers, petty traders and businessmen, not sparing milkmen, washer-men, and similar simple people. Villages close to the capital city of Mathura, like Gokul and Vrindavan, bore the maximum brunt of these atrocities. Instead of mitigation of sufferings, protests and appeals were severely and ruthlessly dealt with, with harsh punishment. People continued to pray to the Lord for respite from such dreadful rule of asura - demon - Kamsa.

Meanwhile in the prison, Devaki gave birth to her first child. The cry of the newborn reached the ears of the guards who immediately conveyed the news to now Uncle Kamsa of the birth of his first nephew! Stonehearted Kamsa had no hesitation in snatching the baby from the lap of the mother and smashing her on the stony walls of the prison. Cruelty thus showed its worst form in this act of Kamsa. Vasudeva and Devaki protested and pleaded that it was the eighth child that posed threat to Kamsa's life, and hence it's sinful to kill other babies. But cunning and fearful Kamsa was not ready to listen to these sane arguments. "Birth and death are cycles in circles, and thus who knows, which child is first and which one is the eighth?" he argued and justified his killing seven children subsequently.

His quota of sin was now full, and the Lord incarnated as Sri Krishna as the eighth child of Devaki and Vasudeva. It was rainy night of eighth day of the month of Shravana (Hindu Calendar); the sky was filled with dark heavy clouds and rains poured incessantly cats and dogs. Lightning struck terror all around. The nearby river Jamuna swelled in full flood, water rising sky high; her currents roared noisily causing fear in every heart.

But inside the prison-cell there appeared the Divine Form of Sri Vishnu, with radiant aura and halo around His face; the celestial beauty unsurpassed by any form and countenance. His four hands granted boons, showered Grace, and offered protection to all. Thus, presenting Himself before the couple devotees, the Lord said: "O Devaki, as per your wish of yester births, I now take the form of Sri Krishna as your son. Do not worry; everything will come to most benevolent end. Thus speaking in sweetest reassuring voice, the Lord took the form of an ordinary human baby and sat on the lap of Mother Devaki."

Soon the play, 'Lila' of the God Almighty was enacted. All the soldiers guarding the prison were put to deep sleep; there was quiet peace all around. The prison gates opened automatically, and a voice was heard: "O Vasudeva, put me in that basket and take me to the house of Nandalal across the river Jamuna to the village of Gokul. There exchange me with the newly born daughter Maya of Yashoda and come back."

Bewildered, Vasudeva, as if hypnotized, got up, his shackles/fetters dropping off their own. A basket with soft cushions lay in the corner and Vasudeva keeping the baby Krishna in it started for Gokul. Nandalal, the chieftain of Gokul, was a friend of Vasudeva where baby Krishna would be safe from the evil designs of Kamsa. Nandalal's wife Yashoda had also given birth to a baby girl on the same night. But both Nandalal and Yashoda were in a state of mystic sleep, oblivious to all the happenings around. Play of the Lord is always inscrutable! Vasudeva was to exchange Sri Krishna with that girl, Maya.

As already told, the river Jamuna was in full spate, but Vasudeva was in no hurry or worry. With constant gratefulness in the heart for the merciful Lord (for having given darshana to him), Vasudeva proceeded ahead in a manner of least botheration. The rains, lightning, darkness of night; nothing perturbed him any more. And soon he reached the flooded river Jamuna. What would one do to cross such a mighty river? Nothing, as far as Vasudeva was concerned! He continued to march ahead and as soon as he touched the waters of Jamuna, the river parted in two, leaving a dry path in between. On both the sides the waters of Jamuna rose head high, but for Vasudeva they posed no difficulty. And the Gracious Krishna, as an act of love and blessings, outstretched his feet so as to allow Jamuna to touch and wash them.

It was the late hours of night when Vasudeva reached the house of Nandalal in Gokul. The gates opened and allowed Vasudeva to enter without hurdle. He exchanged the baby boy Sri Krishna, with the baby girl of Yashoda and returned to the prison cell before dawn.

Previous Part 1 ||  Continued ... Part 3.

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