The tale of Krishna is enshrined in the hearts of all, remembering Krishna, the cowherd, as a beloved God and remembrance of his exploits is a source of joy to all.
Yadava dynasty had their capital in
After the marriage of Devaki and Vasudeva, Kamsa was driving the couple to the bridegroom’s house. As the chariot roared past
Kansa’s impulsive reaction was to stop the chariot, seize Devaki and kill her on the spot. Vasudeva intervened and promised to put into the hands of Kansa all the children of Devaki as soon as they were born. Vasudeva implored Kansa to spare the life of Devaki. Kansa was satisfied with the arrangement proposed by Vasudeva for dealing with Devaki’s children and drove the chariot on without injuring Devaki. As a measure of abundant caution, Kamsa put both Devaki and Vasudeva in a prison under close guard.
Kansa started killing every child as soon as the child was born. He had killed six children in succession. Devaki became pregnant for the seventh time. A miracle occurred. The child in her womb got transferred miraculously to the womb of Rohini, another wife of Vasudeva. Rohini, fearing Kansa, was living at Gokulam on the opposite bank of the Yamuna river. This child conceived in Rohini’s womb was Balarama.
Devaki became pregnant for the eighth time. This eighth child was born at in prison. The Lord appeard in divine form at first and then, the lying-in-chamber in the prison was filled with a dazzling light. Vasudeva and Devaki realized that the born child was no human, but a divine incarnation. They jointly praised the glory of the Lord and counted it a blessing that the Lord had grown in her womb before manifesting Himself. The divine form was shown to the parents and the Supreme Being had assumed the form of a human child.
At the very moment that the Lord was born in the prison cell, the divine Maya or the Power incarnate of the Lord was born, in the Gokulam, as the female child of Yasoda, the wife of Nanda.
A divine prompting came to Vasudeva: “Take your male child across the Yamuna to Gokulam and exchange him for Yasoda’s daughter. Then you can return to prison before anyone learns of the birth of the eighth child of Devaki.” Vasudeva took the child in his arms and the prison doors opened automatically, as the guards had been put to sleep by divine intervention. Vasudeva reached the bank of the Yamuna river which was in a spate. The river parted and made way for Vasudeva carrying the divine child. Vasudeva reached the opposite bank of the river safely and found all the inmates of Gokulam fast asleep. Entering the house of Nanda, Vasudeva placed the child on the bed of Yasoda, picked up Yasoda’s female child and returned to
Vasudeva laid the female child by Devaki’s side and the prison doors shut automatically. The guards were now awake and were startled by the cries of the female child. The guards ran to Kansa and announced the birth of the eighth child to Devaki. Knowing that the eighth child would be the cause of his death, Kamsa rushed to prison to execute the child. Devaki pleaded: “O Kamsa, it is only a female child. How can this child do you any harm?” Kamsa ignored Devaki’s pleading, snatched the child from her lap and dashed the child down on a stone slab. The child did not fall down; instead, the child flew up and appeared on the sky as a goddess with eight arms and each arm carrying a weapon, “O fool of a king! You will gain nothing by killing me. The one who will destroy you is elsewhere. Do not kill innocent children, from now on.” With these words, the goddess disappeared. Kansa felt penitent and apologized to Vasudeva and Devaki for the pain he had caused them. He set free Vasudeva and Devaki from the prison.
Meanwhile, there was a great rejoicing in the Gokulam, hailing the birth of a son in Nanda’s household. On the eleventh day of the happy event, priests performed the rites to bless the child and named the child,
One day, Nanda went to
As Nanda returned home, an ominous event had indeed occurred. A she-demon called Putana had been instructed by Kansa to kill all new-born children in cities, villages and hamlets. Finding that there was a new-born child in Nanda’s household, Putana promptly set about to kill the child. She had the power of assuming any desired form and could fly through air. Putana reached the Gokulam and assumed the form of a beautiful woman. She saw
On the first anniversary of
Another emissary demon called Trinavrita, sent by Kamsa, came to Gokulam. The demon assumed the form a whirlwind and tried to carry away the child
These happenings made Nanda realize that Vasudeva did convey something by talking about his foreboding. Yasoda had also experienced some extraordinary phenomena. One day,
Balarama was fair in complexion and
Making these complaints in a tone of mock-seriousness, the Gopis were adoring at the same time the charm and the lovely lips of
One day, Yasoda had to tie him up to the mortar with a strong rope to stop his childish pranks of breaking and stealing butter from the pot in her kitchen.
