Chapter XLI - 153 Home | Index | Previous | Next

"Meanwhile, the bridegroom Vasudeva, rose and held both the hands of Kamsa tight in his grasp. 'Dear brother-in-law! I too heard the voice from the sky. If harm comes to you, we too are sharers, we do not like any harm affecting you. We pray for your welfare, without intermission. We shall never seek to inflict injury on you. For a brother like you, it is not proper to indulge in grievous disaster, when everyone is revelling in joy. Release your sister from the hold. If you have such firm faith in the voice which declared that you will suffer death from the child that is to be born, I solemnly assure you that I shall entrust to your care every child that is born of her. I swear I shall do so. Let me tell you that this will solve your fear; if on the other hand, you become a party to the slaughter of your sister, while this my offer is there, it will bring about disaster to you as reaction of this monstrous sin."

"When Vasudeva pleaded thus most piteously, Kamsa felt a little relieved, realising that there was some validity in what his brother-in-law was saying. He loosened his hold and let Devaki fall into her seat. He said, 'Well! Be warned. Keep the word that you have now given me'. With this, he directed his younger brother to take charge of the reins, and returned to his palace. Of course, he returned; but, he was torn between fear of death and affection for his sister. Though his bed was a soft bed of feathers, he suffered as if he lay on a bed of hot cinders. He had no appetite, no inclination to sleep. He was plunged in the terror of death. Kamsa spent one full year in this state. The brothers-in-law were in constant contact with each other."

"Meanwhile, Devaki became enceinte, and the nine months drew to a close. She delivered a son. 'I have given word, to save your life', said Vasudeva, to Devaki, when he handed over the new-born babe, rolled in warm clothing, to the tender mercies of Kamsa."

"However, Kamsa had no mind to kill the tender baby; he was delighted that his brother-in-law had kept his word. He said, 'My dear brother-in-law, this babe can cause me no harm! The voice from the sky warned me only against the eighth child! Therefore, take back this child'. Thus Vasudeva got the baby alive and placed it in the hands of Devaki. The mother was happy that her first born was restored to her; she poured out her heart in gratitude to God for this blessing. She conceived again and the parents were afflicted with grief at the fear of Kamsa and what he might do to the child; they wanted children, but, dreaded the fate that might befall them."

"Meanwhile, the sage Narada, who roams wide from world to world, singing the praise of the Lord, appeared in Kamsa's court; he inquired from the emperor whether he was well and whether the kingdom was safe and prosperous. During the conversation, Narada revealed that the Yadavas were the Gods come as man, and that Kamsa was an incarnation of Kalanemi, a famous Asura. He also said that the son to be born as the eight son of Devaki will undermine the brood of Asuras and be the destroyer of the life of Kamsa himself. This acted like the pouring of oil or fuel on fire. Not content with this, he said, while taking leave of Kamsa, 'Take every day that you manage to live as equal to a decade or more. Do not disregard death, as a distant contingency!'"