The Atrocities of King Kamsa
This chapter describes how Kamsa, following the advice of his demoniac friends, considered the persecution of small children to be very diplomatic.
After Vasudeva bound himself with iron shackles as before, all the doors of the prison house closed by the influence of Yogamaya, who then began crying as a newborn child, This crying awakened the doorkeepers, who immediately informed Kamsa that a child had been born to Devaki. Upon hearing this news, Kamsa appeared with great force in the maternity room, and in spite of Devaki's pleas that the child be saved, the demon forcibly snatched the child from Devaki's hands and dashed the child against a rock. Unfortunately for Kamsa, however, the newborn child slipped away from his hands, rose above his head and appeared as the eight-armed form of Durga. Durga then told Kamsa, "The enemy you contemplate has taken birth somewhere else. Therefore your plan to persecute all the children will prove futile."
According to the prophecy, the eighth child of Devaki would kill Kamsa, and therefore when Kamsa saw that the eighth child was a female and heard that his so-called enemy had taken birth elsewhere, he was struck with wonder. He decided to release Devaki and Vasudeva, and he admitted before them the wrongness of his atrocities. Falling at the feet of Devaki and Vasudeva, he begged their pardon and tried to convince them that because the events that had taken place were destined to happen, they should not be unhappy for his having killed so many of their children. Devaki and Vasudeva, being naturally very pious, immediately excused Kamsa for his atrocities, and Kamsa, after seeing that his sister and brother-in-law were happy, returned to his home.
After the night passed, however, Kamsa called for his ministers and informed them of all that had happened. The ministers, who were all demons, advised Kamsa that because his enemy had already taken birth somewhere else, all the children born within the past ten days in the villages within Kamsa's kingdom should be killed. Although the demigods always feared Kamsa, they should not be treated leniently; since they were enemies, Kamsa should try his best to uproot their existence. The demoniac ministers further advised that Kamsa and the demons continue their enmity toward Visnu because Visnu is the original person among all the demigods. The brahmanas, the cows, the Vedas, austerity, truthfulness, control of the senses and mind, faithfulness and mercy are among the different parts of the body of Visnu, who is the origin of all the demigods, including Lord Brahma and Lord Siva. Therefore, the ministers advised, the demigods, the saintly persons, the cows and the brahmanas should be systematically persecuted. Strongly advised in this way by his friends, the demoniac ministers, Kamsa approved of their instructions and considered it beneficial to be envious of the brahmanas. Following Kamsa's orders, therefore, the demons began committing their atrocities all over Vrajabhumi.
sarvah purvavad avrtah
tato bala-dhvanim srutva
sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; bahih-antah-pura-dvarah--the doors inside and outside the house; sarvah--all; purva-vat--like before; avrtah--closed; tatah--thereafter; bala-dhvanim--the crying of the newborn child; srutva--hearing; grha-palah--all the inhabitants of the house, especially the doormen; samutthitah--awakened.
Sukadeva Gosvami continued: My dear King Pariksit, the doors inside and outside the house closed as before. Thereafter, the inhabitants of the house, especially the watchmen, heard the crying of the newborn child and thus awakened from their beds.
The activities of Yogamaya are distinctly visible in this chapter, in which Devaki and Vasudeva excuse Kamsa for his many devious, atrocious activities and Kamsa becomes repentant and falls at their feet. Before the awakening of the watchmen and the others in the prison house, many other things happened. Krsna was born and transferred to the home of Yasoda in Gokula, the strong doors opened and again closed, and Vasudeva resumed his former condition of being shackled. The watchmen, however, could not understand all this. They awakened only when they heard the crying of the newborn child, Yogamaya.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has remarked that the watchmen were just like dogs. At night the dogs in the street act like watchmen. If one dog barks, many other dogs immediately follow it by barking. Although the street dogs are not appointed by anyone to act as watchmen, they think they are responsible for protecting the neighborhood, and as soon as someone unknown enters it, they all begin to bark. Both Yogamaya and Mahamaya act in all material activities (prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah), but although the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead acts under the Supreme Lord's direction (mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram), doglike watchmen such as politicians and diplomats think that they are protecting their neighborhoods from the dangers of the outside world. These are the actions of maya. But one who surrenders to Krsna is relieved of the protection afforded by the dogs and doglike guardians of this material world.
te tu turnam upavrajya
devakya garbha-janma tat
yad udvignah pratiksate
te--all the watchmen; tu--indeed; turnam--very quickly; upavrajya--going before (the King); devakyah--of Devaki; garbha-janma--the deliverance from the womb; tat--that (child); acakhyuh--submitted; bhoja-rajaya--unto the King of the Bhojas, Kamsa; yat--of whom; udvignah--with great anxiety; pratiksate--was waiting (for the child's birth).
Thereafter, all the watchmen very quickly approached King Kamsa, the ruler of the Bhoja dynasty, and submitted the news of the birth of Devaki's child. Kamsa, who had awaited this news very anxiously, immediately took action.
Kamsa was very anxiously waiting because of the prophecy that the eighth child of Devaki would kill him. This time, naturally, he was awake and waiting, and when the watchmen approached him, he immediately took action to kill the child.
sa talpat turnam utthaya
kalo 'yam iti vihvalah
suti-grham agat turnam
sah--he (King Kamsa); talpat--from the bed; turnam--very quickly; utthaya--getting up; kalah ayam--here is my death, the supreme time; iti--in this way; vihvalah--overwhelmed; suti-grham--to the maternity home; agat--went; turnam--without delay; praskhalan--scattering; mukta--had become opened; murdha-jah--the hair on the head.
Kamsa immediately got up from bed, thinking, "Here is Kala, the supreme time factor, which has taken birth to kill me!" Thus overwhelmed, Kamsa, his hair scattered on his head, at once approached the place where the child had been born.
