ugrasenam ca pitaram
svayam nigrhya 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; nigrhya—subduing; bubhuje—enjoyed; surasenan—all the states known as Surasena; maha-balah—the extremely powerful Kamsa.
Kamsa, 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 Surasena.
The state known as Mathura was also included within the states known as Surasena.
Regarding transmigration of the soul, Srila Madhvacarya gives the following notes. When one is awake, whatever one sees or hears is impressed upon the mind, which later works in dreams to show one different experiences, although in dreams one appears to accept a different body. For example, when one is awake one does business and talks with customers, and similarly in dreams one meets various customers, talks about business and gives quotations. Madhvacarya says, therefore, that dreams take place according to what one sees, hears and remembers. When one reawakens, of course, one forgets the body of the dream. This forgetfulness is called apasmrti. Thus we are changing bodies because we are sometimes dreaming, sometimes awake and sometimes forgetful. Forgetfulness of our previously created body is called death, and our work in the present body is called life. After death, one cannot remember the activities of one’s previous body, whether imaginary or factual.
The agitated mind is compared to agitated water reflecting the sun and the moon. Actually the sun and moon reflected on the water do not exist there; nonetheless, they are reflected according to the movements of the water. Similarly, when our minds are agitated, we wander in different material atmospheres and receive different types of bodies. This is described in Bhagavad-gita as guna-sanga. Karanam guna-sango ’sya. Madhvacarya says, guna-nubaddhah san. And Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva (Cc. Madhya 19.151). The living entity rotates up and down throughout the universe, sometimes in the upper planetary system, sometimes in the middle and lower planetary systems, sometimes as a man, sometimes a god, a dog, a tree and so on. This is all due to the agitation of the mind. The mind must therefore be steadily fixed. As it is said, sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayoh. One should fix one’s mind at the lotus feet of Krsna, and then one will become free from agitation. This is the instruction of the Garuda Purana, and in the Naradiya Purana the same process is described. As stated in Bhagavad-gita, yanti deva-vrata devan [Bg. 9.25]. The agitated mind goes to different planetary systems because it is attached to different kinds of demigods, but one does not go to the abode of the Supreme Personality of Godhead by worshiping the demigods, for this is not supported by any Vedic literature. Man is the architect of his own fortune. In this human life one has the facility with which to understand one’s real situation, and one can decide whether to wander around the universe forever or return home, back to Godhead. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (aprapya mam nivartante mrtyu-samsara-vartmani).
There is no such thing as chance. When a tree is burning in a forest fire and although the nearest tree is spared a distant tree catches fire, this may appear to be chance. Similarly, one may seem to get different types of bodies by chance, but actually one receives these bodies because of the mind. The mind flickers between accepting and rejecting, and according to the acceptance and rejection of the mind, we receive different types of bodies, although we superficially seem to obtain these bodies by chance. Even if we accept the theory of chance, the immediate cause for the change of body is the agitation of the mind.
Notes on amsa. This chapter describes that Krsna appeared amsena, with His parts and parcels or His partial manifestation. In this connection, Sridhara Svami says that Krsna is one hundred percent Bhagavan (krsnas tu bhagavan svayam). Because of our imperfections, however, we cannot appreciate Krsna in fullness, and therefore whatever Krsna exhibited when present on earth was but a partial manifestation of His opulence. Again, Krsna appeared with His plenary expansion Baladeva. Krsna, however, is full; there is no question of His appearing partially. In the Vaisnava-tosani, Srila Sanatana Gosvami says that to accept that Krsna was partially manifested would contradict the statement krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. Srila Jiva Gosvami says that the word amsena means that Krsna appeared with all His plenary expansions. The words amsena visnoh do not mean that Krsna is a partial representative of Visnu. Rather, Krsna appeared in fullness, and He manifests Himself partially in the Vaikunthalokas. In other words, Lord Visnu is a partial representation of Krsna; Krsna is not a partial representation of Visnu. In the Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, Chapter Four, this subject matter is explained very clearly. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura also notes that no one can describe Krsna in fullness. Whatever descriptions we find in Srimad-Bhagavatam are partial explanations of Krsna. In conclusion, therefore, the word amsena indicates that Lord Visnu is a partial representation of Krsna, not that Krsna is a partial representation of Visnu.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami’s Vaisnava-tosani has explained the word dharma-silasya. The exact meaning of dharma-sila is “an unadulterated devotee.” Real dharma consists of full surrender to Krsna (sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]). One who has fully surrendered to Krsna is actually religious. One such religious person was Maharaja Pariksit. Anyone who accepts the principle of surrender to the lotus feet of the Lord, giving up all other systems of religion, is actually dharma-sila, perfectly religious.
