Once upon a time, there lived a king named Ugrasena. Ugrasena had a son, Kamsawho was the crown prince of Mathura. He was a hard-hearted, merciless and cruel man. Everyone in Mathura was scared of his cruel and wicked nature. But there was one person whom Kamsa loved and adored. That was his cousin Devaki, who was a pious and good-natured lady. Devaki’s marriage was fixed with a nobleman named Vasudev. The wedding was a real grandeur. After all the rituals were accomplished, Kamsa who loved his sister dearly offered to drive the chariot to escort his sister to her inlaw’s home. When they were on their way, suddenly, there was a great voice from the skies.
Akashvani: O cruel Kamsa, why are you so happy? Beware, the very sister you love so much is
going to give birth to a son who will destroy you. The eighth son born to Devaki will kill you.
Kamsa: I’ll slay her before she lives to have that eighth child.
Vasudev: Kamsa do you realize what you are going to do? It is not justice to kill your sister on
the day of her marriage. If you spare Devaki’s life, I promise you that I shall hand over every
child born to us. Please trust me.
Kamsa: I’ll spare Devaki, but I’ll make sure that you keep your word.
He then ordered the procession to return to Mathura. When they reached Mathura, Kamsa imprisoned Devaki, Vasudev in the dungeons. One day, Kamsa was sitting in his chamber when he got the news that Devaki had given birth to a child. Kamsa immediately went to prison.
Kamsa: Devaki, give me the baby.
Kamsa snatched the child from Devaki and caught hold of its legs. Then, he dashed on the ground, killing it at that very moment. After that Kamsa killed the next five children similarly. In due course of time, Devaki was pregnant for the seventh time. The seventh child was miraculously carried to Rohini, another wife of Vasudev who lived in Gokul. Later, this child was known as Balram. And Kamsa was told that Devaki’s baby was still born. It was the eighth day in the month of Shravan. A terrible storm arose in the city. Rain was pouring in torrents and the sky was covered with thick black clouds. Devaki was pregnant with the eighth child. Suddenly, Lord Vishnu appeared before them and said,
Vishnu: Devaki, Vasudev! Your wish has been fulfilled and I have taken birth as your child.
Vasudev, take this child away from here to Gokul and switch him with the one born to
Saying so, Lord Vishnu Disappeared. At the stroke of midnight, a baby boy was born to Devaki.
Vasudev: Look, the chains have fallen off. It’s a miracle. Devaki, quick, give me the child. I’ll take him to our friend, Nanda, in Gokul.
As Vasudev turned to go, the door of the prison swung open and he found all the soldiers in deep sleep. Carefully holding the basket on his head, Vasudev headed towards Gokul. Vasudev was followed by Adhisesha, the snake that Vishnu reclined on in Vaikunta. He spread his hood over the child in the basket that Vasudev carried on his head. Soon Vasudev reached the bank of the river Yamuna, and to his astonishment, the river parted and gave him the way.
Vasudev reached Gokul where Nandagopal’s wife Yashoda had just given birth to a female child. Vasudev placed Krishna in the baby girl’s cradle and took the baby girl gently with him
Vasudev made his way back to the dungeon. As soon as he was back with the baby girl, the dungeon doors closed, waking up the guards. The voice of a baby crying greeted their ears.
On hearing the cry of an infant, the guards immediately reported the birth of the child to their king.
Kamsa: Devaki, give me the baby.
Vasudev: How can a baby girl do any harm to a mighty warrior like you that the whole world fears?
But Kamsa was not ready to listen to any of their pleas. the baby girl slipped out of his hand and rose in the air. She turned into goddess Durga.
Durga: Oh wicked Kamsa, you have just displayed your valor by trying to kill a helpless baby. Your destroyer was born to Devaki at midnight and is now safe at Gokul. When the time comes, he will come in search of you and punish you for all the evil you have committed.
Saying so goddess Durga disappeared. As for Kamsa, he was terrified and lived a life filled with fear. Vasudev and Devaki rejoiced.