The word kalah is significant. Although the child was born to kill Kamsa, Kamsa thought that this was the proper time to kill the child so that he himself would be saved. Kala is actually another name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead when He appears only for the purpose of killing. When Arjuna inquired from Krsna in His universal form, "Who are You?" the Lord presented Himself as kala, death personified to kill. By nature's law, when there is an unwanted increase in population, kala appears, and by some arrangement of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, people are killed wholesale in different ways, by war, pestilence, famine and so on. At that time, even atheistic political leaders go to a church, mosque or temple for protection by God or gods and submissively say, "God willing." Before that, they pay no attention to God, not caring to know God or His will, but when kala appears, they say, "God willing." Death is but another feature of the supreme kala, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. At the time of death, the atheist must submit to this supreme kala, and then the Supreme Personality of Godhead takes away all his possessions (mrtyuh sarva-haras caham) and forces him to accept another body (tatha dehantara-praptih). This the atheists do not know, and if they do know, they neglect it so that they may go on with their normal life. The Krsna consciousness movement is trying to teach them that although for a few years one may act as a great protector or great watchman, with the appearance of kala, death, one must take another body by the laws of nature. Not knowing this, they unnecessarily waste their time in their occupation as watchdogs and do not try to get the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As it is clearly said, aprapya mam nivartante mrtyu-samsara-vartmani: without Krsna consciousness, one is condemned to continue wandering in birth and death, not knowing what will happen in one's next birth.
tam aha bhrataram devi
krpana karunam sati
snuseyam tava kalyana
striyam ma hantum arhasi
tam--unto Kamsa; aha--said; bhrataram--her brother; devi--mother Devaki; krpana--helplessly; karunam--piteously; sati--the chaste lady; snusa iyam tava--this child will be your daughter-in-law, the wife of your future son; kalyana--O all-auspicious one; striyam--a woman; ma--not; hantum--to kill; arhasi--you deserve.
Devaki helplessly, piteously appealed to Kamsa: My dear brother, all good fortune unto you. Don't kill this girl. She will be your daughter-in-law. Indeed, it is unworthy of you to kill a woman.
Kamsa had previously excused Devaki because he thought that a woman should not be killed, especially when pregnant. But now, by the influence of maya, he was prepared to kill a woman--not only a woman, but a small, helpless newborn child. Devaki wanted to save her brother from this terrible, sinful act. Therefore she told him, "Don't be so atrocious as to kill a female child. Let there be all good fortune for you." Demons can do anything for their personal benefit, not considering what is pious or vicious. But Devaki, on the contrary, although safe because she had already given birth to her own son, Krsna, was anxious to save the daughter of someone else. This was natural for her.
bahavo himsita bhratah
bahavah--many; himsitah--killed out of envy; bhratah--my dear brother; sisavah--small children; pavaka-upamah--all of them equal to fire in brightness and beauty; tvaya--by you; daiva-nisrstena--as spoken by destiny; putrika--daughter; eka--one; pradiyatam--give me as your gift.
My dear brother, by the influence of destiny you have already killed many babies, each of them as bright and beautiful as fire. But kindly spare this daughter. Give her to me as your gift.
Here we see that Devaki first focused Kamsa's attention on his atrocious activities, his killing of her many sons. Then she wanted to compromise with him by saying that whatever he had done was not his fault, but was ordained by destiny. Then she appealed to him to give her the daughter as a gift. Devaki was the daughter of a ksatriya and knew how to play the political game. In politics there are different methods of achieving success: first repression (dama), then compromise (sama), and then asking for a gift (dana). Devaki first adopted the policy of repression by directly attacking Kamsa for having cruelly, atrociously killed her babies. Then she compromised by saying that this was not his fault, and then she begged for a gift. As we learn from the history of the Mahabharata, or "Greater India," the wives and daughters of the ruling class, the ksatriyas, knew the political game, but we never find that a woman was given the post of chief executive. This is in accordance with the injunctions of Manu-samhita, but unfortunately Manu-samhita is now being insulted, and the Aryans, the members of Vedic society, cannot do anything. Such is the nature of Kali-yuga.
Nothing happens unless ordained by destiny.
tasyaiva hetoh prayateta kovido
na labhyate yad bhramatam upary adhah
tal labhyate duhkhavad anyatah sukham
kalena sarvatra gabhira-ramhasa
Devaki knew very well that because the killing of her many children had been ordained by destiny, Kamsa was not to be blamed. There was no need to give good instructions to Kamsa. Upadeso hi murkhanam prakopaya na santaye (Canakya Pandita). If a foolish person is given good instructions, he becomes more and more angry. Moreover, a cruel person is more dangerous than a snake. A snake and a cruel person are both cruel, but a cruel person is more dangerous because although a snake can be charmed by mantras or subdued by herbs, a cruel person cannot be subdued by any means. Such was the nature of Kamsa.
nanv aham te hy avaraja
dina hata-suta prabho
datum arhasi mandaya
angemam caramam prajam
nanu--however; aham--I am; te--your; hi--indeed; avaraja--younger sister; dina--very poor; hata-suta--deprived of all children; prabho--O my lord; datum arhasi--you deserve to give (some gift); mandayah--to me, who am so poor; anga--my dear brother; imam--this; caramam--last; prajam--child.
My lord, my brother, I am very poor, being bereft of all my children, but still I am your younger sister, and therefore it would be worthy of you to give me this last child as a gift.
yacitas tam vinirbhartsya
hastad acicchide khalah
sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; upaguhya--embracing; atmajam--her daughter; evam--in this way; rudatya--by Devaki, who was crying; dina-dina-vat--very piteously, like a poor woman; yacitah--being begged; tam--her (Devaki); vinirbhartsya--chastising; hastat--from her hands; acicchide--separated the child by force; khalah--Kamsa, the most cruel.
Sukadeva Gosvami continued: piteously embracing her daughter and crying, Devaki begged Kamsa for the child, but he was so cruel that he chastised her and forcibly snatched the child from her hands.
Although Devaki was crying like a very poor woman, actually she was not poor, and therefore the word used here is dinavat. She had already given birth to Krsna. Therefore, who could have been richer than she? Even the demigods had come to offer prayers to Devaki, but she played the part of a poor, piteously afflicted woman because she wanted to save the daughter of Yasoda.
tam grhitva caranayor
jata-matram svasuh sutam
tam--the child; grhitva--taking by force; caranayoh--by the two legs; jata-matram--the newborn child; svasuh--of his sister; sutam--the daughter; apothayat--smashed; sila-prsthe--on the surface of a stone; sva-artha-unmulita--uprooted because of intense selfishness; sauhrdah--all friendship or family relationships.
Having uprooted all relationships with his sister because of intense selfishness, Kamsa, who was sitting on his knees, grasped the newborn child by the legs and tried to dash her against the surface of a stone.
sa tad-dhastat samutpatya
sadyo devy ambaram gata
sa--that female child; tat-hastat--from the hand of Kamsa; sam-utpatya--slipped upward; sadyah--immediately; devi--the form of a demigoddess; ambaram--into the sky; gata--went; adrsyata--was seen; anuja--the younger sister; visnoh--of the Supreme personality of Godhead; sa-ayudha--with weapons; asta--eight; maha-bhuja--with mighty arms.
The child, Yogamaya-devi, the younger sister of Lord Visnu, slipped upward from Kamsa's hands and appeared in the sky as Devi, the goddess Durga, with eight arms, completely equipped with weapons.
