Krishna As Child : Part – I
His birth was not an accident. Prithvi, Mother Earth, had suffered long from the depredations of evil and wicked men and women, who had forgotten dharma, the law of righteousness. Crime and persecution had become rampant and, in dread, religion and justice had fled. Karnsa, who ruled Mathura, having usurped the throne from his good father, Ugrasena, was foremost among the wicked. His cruelty was matched only by his arrogance and lack of repentance. Unable to bear this state of affairs any more, Prithvi, assuming the form of a cow, went to Mount Meru, where the gods-Indra, Shiva and Brahma-had assembled. Hearing her tale of woe, Brahma approached Vishnu as he lay on his serpent couch in the Milky Sea, and begged the limitless author of creation, preservation and destruction to come to the assistance of Prithvi.
Vishnu, ever compassionate, agreed. Plucking out two of his hairs, one black and one white, he said: ‘This, my black hair, shall be incarnate in the eighth child of the wife of Vasudeva, Devaki, and shall kill Karnsa, who is none other than the great demon Kalenemi.’ The white hair, the Lord said, would also be born to Devaki, as her seventh child. Together the two would kill the demons and rid the world of its accumulated evil.Karnsa became aware of his impending fate on the day of the marriage of his sister Devaki to Vasudeva, son of Sura, an important chieftain of the clan of the Yadava, who were descendants of Yadu, son of King Yayati of the Lunar race. As Vasudeva prepared to take his newly wedded wife home, a celestial voice proclaimed: ‘Karnsa, you fool, this woman, your sister, will be the cause of your death. Her eighth son will kill you.’ In a flash, Kamsa’s sword left its scabbard to kill Devaki, but Vasudeva pleaded with him to spare his wife’s life on condition that he would hand over to him all their sons.
Karnsa relented and put Vasudeva and Devaki in prison under heavy guard. There Devaki in time had six sons, all of whom Karnsa mercilessly put to death. Devaki’s seventh son was declared to be a miscarriage, but in reality.Lord Vishnu had commanded the goddess Yoganidra, who is described in the Vishnu Purana as ‘the great illusory energy of Vishnu, by whom, as utter ignorance, the whole world is beguiled’, to transfer the embryo-formed of a portion of Sesha, the many-headed serpent, which was a part of Vishnu-to the womb ofRohini, another wife of Vasudeva, residing in nearby Gokula.This child was Balarama, also known as Sankarsana, since he was extracted from his mother’s womb.