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XLI. The Message of Krishna's Advent

The king who had achieved the destruction of the agitations caused by desire and thus succeeded in the elimination of 'mind' folded his palms together and prayed, with just one last desire urging him, "Master! Time is fast nearing its end, so far as this body is concerned. The culmination of the curse of the sage is rushing fast towards me. Of course, I am prepared in every way to welcome it, most gladly. Nevertheless, so long as I am resident in this physical habitation, I have vowed, I will engage myself in thoughts divine, recapitulation of the divine, listening to the divine; let that vow be not broken to the slightest degree. May the short balance of the allotted time be spent in imprinting on my heart the charming lotus face of Nandanandana, the lovely divine child that illumined the home of Nanda. May that sportive form fill my consciousness and overflow, conferring on me immeasurable Ananda. Describe to me the shower of auspiciousness that must have marked the hour when He was born. What were the miraculous events and happenings that revealed to the world at that time that God had come to earth? How did Kamsa develop the cruel determination to kill the divine child and how was that determination fanned into a raging flame as the days passed? Tell me the story of the birth of that Kamsa and of the Lord as Krishna. May the final hour be blessed by that sacred story. It will certainly render my breath so holy that it will find consummation in Gopala."

At this, Suka became even more happy. "Maharaja!" he said, "I am also filled with joy at the prospect of spending the few remaining hours in reciting the wondrous birth and the divine sports of Gopala. Gopala took birth for the sake of establishing Dharma or righteousness. It is fraught with great mystery. Only those who have become ripe in wisdom, through the chastening process of divine activity can unravel that mystery and grasp its meaning. For others, the world itself is a whirlpool of vile sin; they revel in its depths, they sink and float and finally dissolve themselves in it. We are under no compulsion to spend a thought on such persons."

"Maharaja! Long, long ago, the world was ruled by a king of the Yadu dynasty, named Ahuka. A large band of feudatories surrounded his throne and awaited his orders and paid him reverential homage, seeking peace and prosperity through his beneficent overlordship. He had two sons, Devaka and Ugrasena. When they grew old enough to assume the responsibilities of administration, the king had them married and he placed on their heads a share of his own burden. Years slipped by. Devaka had seven daughters and Ugrasena had nine sons. Devaki was the eldest of Devaka's daughters; and Kamsa was the eldest of the sons of Ugrasena. These two play vital roles in the story in which we are both interested."