Kamsa tried to dash the child downward against a piece of stone, but since she was Yogamaya, the younger sister of Lord Visnu, she slipped upward and assumed the form of the goddess Durga. The word anuja, meaning "the younger sister," is significant. When Visnu, or Krsna, took birth from Devaki, He must have simultaneously taken birth from Yasoda also. Otherwise how could Yogamaya have been anuja, the Lord's younger sister?
divya-srak-ambara-alepa--she then assumed the form of a demigoddess, completely decorated with sandalwood pulp, flower garlands and a nice dress; ratna-abharana-bhusita--decorated with ornaments of valuable jewels; dhanuh-sula-isu-carma-asi--with bow, trident, arrows, shield and sword; sankha-cakra-gada-dhara--and holding the weapons of Visnu (conchshell, disc and club); siddha-carana-gandharvaih--by the Siddhas, Caranas and Gandharvas; apsarah-kinnara-uragaih--and by the Apsaras, Kinnaras and Uragas; upahrta-uru-balibhih--who brought all kinds of presentations to her; stuyamana--being praised; idam--these words; abravit--she said.
The goddess Durga was decorated with flower garlands, smeared with sandalwood pulp and dressed with excellent garments and ornaments made of valuable jewels. Holding in her hands a bow, a trident, arrows, a shield, a sword, a conchshell, a disc and a club, and being praised by celestial beings like Apsaras, Kinnaras, Uragas, Siddhas, Caranas and Gandharvas, who worshiped her with all kinds of presentations, she spoke as follows.
kim maya hataya manda
jatah khalu tavanta-krt
yatra kva va purva-satrur
ma himsih krpanan vrtha
kim--what is the use; maya--me; hataya--in killing; manda--O you fool; jatah--has already been born; khalu--indeed; tava anta-krt--who will kill you; yatra kva va--somewhere else; purva-satruh--your former enemy; ma--do not; himsih--kill; krpanan--other poor children; vrtha--unnecessarily.
O Kamsa, you fool, what will be the use of killing me? The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has been your enemy from the very beginning and who will certainly kill you, has already taken His birth somewhere else. Therefore, do not unnecessarily kill other children.
iti prabhasya tam devi
maya bhagavati bhuvi
bahu-nama babhuva ha
iti--in this way; prabhasya--addressing; tam--Kamsa; devi--the goddess Durga; maya--Yogamaya; bhagavati--possessing immense power, like that of the Supreme personality of Godhead; bhuvi--on the surface of the earth; bahu-nama--of different names; niketesu--in different places; bahu-nama--different names; babhuva--became; ha--indeed.
After speaking to Kamsa in this way, the goddess Durga, Yogamaya, appeared in different places, such as Varanasi, and became celebrated by different names, such as Annapurna, Durga, Kali and Bhadra.
The goddess Durga is celebrated in Calcutta as Kali, in Bombay as Mumbadevi, in Varanasi as Annapurna, in Cuttack as Bhadrakali and in Ahmedabad as Bhadra. Thus in different places she is known by different names. Her devotees are known as saktas, or worshipers of the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whereas worshipers of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself are called Vaisnavas. Vaisnavas are destined to return home, back to Godhead, in the spiritual world, whereas the saktas are destined to live within this material world to enjoy different types of material happiness. In the material world, the living entity must accept different types of bodies. Bhramayan sarva-bhutani yantrarudhani mayaya (Bg. 18.61). According to the living entity's desire, Yogamaya, or Maya, the goddess Durga, gives him a particular type of body, which is mentioned as yantra, a machine. But the living entities who are promoted to the spiritual world do not return to the prison house of a material body (tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so'rjuna). The words janma na eti indicate that these living entities remain in their original, spiritual bodies to enjoy the company of the Supreme personality of Godhead in the transcendental abodes Vaikuntha and Vrndavana.
devakim vasudevam ca
vimucya prasrito 'bravit
taya--by the goddess Durga; abhihitam--the words spoken; akarnya--by hearing; kamsah--Kamsa; parama-vismitah--was struck with wonder; devakim--unto Devaki; vasudevam ca--and Vasudeva; vimucya--releasing immediately; prasritah--with great humility; abravit--spoke as follows.
After hearing the words of the goddess Durga, Kamsa was struck with wonder. Thus he approached his sister Devaki and brother-in-law Vasudeva, released them immediately from their shackles, and very humbly spoke as follows.
Kamsa was astonished because the goddess Durga had become the daughter of Devaki. Since Devaki was a human being, how could the goddess Durga become her daughter? This was one cause of his astonishment. Also, how is it that the eighth child of Devaki was a female? This also astonished him. Asuras are generally devotees of mother Durga, Sakti, or of demigods, especially Lord Siva. The appearance of Durga in her original eight-armed feature, holding various weapons, immediately changed Kamsa's mind about Devaki's being an ordinary human. Devaki must have had some transcendental qualities; otherwise why would the goddess Durga have taken birth from her womb? Under the circumstances, Kamsa, struck with wonder, wanted to compensate for his atrocities against his sister Devaki.
aho bhaginy aho bhama
maya vam bata papmana
bahavo himsitah sutah
aho--alas; bhagini--my dear sister; aho--alas; bhama--my dear brother-in-law; maya--by me; vam--of you; bata--indeed; papmana--because of sinful activities; purusa-adah--a Raksasa, man-eater; iva--like; apatyam--child; bahavah--many; himsitah--have been killed; sutah--sons.
Alas, my sister! Alas, my brother-in-law! I am indeed so sinful that exactly like a man-eater [Raksasa] who eats his own child, I have killed so many sons born of you.
Raksasas are understood to be accustomed to eating their own sons, as snakes and many other animals sometimes do. At the present moment in Kali-yuga, Raksasa fathers and mothers are killing their own children in the womb, and some are even eating the fetus with great relish. Thus the so-called civilization is gradually advancing by producing Raksasas.
sa tv aham tyakta-karunyas
kan lokan vai gamisyami
brahma-heva mrtah svasan
sah--that person (Kamsa); tu--indeed; aham--I; tyakta-karunyah--devoid of all mercy; tyakta-jnati-suhrt--my relatives and friends have been rejected by me; khalah--cruel; kan lokan--which planets; vai--indeed; gamisyami--shall go; brahma-ha iva--like the killer of a brahmana; mrtah svasan--either after death or while breathing.
Being merciless and cruel, I have forsaken all my relatives and friends. Therefore, like a person who has killed a brahmana, I do not know to which planet I shall go, either after death or while breathing.
daivam apy anrtam vakti
na martya eva kevalam
yad-visrambhad aham papah
svasur nihatavan chisun
daivam--providence; api--also; anrtam--lies; vakti--say; na--not; martyah--human beings; eva--certainly; kevalam--only; yat-visrambhat--because of believing that prophecy; aham--I; papah--the most sinful; svasuh--of my sister; nihatavan--killed; sisun--so many children.
