Śrīmad Bhāgavatam |Canto 10 Chapter 1
The Advent of Lord Kṛṣṇa: Introduction
śrī-rājā uvāca — King Parīkṣit said; kathitaḥ — has already been described; vaṁśa-vistāraḥ — a broad description of the dynasties; bhavatā — by Your Lordship; soma-sūryayoḥ — of the moon-god and the sun-god; rājñām — of the kings; ca — and; ubhaya — both; vaṁśyānām — of the members of the dynasties; caritam — the character; parama — exalted; adbhutam — and wonderful.
King Parīkṣit said: My dear lord, you have elaborately described the dynasties of both the moon-god and the sun-god, with the exalted and wonderful character of their kings.
yadoś ca dharma-śīlasya
viṣṇor vīryāṇi śaṁsa naḥ
yadoḥ — of Yadu or the Yadu dynasty; ca — also; dharma-śīlasya — who were strictly attached to religious principles; nitarām — highly qualified; muni-sattama — O best of all munis, king of the munis (Śukadeva Gosvāmī); tatra — in that dynasty; aṁśena — with His plenary expansion Baladeva; avatīrṇasya — who appeared as an incarnation; viṣṇoḥ — of Lord Viṣṇu; vīryāṇi — the glorious activities; śaṁsa — kindly describe; naḥ — unto us.
O best of munis, you have also described the descendants of Yadu, who were very pious and strictly adherent to religious principles. Now, if you will, kindly describe the wonderful, glorious activities of Lord Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa, who appeared in that Yadu dynasty with Baladeva, His plenary expansion.
avatīrya yador vaṁśe
kṛtavān yāni viśvātmā
tāni no vada vistarāt
avatīrya — after descending; yadoḥ vaṁśe — in the dynasty of Yadu; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; bhūta-bhāvanaḥ — who is the cause of the cosmic manifestation; kṛtavān — executed; yāni — whatever (activities); viśva-ātmā — the Supersoul of the entire universe; tāni — all of those (activities); naḥ — unto us; vada — kindly say; vistarāt — elaborately.
The Supersoul, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the cause of the cosmic manifestation, appeared in the dynasty of Yadu. Please tell me elaborately about His glorious activities and character, from the beginning to the end of His life.
pumān virajyeta vinā paśughnāt
nivṛtta — released from; tarṣaiḥ — lust or material activities; upagīyamānāt — which is described or sung; bhava-auṣadhāt — which is the right medicine for the material disease; śrotra — the process of aural reception; manaḥ — the subject matter of thought for the mind; abhirāmāt — from the pleasing vibrations from such glorification; kaḥ — who; uttamaśloka — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; guṇa-anuvādāt — from describing such activities; pumān — a person; virajyeta — can keep himself aloof; vinā — except; paśu-ghnāt — either a butcher or one who is killing his own personal existence.
Glorification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is performed in the paramparā system, that is, it is conveyed from the spiritual master to disciple. Such glorification is relished by those no longer interested in the false, temporary glorification of this cosmic manifestation. Descriptions of the Lord are the right medicine for the conditioned soul undergoing repeated birth and death. Therefore, who will cease hearing such glorification of the Lord except a butcher or one who is killing his own self?
pitāmahā me samare ’marañjayair
kṛtvātaran vatsa-padaṁ sma yat-plavāḥ
drauṇy-astra-vipluṣṭam idaṁ mad-aṅgaṁ
jugopa kukṣiṁ gata ātta-cakro
mātuś ca me yaḥ śaraṇaṁ gatāyāḥ
antar bahiḥ pūruṣa-kāla-rūpaiḥ
prayacchato mṛtyum utāmṛtaṁ ca
māyā-manuṣyasya vadasva vidvan
pitāmahāḥ — my grandfathers, the five Pāṇḍavas (Yudhiṣṭhira, Bhīma, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva); me — my; samare — on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra; amaram jayaiḥ — with fighters who could gain victory over the demigods on the battlefield; devavrata-ādya — Bhīṣmadeva and others; atirathaiḥ — great commanders in chief; timiṅgilaiḥ — resembling great timiṅgila fish, which can easily eat large sharks; duratyayam — very difficult to cross; kaurava-sainya-sāgaram — the ocean of the assembled soldiers of the Kauravas; kṛtvā — considering such an ocean; ataran — crossed it; vatsa-padam — exactly as one steps over a small hoofprint of a calf; sma — in the past; yat-plavāḥ — the shelter of the boat of Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet; drauṇi — of Aśvatthāmā; astra — by the brahmāstra; vipluṣṭam — being attacked and burned; idam — this; mat-aṅgam — my body; santāna-bījam — the only seed left, the last descendant of the family; kuru-pāṇḍavānām — of the Kurus and the Pāṇḍavas (because no one but me lived after the Battle of Kurukṣetra); jugopa — gave protection; kukṣim — within the womb; gataḥ — being placed; ātta-cakraḥ — taking in hand the disc; mātuḥ — of my mother; ca — also; me — my; yaḥ — the Lord who; śaraṇam — the shelter; gatāyāḥ — who had taken; vīryāṇi — the glorification of the transcendental characteristics; tasya — of Him (the Supreme Personality of Godhead); akhila-deha-bhājām — of all the materially embodied living entities; antaḥ bahiḥ — inside and outside; pūruṣa — of the Supreme Person; kāla-rūpaiḥ — in the forms of eternal time; prayacchataḥ — who is the giver; mṛtyum — of death; uta — it is so said; amṛtam ca — and eternal life; māyā-manuṣyasya — of the Lord, who appeared as an ordinary human being by His own potency; vadasva — kindly describe; vidvan — O learned speaker (Śukadeva Gosvāmī).
Taking the boat of Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet, my grandfather Arjuna and others crossed the ocean of the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, in which such commanders as Bhīṣmadeva resembled great fish that could very easily have swallowed them. By the mercy of Lord Kṛṣṇa, my grandfathers crossed this ocean, which was very difficult to cross, as easily as one steps over the hoofprint of a calf. Because my mother surrendered unto Lord Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet, the Lord, Sudarśana-cakra in hand, entered her womb and saved my body, the body of the last remaining descendant of the Kurus and the Pāṇḍavas, which was almost destroyed by the fiery weapon of Aśvatthāmā. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, appearing within and outside of all materially embodied living beings by His own potency in the forms of eternal time — that is, as Paramātmā and as virāṭ-rūpa — gave liberation to everyone, either as cruel death or as life. Kindly enlighten me by describing His transcendental characteristics.
rohiṇyās tanayaḥ prokto
rāmaḥ saṅkarṣaṇas tvayā
kuto dehāntaraṁ vinā
rohiṇyāḥ — of Rohiṇīdevī, the mother of Baladeva; tanayaḥ — the son; proktaḥ — is well known; rāmaḥ — Balarāma; saṅkarṣaṇaḥ — Balarāma is none other than Saṅkarṣaṇa, the first Deity in the quadruple group (Saṅkarṣaṇa, Aniruddha, Pradyumna and Vāsudeva); tvayā — by you (it is so said); devakyāḥ — of Devakī, the mother of Kṛṣṇa; garbha-sambandhaḥ — connected with the womb; kutaḥ — how; deha-antaram — transferring bodies; vinā — without.