The word nivrtta-tarsaih refers to one who no longer has any material desires (sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]). One may have many material desires because of contamination in this material world, but when one is completely free from all material desires, he is called nivrtta-trsna, which indicates that he no longer has any thirst for material enjoyment. Svamin krtartho ’smi varam na yace (Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya). Materialistic persons want some material profit from executing devotional service, but this is not the purpose of service. The perfection of devotional service lies in complete surrender unto the lotus feet of Krsna, with no material desires. One who surrenders in this way is already liberated. Jivan-muktah sa ucyate. One who is always busy serving Krsna, in whatever condition he may live, is understood to be liberated even in this life. Such a person, who is a pure devotee, does not need to change his body; indeed, he does not possess a material body, for his body has already been spiritualized. An iron rod kept constantly within a fire will ultimately become fire, and whatever it touches will burn. Similarly, the pure devotee is in the fire of spiritual existence, and therefore his body is cin-maya; that is, it is spiritual, not material, because the pure devotee has no desire but the transcendental desire to serve the Lord. In text four the word upagiyamanat is used: nivrtta-tarsair upagiyamanat. Who will chant the glories of the Lord unless he is a devotee? Therefore the word nivrtta-tarsaih indicates the devotee, and no one else. These are the remarks of acaryas like Viraraghava Acarya and Vijayadhvaja. To desire anything other than devotional service will diminish one’s freedom from material desires, but when one is free from all such desires one is called nivrtta-tarsaih.
Vina pasu-ghnat. The word pasu means “animal.” An animal killer, pasu-ghna, cannot enter into Krsna consciousness. In our Krsna consciousness movement, therefore, animal killing is completely prohibited.
Uttamasloka-gunanuvadat. The word uttamasloka means “one who is famous as the best of those who are good.” The Lord is good in all circumstances. That is His natural reputation. His goodness is unlimited, and He uses it unlimitedly. A devotee is also sometimes described as uttamasloka, meaning that he is eager to glorify the Supreme Personality of Godhead or the Lord’s devotees. Glorifying the Lord and glorifying the Lord’s devotees are the same. Or, rather, glorifying the devotee is more important than glorifying the Lord directly. Narottama dasa Thakura explains this fact: chadiya vaisnava-seva, nistara payeche keba. One cannot be liberated from material contamination without sincerely serving a devotee of Krsna.
Bhavausadhat means “from the universal remedy.” Chanting the holy name and glorifying the Supreme Lord are the universal remedy for all the miseries of materialistic life. Persons who desire to be freed from this material world are called mumuksu. Such persons can understand the miseries of materialistic life, and by glorifying the activities of the Lord they can be released from all these miseries. The transcendental sound vibrations concerning the Lord’s name, fame, form, qualities and paraphernalia are all nondifferent from the Lord. Therefore the very sound vibration of the Lord’s glorification and name are pleasing to the ears, and by understanding the absolute nature of the Lord’s name, form and qualities the devotee becomes joyful. Even those who are not devotees, however, enjoy the pleasing narrations of the Lord’s transcendental activities. Even ordinary persons not very much advanced in Krsna consciousness take pleasure in describing the narrations depicted in Srimad-Bhagavatam. When a materialistic person is purified in this way, he engages in hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord. Because glorification of the Lord’s pastimes is very pleasing to the ear and heart of the devotee, it is simultaneously his subject and object.