Alas, not only human beings but sometimes even providence lies. And I am so sinful that I believed the omen of providence and killed so many of my sister's children.
ma socatam maha-bhagav
atmajan sva-krtam bhujah
jantavo na sadaikatra
ma socatam--kindly do not be aggrieved (for what happened in the past); maha-bhagau--O you who are learned and fortunate in spiritual knowledge; atmajan--for your sons; sva-krtam--only because of their own acts; bhujah--who are suffering; jantavah--all living entities; na--not; sada--always; ekatra--in one place; daiva-adhinah--who are under the control of providence; tada--hence; asate--live.
O great souls, your children have suffered their own misfortune. Therefore, please do not lament for them. All living entities are under the control of the Supreme, and they cannot always live together.
Kamsa addressed his sister and brother-in-law as maha-bhagau because although he killed their ordinary children, the goddess Durga took birth from them. Because Devaki bore Durgadevi in her womb, Kamsa praised both Devaki and her husband. Asuras are very devoted to the goddess Durga, Kali and so forth. Kamsa, therefore, truly astonished, appreciated the exalted position of his sister and brother-in-law. Durga is certainly not under the laws of nature, because she herself is the controller of the laws of nature. Ordinary living beings, however, are controlled by these laws (prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah). Consequently, none of us are allowed to live together for any long period. By speaking in this way, Kamsa tried to pacify his sister and brother-in-law.
bhuvi bhaumani bhutani
yatha yanty apayanti ca
nayam atma tathaitesu
viparyeti yathaiva bhuh
bhuvi--on the surface of the world; bhaumani--all material products from earth, such as pots; bhutani--which are produced; yatha--as; yanti--appear (in form); apayanti--disappear (broken or mixed with the earth); ca--and; na--not; ayam atma--the soul or spiritual identity; tatha--similarly; etesu--among all these (products of material elements); viparyeti--is changed or broken; yatha--as; eva--certainly; bhuh--the earth.
In this world, we can see that pots, dolls and other products of the earth appear, break and then disappear, mixing with the earth. Similarly, the bodies of all conditioned living entities are annihilated, but the living entities, like the earth itself, are unchanging and never annihilated [na hanyate hanyamane sarire].
Although Kamsa is described as a demon, he had good knowledge of the affairs of atma-tattva, the truth of the self. Five thousand years ago, there were kings like Kamsa, who is described as an asura, but he was better than modern politicians and diplomats, who have no knowledge about atma-tattva. As stated in the Vedas, asango hy ayam purusah: the spirit soul has no connection with the changes of the material body. The body undergoes six changes--birth, growth, sustenance, by-products, dwindling and then annihilation--but the soul undergoes no such changes. Even after the annihilation of a particular bodily form, the original source of the bodily elements does not change. The living entity enjoys the material body, which appears and disappears, but the five elements earth, water, fire, air and ether remain the same. The example given here is that pots and dolls are produced from the earth, and when broken or destroyed they mingle with their original ingredients. In any case, the source of supply remains the same.
As already discussed, the body is made according to the desires of the soul. The soul desires, and thus the body is formed. Krsna therefore says in Bhagavad-gita (18.61):
hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati
"The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy." Neither the Supersoul, Paramatma, nor the individual soul changes its original, spiritual identity. The atma does not undergo birth, death or changes like the body. Therefore a Vedic aphorism says, asango hy ayam purusah: although the soul is conditioned within this material world, he has no connections with the changes of the material body.
samsrtir na nivartate
yatha--as; an-evam-vidah--of a person who has no knowledge (about atma-tattva and the steadiness of the atma in his own identity, despite the changes of the body); bhedah--the idea of difference between body and self; yatah--because of which; atma-viparyayah--the foolish understanding that one is the body; deha-yoga-viyogau ca--and this causes connections and separations among different bodies; samsrtih--the continuation of conditioned life; na--not; nivartate--does stop.
One who does not understand the constitutional position of the body and the soul [atma] becomes too attached to the bodily concept of life. Consequently, because of attachment to the body and its by-products, he feels affected by union with and separation from his family, society and nation. As long as this continues, one continues his material life. [Otherwise, one is liberated.]
As confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.6):
sa vai pumsam paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhoksaje
The word dharma means "engagement." One who is engaged in the service of the Lord (yato bhaktir adhoksaje), without impediment and without cessation, is understood to be situated in his original, spiritual status. When one is promoted to this status, one is always happy in transcendental bliss. Otherwise, as long as one is in the bodily concept of life, one must suffer material conditions. Janma-mrtyu jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanudarsanam. The body is subject to its own principles of birth, death, old age and disease, but one who is situated in spiritual life (yato bhaktir adhoksaje) has no birth, no death, no old age and no disease. One may argue that we may see a person who is spiritually engaged twenty-four hours a day but is still suffering from disease. In fact, however, he is neither suffering nor diseased; otherwise he could not be engaged twenty-four hours a day in spiritual activities. The example may be given in this connection that sometimes dirty foam or garbage is seen floating on the water of the Ganges. This is called nira-dharma, a function of the water. But one who goes to the Ganges does not mind the foam and dirty things floating in the water. With his hand, he pushes away such nasty things, bathes in the Ganges and gains the beneficial results. Therefore, one who is situated in the spiritual status of life is unaffected by foam and garbage--or any superficial dirty things. This is confirmed by Srila Rupa Gosvami:
iha yasya harer dasye
karmana manasa gira
nikhilasv apy avasthasu
jivan-muktah sa ucyate
"A person acting in the service of Krsna with his body, mind and words is a liberated person, even within the material world." (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.187) Therefore, one is forbidden to regard the guru as an ordinary human being (gurusu nara-matir. .. naraki sah). The spiritual master, or acarya, is always situated in the spiritual status of life. Birth, death, old age and disease do not affect him. According to the Hari-bhakti-vilasa, therefore, after the disappearance of an acarya, his body is never burnt to ashes, for it is a spiritual body. The spiritual body is always unaffected by material conditions.
tasmad bhadre sva-tanayan
maya vyapaditan api
manusoca yatah sarvah
sva-krtam vindate 'vasah
tasmat--therefore; bhadre--my dear sister (all auspiciousness unto you); sva-tanayan--for your own sons; maya--by me; vyapaditan--unfortunately killed; api--although; ma anusoca--do not be aggrieved; yatah--because; sarvah--everyone; sva-krtam--the fruitive results of one's own deeds; vindate--suffers or enjoys; avasah--under the control of providence.
My dear sister Devaki, all good fortune unto you. Everyone suffers and enjoys the results of his own work under the control of providence. Therefore, although your sons have unfortunately been killed by me, please do not lament for them.
