Mathura was a town in a
region of India now known as Uttar Pradesh. Ugrasena was the king. He was a wicked, hard-
hearted man. Kamsa, was a wicked, hard-hearted man. Kamsa arrogant and boasted of his
strength. He was an evil son who sent his own father to prison and became king.
Devaki, the sister of Kamsa, married Vasudeva. On the day of the marriage the new
couple went out in grand procession. With great enthusiasm Kamsa was himself driving the
All of a sudden Kamsa heard a voice from the skies: "You fool! You are driving the
chariot of your sister and brother-in-law, but you do not know that the eighth son of this
very woman will kill you".
Kamsa was shocked. He was also furious. Then he exclaimed, "if my sister lives,
her son will be my death. Well, I shall kill Devaki herself!" and drew his sword.
Vasudeva begged him not to slay a woman. Kamsa then put them both behind prison bars.
Thereafter, he killed every child born to Devaki.
The eighth child was Krishna. He was born on Shravan Bahula Ashtami (the eight day of
the second half of the month of Shravan). He was dark as cloud, but his face had matchless
radiance. Vasudeva felt he should save at least this child.
That night as the guards were in deep slumber, Vasudeva left with the child. Vasudeva
left with the child. It was raining heavily. Vasudeva had to cross the river yamuna. But
he walked on with his precious burden. He reached distant Gokula and left the child in the
house of Nanda, a cowherd. Nadas wife, yashoda, had just then given birth to a
daughter. Vasudeva hastened back to the prison with Yashodas child.
When the guards woke up, they heard the baby crying. They immediately raced to Kamsa
and reported to him the birth of a child.
"I shall slay the child, " said Kamsa, and rushed to the prison.
But the child slipped from his hands and sprang to sky. It said to Kamsa "Wretch!
The child who is destined to kill you is growing p in Gokula," and disappeared. Kamsa
was stunned. And then he decided that the child in Gokula should die. But how was he to
kill it? He began to plan.
Yashoda, Nandas wife was supremely happy to see her beautiful son. The bewitching
childs smile made her forgets the world.
The stories about Krishnas childhood are very interesting. One day a
well-dressed, beautiful woman came Gokula. She was all smiles, she began to feed the child
at her breast. This woman was in fact Poothani, a wicked woman sent by Kamsa to kill
Krishna. Her milk was poisonous. but Krishna smilingly sucked the milk from her breast and
killed her by sucking out her life.
Kamsa sent two more rakshasas Trinavartha and Shakatasura. Krishna killed them, too.
It is said a number of such incidents foretold the future greatness of Krishna.
Kamsa was powerful and wicked. His persecution trouble Nanda and he was filled with
fear. The gopa- the cowherd- decided to leave Gokula. They migrated to Brindavan.
Brindavan soon developed into a township. Krishna and his friends were delighted. The
woods, the banks of the Yamuna, the valleys and the fields echoed and re-echoed with their
loud shouts and gay laughter. Vasudeva had another wife Rohini by name; she was living in
Gokula. She had a son, Balarama, who was older than Krishna. Their mischief and their
laughter filled all Brindavan.
One day the cowherd boys drank the water of a lake. At once they fell down dead. This
was because of a huge serpent in the lake, which had poisoned the water. Krishna decided
to put an end to this danger. The huge serpent tried to coil itself round him, but Krishna
caught hold of its tail and stepped on its hood.Theserpent struggled and tried to bite
him: but Krishna pressed down its hood harder and the serpent was helpless. Krishna then
let it go and the serpent left the lake. Every one rejoiced at the departure of the
The cowherd boys were a big crowd. Krishna was their leader. They played and sang, they
dance and swan, as he bade them. They played gaily in the woods, and swam in every lake.