Sri Krishna Stories – Episode 19 – Narada guides Kamsa

Sri Krishna Stories – Episode 18 – Kaliya Mardhana and Pralambasura

Dawn was breaking out.  Kamsa was walking up and down his terrace. He had not been able to sleep.  Even if Nanda’s son was not his foe of the prophecy, it was very uncomfortable to let the  boy live. He finished off one after another the killers despatched by Kamsa.

Who can say that, if allowed to grow up, the boy would not claim the kingdom of Mathura? How can a mere kid prove so strong?  While Kamsa strolled worrying over these questions, suddenly the air was pervaded by a  sweet melody.

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It was Narada, the sage. He descended before Kamsa. “How are you, King Kamsa?     “Narada, all is not well with me. You know about the ominous prophecy that hangs on my head like a curse. How can I be in peace?” Kamsa made a clean breast of his problem.  “You’re yourself to blame for your state of mind. Why don’t you put an end to your foe at once? Surely, a clever king like you ought to find out who the foe is!”  “Well,” said Kamsa after a little hesitation, “I suspect a certain naughty boy….”  “Krishna of Brindavan. Am I right?” Narada asked and giggled meaningfully.  “You’re right, O wise sage, but hadn’t the prophecy said that it would be my sister Devaki’s son—her eighth issue?  The fact, however, is, her eighth issue was a female child. It slipped off my hands when I tried to smash it to death. But, escaping into the sky, it threatened me with a puzzling announcement. It said that in vain was I looking for my foe here; it was growing up elsewhere!  Now, I don’t understand how my foe can be elsewhere if it was to be born of Devaki.


At the same time, taking stock of Krishna’s activities, I should conclude that he is the foe!”. No doubt, it was time for Narada to tell Kamsa the facts.  He was extremely eager to hear more from the sage.  “Devaki indeed gave birth to a male child. But her husband Vasudev carried the child overnight to Nanda’s house and exchanged it with Nanda’s new born daughter. Do you realise now that the boy called Krishna is none other than your foe of the prophecy?” Hearing this kamsa grew furious and wanted to kill Vasudev. But Sage Narada stopped him and said “Kamsa, your approach is wrong. You send your killers to Brindavan where Krishna proves stronger. Don’t you think that the situation could be quite different if you met him here—on your own ground?”  The sage asked with a twinkle in his eyes.  What an excellent idea! Kamsa almost jumped at it, Narada, sure that he had accomplished his mission, took leave of the tyrant.  Hurrying down to his court, Kamsa did two things at once.  He ordered Vasudev and Devaki to be thrown into prison.

Secondly he summoned Akrura, a close relative.  “Proceed to Nanda’s house without any delay. Ask him to send those two boys, Krishna and Balarama, to me. I have never seen them though I have heard so much about them. Tell Nanda that I am organising a festival in the honour of those boys. Nanda and his wife too must come,” he told Akrura.  Kamsa could not have guessed that Akrura was one of those few people who knew who Krishna really was. He was thrilled. Nothing could mean a greater pleasure to him than meeting Krishna.  Akrura left for Brindavan while preparations for the festival began at Mathura.

Since the time of the dreaded prophecy that was made during Devaki’s marriage, Kamsa had never looked happy. But now his mood changed. He smiled as he planned with his ministers.  He was taking no chances. A dangerous elephant and its mahout notorious for trampling people to death were kept ready to confront the young visitors. In case they escaped, they were to be challenged by two demon wrestlers to a combat. Although there was no question of the boys surviving these deadly foes, Kamsa chose his ablest soldiers to remain with him as his bodyguards. They were to pounce upon the boys at a hint from him.  Last but not the least, Kamsa himself would remain alert and  armed to teeth to end the  adventure of the boys—if it  went too long!


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