My dear Śukadeva Gosvāmī, you have already explained that Saṅkarṣaṇa, who belongs to the second quadruple, appeared as the son of Rohiṇī named Balarāma. If Balarāma was not transferred from one body to another, how is it possible that He was first in the womb of Devakī and then in the womb of Rohiṇī? Kindly explain this to me.
kasmān mukundo bhagavān
pitur gehād vrajaṁ gataḥ
kva vāsaṁ jñātibhiḥ sārdhaṁ
kṛtavān sātvatāṁ patiḥ
kasmāt — why; mukundaḥ — Kṛṣṇa, who can award liberation to everyone; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; pituḥ — of His father (Vasudeva); gehāt — from the house; vrajam — to Vrajadhāma, Vrajabhūmi; gataḥ — went; kva — where; vāsam — placed Himself to live; jñātibhiḥ — His relatives; sārdham — with; kṛtavān — did so; sātvatām patiḥ — the master of all Vaiṣṇava devotees.
Why did Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, leave the house of His father, Vasudeva, and transfer Himself to the house of Nanda in Vṛndāvana? Where did the Lord, the master of the Yadu dynasty, live with His relatives in Vṛndāvana?
vraje vasan kim akaron
madhupuryāṁ ca keśavaḥ
bhrātaraṁ cāvadhīt kaṁsaṁ
vraje — at Vṛndāvana; vasan — while residing; kim akarot — what did He do; madhupuryām — in Mathurā; ca — and; keśavaḥ — Kṛṣṇa, the killer of Keśī; bhrātaram — the brother; ca — and; avadhīt — killed; kaṁsam — Kaṁsa; mātuḥ — of His mother; addhā — directly; a-tat-arhaṇam — which was not at all sanctioned by the śāstras.
Lord Kṛṣṇa lived both in Vṛndāvana and in Mathurā. What did He do there? Why did He kill Kaṁsa, His mother’s brother? Such killing is not at all sanctioned in the śāstras.
dehaṁ mānuṣam āśritya
kati varṣāṇi vṛṣṇibhiḥ
patnyaḥ katy abhavan prabhoḥ
deham — body; mānuṣam — exactly like a man; āśritya — accepting; kati varṣāṇi — how many years; vṛṣṇibhiḥ — in the company of the Vṛṣṇis, those who were born in the Vṛṣṇi family; yadu-puryām — in Dvārakā, in the residential quarters of the Yadus; saha — with; avātsīt — the Lord lived; patnyaḥ — wives; kati — how many; abhavan — were there; prabhoḥ — of the Lord.
Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, has no material body, yet He appears as a human being. For how many years did He live with the descendants of Vṛṣṇi? How many wives did He marry, and for how many years did He live in Dvārakā?
etad anyac ca sarvaṁ me
vaktum arhasi sarvajña
etat — all these details; anyat ca — and others also; sarvam — everything; me — unto me; mune — O great sage; kṛṣṇa-viceṣṭitam — the activities of Lord Kṛṣṇa; vaktum — to describe; arhasi — you are able; sarva-jña — because you know everything; śraddadhānāya — because I am not envious but have all faith in Him; vistṛtam — in full detail.
O great sage, who know everything about Kṛṣṇa, please describe in detail all the activities of which I have inquired and also those of which I have not, for I have full faith and am very eager to hear of them.
naiṣātiduḥsahā kṣun māṁ
tyaktodam api bādhate
na — not; eṣā — all this; ati-duḥsahā — extremely difficult to bear; kṣut — hunger; mām — unto me; tyakta-udam — even after giving up drinking water; api — also; bādhate — does not hinder; pibantam — while drinking; tvat-mukha-ambhoja-cyutam — emanating from your lotus mouth; hari-kathā-amṛtam — the nectar of topics concerning Kṛṣṇa.
Because of my vow on the verge of death, I have given up even drinking water, yet because I am drinking the nectar of topics about Kṛṣṇa, which is flowing from the lotus mouth of your Lordship, my hunger and thirst, which are extremely difficult to bear, cannot hinder me.
evaṁ niśamya bhṛgu-nandana sādhu-vādaṁ
vaiyāsakiḥ sa bhagavān atha viṣṇu-rātam
pratyarcya kṛṣṇa-caritaṁ kali-kalmaṣa-ghnaṁ
vyāhartum ārabhata bhāgavata-pradhānaḥ
sūtaḥ uvāca — Sūta Gosvāmī said; evam — thus; niśamya — hearing; bhṛgu-nandana — O son of the Bhṛgu dynasty, Śaunaka; sādhu-vādam — pious questions; vaiyāsakiḥ — Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the son of Vyāsadeva; saḥ — he; bhagavān — the most powerful; atha — thus; viṣṇu-rātam — unto Parīkṣit Mahārāja, who was always protected by Viṣṇu; pratyarcya — offering him respectful obeisances; kṛṣṇa-caritam — topics of Lord Kṛṣṇa; kali-kalmaṣa-ghnam — which diminish the troubles of this Age of Kali; vyāhartum — to describe; ārabhata — began; bhāgavata-pradhānaḥ — Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the chief among the pure devotees.
Sūta Gosvāmī said: O son of Bhṛgu, after Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the most respectable devotee, the son of Vyāsadeva, heard the pious questions of Mahārāja Parīkṣit, he thanked the King with great respect. Then he began to discourse on topics concerning Kṛṣṇa, which are the remedy for all sufferings in this Age of Kali.
samyag vyavasitā buddhis
yaj jātā naiṣṭhikī ratiḥ
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; samyak — completely; vyavasitā — fixed; buddhiḥ — intelligence; tava — of Your Majesty; rāja-ṛṣi-sattama — O best of rājarṣis, saintly kings; vāsudeva-kathāyām — in hearing about the topics of Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa; te — your; yat — because; jātā — developed; naiṣṭhikī — without cessation; ratiḥ — attraction or ecstatic devotional service.
Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O Your Majesty, best of all saintly kings, because you are greatly attracted to topics of Vāsudeva, it is certain that your intelligence is firmly fixed in spiritual understanding, which is the only true goal for humanity. Because that attraction is unceasing, it is certainly sublime.
puruṣāṁs trīn punāti hi
vaktāraṁ pracchakaṁ śrotṝṁs
vāsudeva-kathā-praśnaḥ — questions about the pastimes and characteristics of Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa; puruṣān — persons; trīn — three; punāti — purify; hi — indeed; vaktāram — the speaker, such as Śukadeva Gosvāmī; pracchakam — and an inquisitive hearer like Mahārāja Parīkṣit; śrotṝn — and, between them, the listeners hearing about the topics; tat-pāda-salilam yathā — exactly as the entire world is purified by the Ganges water emanating from the toe of Lord Viṣṇu.
The Ganges, emanating from the toe of Lord Viṣṇu, purifies the three worlds, the upper, middle and lower planetary systems. Similarly, when one asks questions about the pastimes and characteristics of Lord Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, three varieties of men are purified: the speaker or preacher, he who inquires, and the people in general who listen.
brahmāṇaṁ śaraṇaṁ yayau
bhūmiḥ — mother earth; dṛpta — puffed up; nṛpa-vyāja — posing as kings, or the supreme power personified in the state; daitya — of demons; anīka — of military phalanxes of soldiers; śata-ayutaiḥ — unlimitedly, by many hundreds of thousands; ākrāntā — being overburdened; bhūri-bhāreṇa — by a burden of unnecessary fighting power; brahmāṇam — unto Lord Brahmā; śaraṇam — to take shelter; yayau — went.
Once when mother earth was overburdened by hundreds of thousands of military phalanxes of various conceited demons dressed like kings, she approached Lord Brahmā for relief.
gaur bhūtvāśru-mukhī khinnā
krandantī karuṇaṁ vibhoḥ
gauḥ — the shape of a cow; bhūtvā — assuming; aśru-mukhī — with tears in the eyes; khinnā — very much distressed; krandantī — weeping; karuṇam — piteously; vibhoḥ — of Lord Brahmā; upasthitā — appeared; antike — in front; tasmai — unto him (Lord Brahmā); vyasanam — her distress; samavocata — submitted.
Mother earth assumed the form of a cow. Very much distressed, with tears in her eyes, she appeared before Lord Brahmā and told him about her misfortune.
saha devais tayā saha
brahmā — Lord Brahmā; tat-upadhārya — understanding everything rightly; atha — thereafter; saha — with; devaiḥ — the demigods; tayā saha — with mother earth; jagāma — approached; sa-tri-nayanaḥ — with Lord Śiva, who has three eyes; tīram — the shore; kṣīra-payaḥ-nidheḥ — of the Ocean of Milk.
Thereafter, having heard of the distress of mother earth, Lord Brahmā, with mother earth, Lord Śiva and all the other demigods, approached the shore of the Ocean of Milk.
tatra gatvā jagannāthaṁ
tatra — there (on the shore of the Ocean of Milk); gatvā — after going; jagannātham — unto the master of the entire universe, the Supreme Being; deva-devam — the Supreme God of all gods; vṛṣākapim — the Supreme Person, Viṣṇu, who provides for everyone and diminishes everyone’s suffering; puruṣam — the Supreme Person; puruṣa-sūktena — with the Vedic mantra known as Puruṣa-sūkta; upatasthe — worshiped; samāhitaḥ — with full attention.
After reaching the shore of the Ocean of Milk, the demigods worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Viṣṇu, the master of the whole universe, the supreme God of all gods, who provides for everyone and diminishes everyone’s suffering. With great attention, they worshiped Lord Viṣṇu, who lies on the Ocean of Milk, by reciting the Vedic mantras known as the Puruṣa-sūkta.
giraṁ samādhau gagane samīritāṁ
niśamya vedhās tridaśān uvāca ha
gāṁ pauruṣīṁ me śṛṇutāmarāḥ punar
vidhīyatām āśu tathaiva mā ciram
giram — a vibration of words; samādhau — in trance; gagane — in the sky; samīritām — vibrated; niśamya — hearing; vedhāḥ — Lord Brahmā; tridaśān — unto the demigods; uvāca — said; ha — oh; gām — the order; pauruṣīm — received from the Supreme Person; me — from me; śṛṇuta — just hear; amarāḥ — O demigods; punaḥ — again; vidhīyatām — execute; āśu — immediately; tathā eva — just so; mā — do not; ciram — delay.
While in trance, Lord Brahmā heard the words of Lord Viṣṇu vibrating in the sky. Thus he told the demigods: O demigods, hear from me the order of Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, the Supreme Person, and execute it attentively without delay.
puraiva puṁsāvadhṛto dharā-jvaro
bhavadbhir aṁśair yaduṣūpajanyatām
sa yāvad urvyā bharam īśvareśvaraḥ
sva-kāla-śaktyā kṣapayaṁś cared bhuvi
purā — even before this; eva — indeed; puṁsā — by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; avadhṛtaḥ — was certainly known; dharā-jvaraḥ — the distress on the earth; bhavadbhiḥ — by your good selves; aṁśaiḥ — expanding as plenary portions; yaduṣu — in the family of King Yadu; upajanyatām — take your birth and appear there; saḥ — He (the Supreme Personality of Godhead); yāvat — as long as; urvyāḥ — of the earth; bharam — the burden; īśvara-īśvaraḥ — the Lord of lords; sva-kāla-śaktyā — by His own potency the time factor; kṣapayan — diminishing; caret — should move; bhuvi — on the surface of the earth.
Lord Brahmā informed the demigods: Before we submitted our petition to the Lord, He was already aware of the distress on earth. Consequently, for as long as the Lord moves on earth to diminish its burden by His own potency in the form of time, all of you demigods should appear through plenary portions as sons and grandsons in the family of the Yadus.
bhagavān puruṣaḥ paraḥ
vasudeva-gṛhe — in the house of Vasudeva (who would be the father of Kṛṣṇa when the Lord appeared); sākṣāt — personally; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has full potency; puruṣaḥ — the original person; paraḥ — who is transcendental; janiṣyate — will appear; tat-priya-artham — and for His satisfaction; sambhavantu — should take birth; sura-striyaḥ — all the wives of the demigods.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who has full potency, will personally appear as the son of Vasudeva. Therefore all the wives of the demigods should also appear in order to satisfy Him.
agrato bhavitā devo
vāsudeva-kalā anantaḥ — the plenary expansion of Lord Kṛṣṇa known as Anantadeva or Saṅkarṣaṇa Ananta, the all-pervasive incarnation of the Supreme Lord; sahasra-vadanaḥ — having thousands of hoods; svarāṭ — fully independent; agrataḥ — previously; bhavitā — will appear; devaḥ — the Lord; hareḥ — of Lord Kṛṣṇa; priya-cikīrṣayā — with the desire to act for the pleasure.
