TEXTS 49–50
pradaya mrtyave putran
mocaye krpanam imam
suta me yadi jayeran
mrtyur va na mriyeta cet
viparyayo va kim na syad
gatir dhatur duratyaya
upasthito nivarteta
nivrttah punar apatet
SYNONYMS
pradaya—promising to deliver; mrtyave—unto Kamsa, who is death personified for Devaki; putran—my sons; mocaye—I am releasing her from imminent danger; krpanam—innocent; imamDevaki; sutah—sons; me—my; yadi—whether; jayeran—should take birth; mrtyuhKamsa; va—or; na—not; mriyeta—should die; cet—if; viparyayah—just the opposite; va—or; kim—whether; na—not; syat—it may happen; gatih—the movement; dhatuh—of providence; duratyaya—very difficult to understand; upasthitah—that which is presently obtained; nivarteta—may stop; nivrttah—Devaki’s death being stopped; punah apatet—in the future it may happen again (but what can I do).
TRANSLATION
Vasudeva considered: By delivering all my sons to Kamsa, who is death personified, I shall save the life of Devaki. Perhaps Kamsa 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 Kamsa will give up this immediate threat, and if in due course of time Kamsa dies, I shall have nothing to fear.
PURPORT
Vasudeva wanted to save the life of Devaki by promising to deliver his sons to Kamsa. “In the future,” he thought, “Kamsa may die, or I may not beget any sons. Even if a son is born and I deliver him to Kamsa, Kamsa may die at his hands, for by providence anything could happen. It is very difficult to understand how things are managed by providence.” Thus Vasudeva decided that he would promise to deliver his sons to the hands of Kamsa in order to save Devaki from the imminent danger of death.

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