As stated in the Brahma-samhita (5.54):
yas tv indra-gopam athavendram aho sva-karma-
karmani nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhajam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
Everyone, beginning from the small insect known as indra-gopa up to Indra, the King of the heavenly planets, is obliged to undergo the results of his fruitive activities. We may superficially see that one is suffering or enjoying because of some external causes, but the real cause is one's own fruitive activities. Even when someone kills someone else, it is to be understood that the person who was killed met the fruitive results of his own work and that the man who killed him acted as the agent of material nature. Thus Kamsa begged Devaki's pardon by analyzing the matter deeply. He was not the cause of the death of Devaki's sons. Rather, this was their own destiny. Under the circumstances, Devaki should excuse Kamsa and forget his past deeds without lamentation. Kamsa admitted his own fault, but whatever he had done was under the control of providence. Kamsa might have been the immediate cause for the death of Devaki's sons, but the remote cause was their past deeds. This was an actual fact.
yavad dhato 'smi hantasmi-
ty atmanam manyate 'sva-drk
tavat tad-abhimany ajno
yavat--as long as; hatah asmi--I am now being killed (by others); hanta asmi--I am the killer (of others); iti--thus; atmanam--own self; manyate--he considers; a-sva-drk--one who has not seen himself (because of the darkness of the bodily conception of life); tavat--for that long; tat-abhimani--regarding himself as the killed or the killer; ajnah--a foolish person; badhya-badhakatam--the worldly transaction of being obliged to execute some responsibility; iyat--continues.
In the bodily conception of life, one remains in darkness, without self-realization, thinking, "I am being killed" or "I have killed my enemies." As long as a foolish person thus considers the self to be the killer or the killed, he continues to be responsible for material obligations, and consequently he suffers the reactions of happiness and distress.
By the grace of the Lord, Kamsa felt sincere regret for having unnecessarily persecuted such Vaisnavas as Devaki and Vasudeva, and thus he came to the transcendental stage of knowledge. "Because I am situated on the platform of knowledge," Kamsa said, "understanding that I am not at all the killer of your sons, I have no responsibility for their death. As long as I thought that I would be killed by your son, I was in ignorance, but now I am free from this ignorance, which was due to a bodily conception of life." As stated in Bhagavad-gita (18.17):
yasya nahankrto bhavo
buddhir yasya na lipyate
hatvapi sa imal lokan
na hanti na nibadhyate
"One who is not motivated by false ego, whose intelligence is not entangled, though he kills men in this world, is not the slayer. Nor is he bound by his actions." According to this axiomatic truth, Kamsa pleaded that he was not responsible for having killed the sons of Devaki and Vasudeva. "Please try to excuse me for such false, external activities," he said, "and be pacified with this same knowledge."
ksamadhvam mama dauratmyam
ity uktvasru-mukhah padau
syalah svasror athagrahit
ksamadhvam--kindly excuse; mama--my; dauratmyam--atrocious activities; sadhavah--both of you are great saintly persons; dina-vatsalah--and are very kind to poor, cripple-minded persons; iti uktva--saying this; asru-mukhah--his face full of tears; padau--the feet; syalah--his brother-in-law Kamsa; svasrah--of his sister and brother-in-law; atha--thus; agrahit--captured.
Kamsa begged, "My dear sister and brother-in-law, please be merciful to such a poor-hearted person as me, since both of you are saintly persons. Please excuse my atrocities." Having said this, Kamsa fell at the feet of Vasudeva and Devaki, his eyes full of tears of regret.
Although Kamsa had spoken very nicely on the subject of real knowledge, his past deeds were abominable and atrocious, and therefore he further begged forgiveness from his sister and brother-in-law by falling at their feet and admitting that he was a most sinful person.
mocayam asa nigadad
devakim vasudevam ca
mocayam asa--Kamsa released them; nigadat--from their iron shackles; visrabdhah--with full confidence; kanyaka-gira--in the words of the goddess Durga; devakim--toward his sister Devaki; vasudevam ca--and his brother-in-law Vasudeva; darsayan--fully exhibiting; atma-sauhrdam--his family relationship.
Fully believing in the words of the goddess Durga, Kamsa exhibited his familial affection for Devaki and Vasudeva by immediately releasing them from their iron shackles.
ksanta-rosa ca devaki
vyasrjad vasudevas ca
prahasya tam uvaca ha
bhratuh--toward her brother Kamsa; samanutaptasya--because of his being regretful; ksanta-rosa--was relieved of anger; ca--also; devaki--Krsna's mother, Devaki; vyasrjat--gave up; vasudevah ca--Vasudeva also; prahasya--smiling; tam--unto Kamsa; uvaca--said; ha--in the past.
When Devaki saw her brother actually repentant while explaining ordained events, she was relieved of all anger. Similarly, Vasudeva was also free from anger. Smiling, he spoke to Kamsa as follows.
Devaki and Vasudeva, both highly elevated personalities, accepted the truth presented by Kamsa that everything is ordained by providence. According to the prophecy, Kamsa would be killed by the eighth child of Devaki. Therefore, Vasudeva and Devaki saw that behind all these incidents was a great plan devised by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because the Lord had already taken birth, just like a human child, and was in the safe custody of Yasoda, everything was happening according to plan, and there was no need to continue their ill feeling toward Kamsa. Thus they accepted Kamsa's words.
evam etan maha-bhaga
yatha vadasi dehinam
sva-pareti bhida yatah
evam--yes, this is right; etat--what you have said; maha-bhaga--O great personality; yatha--as; vadasi--you are speaking; dehinam--about living entities (accepting material bodies); ajnana-prabhava--by the influence of ignorance; aham-dhih--this is my interest (false ego); sva-para iti--this is another's interest; bhida--differentiation; yatah--because of such a conception of life.
O great personality Kamsa, only by the influence of ignorance does one accept the material body and bodily ego. What you have said about this philosophy is correct. Persons in the bodily concept of life, lacking self-realization, differentiate in terms of "This is mine" and "This belongs to another."
Everything is done automatically by the laws of nature, which work under the direction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is no question of doing anything independently, for one who has put himself in this material atmosphere is fully under the control of nature's laws. Our main business, therefore, should be to get out of this conditioned life and again become situated in spiritual existence. Only due to ignorance does a person think, "I am a demigod," "I am a human being," "I am a dog," "I am a cat," or, when the ignorance is still further advanced, "I am God." Unless one is fully self-realized, one's life of ignorance will continue.
mitho ghnantam na pasyanti
bhavair bhavam prthag-drsah
soka--lamentation; harsa--jubilation; bhaya--fear; dvesa--envy; lobha--greed; moha--illusion; mada--madness; anvitah--endowed with; mithah--one another; ghnantam--engaged in killing; na pasyanti--do not see; bhavaih--because of such differentiation; bhavam--the situation in relation to the Supreme Lord; prthak-drsah--persons who see everything as separate from the control of the Lord.