In this world there are three kinds of men: those who are liberated, those trying to be liberated, and those entangled in sense enjoyment. Of these three, those who are already liberated chant and hear the holy name of the Lord, knowing perfectly that to glorify the Lord is the only way to keep oneself in a transcendental position. Those who are trying to be liberated, the second class, may regard the chanting and hearing of the Lord’s holy name as a process of liberation, and they too will feel the transcendental pleasure of this chanting. As for karmis and persons engaged in sense gratification, they also may take pleasure in hearing the pastimes of the Lord, like His fighting on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra and His dancing in Vrndavana with the gopis.
The word uttamasloka-gunanuvada refers to the transcendental qualities of the Supreme Lord, such as His affection for mother Yasoda and His friends the cowherd boys and His loving attitude toward the gopis. The Lord’s devotees like Maharaja Yudhisthira are also described by the qualification uttamasloka-gunanuvada. The word anuvada refers to describing the qualities of the Supreme Lord or His devotees. When these qualities are described, other devotees are interested in hearing them. The more one is interested in hearing about these transcendental qualities, the more one transcendentally enjoys. Everyone, therefore, including the mumuksus, the vimuktas and the karmis, should chant and hear the glories of the Lord, and in this way everyone will benefit.
Although the sound vibration of the transcendental qualities of the Lord is equally beneficial to all, for those who are muktas, liberated, it is especially pleasing. As described in Srimad-Bhagavatam, Eighth Canto, Third Chapter, verse twenty, because pure devotees, who no longer have any material desires, surrender fully to the lotus feet of the Lord, they always merge in the ocean of bliss by chanting and hearing the Lord’s holy name. According to this verse, devotees like Narada and other residents of Svetadvipa are seen always engaged in chanting the holy name of the Lord because by such chanting they are always externally and internally blissful. The mumuksus, persons desiring to be liberated, do not depend on the pleasures of the senses; instead, they concentrate fully on becoming liberated by chanting the holy name of the Lord. Karmis like to create something pleasing to their ears and hearts, and although they sometimes like to chant or hear the glories of the Lord, they do not do it openly. Devotees, however, always spontaneously hear, chant about and remember the activities of the Lord, and by this process they are fully satisfied, even though these may seem like topics of sense gratification. Simply by hearing the transcendental narrations of the Lord’s activities, Pariksit Maharaja was liberated. He was therefore srotramano-’bhirama; that is, he glorified the process of hearing. This process should be accepted by all living entities.
To distinguish persons who are bereft of these transcendental pleasures, Pariksit Maharaja has used the words virajyeta puman. The word puman refers to any person, whether man, woman or in-between. Because of the bodily conception of life, we are subject to lamentation, but one who has no such bodily conceptions can take pleasure in transcendental hearing and chanting. Therefore a person fully absorbed in the bodily concept of life is surely killing himself by not making spiritual progress. Such a person is called pasu-ghna. Especially excluded from spiritual life are the animal hunters, who are not interested in hearing and chanting the holy name of the Lord. Such hunters are always unhappy, both in this life and in the next. It is therefore said that a hunter should neither die nor live because for such persons both living and dying are troublesome. Animal hunters are completely different from ordinary karmis, and thus they have been excluded from the process of hearing and chanting. Vina pasu-ghnat. They cannot enter into the transcendental pleasure of chanting and hearing the holy name of the Lord.