The foremost manifestation of Kṛṣṇa is Saṅkarṣaṇa, who is known as Ananta. He is the origin of all incarnations within this material world. Previous to the appearance of Lord Kṛṣṇa, this original Saṅkarṣaṇa will appear as Baladeva, just to please the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa in His transcendental pastimes.
viṣṇor māyā bhagavatī
yayā sammohitaṁ jagat
viṣṇoḥ māyā — the potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu; bhagavatī — as good as Bhagavān and therefore known as Bhagavatī; yayā — by whom; sammohitam — captivated; jagat — all the worlds, both material and spiritual; ādiṣṭā — being ordered; prabhuṇā — by the master; aṁśena — with her different potential factors; kārya-arthe — for executing business; sambhaviṣyati — would also appear.
The potency of the Lord, known as viṣṇu-māyā, who is as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, will also appear with Lord Kṛṣṇa. This potency, acting in different capacities, captivates all the worlds, both material and spiritual. At the request of her master, she will appear with her different potencies in order to execute the work of the Lord.
āśvāsya ca mahīṁ gīrbhiḥ
sva-dhāma paramaṁ yayau
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; iti — thus; ādiśya — after informing; amara-gaṇān — all the demigods; prajāpati-patiḥ — Lord Brahmā, the master of the Prajāpatis; vibhuḥ — all-powerful; āśvāsya — after pacifying; ca — also; mahīm — mother earth; gīrbhiḥ — by sweet words; sva-dhāma — his own planet, known as Brahmaloka; paramam — the best (within the universe); yayau — returned.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: After thus advising the demigods and pacifying mother earth, the very powerful Lord Brahmā, who is the master of all other Prajāpatis and is therefore known as Prajāpati-pati, returned to his own abode, Brahmaloka.
mathurām āvasan purīm
māthurāñ chūrasenāṁś ca
viṣayān bubhuje purā
śūrasenaḥ — King Śūrasena; yadu-patiḥ — the chief of the Yadu dynasty; mathurām — at the place known as Mathurā; āvasan — went to live; purīm — in that city; māthurān — at the place known as the Māthura district; śūrasenān ca — and the place known as Śūrasena; viṣayān — such kingdoms; bubhuje — enjoyed; purā — formerly.
Formerly, Śūrasena, the chief of the Yadu dynasty, had gone to live in the city of Mathurā. There he enjoyed the places known as Māthura and Śūrasena.
rājadhānī tataḥ sābhūt
mathurā bhagavān yatra
nityaṁ sannihito hariḥ
rājadhānī — the capital; tataḥ — from that time; sā — the country and the city known as Mathurā; abhūt — became; sarva-yādava-bhūbhujām — of all the kings who appeared in the Yadu dynasty; mathurā — the place known as Mathurā; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; yatra — wherein; nityam — eternally; sannihitaḥ — intimately connected, living eternally; hariḥ — the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Since that time, the city of Mathurā had been the capital of all the kings of the Yadu dynasty. The city and district of Mathurā are very intimately connected with Kṛṣṇa, for Lord Kṛṣṇa lives there eternally.
tasyāṁ tu karhicic chaurir
devakyā sūryayā sārdhaṁ
prayāṇe ratham āruhat
tasyām — in that place known as Mathurā; tu — indeed; karhicit — some time ago; śauriḥ — the demigod, descendant of Śūra; vasudevaḥ — who appeared as Vasudeva; kṛta-udvahaḥ — after being married; devakyā — Devakī; sūryayā — his newly married wife; sārdham — along with; prayāṇe — for returning home; ratham — the chariot; āruhat — mounted.
Some time ago, Vasudeva, who belonged to the demigod family [or to the Śūra dynasty], married Devakī. After the marriage, he mounted his chariot to return home with his newly married wife.
raśmīn hayānāṁ jagrāha
raukmai ratha-śatair vṛtaḥ
ugrasena-sutaḥ — the son of Ugrasena; kaṁsaḥ — by the name Kaṁsa; svasuḥ — of his own sister Devakī; priya-cikīrṣayā — to please her on the occasion of her marriage; raśmīn — the reins; hayānām — of the horses; jagrāha — took; raukmaiḥ — made of gold; ratha-śataiḥ — by hundreds of chariots; vṛtaḥ — surrounded.
Kaṁsa, the son of King Ugrasena, in order to please his sister Devakī on the occasion of her marriage, took charge of the reins of the horses and became the chariot driver. He was surrounded by hundreds of golden chariots.
aśvānām ayutaṁ sārdhaṁ
rathānāṁ ca tri-ṣaṭ-śatam
dve śate samalaṅkṛte
duhitre devakaḥ prādād
catuḥ-śatam — four hundred; pāribarham — dowry; gajānām — of elephants; hema-mālinām — decorated with garlands of gold; aśvānām — of horses; ayutam — ten thousand; sārdham — along with; rathānām — of chariots; ca — and; tri-ṣaṭ-śatam — three times six hundred (eighteen hundred); dāsīnām — of maidservants; su-kumārīṇām — very young and beautiful unmarried girls; dve — two; śate — hundred; samalaṅkṛte — fully decorated with ornaments; duhitre — unto his daughter; devakaḥ — King Devaka; prādāt — gave as a gift; yāne — while going away; duhitṛ-vatsalaḥ — who was very fond of his daughter Devakī.
Devakī’s father, King Devaka, was very much affectionate to his daughter. Therefore, while she and her husband were leaving home, he gave her a dowry of four hundred elephants nicely decorated with golden garlands. He also gave ten thousand horses, eighteen hundred chariots, and two hundred very beautiful young maidservants, fully decorated with ornaments.
nedur dundubhayaḥ samam
śaṅkha — conchshells; tūrya — bugles; mṛdaṅgāḥ — drums; ca — also; neduḥ — vibrated; dundubhayaḥ — kettledrums; samam — in concert; prayāṇa-prakrame — at the time of departure; tāta — O beloved son; vara-vadhvoḥ — of the bridegroom and the bride; su-maṅgalam — for the purpose of their auspicious departure.
O beloved son, Mahārāja Parīkṣit, when the bride and bridegroom were ready to start, conchshells, bugles, drums and kettledrums all vibrated in concert for their auspicious departure.
pathi pragrahiṇaṁ kaṁsam
asyās tvām aṣṭamo garbho
hantā yāṁ vahase ’budha
pathi — on the way; pragrahiṇam — who was managing the reins of the horses; kaṁsam — unto Kaṁsa; ābhāṣya — addressing; āha — said; a-śarīra-vāk — a voice coming from someone whose body was invisible; asyāḥ — of this girl (Devakī); tvām — you; aṣṭamaḥ — the eighth; garbhaḥ — pregnancy; hantā — killer; yām — her whom; vahase — you are carrying; abudha — you foolish rascal.