Persons with the vision of differentiation are imbued with the material qualities lamentation, jubilation, fear, envy, greed, illusion and madness. They are influenced by the immediate cause, which they are busy counteracting, because they have no knowledge of the remote, supreme cause, the Personality of Godhead.
Krsna is the cause of all causes (sarva-karana-karanam), but one who has no connection with Krsna is disturbed by immediate causes and cannot restrain his vision of separation or differences. When an expert physician treats a patient, he tries to find the original cause of the disease and is not diverted by the symptoms of that original cause. Similarly, a devotee is never disturbed by reverses in life. Tat te 'nukampam susamiksamanah (Bhag. 10.14.8). A devotee understands that when he is in distress, this is due to his own past misdeeds, which are now accruing reactions, although by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead these are only very slight. Karmani nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhajam (Brahma-samhita 5.54). When a devotee under the protection of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is to suffer because of faults in his past deeds, he passes through only a little misery by the grace of the Lord. Although the disease of a devotee is due to mistakes committed sometime in the past, he agrees to suffer and tolerate such miseries, and he depends fully on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus he is never affected by material conditions of lamentation, jubilation, fear and so on. A devotee never sees anything to be unconnected with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Srila Madhvacarya, quoting from the Bhavisya Purana, says:
virodhad darsanam prthak
prthag-drstih sa vijneyo
na tu sad-bheda-darsanah
kamsa evam prasannabhyam
anujnato 'visad grham
sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; kamsah--King Kamsa; evam--thus; prasannabhyam--who were very much appeased; visuddham--in purity; pratibhasitah--being answered; devaki-vasudevabhyam--by Devaki and Vasudeva; anujnatah--taking permission; avisat--entered; grham--his own palace.
Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Thus having been addressed in purity by Devaki and Vasudeva, who were very much appeased, Kamsa felt pleased, and with their permission he entered his home.
tasyam ratryam vyatitayam
kamsa ahuya mantrinah
tebhya acasta tat sarvam
yad uktam yoga-nidraya
tasyam--that; ratryam--night; vyatitayam--having passed; kamsah--King Kamsa; ahuya--calling for; mantrinah--all the ministers; tebhyah--them; acasta--informed; tat--that; sarvam--all; yat uktam--which was spoken (that Kamsa's murderer was already somewhere else); yoga-nidraya--by Yogamaya, the goddess Durga.
After that night passed, Kamsa summoned his ministers and informed them of all that had been spoken by Yogamaya [who had revealed that He who was to slay Kamsa had already been born somewhere else].
The Vedic scripture Candi describes maya, the energy of the Supreme Lord, as nidra: durga devi sarva-bhutesu nidra-rupena samasthitah. The energy of Yogamaya and Mahamaya keeps the living entities sleeping in this material world in the great darkness of ignorance. Yogamaya, the goddess Durga, kept Kamsa in darkness about Krsna's birth and misled him to believe that his enemy Krsna had been born elsewhere. Krsna was born the son of Devaki, but according to the Lord's original plan, as prophesied to Brahma, He went to Vrndavana to give pleasure to mother Yasoda and Nanda Maharaja and other intimate friends and devotees for eleven years. Then He would return to kill Kamsa. Because Kamsa did not know this, he believed Yogamaya's statement that Krsna was born elsewhere, not of Devaki.
akarnya bhartur gaditam
tam ucur deva-satravah
devan prati krtamarsa
akarnya--after hearing; bhartuh--of their master; gaditam--the words or statement; tam ucuh--replied to him; deva-satravah--all the asuras, who were enemies of the demigods; devan--the demigods; prati--toward; krta-amarsah--who were envious; daiteyah--the asuras; na--not; ati-kovidah--who were very expert in executing transactions.
After hearing their master's statement, the envious asuras, who were enemies of the demigods and were not very expert in their dealings, advised Kamsa as follows.
There are two different types of men--the asuras and the suras.
dvau bhuta-sargau loke 'smin
daiva asura eva ca
visnu-bhaktah smrto daiva
Those who are devotees of Lord Visnu, Krsna, are suras, or devas, whereas those who are opposed to the devotees are called asuras. Devotees are expert in all transactions (yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akincana sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah). Therefore they are called kovida, which means "expert." Asuras, however, although superficially showing expertise in passionate activities, are actually all fools. They are neither sober nor expert. Whatever they do is imperfect. Moghasa mogha-karmanah. According to this description of the asuras given in Bhagavad-gita (9.12), whatever they do will ultimately be baffled. It was such persons who advised Kamsa because they were his chief friends and ministers.
evam cet tarhi bhojendra
anirdasan nirdasams ca
hanisyamo 'dya vai sisun
evam--thus; cet--if it is so; tarhi--then; bhoja-indra--O King of Bhoja; pura-grama-vraja-adisu--in all the towns, villages and pasturing grounds; anirdasan--those who are less than ten days old; nirdasan ca--and those who are just over ten days old; hanisyamah--we shall kill; adya--beginning from today; vai--indeed; sisun--all such children.
If this is so, O King of the Bhoja dynasty, beginning today we shall kill all the children born in all the villages, towns and pasturing grounds within the past ten days or slightly more.
kim udyamaih karisyanti
jya-ghosair dhanusas tava
kim--what; udyamaih--by their endeavors; karisyanti--will do; devah--all the demigods; samara-bhiravah--who are afraid of fighting; nityam--always; udvigna-manasah--with agitated minds; jya-ghosaih--by the sound of the string; dhanusah--of the bow; tava--your.
The demigods always fear the sound of your bowstring. They are constantly in anxiety, afraid of fighting. Therefore, what can they do by their endeavors to harm you?
asyatas te sara-vratair
asyatah--pierced by your discharged arrows; te--your; sara-vrataih--by the multitude of arrows; hanyamanah--being killed; samantatah--here and there; jijivisavah--aspiring to live; utsrjya--giving up the battlefield; palayana-parah--intent on escaping; yayuh--they fled (the fighting).
While being pierced by your arrows, which you discharged on all sides, some of them, who were injured by the multitude of arrows but who desired to live, fled the battlefield, intent on escaping.
kecit pranjalayo dina
bhitah sma iti vadinah
kecit--some of them; pranjalayah--folded their hands just to please you; dinah--very poor; nyasta-sastrah--being bereft of all weapons; divaukasah--the demigods; mukta-kaccha-sikhah--their garments and hair loosened and scattered; kecit--some of them; bhitah--we are very much afraid; sma--so became; iti vadinah--they spoke thus.
