Om Dhamodharayae Vidhmahe
Rukmani Vallabhaye Dheemahe
Tanno Krishna Prachodayaath !
The Legend of Krishna’s Birth
Millions and millions of the people of India (and other countries) love Sri Krishna, pray to him and worship him, as an avatar (Incarnation) of the Divine.
Krishna’s birth was full of strange and mysterious happenings. It is said to have taken place just about this time of year. There was a terrible rainstorm that night, with lots of lightning and thunder. When the baby was born, his mother, whose name was Devaki, was in a dungeon –a prison– where she had been kept for many years, along with her husband Vasudeva. The reason is this: her evil brother, King Kamsa, had imprisoned them so that he could destroy this baby she was about to have. The king had heard from fortune-tellers that this son of theirs would grow up to be a great power and would dethrone him; that Krishna would be a restorer of righteousness and would spoil all of the wicked plans Kamsa had in mind for promoting his own power and glory.
As the time arrived for Devaki to bring forth the baby, the father and mother were deep in prayer to the Lord, sore at heart and fearful that the king would come and kill this baby as he had killed their other children. And there was no place to hide the little one.
But as soon as Sri Krishna was born a brilliant light lit the whole cavern. Gladness and cheerfulness fell upon Devaki and Vasudeva as the Lord himself shone upon them with a beautiful smile. The divinity in this wee babe was effulgent, unmistakable. His love spread over them and their misery vanished. Now Krishna spoke, reassuring them: “Father and mother,” he said, “weep no more. I have come to rescue you and in fact to rescue the whole world. The wicked shall rule no more. King Kamsa will die in the schemes he himself has made, and once again there will be peace on earth.”
(Even though he was just born, he could speak, you see. It’s often that way with babies in stories like these.)
Then Sri Krishna told his father to carry him to the home of their good friend Nanda, in a village called Gokula, across the Yamuna river. “His wife, Yashoda, has just given birth to a daughter. Put me in her cradle and bring their baby here.” When God gives you a command –and you know that it’s God– you don’t argue.
Still, Vasudeva had a doubt. “How can I get out of the prison?” he said.
“Your way will be made clear,” came the answer. And sure enough, the guards fell asleep, the gates miraculously opened, and Vasudeva was on his way with baby Krishna, through the storm and swimming across the river to Gokula, where Yashoda and Nanda were sleeping beside the newborn babe.
Quickly and quietly exchanging the children without waking her parents, Krishna’s father hurried back and re-entered the prison, which closed behind him. Soon Kamsa came and found that it was a girl who had been born. The parents, seeing the anger on his face, pleaded: “This is a girl –what harm can it bring to you?”
But you see, rage knows no reasoning; Kamsa was full of hate, and taking no chances, he picked up the baby to dash her to pieces against the stone wall.
What a surprise! Ordinary baby she was not! It was the Divine Mother herself in this infant form. Slipping out of Kamsa’s grasp, she rose up to the ceiling and, passing through it she appeared in all her true celestial beauty. Laughing loud at the king, she said, “Fool, do you think that you can prevent the divine will? Your enemy will flourish and bring your wicked rule to an end.
Nanda and Yashoda shared with the whole village of Gokula the joy over the birth of their newborn son. Of course it took quite some time for them to understand just who he was.