While Kaṁsa, controlling the reins of the horses, was driving the chariot along the way, an unembodied voice addressed him, “You foolish rascal, the eighth child of the woman you are carrying will kill you!”
ity uktaḥ sa khalaḥ pāpo
bhaginīṁ hantum ārabdhaḥ
khaḍga-pāṇiḥ kace ’grahīt
iti uktaḥ — thus being addressed; saḥ — he (Kaṁsa); khalaḥ — envious; pāpaḥ — sinful; bhojānām — of the Bhoja dynasty; kula-pāṁsanaḥ — one who can degrade the reputation of his family; bhaginīm — unto his sister; hantum ārabdham — being inclined to kill; khaḍga-pāṇiḥ — taking a sword in his hand; kace — hair; agrahīt — took up.
Kaṁsa was a condemned personality in the Bhoja dynasty because he was envious and sinful. Therefore, upon hearing this omen from the sky, he caught hold of his sister’s hair with his left hand and took up his sword with his right hand to sever her head from her body.
tam — unto him (Kaṁsa); jugupsita-karmāṇam — who was ready to commit such an offensive act; nṛśaṁsam — very cruel; nirapatrapam — shameless; vasudevaḥ — Vasudeva; mahā-bhāgaḥ — the greatly fortunate father of Vāsudeva; uvāca — said; parisāntvayan — pacifying.
Wanting to pacify Kaṁsa, who was so cruel and envious that he was shamelessly ready to kill his sister, the great soul Vasudeva, who was to be the father of Kṛṣṇa, spoke to him in the following words.
sa kathaṁ bhaginīṁ hanyāt
śrī-vasudevaḥ uvāca — the great personality Vasudeva said; ślāghanīya-guṇaḥ — a person who possesses praiseworthy qualities; śūraiḥ — by great heroes; bhavān — your good self; bhoja-yaśaḥ-karaḥ — a brilliant star in the Bhoja dynasty; saḥ — one such as your good self; katham — how; bhaginīm — your sister; hanyāt — can kill; striyam — especially a woman; udvāha-parvaṇi — at the time of the marriage ceremony.
Vasudeva said: My dear brother-in-law Kaṁsa, you are the pride of your family, the Bhoja dynasty, and great heroes praise your qualities. How could such a qualified person as you kill a woman, your own sister, especially on the occasion of her marriage?
mṛtyur janmavatāṁ vīra
dehena saha jāyate
adya vābda-śatānte vā
mṛtyur vai prāṇināṁ dhruvaḥ
mṛtyuḥ — death; janma-vatām — of the living entities who have taken birth; vīra — O great hero; dehena saha — along with the body; jāyate — is born (one who has taken birth is sure to die); adya — today; vā — either; abda-śata — of hundreds of years; ante — at the end; vā — or; mṛtyuḥ — death; vai — indeed; prāṇinām — for every living entity; dhruvaḥ — is assured.
O great hero, one who takes birth is sure to die, for death is born with the body. One may die today or after hundreds of years, but death is sure for every living entity.
dehe pañcatvam āpanne
dehī karmānugo ’vaśaḥ
prāktanaṁ tyajate vapuḥ
dehe — when the body; pañcatvam āpanne — turns into five elements; dehī — the proprietor of the body, the living being; karma-anugaḥ — following the reactions of his own fruitive activities; avaśaḥ — spontaneously, automatically; deha-antaram — another body (made of material elements); anuprāpya — receiving as a result; prāktanam — the former; tyajate — gives up; vapuḥ — body.
When the present body turns to dust and is again reduced to five elements — earth, water, fire, air and ether — the proprietor of the body, the living being, automatically receives another body of material elements according to his fruitive activities. When the next body is obtained, he gives up the present body.
vrajaṁs tiṣṭhan padaikena
dehī karma-gatiṁ gataḥ
vrajan — a person, while traveling on the road; tiṣṭhan — while standing; padā ekena — on one foot; yathā — as; eva — indeed; ekena — by another foot; gacchati — goes; yathā — as; tṛṇa-jalaukā — a worm on a vegetable; evam — in this way; dehī — the living entity; karma-gatim — the reactions of fruitive activities; gataḥ — undergoes.
Just as a person traveling on the road rests one foot on the ground and then lifts the other, or as a worm on a vegetable transfers itself to one leaf and then gives up the previous one, the conditioned soul takes shelter of another body and then gives up the one he had before.
svapne yathā paśyati deham īdṛśaṁ
prapadyate tat kim api hy apasmṛtiḥ
svapne — in a dream; yathā — as; paśyati — one sees; deham — the kind of body; īdṛśam — similarly; manorathena — by mental speculation; abhiniviṣṭa — is fully absorbed; cetanaḥ — he whose consciousness; dṛṣṭa — by whatever has been experienced by seeing with the eyes; śrutābhyām — and by hearing a description of something else; manasā — by the mind; anucintayan — thinking, feeling and willing; prapadyate — surrenders; tat — to that situation; kim api — what to speak of; hi — indeed; apasmṛtiḥ — experiencing forgetfulness of the present body.
Having experienced a situation by seeing or hearing about it, one contemplates and speculates about that situation, and thus one surrenders to it, not considering his present body. Similarly, by mental adjustments one dreams at night of living under different circumstances, in different bodies, and forgets his actual position. Under this same process, one gives up his present body and accepts another [tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ].
yato yato dhāvati daiva-coditaṁ
mano vikārātmakam āpa pañcasu
guṇeṣu māyā-raciteṣu dehy asau
prapadyamānaḥ saha tena jāyate
yataḥ yataḥ — from one place to another or from one position to another; dhāvati — speculates; daiva-coditam — impelled by accident or deliberation; manaḥ — the mind; vikāra-ātmakam — changing from one type of thinking, feeling and willing to another; āpa — at the end, he obtains (a mentality); pañcasu — at the time of death (when the material body turns totally into matter); guṇeṣu — (the mind, not being liberated, becomes attached) to the material qualities; māyā-raciteṣu — where the material energy creates a similar body; dehī — the spirit soul who accepts such a body; asau — he; prapadyamānaḥ — being surrendered (to such a condition); saha — with; tena — a similar body; jāyate — takes birth.
