Bhagavatam - Tenth Skandha , Chapter 1

Queries on the Story of Krishna

"The questions about story of Vaasudeva purify all the three , the one asking the question, the one answering the same , as well as all the listeners , just like the waters flowing from the feet of the omnipotent purify the whole world ".

Maharaj Parikshit asked Suka Deva .

"O Brahman ! You have elaborated the story of Soma and Surya dynasties . You have also told me about the Yadu dynasty. Now I am keen to hear about the glorious activities of Lord Krishna who was born into the Yadu dynasty along with Balaram. I want to hear everything about Lord Krishna from the beginning to the end of his life ‘.

"I know that it is only with the help of Lord Krishna that my Grand father Arjun defeated the great warriors like Bhishma and Drona in the battle of Kurukshetra . I also know that I was saved only by the grace of Lord Krishna from the all consuming fires of the Brahma missile , let loose by the Brahman warrior Aswathama , the son of Drona".

"How was Krishna , born to Devaki , raised as a son of Yasoda in Gokul? What did Krishna do in Gokul and Vrindavan? Why did he kill Kamsa who is his own mother's brother , when such killing is not approved in the warrior code of conduct ? How long did he live in Dwaraka? . How many wives did he have ? How did his end come about ? I want to know all this and more from you "

Then Suka Mahamuni praises Maharaj Parikshit for his interest in knowing about Lord Krishna , the Supreme being .

"Oh King! the questions about Lord Krishna's story purify all the three , the one asking the question, the one answering the same as well as all the listeners . Just like the waters of Ganges flowing from the feet of Maha Vishnu purify the whole world , so does the hearing of Lord Krishna's deeds . So let me relate the Krishna-Leela , the stories of Krishna to you now" .

Suka Deva continued .

It was a time when the Mother Earth was getting burdened by vicious misdeeds of kings , who were only concerned with amassing material wealth ,and building armies to enhance their kingdoms . The kings and the warrior class had little concern for the welfare of the people . The deceit and greed seemed to be overwhelming the tradition of truth and kindliness . It is then that the Mother Earth approached Lord Brahma with a prayer to lessen her burden by ridding the earth of all such people.

Then Lord Brahma along with Lord Siva approached Lord Vishnu who is resting on the ocean of Milk. As Brahma and others recited the 'Purusha suktam', a hymn in praise of Maha Vishnu , Lord Brahma heard the divine message and told all the assembled Devas that Lord Vishnu will appear in the Yadu dynasty as the son of Devaki to lessen the burden of Mother Earth . He also said that the thousand hooded Adisesha will be born as his elder Brother . He said that all the Devas and their wives shall also be born into Yadu dynasty , to be part of the activities in lessening the burden of Mother Earth. Having thus answered the prayers of the Mother Earth , Lord Brahma went back to his abode.

Suka Deva continued .

‘ Once there was king named Surasena of Yadu lineage in the city of Mathura , ruling over the city and the surrounding lands . From that time Mathura became the capital of Yadu kings. Vasudev , a scion of the Yadu lineage , married Devaki , the daughter of King Devaka . As per the customs in vogue , King Devaka bestowed gifts in the form of an entourage of brides maids , elephants , horses and chariots to the bride & the groom . As Devaki and Vasudev started on their joyous journey after marriage on a chariot , Kamsa , the son of King Ugrasena in order to please Devaki , his cousin sister, took the reins of the chariot ‘ .

As they were about to start , amid the auspicious chanting and sounds of conches , trumpets , etc., Kamsa hears a voice from the sky saying , " Oh foolish man, the eighth child of the lady you are driving is going to kill you". Immediately Kamsa gets ready to kill his sister Devaki with his sword . Vasudev , who has a great skill in remonstrating , speaks to Kamsa telling him that Kamsa is pride of Bhojas and he cannot sully the fair name of Bhoja dynasty by killing his own sister . He gains nothing by killing his own sister Devaki . Continuing his pleading , Vasudev tells him that as per the message heard by all , it is not Devaki who is the cause of his death . It is the eighth child of Devaki . So there is no need to kill Devaki at all .

Kamsa was unmoved .

Sensing that Kamsa is not moved by his pleadings , Vasudev being more concerned about life of Devaki adopts another strategy . Quickly thinking that since Kamsa is any way destined to die some time and if destiny so chooses he may even die before any children are born to Devaki , he felt it is more important to save Devaki at any cost without worrying about their unborn children . Accordingly Vasudev pledges to Kamsa that he will hand over all the children of Devaki as soon as they were born . With the continued pleadings and offer of Vasudev , Kamsa was reconciled to letting Devaki live.

As time passed Devaki gave birth to the first child . Vasudev being a man of his words , brings the first child of Devaki to handover to Kamsa as per his promise . Kamsa was taken aback by the honesty of Vasudev . He was also pleased and said , “ Let the first child go , he poses no danger to me. By all accounts it is only from the eighth child of Devaki that I am destined to die “ .

As it happens the Seer Narad , who has the knack of appearing at odd places with variety of information visits Mathura and tells Kamsa that Devas hatched a plan to annihilate all Asuras , who are considerd to be a burden to mother earth . According to this conspiracy , all Devas will be appearing in the Yadu clan. Even Maha Vishnu is going to appear on the earth in the Yadu clan to reduce the burden of earth . This warning from Narad increased the insecurity of Kamsa and his fears about all Yadus . He immediately orders the imprisonment of Devaki and Vasudev . Kamsa also orders killing of all children of Devaki , since he is no longer sure that he will be killed by only the eighth child .

Kamsa now took on the Yadus and begans to suppress and persecute Yadus . He was supported in these gross activities of persecution by his father-in-law , the King Jarasandha of Magadha. He was also assisted and supported by a number of Asuras like Pralamba, Baka, Chanura, Trinavarta, Aghasura, Mushtika, Arishta, Dvivada, Putana, Kesi, Dhenuka, and Kings like Bana and Narakasura .


"Indeed they kill mother , father , brother as well as all friends for their personal gratification , such are the greedy kings on this earth "