Defeated and bereft of all weapons, some of the demigods gave up fighting and praised you with folded hands, and some of them, appearing before you with loosened garments and hair, said, "O lord, we are very much afraid of you."
na tvam vismrta-sastrastran
na--not; tvam--Your Majesty; vismrta-sastra-astran--those who have forgotten how to use weapons; virathan--without chariots; bhaya-samvrtan--bewildered by fear; hamsi--does kill; anya-asakta-vimukhan--persons attached not to fighting but to some other subject matter; bhagna-capan--their bows broken; ayudhyatah--and thus not fighting.
When the demigods are bereft of their chariots, when they forget how to use weapons, when they are fearful or attached to something other than fighting, or when their bows are broken and they have thus lost the ability to fight, Your Majesty does not kill them.
There are principles that govern even fighting. If an enemy has no chariot, is unmindful of the fighting art because of fear, or is unwilling to fight, he is not to be killed. Kamsa's ministers reminded Kamsa that despite his power, he was cognizant of the principles of fighting, and therefore he had excused the demigods because of their incapability. "But the present emergency," the ministers said, "is not intended for such mercy or military etiquette. Now you should prepare to fight under any circumstances." Thus they advised Kamsa to give up the traditional etiquette in fighting and chastise the enemy at any cost.
kim ksema-surair vibudhair
raho-jusa kim harina
sambhuna va vanaukasa
brahmana va tapasyata
kim--what is there to fear; ksema--in a place where there is a scarcity of the ability to fight; suraih--by the demigods; vibudhaih--by such powerful persons; asamyuga-vikatthanaih--by boasting and talking uselessly, away from the fighting; rahah-jusa--who is living in a solitary place within the core of the heart; kim harina--what is the fear from Lord Visnu; sambhuna--(and what is the fear) from Lord Siva; va--either; vana-okasa--who is living in the forest; kim indrena--what is the fear from Indra; alpa-viryena--he is not at all powerful (having no power to fight with you); brahmana--and what is the fear from Brahma; va--either; tapasyata--who is always engaged in meditation.
The demigods boast uselessly while away from the battlefield. Only where there is no fighting can they show their prowess. Therefore, from such demigods we have nothing to fear. As for Lord Visnu, He is in seclusion in the core of the hearts of the yogis. As for Lord Siva, he has gone to the forest. And as for Lord Brahma, he is always engaged in austerities and meditation. The other demigods, headed by Indra, are devoid of prowess. Therefore you have nothing to fear.
Kamsa's ministers told Kamsa that all the exalted demigods had fled in fear of him. One had gone to the forest, one to the core of the heart, and one to engage in tapasya. "Thus you can be free from all fear of the demigods," they said. "Just prepare to fight."
tathapi devah sapatnyan
nopeksya iti manmahe
tatha api--still; devah--the demigods; sapatnyat--due to enmity; na upeksyah--should not be neglected; iti manmahe--this is our opinion; tatah--therefore; tat-mula-khanane--to uproot them completely; niyunksva--engage; asman--us; anuvratan--who are ready to follow you.
Nonetheless, because of their enmity, our opinion is that the demigods should not be neglected. Therefore, to uproot them completely, engage us in fighting with them, for we are ready to follow you.
According to moral instructions, one should not neglect to extinguish fire completely, treat diseases completely, and clear debts completely. Otherwise they will increase and later be difficult to stop. Therefore the ministers advised Kamsa to uproot his enemies completely.
yathamayo 'nge samupeksito nrbhir
na sakyate rudha-padas cikitsitum
yathendriya-grama upeksitas tatha
ripur mahan baddha-balo na calyate
yatha--as; amayah--a disease; ange--in the body; samupeksitah--being neglected; nrbhih--by men; na--not; sakyate--is able; rudha-padah--when it is acute; cikitsitum--to be treated; yatha--and as; indriya-gramah--the senses; upeksitah--not controlled in the beginning; tatha--similarly; ripuh mahan--a great enemy; baddha-balah--if he becomes strong; na--not; calyate--can be controlled.
As a disease, if initially neglected, becomes acute and impossible to cure, or as the senses, if not controlled at first, are impossible to control later, an enemy, if neglected in the beginning, later becomes insurmountable.
mulam hi visnur devanam
yatra dharmah sanatanah
tasya ca brahma-go-vipras
tapo yajnah sa-daksinah
mulam--the foundation; hi--indeed; visnuh--is Lord Visnu; devanam--of the demigods; yatra--wherein; dharmah--religious principles; sanatanah--traditional or eternal; tasya--of this (foundation); ca--also; brahma--brahminical civilization; go--cow protection; viprah--brahmanas; tapah--austerity; yajnah--performing sacrifices; sa-daksinah--with proper remuneration.
The foundation of all the demigods is Lord Visnu, who lives and is worshiped wherever there are religious principles, traditional culture, the Vedas, cows, brahmanas, austerities, and sacrifices with proper remuneration.
Here is a description of sanatana-dharma, eternal religious principles, which must include brahminical culture, brahmanas, sacrifices and religion. These principles establish the kingdom of Visnu. Without the kingdom of Visnu, the kingdom of God, no one can be happy. Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum: in this demoniac civilization, people unfortunately do not understand that the self-interest of human society lies in Visnu. Durasaya ye bahir-artha-maninah: thus they are involved in a hopeless hope. People want to be happy without God consciousness, or Krsna consciousness, because they are led by blind leaders who lead human society to chaos. The asuric adherents of Kamsa wanted to disrupt the traditional condition of human happiness and thus defeat the devatas, the devotees and demigods. Unless the devotees and demigods predominate, the asuras will increase, and human society will be in a chaotic condition.
tasmat sarvatmana rajan
gas ca hanmo havir-dughah
tasmat--therefore; sarva-atmana--in every respect; rajan--O King; brahmanan--the brahmanas; brahma-vadinah--who maintain the brahminical culture, centered around Visnu; tapasvinah--persons who are engaged in austerities; yajna-silan--persons engaged in offering sacrifices; gah ca--cows and persons engaged in protecting cows; hanmah--we shall kill; havih-dughah--because they supply milk, from which clarified butter is obtained for the offering of sacrifice.
O King, we, who are your adherents in all respects, shall therefore kill the Vedic brahmanas, the persons engaged in offering sacrifices and austerities, and the cows that supply milk, from which clarified butter is obtained for the ingredients of sacrifice.
vipra gavas ca vedas ca
tapah satyam damah samah
sraddha daya titiksa ca
kratavas ca hares tanuh
viprah--the brahmanas; gavah ca--and the cows; vedah ca--and the Vedic knowledge; tapah--austerity; satyam--truthfulness; damah--control of the senses; samah--control of the mind; sraddha--faith; daya--mercy; titiksa--tolerance; ca--also; kratavah ca--as well as sacrifices; hareh tanuh--are the different parts of the body of Lord Visnu.