At the time of death, according to the thinking, feeling and willing of the mind, which is involved in fruitive activities, one receives a particular body. In other words, the body develops according to the activities of the mind. Changes of body are due to the flickering of the mind, for otherwise the soul could remain in its original, spiritual body.
jyotir yathaivodaka-pārthiveṣv adaḥ
evaṁ sva-māyā-raciteṣv asau pumān
guṇeṣu rāgānugato vimuhyati
jyotiḥ — the luminaries in the sky, such as the sun, the moon and the stars; yathā — as; eva — indeed; udaka — in water; pārthiveṣu — or in other liquids, like oil; adaḥ — directly; samīra-vega-anugatam — being forced by the movements of the wind; vibhāvyate — appear in different shapes; evam — in this way; sva-māyā-raciteṣu — in the situation created by one’s mental concoctions; asau — the living entity; pumān — person; guṇeṣu — in the material world, manifested by the modes of nature; rāga-anugataḥ — according to his attachment; vimuhyati — becomes bewildered by identification.
When the luminaries in the sky, such as the moon, the sun and the stars, are reflected in liquids like oil or water, they appear to be of different shapes — sometimes round, sometimes long, and so on — because of the movements of the wind. Similarly, when the living entity, the soul, is absorbed in materialistic thoughts, he accepts various manifestations as his own identity because of ignorance. In other words, one is bewildered by mental concoctions because of agitation from the material modes of nature.
tasmān na kasyacid droham
ācaret sa tathā-vidhaḥ
ātmanaḥ kṣemam anvicchan
drogdhur vai parato bhayam
tasmāt — therefore; na — not; kasyacit — of anyone; droham — envy; ācaret — one should act; saḥ — a person (Kaṁsa); tathā-vidhaḥ — who has been advised in such a way (by Vasudeva); ātmanaḥ — his own; kṣemam — welfare; anvicchan — if he desires; drogdhuḥ — of one who is envious of others; vai — indeed; parataḥ — from others; bhayam — there is a cause of fear.
Therefore, since envious, impious activities cause a body in which one suffers in the next life, why should one act impiously? Considering one’s welfare, one should not envy anyone, for an envious person must always fear harm from his enemies, either in this life or in the next.
eṣā tavānujā bālā
hantuṁ nārhasi kalyāṇīm
imāṁ tvaṁ dīna-vatsalaḥ
eṣā — this; tava — your; anujā — younger sister; bālā — innocent woman; kṛpaṇā — completely dependent on you; putrikā-upamā — exactly like your own daughter; hantum — to kill her; na — not; arhasi — you deserve; kalyāṇīm — who is under your affection; imām — her; tvam — you; dīna-vatsalaḥ — very compassionate to the poor and innocent.
As your younger sister, this poor girl Devakī is like your own daughter and deserves to be affectionately maintained. You are merciful, and therefore you should not kill her. Indeed, she deserves your affection.
evaṁ sa sāmabhir bhedair
bodhyamāno ’pi dāruṇaḥ
na nyavartata kauravya
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; evam — in this way; saḥ — he (Kaṁsa); sāmabhiḥ — by attempts to pacify him (Kaṁsa); bhedaiḥ — by moral instructions that one should not be cruel to anyone else; bodhyamānaḥ api — even being pacified; dāruṇaḥ — he who was the most fiercely cruel; na nyavartata — could not be stopped (from the grievous act); kauravya — O Mahārāja Parīkṣit; puruṣa-adān — the Rākṣasas, man-eaters; anuvrataḥ — following in their footsteps.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: O best of the Kuru dynasty, Kaṁsa was fiercely cruel and was actually a follower of the Rākṣasas. Therefore he could be neither pacified nor terrified by the good instructions given by Vasudeva. He did not care about the results of sinful activities, either in this life or in the next.
nirbandhaṁ tasya taṁ jñātvā
prāptaṁ kālaṁ prativyoḍhum
nirbandham — determination to do something; tasya — of him (Kaṁsa); tam — that (determination); jñātvā — understanding; vicintya — thinking deeply; ānakadundubhiḥ — Vasudeva; prāptam — had arrived; kālam — imminent danger of death; prativyoḍhum — to stop him from such activities; idam — this; tatra — thereupon; anvapadyata — thought of other ways.
When Vasudeva saw that Kaṁsa was determined to kill his sister Devakī, he thought to himself very deeply. Considering the imminent danger of death, he thought of another plan to stop Kaṁsa.
yady asau na nivarteta
nāparādho ’sti dehinaḥ
mṛtyuḥ — death; buddhi-matā — by an intelligent person; apohyaḥ — should be avoided; yāvat — as long as; buddhi-bala-udayam — intelligence and bodily strength are present; yadi — if; asau — that (death); na nivarteta — cannot be checked; na — not; aparādhaḥ — offense; asti — there is; dehinaḥ — of the person in danger of death.
As long as he has intelligence and bodily strength, an intelligent person must try to avoid death. This is the duty of every embodied person. But if death cannot be avoided in spite of one’s endeavors, a person facing death commits no offense.
pradāya mṛtyave putrān
mocaye kṛpaṇām imām
sutā me yadi jāyeran
mṛtyur vā na mriyeta cet
viparyayo vā kiṁ na syād
gatir dhātur duratyayā
nivṛttaḥ punar āpatet
pradāya — promising to deliver; mṛtyave — unto Kaṁsa, who is death personified for Devakī; putrān — my sons; mocaye — I am releasing her from imminent danger; kṛpaṇām — innocent; imām — Devakī; sutāḥ — sons; me — my; yadi — whether; jāyeran — should take birth; mṛtyuḥ — Kaṁsa; vā — or; na — not; mriyeta — should die; cet — if; viparyayaḥ — just the opposite; vā — or; kim — whether; na — not; syāt — it may happen; gatiḥ — the movement; dhātuḥ — of providence; duratyayā — very difficult to understand; upasthitaḥ — that which is presently obtained; nivarteta — may stop; nivṛttaḥ — Devakī’s death being stopped; punaḥ āpatet — in the future it may happen again (but what can I do).
Vasudeva considered: By delivering all my sons to Kaṁsa, who is death personified, I shall save the life of Devakī. Perhaps Kaṁsa will die before my sons take birth, or, since he is already destined to die at the hands of my son, one of my sons may kill him. For the time being, let me promise to hand over my sons so that Kaṁsa will give up this immediate threat, and if in due course of time Kaṁsa dies, I shall have nothing to fear.
agner yathā dāru-viyoga-yogayor
adṛṣṭato ’nyan na nimittam asti
evaṁ hi jantor api durvibhāvyaḥ
agneḥ — of a fire in the forest; yathā — as; dāru — of wood; viyoga-yogayoḥ — of both the escaping and the capturing; adṛṣṭataḥ — than unseen providence; anyat — some other reason or accident; na — not; nimittam — a cause; asti — there is; evam — in this way; hi — certainly; jantoḥ — of the living being; api — indeed; durvibhāvyaḥ — cannot be found out; śarīra — of the body; saṁyoga — of the accepting; viyoga — or of the giving up; hetuḥ — the cause.
