Sri Krishna Stories – Episode 20 – Death of Kamsa


It was a quiet afternoon when Akrura’s chariot entered Brindavan. Akrura was well-known as a man of noble nature. Nanda came out to the street to receive him. Krishna and Balarama bowed down to greet him.  But no sooner Akrura was alone with Krishna than he prostrated himself to the little  boy. Akrura was one of those who knew that Krishna was none other than the Divine. In tears the old devotee told Krishna that though Kamsa wants them to visit his palace to witness a festival, it was only a trick. To kill him was the tyrant’s sole motive.  Krishna smiled and nodded.  Akrura understood that Krishna was ready to face the challenge.  His heart was filled with joy, partly because he was meeting the Lord of his life and partly because he was guiding Krishna rid Mathura of the demon’s tyranny.

Akrura’s joy got a setback when he looked at the people of Brindavan. In the meanwhile everybody had come to know that he was there to lead Krishna and Balarama away to Mathura. Amidst sighs and tears of the gopa and gopis of Brindavan, Krishna and Balarama rode the chariot. Some ran behind it until Akrura speeded up the vehicle.  Nanda and Yasoda too had been summoned by Kamsa.


gopas and gopis crying

Akrura  had informed Kamsa that the  young guests had arrived, but  would like to see their king and  revered uncle the next day, in  the morning.  “Let the boys have a glimpse of the sunrise—for the last time!” Kamsa told himself with a chuckle. He checked the arrangements he had made once again. Everything was to his satisfaction. It was a bright morning when Krishna started for Kamsa’s palace, accompanied by Balarama and followed by his foster parents as well as friends. The people of Mathura marvelled at the charming lads.


Upon arriving at the majestic gateway to the palace, Krishna and Balarama saw their passage blocked by a huge elephant, Kuvalayapeeth.  “Please give us way. We, the nephews of the king, are here at a call from him,” Krishna said politely, looking at the giant mahout seated on the elephant.  In a startling move the mahout aggravated his elephant to trample the young visitors. The crowd following Krishna found with horror Krishna missing.  The surprised mahout was turning his elephant in every direction to locate his target.  But the elephant suddenly seemed to be going up!  Yes, the little Krishna had gone under it. He gave it an upward push and it sprang up and fell sidelong, crushing its giant-mahout to instant death.  Krishna came out, giggling.  The crowd made up of boys from Brindavan and a large number of the people of Mathura burst into a thunderous applause. They crossed into the spacious courtyard where the festival was supposed to be held.

krishna and Chanura

On one end of the courtyard stood a high platform. It was on that platform that Kamsa sat with his companions, bodyguards and ministers. The two brothers stopped as their eyes fell on Kamsa and bowed to him. But, Kamsa was too excited to acknowledge their courtesy. He was waving his hands furiously at two of his demon-wrestlers, Chanur and Mustik.  The wrestlers, looking like a pair of mobile hillocks, confronted the two brothers. “It seems you’re very brave and strong!” they observed with a sneer. “What about trying your strength with us?”  “You have heard wrong. We are only cowherd lads and our knowledge of wrestling is no greater than our knowledge of playing hide-and-seek!” explained Krishna.  But the red-eyed, rock muscled giants were in no mood to appreciate their humility.  Chanur pounced on Krishna and Mustik on Balarama.  Dust rose high and for a while nothing could be seen. Those on the platform with Kamsa were of course left in no doubt that the fearful wrestlers had crushed the boys as thoroughly as a thunder-bolt crushed a tender plant!  Two piercing cries rent the air. The dust subsided. The people saw the mighty wrestlers  lying lifeless. Krishna and his brother were wiping sweat off their faces.  Stunned for a moment, the crowd burst into another peal of hearty applause and cheers, but the sound was subdued by Kamsa’s shriek. “Kill those kids and behead their parents instantly!”

krishna kills kamsa

Krishna was seen climbing the ladder leading to Kamsa’s seat.  The last all saw of the living tyrant was, he had raised his heavy sword. Next moment he toppled off the high platform.  With a resounding thud he sprawled on the ground with Krishna on his chest!  Soon Kamsa’s companions realised the situation. They fled.  Kamsa’s wives began to wail. The whole of Mathura rejoiced at the tyrant’s death. Mathura was now in the greatest ever festive mood.  The very first thing Krishna did after Kamsa’s death was to  march to the house where his  parents Vasudev and Devaki lay  imprisoned and set them free.  Then he released Ugrasen, Kamsa’s father from the prison, whose throne the tyrant had grabbed.  The kingdom was restored to the good old Ugrasen.


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