The brahmanas, the cows, Vedic knowledge, austerity, truthfulness, control of the mind and senses, faith, mercy, tolerance and sacrifice are the different parts of the body of Lord Visnu, and they are the paraphernalia for a godly civilization.
When we offer our obeisances to the Personality of Godhead, we say:
govindaya namo namah
When Krsna comes to establish real perfection in the social order, He personally gives protection to the cows and the brahmanas (go-brahmana-hitaya ca). This is His first interest because without protection of the brahmanas and the cows, there can be no human civilization and no question of happy, peaceful life. Asuras, therefore, are always interested in killing the brahmanas and cows. Especially in this age, Kali-yuga, cows are being killed all over the world, and as soon as there is a movement to establish brahminical civilization, people in general rebel. Thus they regard the Krsna consciousness movement as a form of "brainwashing." How can such envious persons be happy in their godless civilization? The Supreme Personality of Godhead punishes them by keeping them in darkness, birth after birth, and pushing them lower and lower into wretched conditions of hellish life. The Krsna consciousness movement has started a brahminical civilization, but especially when it is introduced in the Western countries, the asuras try to impede it in many ways. Nonetheless, we must push forward this movement tolerantly for the benefit of human society.
sa hi sarva-suradhyakso
hy asura-dvid guha-sayah
tan-mula devatah sarvah
ayam vai tad-vadhopayo
yad rsinam vihimsanam
sah--He (Lord Visnu); hi--indeed; sarva-sura-adhyaksah--the leader of all the demigods; hi--indeed; asura-dvit--the enemy of the asuras; guha-sayah--He is the Supersoul within the core of everyone's heart; tat-mulah--taking shelter at His lotus feet; devatah--the demigods exist; sarvah--all of them; sa-isvarah--including Lord Siva; sa-catuh-mukhah--as well as Lord Brahma, who has four faces; ayam--this is; vai--indeed; tat-vadha-upayah--the only means of killing Him (Visnu); yat--which; rsinam--of great sages, saintly persons, or Vaisnavas; vihimsanam--suppression with all kinds of persecution.
Lord Visnu, the Supersoul within the core of everyone's heart, is the ultimate enemy of the asuras and is therefore known as asura-dvit. He is the leader of all the demigods because all the demigods, including Lord Siva and Lord Brahma, exist under His protection. The great saintly persons, sages and Vaisnavas also depend upon Him. To persecute the Vaisnavas, therefore, is the only way to kill Visnu.
The demigods and the Vaisnavas especially are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, Visnu, because they are always obedient to His orders (om tad visnoh paramam padam sada pasyanti surayah). The demoniac followers of Kamsa thought that if the Vaisnavas, saintly persons and sages were persecuted, the original body of Visnu would naturally be destroyed. Thus they decided to suppress Vaisnavism. The asuras perpetually struggle to persecute the Vaisnavas because they do not want Vaisnavism to spread. Vaisnavas preach only devotional service, not encouraging karmis, jnanis and yogis, because if one must liberate oneself from material, conditional life, one must ultimately become a Vaisnava. Our Krsna consciousness movement is directed with this understanding, and therefore the asuras always try to suppress it.
evam durmantribhih kamsah
saha sammantrya durmatih
brahma-himsam hitam mene
sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; evam--in this way; durmantribhih--his bad ministers; kamsah--King Kamsa; saha--along with; sammantrya--after considering very elaborately; durmatih--without good intelligence; brahma-himsam--persecution of the brahmanas; hitam--as the best way; mene--accepted; kala-pasa-avrtah--being bound by the rules and regulations of Yamaraja; asurah--because he was a demon.
Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Thus, having considered the instructions of his bad ministers, Kamsa, who was bound by the laws of Yamaraja and devoid of good intelligence because he was a demon, decided to persecute the saintly persons, the brahmanas, as the only way to achieve his own good fortune.
Srila Locana dasa Thakura has sung, apana karama, bhunjaye samana, kahaye locana dasa. Instead of taking good instructions from the sages and the sastras, godless nondevotees act whimsically, according to their own plans. Actually, however, no one has his own plans because everyone is bound by the laws of nature and must act according to his tendency in material, conditional life. Therefore one must change one's own decision and follow the decision of Krsna and Krsna's devotees. Then one is rescued from punishment by Yamaraja. Kamsa was not uneducated. It appears from his talks with Vasudeva and Devaki that he knew all about the laws of nature. But because of his association with bad ministers, he could not make a clear decision about his welfare. Therefore the Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 22.54) says:
'sadhu-sanga,' 'sadhu-sanga'----sarva-sastre kaya
lava-matra sadhu-sasge sarva-siddhi haya
If one desires his real welfare, he must associate with devotees and saintly persons and in this way rectify the material condition of his life.
danavan grham avisat
sandisya--after giving permission; sadhu-lokasya--of the saintly persons; kadane--in persecution; kadana-priyan--to the demons, who were very expert at persecuting others; kama-rupa-dharan--who could assume any form, according to their own desire; diksu--in all directions; danavan--to the demons; grham avisat--Kamsa entered his own palace.
These demons, the followers of Kamsa, were expert at persecuting others, especially the Vaisnavas, and could assume any form they desired. After giving these demons permission to go everywhere and persecute the saintly persons, Kamsa entered his palace.
te vai rajah-prakrtayas
satam vidvesam acerur
te--all the asuric ministers; vai--indeed; rajah-prakrtayah--surcharged with the mode of passion; tamasa--overwhelmed by the mode of ignorance; mudha-cetasah--foolish persons; satam--of saintly persons; vidvesam--persecution; aceruh--executed; arat agata-mrtya-vah--impending death having already overtaken them.
Surcharged with passion and ignorance and not knowing what was good or bad for them, the asuras, for whom impending death was waiting, began the persecution of the saintly persons.
As stated in Bhagavad-gita (2.13):
dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
dhiras tatra na muhyati
"As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change." Irresponsible persons, surcharged with passion and ignorance, foolishly do things that are not to be done (nunam pramattah kurute vikarma). But one should know the results of irresponsible actions, as explained in the next verse.
ayuh sriyam yaso dharmam
lokan asisa eva ca
hanti sreyamsi sarvani
ayuh--the duration of life; sriyam--beauty; yasah--fame; dharmam--religion; lokan--elevation to higher planets; asisah--blessings; eva--indeed; ca--also; hanti--destroys; sreyamsi--benedictions; sarvani--all; pumsah--of a person; mahat-atikramah--trespassing against great personalities.
My dear King, when a man persecutes great souls, all his benedictions of longevity, beauty, fame, religion, blessings and promotion to higher planets will be destroyed.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Tenth Canto, Fourth Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "The Atrocities of King Kamsa."