The word maha-ratha refers to a great hero who can fight alone against eleven thousand other heroes, and the word atiratha, as found in text five, refers to one who can fight against an unlimited number. This is mentioned in the Mahabharata as follows:
Maya-manusyasya (10.1.17). Because of being covered by yogamaya (naham prakasah sarvasya yogamaya-samavrtah [Bg. 7.25]), Krsna is sometimes called maya-manusya, indicating that although He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He appears like an ordinary person. A misunderstanding arises because yogamaya covers the vision of the general public. The Lord’s position is actually different from that of an ordinary person, for although He appears to act like an ordinary man, He is always transcendental. The word maya also indicates “mercy,” and sometimes it also means “knowledge.” The Lord is always full of all transcendental knowledge, and therefore although He acts like a human being, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, full of knowledge. In His original identity, the Lord is the controller of maya (mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram [Bg. 9.10]). Therefore the Lord may be called maya-manusya, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead playing like an ordinary human being, although He is the controller of both the material and spiritual energies. The Lord is the Supreme Person, Purusottama, but because we are deluded by yogamaya, He appears to be an ordinary person. Ultimately, however, yogamaya induces even a nondevotee to understand the Lord as the Supreme Person, Purusottama. In Bhagavad-gita we find two statements given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. For the devotees, the Lord says:
“To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.” (Bg. 10.10) Thus for the willing devotee the Lord gives intelligence by which to understand Him and return home, back to Godhead. For others, for nondevotees, the Lord says, mrtyuh sarva-haras caham: “I am all-plundering, inevitable death.” A devotee like Prahlada enjoys the activities of Lord Nrsimhadeva, whereas nondevotees like Prahlada’s father, Hiranyakasipu, meet death before Lord Nrsimhadeva. The Lord therefore acts in two ways, by sending some onto the path of repeated birth and death and sending others back home, back to Godhead.
The word kala, meaning “black,” indicates the color of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. Lord Krsna and Lord Ramacandra, who both look blackish, give liberation and transcendental bliss to Their devotees. Among persons possessing material bodies, sometimes someone is able to subject death to his own will. For such a person, death is almost impossible because no one wants to die. But although Bhismadeva possessed this power, Bhisma, by the supreme will of the Lord, died very easily in the Lord’s presence. There have also been many demons who had no hope of salvation, yet Kamsa attained salvation by the supreme will of the Lord. Not to speak of Kamsa, even Putana attained salvation and reached the level of the Lord’s mother. Pariksit Maharaja, therefore, was very eager to hear about the Lord, who has inconceivable qualities by which to give liberation to anyone. Pariksit Maharaja, at the point of his death, was certainly interested in his liberation. When such a great and exalted personality as the Lord behaves like an ordinary human being although possessing inconceivable qualities, His behavior is called maya. Therefore the Lord is described as maya-manusya. This is the opinion of Srila Jiva Gosvami. Mu refers to mukti, or salvation, and ku refers to that which is bad or very obnoxious. Thus muku refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who saves one from the bad condition of material existence. The Lord is called mukunda because He not only saves the devotee from material existence but offers him transcendental bliss in love and service.
As for Kesava, ka means Brahma, and isa means Lord Siva. The personality of Godhead captivates both Lord Brahma and Lord Mahadeva, or Siva, by His transcendental qualities. Therefore He is called Kesava. This opinion is given by Sanatana Gosvami in his Vaisnava-tosani commentary.
It is said that all the demigods, accompanied by Tri-nayana, Lord Siva, went to the shore of the ocean of milk and offered their prayers through the mantra known as purusa-sukta. From this statement it is understood that the demigods cannot directly approach Lord Visnu, who lies on the ocean of milk, or enter His abode. This is also clearly stated in the Mahabharata, Moksa-dharma, and the next chapter of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, has His abode in Goloka (goloka-namni nija-dhamni tale ca tasya [Bs. 5.43]). From Lord Krsna come the catur-vyuha, the quadruple expansions Sankarsana, Aniruddha, Pradyumna and Vasudeva. There are innumerable brahmandas, all of which emanate from the pores of Karanodakasayi Visnu, and in every brahmanda there is a Garbhodakasayi Visnu, who is a partial expansion of Aniruddha. This Aniruddha is a partial expansion of Pradyumna, who is partially represented as Ksirodakasayi Visnu, the Supersoul of all living entities. These Visnu expansions are different from Krsna, who resides in Goloka Vrndavana. When it is said that the demigods offered prayers to the Lord by chanting the purusa-sukta, this indicates that they pleased the Lord by enunciating prayers of bhakti.
