Kathai Kathaiyam Karanamam

Tales We Heard Sitting In Ammupatti’s Lap

Lord Sree Krishna’s Birth

Posted by ammupatti on August 21, 2009

As we celebrate Janmashtami, here is the story of Sree Krishna’s birth. Sree Krishna took birth on this earth as the 9th incarnation of Lord Mahavishnu’s 10 incarnations (Dashavathara). Among all the incarnations that Lord Mahavishnu took, Sree Krishna’s incarnation is the most liked by children as He, when he was but a child, performed many miracles and killed many demons and his childhood in Nandgaon, Gokul and Brindavan is well documented in our epics.

Sree Krishna was born as the eighth son of Devaki and Vasudeva. Devaki was the sister of Maharaja Kamsa, the king of Mathura. Kamsa was known as a very cruel king having imprisoned his father Ugrasena to ascend the throne of Mathura. However Kamsa was very affectionate towards his sister Devaki and performed the marriage of Devaki with Vasudeva in a grand manner. On the marriage day, as the bride and groom were taken in a procession in a decorated chariot driven by Kamsa himself along the streets of the capital city, there was a divine announcement from the heavens. The voice said, “Hey Kamsa, You will be killed by the eighth son of this couple, Devaki and Vasudeva.”

Kamsa was at once overcome by fear and ordered that the couple be killed. Vasudeva pleaded with Kamsa to spare their lives and promised to hand over all the babies born to them. Kamsa then put both Devaki and Vasudeva  under rigorous imprisonment under the constant vigil of his loyal soldiers. As each child was born to Devaki and Vasudeva, Kamsa would kill it. Devaki pleaded with her brother to allow her older  children to live as the divine voice had prophesied that only the eighth son would kill Kamsa. But Kamsa was very adamant and did not allow any of Devaki and Vasudeva’s children to live.

When Devaki was expecting her seventh baby, the growing foetus from Devaki’s womb was transferred to Rohini’s womb, who then gave birth to Balarama. Rohini was the first wife of Vasudeva.

When Devaki was pregnant with her eighth child, Kamsa became more strict in his vigil. Finally the day arrived. It was the eighth day after full moon in the month of Shravana and the star was Rohini. There was torrential rain with thunder and lightning. Lord Krishna was born  in the prison cell. When the baby was born, there were many divine signs proclaiming that the baby born was a special child. The baby was born with Shankha and Chakra mudras in his hands. The chains with which Devaki and Vasudeva were tied came loose. The prison gates opened on their own. The guards fell asleep. Vasudeva heard a divine voice telling him to transport the new born baby to Nandgaon where his friend Nandagopa’s wife had given birth to a baby girl at the same time. The voice guided Vasudeva to leave his baby at Nandagopa’s wife’s bedside and in exchange bring her girl baby back to the prison.

While Devaki was still asleep after the baby’s birth, Vasudeva placed the new born baby in a wicker basket and carried the baby across the river Yamuna to Nandgaon. The river Yamuna was in spate because of the incessant monsoon. As Vasudeva stepped into the  swirling waters of the Yamuna, the waters parted and gave way so Vasudeva could cross the river. Aadisesha, the many hooded serpent, on whose coils Lord Mahavishnu reclines in the Ocean of Milk, spread his hoods over the wicker basket to protect the baby from the rains. Vasudeva crossed Yamuna and reached Nandagopa’s abode and exchanged the babies when every one was fast asleep. Vasudeva brought the baby back and placed her by the side of Devaki.

As the baby girl started crying, the guards woke up from their sleep and informed their master Kamsa about the baby’s birth. Kamsa came to Devaki’s cell with his sword to kill the eighth child of his sister, the one he thought would be his killer. Devaki once again pleaded with her brother to allow the baby to live as it was a girl baby. Kamsa snatched the baby from Devaki’s hand and drew his sword to kill the baby, when the baby freed herself from Kamsa’s hands and took the form of Mahamaya and said, “Hey Kamsa, I am Mahamaya. The eighth child of Devaki, who would kill you is safe elsewhere. Wait for the day he kills you.” So saying, Mahamaaya disappeared.

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