When a fire, for some unseen reason, leaps over one piece of wood and sets fire to the next, the reason is destiny. Similarly, when a living being accepts one kind of body and leaves aside another, there is no other reason than unseen destiny.
evaṁ vimṛśya taṁ pāpaṁ
pūjayām āsa vai śaurir
evam — in this way; vimṛśya — after contemplating; tam — unto Kaṁsa; pāpam — the most sinful; yāvat — as far as possible; ātmani-darśanam — with all the intelligence possible within himself; pūjayām āsa — praised; vai — indeed; śauriḥ — Vasudeva; bahu-māna — offering all respect; puraḥsaram — before him.
After thus considering the matter as far as his knowledge would allow, Vasudeva submitted his proposal to the sinful Kaṁsa with great respect.
vihasann idam abravīt
prasanna-vadana-ambhojaḥ — Vasudeva, who externally presented himself as if very happy; nṛśaṁsam — unto the most cruel; nirapatrapam — shameless Kaṁsa; manasā — with the mind; dūyamānena — which was full of anxiety and sorrow; vihasan — smiling externally; idam abravīt — and spoke as follows.
Vasudeva’s mind was full of anxiety because his wife was facing danger, but in order to please the cruel, shameless and sinful Kaṁsa, he externally smiled and spoke to him as follows.
na hy asyās te bhayaṁ saumya
yad vai sāhāśarīra-vāk
putrān samarpayiṣye ’syā
yatas te bhayam utthitam
śrī-vasudevaḥ uvāca — Śrī Vasudeva said; na — not; hi — indeed; asyāḥ — from Devakī; te — of you; bhayam — fear; saumya — O most sober; yat — which; vai — indeed; sā — that omen; āha — dictated; a-śarīra-vāk — a vibration without a body; putrān — all my sons; samarpayiṣye — I shall deliver to you; asyāḥ — of her (Devakī); yataḥ — from whom; te — your; bhayam — fear; utthitam — has arisen.
Vasudeva said: O best of the sober, you have nothing to fear from your sister Devakī because of what you have heard from the unseen omen. The cause of death will be her sons. Therefore I promise that when she gives birth to the sons from whom your fear has arisen, I shall deliver them all unto your hands.
svasur vadhān nivavṛte
vasudevo ’pi taṁ prītaḥ
praśasya prāviśad gṛham
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; svasuḥ — of his sister (Devakī); vadhāt — from the act of killing; nivavṛte — stopped for the time being; kaṁsaḥ — Kaṁsa; tat-vākya — the words of Vasudeva; sāra-vit — knowing to be perfectly correct; vasudevaḥ — Vasudeva; api — also; tam — to him (Kaṁsa); prītaḥ — being satisfied; praśasya — pacifying more; prāviśat gṛham — entered his own house.
Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: Kaṁsa agreed to the logical arguments of Vasudeva, and, having full faith in Vasudeva’s words, he refrained from killing his sister. Vasudeva, being pleased with Kaṁsa, pacified him further and entered his own house.
atha kāla upāvṛtte
putrān prasuṣuve cāṣṭau
atha — thereafter; kāle — in due course of time; upāvṛtte — when it was ripe; devakī — Devakī, the wife of Vasudeva, Kṛṣṇa’s father; sarva-devatā — Devakī, to whom all the demigods and God Himself appeared; putrān — sons; prasuṣuve — gave birth to; ca — and; aṣṭau — eight; kanyāṁ ca — and one daughter named Subhadrā; eva — indeed; anuvatsaram — year after year.
Each year thereafter, in due course of time, Devakī, the mother of God and all the demigods, gave birth to a child. Thus she bore eight sons, one after another, and a daughter named Subhadrā.
arpayām āsa kṛcchreṇa
so ’nṛtād ativihvalaḥ
kīrtimantam — by the name Kīrtimān; prathama-jam — the first-born baby; kaṁsāya — unto Kaṁsa; ānakadundubhiḥ — Vasudeva; arpayām āsa — delivered; kṛcchreṇa — with great pain; saḥ — he (Vasudeva); anṛtāt — from the breaking of the promise, or from fear of being a liar; ati-vihvalaḥ — was very much disturbed, being afraid.
Vasudeva was very much disturbed by fear of becoming a liar by breaking his promise. Thus with great pain he delivered his first-born son, named Kīrtimān, into the hands of Kaṁsa.
kiṁ duḥsahaṁ nu sādhūnāṁ
viduṣāṁ kim apekṣitam
kim akāryaṁ kadaryāṇāṁ
dustyajaṁ kiṁ dhṛtātmanām
kim — what is; duḥsaham — painful; nu — indeed; sādhūnām — for saintly persons; viduṣām — of learned persons; kim apekṣitam — what is dependence; kim akāryam — what is forbidden work; kadaryāṇām — of persons in the lowest grade; dustyajam — very difficult to give up; kim — what is; dhṛta-ātmanām — of persons who are self-realized.
What is painful for saintly persons who strictly adhere to the truth? How could there not be independence for pure devotees who know the Supreme Lord as the substance? What deeds are forbidden for persons of the lowest character? And what cannot be given up for the sake of Lord Kṛṣṇa by those who have fully surrendered at His lotus feet?
dṛṣṭvā samatvaṁ tac chaureḥ
satye caiva vyavasthitim
kaṁsas tuṣṭa-manā rājan
prahasann idam abravīt
dṛṣṭvā — by seeing; samatvam — being equipoised, undisturbed in distress or happiness; tat — that; śaureḥ — of Vasudeva; satye — in truthfulness; ca — indeed; eva — certainly; vyavasthitim — the firm situation; kaṁsaḥ — Kaṁsa; tuṣṭa-manāḥ — being very satisfied (with Vasudeva’s behavior in delivering the first child to keep his promise); rājan — O Mahārāja Parīkṣit; prahasan — with a smiling face; idam — this; abravīt — said.
My dear King Parīkṣit, when Kaṁsa saw that Vasudeva, being situated in truthfulness, was completely equipoised in giving him the child, he was very happy. Therefore, with a smiling face, he spoke as follows.
pratiyātu kumāro ’yaṁ
na hy asmād asti me bhayam
aṣṭamād yuvayor garbhān
mṛtyur me vihitaḥ kila
pratiyātu — my dear Vasudeva, take back your child and go home; kumāraḥ — newborn child; ayam — this; na — not; hi — indeed; asmāt — from him; asti — there is; me — my; bhayam — fear; aṣṭamāt — from the eighth; yuvayoḥ — of both you and your wife; garbhāt — from the pregnancy; mṛtyuḥ — death; me — my; vihitaḥ — has been ordained; kila — indeed.