The word vrsakapi refers to one who satisfies His devotee in every way and frees His devotee from all material anxieties. Vrsa refers to religious performances like sacrifices. Even without the execution of sacrifices, the Lord can still enjoy the supermost comforts of the heavenly planets. The statement that Purusottama, Jagannatha, would appear in the house of Vasudeva distinguishes the Supreme Personality of Godhead from ordinary persons. The statement that He personally appeared indicates that He did not send His plenary expansion. The word priyartham indicates that the Lord appeared to please Rukmini and Radharani. Priya means “the most beloved.”
In the commentary of Sri Viraraghava Acarya, the following extra verse is accepted after text twenty-three:
“O demigods, even great sages, following the order of Visnu, appeared in the forms of cows and calves to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead by delivering milk.”
Ramanujacarya sometimes accepts Baladeva as a saktyavesa-avatara, but Srila Jiva Gosvami has explained that Baladeva is an expansion of Krsna and that a part of Baladeva is Sankarsana. Although Baladeva is identical with Sankarsana, He is the origin of Sankarsana. Therefore the word svarat has been used to indicate that Baladeva always exists in His own independence. The word svarat also indicates that Baladeva is beyond the material conception of existence. Maya cannot attract Him, but because He is fully independent, He can appear by His spiritual potency wherever He likes. Maya is fully under the control of Visnu. Because the material potency and yogamaya mingle in the Lord’s appearance, they are described as ekanamsa. Sometimes ekanamsa is interpreted to mean “without differentiation.” Sankarsana and Sesa-naga are identical. As stated by Yamunadevi, “O Rama, O great-armed master of the world, who have extended Yourself throughout the entire universe by one plenary expansion, it is not possible to understand You fully.” Therefore ekamsa refers to Sesa-naga. In other words, Baladeva, merely by His partial expansion, sustains the entire universe.
The word karyarthe refers to one who attracted the pregnancy of Devaki and bewildered mother Yasoda. These pastimes are very confidential. The Supreme Personality of Godhead ordered yogamaya to bewilder His associates in His pastimes and bewilder demons like Kamsa. As stated previously, yogamayam samadisat. To give service to the Lord, yogamaya appeared along with mahamaya. Mahamaya refers to yaya sammohitam jagat, “one who bewilders the entire material world.” From this statement it is to be understood that yogamaya, in her partial expansion, becomes mahamaya and bewilders the conditioned souls. In other words, the entire creation has two divisions—transcendental, or spiritual, and material. Yogamaya manages the spiritual world, and by her partial expansion as mahamaya she manages the material world. As stated in the Narada-pancaratra, mahamaya is a partial expansion of yogamaya. The Narada-pancaratra clearly states that the Supreme Personality has one potency, which is sometimes described as Durga. The Brahma-samhita says, chayeva yasya bhuvanani bibharti durga [Bs. 5.44]. Durga is not different from yogamaya. When one understands Durga properly, he is immediately liberated, for Durga is originally the spiritual potency, hladini-sakti, by whose mercy one can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead very easily. Radha krsna-pranaya-vikrtir hladini-saktir asmad [Adi 1.5]. The mahamaya-sakti, however, is a covering of yogamaya, and she is therefore called the covering potency. By this covering potency, the entire material world is bewildered (yaya sammohitam jagat). In conclusion, bewildering the conditioned souls and liberating the devotees are both functions belonging to yogamaya. Transferring the pregnancy of Devaki and keeping mother Yasoda in deep sleep were both done by yogamaya; mahamaya cannot act upon such devotees, for they are always liberated. But although it is not possible for mahamaya to control liberated souls or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, she did bewilder Kamsa. The action of yogamaya in presenting herself before Kamsa was the action of mahamaya, not yogamaya. Yogamaya cannot even see or touch such polluted persons as Kamsa. In Candi, in the Markandeya Purana, Eleventh Chapter, Mahamaya says, “During the twenty-eighth yuga in the period of Vaivasvata Manu, I shall take birth as the daughter of Yasoda and be known as Vindhyacala-vasini.”
