Chapter XLI - 154 Home | Index | Previous | Next

"Hearing this warning, Kamsa was plunged into deeper anxiety. He feared that even little babes might bring about his death, and sent word for Vasudeva to come to him. Poor Vasudeva came shivering in mortal dread, lest some dire calamity might descend upon his head. When he put in his appearance, Kamsa flew into a rage, and roared the question at his face, 'How many children have you now?' Vasudeva had no tongue to answer; fear that something terrible may happen if his answers overpowered him; his lips quivered, as he replied, 'Now, I have six!' Kamsa yelled. 'Well! Tomorrow morning, at dawn, you must bring all the six and hand them over to me!' He uttered no word in return. He had to honour his word. But, attachment to his offspring drew him back. He moved as if he was but a corpse that had managed to be alive! He came to where Devaki was fondling the six sons on her lap! When he told her that Kamsa had asked that the sons be given over to him, she held them in fast embrace and suffered agony that passes imagination."

"Maharaja! For the sake of prolonging one single life, see how many innocent lives are sacrificed! You may wonder why this horrid sin! But, who can unravel the mystery of the divine? To the outward eye, it appears to be unpardonable infanticide. The inner eye may perceive in it the fruition of the sins committed by those very babes in the past or the culmination of some curse that was pronounced on them! It may well be their passing into a superior level of birth. Who knows what lies in the recesses of their past, or in the caves of their future? Who knows why they were born, why they live and why they die? The world observes only the interval between birth and death; they concern themselves only with that limited period. But, the master and sovereign of all the worlds, past, present and future, does not do like that. He has more compassion than all men. He showers grace, weighing the three tenses of time, the three tiers of space, and the three traits of character. He knows best, more than any man; so, the only recourse for man is to believe that everything is His will and be at peace, and immerse himself in the contemplation of His glory and grace."

"Maharaja! Next day, as soon as the sun rose above the horizon, Vasudeva took the children most unwillingly, with the help of attendants, and, with eyes firmly closed, he gave them over to Kamsa, and burst into tears. The ego-centred maniac caught hold of each of them by the leg and beat them out of shape on the hard floor! Helpless to interfere and prevent, the unfortunate Vasudeva retraced his steps home, with a heavy heart, lamenting over the gigantic sin that brought about this woeful recompense. The royal couple were wasted in body through the terrific agony they underwent and bore it silently together. They felt every moment of living as an unbearable burden. 'God's will must prevail; one has to live, until life lasts' they consoled themselves; toughened by this feeling, they were dissolving their strength and physique in the streams of tears that grief engendered.'

"Meanwhile, the seventh pregnancy! And surprisingly, it was aborted in the seventh month! Was it necessary to inform Kamsa? If yes, how? They could not find the answer. When Kamsa knew about this, he suspected that the sister was capable of some stratagem to deceive him and so, he put her and her husband in a closely guarded prison."