O Vasudeva, you may take back your child and go home. I have no fear of your first child. It is the eighth child of you and Devakī I am concerned with because that is the child by whom I am destined to be killed.
tatheti sutam ādāya
tathā — very well; iti — thus; sutam ādāya — taking back his child; yayau — left that place; ānakadundubhiḥ — Vasudeva; na abhyanandata — did not very much value; tat-vākyam — the words (of Kaṁsa); asataḥ — who was without character; avijita-ātmanaḥ — and without self-control.
Vasudeva agreed and took his child back home, but because Kaṁsa had no character and no self-control, Vasudeva knew that he could not rely on Kaṁsa’s word.
nandādyā ye vraje gopā
yāś cāmīṣāṁ ca yoṣitaḥ
sarve vai devatā-prāyā
ubhayor api bhārata
ye ca kaṁsam anuvratāḥ
nanda-ādyāḥ — beginning from Nanda Mahārāja; ye — all of which persons; vraje — in Vṛndāvana; gopāḥ — the cowherd men; yāḥ — which; ca — and; amīṣām — of all those (inhabitants of Vṛndāvana); ca — as well as; yoṣitaḥ — the women; vṛṣṇayaḥ — members of the Vṛṣṇi family; vasudeva-ādyāḥ — headed by Vasudeva; devakī-ādyāḥ — headed by Devakī; yadu-striyaḥ — all the women of the Yadu dynasty; sarve — all of them; vai — indeed; devatā-prāyāḥ — were inhabitants of heaven; ubhayoḥ — of both Nanda Mahārāja and Vasudeva; api — indeed; bhārata — O Mahārāja Parīkṣit; jñātayaḥ — the relatives; bandhu — friends; suhṛdaḥ — well-wishers; ye — all of whom; ca — and; kaṁsam anuvratāḥ — even though apparently followers of Kaṁsa.
The inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, headed by Nanda Mahārāja and including his associate cowherd men and their wives, were none but denizens of the heavenly planets, O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, best of the descendants of Bharata, and so too were the descendants of the Vṛṣṇi dynasty, headed by Vasudeva and Devakī and the other women of the dynasty of Yadu. The friends, relatives and well-wishers of both Nanda Mahārāja and Vasudeva and even those who externally appeared to be followers of Kaṁsa were all demigods.
etat kaṁsāya bhagavāñ
daityānāṁ ca vadhodyamam
etat — all these words about the Yadu family and Vṛṣṇi family; kaṁsāya — unto King Kaṁsa; bhagavān — the most powerful representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; śaśaṁsa — informed (Kaṁsa, who was in doubt); abhyetya — after approaching him; nāradaḥ — the great sage Nārada; bhūmeḥ — on the surface of the earth; bhārāyamāṇānām — of those who were a burden; daityānām ca — and of the demons; vadha-udyamam — the endeavor to kill.
Once the great saint Nārada approached Kaṁsa and informed him of how the demoniac persons who were a great burden on the earth were going to be killed. Thus Kaṁsa was placed into great fear and doubt.
ṛṣer vinirgame kaṁso
yadūn matvā surān iti
viṣṇuṁ ca sva-vadhaṁ prati
devakīṁ vasudevaṁ ca
nigṛhya nigaḍair gṛhe
jātaṁ jātam ahan putraṁ
ṛṣeḥ — of the great sage Nārada; vinirgame — on the departure (after giving information); kaṁsaḥ — Kaṁsa; yadūn — all the members of the Yadu dynasty; matvā — thinking of; surān — as demigods; iti — thus; devakyāḥ — of Devakī; garbha-sambhūtam — the children born from the womb; viṣṇum — (accepting) as Viṣṇu; ca — and; sva-vadham prati — fearing his own death from Viṣṇu; devakīm — Devakī; vasudevam ca — and her husband, Vasudeva; nigṛhya — arresting; nigaḍaiḥ — by iron shackles; gṛhe — confined at home; jātam jātam — each one who was born, one after another; ahan — killed; putram — the sons; tayoḥ — of Vasudeva and Devakī; ajana-śaṅkayā — with the doubt that they would be Viṣṇu.
After the departure of the great saint Nārada, Kaṁsa thought that all the members of the Yadu dynasty were demigods and that any of the children born from the womb of Devakī might be Viṣṇu. Fearing his death, Kaṁsa arrested Vasudeva and Devakī and chained them with iron shackles. Suspecting each of the children to be Viṣṇu, Kaṁsa killed them one after another because of the prophecy that Viṣṇu would kill him.
mātaraṁ pitaraṁ bhrātṝn
sarvāṁś ca suhṛdas tathā
ghnanti hy asutṛpo lubdhā
rājānaḥ prāyaśo bhuvi
mātaram — unto the mother; pitaram — unto the father; bhrātṝn — unto brothers; sarvān ca — and anyone else; suhṛdaḥ — friends; tathā — as well as; ghnanti — they kill (as it is practically seen); hi — indeed; asu-tṛpaḥ — those who envy the lives of others for their personal sense gratification; lubdhāḥ — greedy; rājānaḥ — such kings; prāyaśaḥ — almost always; bhuvi — on the earth.
Kings greedy for sense gratification on this earth almost always kill their enemies indiscriminately. To satisfy their own whims, they may kill anyone, even their mothers, fathers, brothers or friends.
ātmānam iha sañjātaṁ
jānan prāg viṣṇunā hatam
yadubhiḥ sa vyarudhyata
ātmānam — personally; iha — in this world; sañjātam — born again; jānan — understanding well; prāk — previously, before this birth; viṣṇunā — by Lord Viṣṇu; hatam — was killed; mahā-asuram — a great demon; kālanemim — by the name Kālanemi; yadubhiḥ — with the members of the Yadu dynasty; saḥ — he (Kaṁsa); vyarudhyata — acted inimically.
In his previous birth, Kaṁsa had been a great demon named Kālanemi and been killed by Viṣṇu. Upon learning this information from Nārada, Kaṁsa became envious of everyone connected with the Yadu dynasty.
ugrasenaṁ ca pitaraṁ
svayaṁ nigṛhya bubhuje
ugrasenam — unto Ugrasena; ca — and; pitaram — who was his own father; yadu — of the Yadu dynasty; bhoja — of the Bhoja dynasty; andhaka — of the Andhaka dynasty; adhipam — the king; svayam — personally; nigṛhya — subduing; bubhuje — enjoyed; śūrasenān — all the states known as Śūrasena; mahā-balaḥ — the extremely powerful Kaṁsa.
Kaṁsa, the most powerful son of Ugrasena, even imprisoned his own father, the King of the Yadu, Bhoja and Andhaka dynasties, and personally ruled the states known as Śūrasena.