The distinction between the two mayas—yogamaya and maha-maya—is described as follows. Krsna’s rasa-lila with the gopis and the gopis’ bewilderment in respect to their husbands, fathers-in-law and other such relatives were arrangements of yogamaya in which mahamaya had no influence. The Bhagavatam gives sufficient evidence of this when it clearly says, yogamayam upasritah. On the other hand, there were asuras headed by Salva and ksatriyas like Duryodhana who were bereft of devotional service in spite of seeing Krsna’s carrier Garuda and the universal form, and who could not understand Krsna to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This was also bewilderment, but this bewilderment was due to mahamaya. Therefore it is to be concluded that the maya which drags a person from the Supreme Personality of Godhead is called jadamaya, and the maya which acts on the transcendental platform is called yogamaya. When Nanda Maharaja was taken away by Varuna, he saw Krsna’s opulence, but nonetheless he thought of Krsna as his son. Such feelings of parental love in the spiritual world are acts of yogamaya, not of jadamaya, or mahamaya. This is the opinion of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura.
Surasenams ca. The son of Kartaviryarjuna was Surasena, and the countries he ruled were also called Surasena. This is noted by Sanatana Gosvami in his Vaisnava-tosani commentary.
In regard to Mathura, we find this quotation:
When a self-realized soul acts in his transcendental position, his situation is called Mathura. In other words, when one acts in the process of bhakti-yoga, he may live anywhere, but actually he lives in Mathura, Vrndavana. Devotion to Krsna, the son of Nanda Maharaja, is the essence of all knowledge, and wherever such knowledge is manifested is called Mathura. Also, when one establishes bhakti-yoga, excluding all other methods, one’s situation is called Mathura. Yatra nityam sannihito harih: the place where Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, lives eternally is called Mathura. The word nitya indicates eternality. The Supreme Lord is eternal, and His abode is also eternal. Goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhutah [Bs. 5.37]. Although the Lord is always stationed in His abode, Goloka Vrndavana, He is present everywhere in fullness. This means that when the Supreme Lord descends on the surface of the world, His original abode is not vacant, for He can remain in His original abode and simultaneously descend upon Mathura, Vrndavana, Ayodhya and other places. He does not need to descend, since He is already present there; He simply manifests Himself.
Srila Sukadeva Gosvami has addressed Maharaja Pariksit as tata, or “beloved son.” This is due to parental love in the heart of Sukadeva Gosvami. Because Krsna was soon coming as the son of Vasudeva and Devaki, out of parental affection Sukadeva Gosvami addressed Maharaja Pariksit as tata, “my dear son.”
In the Visva-kosa dictionary, the word garbha is explained: garbho bhrune arbhake kuksav ity adi. When Kamsa was about to kill Devaki, Vasudeva wanted to dissuade him by the diplomacy of sama and bheda. Sama means “pacifying.” Vasudeva wanted to pacify Kamsa by indicating relations, gain, welfare, identity and glorification. Reference to these five concerns constitutes sama, and Vasudeva’s presentation of fear in two situations—in this life and the next—is called bheda. Thus Vasudeva used both sama and bheda to pacify Kamsa. praising Kamsa’s qualifications was glorification, and praising him as a descendant of the bhoja-vamsa appealed to sambandha, relationship. Speaking of “your sister” was an appeal to identity. Speaking about killing a woman raises questions about fame and welfare, and arousing fear of the sinful act of killing one’s sister during her marriage ceremony is an aspect of bheda. The Bhoja dynasty refers to those who were simply interested in sense gratification and were therefore not very aristocratic. Another meaning of bhoja is “fighting.” These were indications of defamation for Kamsa. When Vasudeva addressed Kamsa as dina-vatsala, this was excessive praise. Kamsa would accept calves as a form of revenue from his poor constituents, and therefore he was called dina-vatsala. Vasudeva knew very well that he could not by force rescue Devaki from the imminent danger. Devaki was actually the daughter of Kamsa’s uncle, and therefore she is described as suhrt, meaning “relative.” It is stated that Kamsa refrained from killing his close relation Devaki because if he had killed her, a great fight would have ensued among the other members of the family. Kamsa refrained from provoking this great danger of a family fight, for it would have caused many persons to lose their lives.