Incidents like these created a sense of terror in the minds of the inmates of the Gokulam, including Nanda and Yasoda. Extraordinary events had been occurring in the Gokulam which seemed to indicate that demons and evil spirits had settled in the colony threatening the very survival of the Gokulam. Upananda, an old cowherd addressed the inmates:”Let us get out of this place before further calamities strike us. Brindavan forest is nearby. Let us go there.” The Gopas and Gopis agreed and moved into Brindavan, located between the Govardhana hill and the banks of the Yamuna river.
One day, the cowherd boys and
It was the day of worship of Indra, the god of clouds and rain.
The Vraja country soon realized that
Krishnaleela (exploits of
Kamsa sent his messenger Akrura to Brindavan announcing a tournament in the capital. Kamsa had confided in Akrura that the plan was to station a mighty elephant at the entrance to the tournament grounds and to drive the animal towards Balarama and
Gopis and Gopas were in tears seeing the chariots of
The news of the arrival of
In the tournament arena, a mighty bow was kept under security.
As planned, at the gates of the wrestling stadium, the mighty elephant, Kuvalayapida was set upon
Armed with the broken tusks of the elephant,
The challenge was accepted. The spectators protested that this was an unfair contest between two professional wrestlers and two innocent boys; it was like a contest between rocks and flowers. Kamsa ignored the protests and flagged off the contest.
The professional wrestlers tried all their skills and tricks to down
Kamsa was in fury, “Seize these evil lads. Seize all the visitors from Brindavan. Put them in chains.”
As Kansa drew his sword,
The prophesy had been fulfilled. Kamsa was killed by
Bhishmaka was the king of Vidarbha. He had five sons, the eldest of whom was Rukmi, a cruel prince. He had a daughter called Rukmini. Rukmini had longed for
Preparations for the wedding of Sisupala and Rukmini were apace in Kundina. Sisupala’s allies, Jaransha, Dantavakra, Paundraka were present with their retinue. All were the enemies of the Yadavas. Balarama learnt that
Rukmini was tormenting herself: Did the messenger reach Dwaraka? Did
All the citizens of Kundina had gathered now to get a glimpse of the famed Balarama and
The bridal procession started. The bride’s companions included many women carrying vessels of gold and silver, carrying gifts and offerings to god, flowers, fruits and coconuts, camphor and incense, scents of sandal and turmeric and many other exquisite perfumes of
The party reached the temple. Rukmini went into the shrine; her beauty was enhanced in her devoutness and serenity. She worshipped the goddess Gauri and the great god Shiva. “O Mother! O Divine!” Rukmini prayed, “I pray to you to fulfil my desires. I pray that
The procession was now ready to return from the temple to the marriage pandal. As Rukmini came out, she was
Balarama turned Jarasandha’s army back after a pitched battle between the two armies.
A brahmin named Kuchela lived in a small village. He was a friend of
Kuchela started on foot to Dwaraka, with the precious bundle of rice-flakes in his hands. Dwaraka was a beautiful city of palaces, much grander than
Kuchela had been hiding the bundle of rice-flakes under his clothing. He was wondering if it was all right to present this as a gift to a prince.
It was time to leave and Kuchela thanked the prince and Rukmini for their kindness. As he started for home, he realized that he had not asked for anything from his friend, which was one of the objectives of his journey to Dwarka. Anyway, he said to himself, “I have got the love and affection of
Kuchela returned to his village. He was surprised to see a huge mansion in place of his old hut. A lady stepped out of the mansion. She was Kuchela’s wife. “What is going on here?” asked Kuchela. She replied, “Come and see your chidren. Don’t you know what
Kuchela reflected, “My Krishna is like a cloud which does not rain in the presence of the peasant but inundates the peasant’s field while he is asleep. His love is greater than the wealth He has granted us.”
Kuchela lived happily thereafter, but was never infatuated with his wealth and always remembered the charm and affection of his friend and Lord,
Do You Wish to Know More on