Formerly an asura named Kalanemi had six sons, named Hamsa, Suvikrama, Kratha, Damana, Ripurmardana and Krodhahanta. They were known as the sad-garbhas, or six garbhas, and they were all equally powerful and expert in military affairs. These sad-garbhas gave up the association of Hiranyakasipu, their grandfather, and underwent great austerities to satisfy Lord Brahma, who, upon being satisfied, agreed to give them whatever benediction they might desire. When asked by Lord Brahma to state what they wanted, the sad-garbhas replied, “Dear Lord Brahma, if you want to give us a benediction, give us the blessing that we will not be killed by any demigod, maha-roga, Yaksa, Gandharva-pati, Siddha, Carana or human being, nor by great sages who are perfect in their penances and austerities.” Brahma understood their purpose and fulfilled their desire. But when Hiranyakasipu came to know of these events, he was very angry at his grandsons. “You have given up my association and have gone to worship Lord Brahma,” he said, “and therefore I no longer have any affection for you. You have tried to save yourselves from the hands of the demigods, but I curse you in this way: Your father will take birth as Kamsa and kill all of you because you will take birth as sons of Devaki.” Because of this curse, the grandsons of Hiranyakasipu had to take birth from the womb of Devaki and be killed by Kamsa, although he was previously their father. This description is mentioned in the Hari-vamsa, Visnu-parva, Second Chapter. According to the comments of the Vaisnava-tosani, the son of Devaki known as Kirtiman was the third incarnation. In his first incarnation he was known as Smara and was the son of Marici, and later he became the son of Kalanemi. This is mentioned in the histories.
An additional verse in this chapter of Srimad-Bhagavatam is accepted by the Madhvacarya-sampradaya, represented by Vijayadhvaja Tirtha. The verse is as follows:
atha—in this way; kamsam—unto Kamsa; upagamya—after going; naradah—the great sage Narada; brahma-nandanah—who is the son of Brahma; ekantam upasangamya—after going to a very solitary place; vakyam—the following instruction; etat—this; uvaca—said; ha—in the past.
The great saint Narada descended from the heavenly planets to the forest of Mathura and sent his messenger to Kamsa. When the messenger approached Kamsa and informed him of Narada’s arrival, Kamsa, the leader of the asuras, was very happy and immediately came out of his palace to receive Narada, who was as bright as the sun, as powerful as fire, and free from all tinges of sinful activities. Kamsa accepted Narada as his guest, offered him respectful obeisances and gave him a golden seat, brilliant like the sun. Narada was a friend of the King of heaven, and thus he told Kamsa, the son of Ugrasena, “My dear hero, you have satisfied me with a proper reception, and therefore I shall tell you something secret and confidential. While I was coming here from Nandakanana through the Caitraratha forest, I saw a great meeting of the demigods, who followed me to Sumeru Parvata. We traveled through many holy places, and finally we saw the holy Ganges. While Lord Brahma was consulting the other demigods at the top of Sumeru Hill, I was also present with my stringed instrument, the vina. I shall tell you confidentially that the meeting was held just to plan to kill the asuras, headed by you. You have a younger sister named Devaki, and it is a fact that her eighth son will kill you.” (reference: Hari-vamsa, Visnu-parva 1.2–16)
No one can blame Naradaji for encouraging Kamsa to kill the sons of Devaki. The saint Narada is always a well-wisher for human society, and he wanted the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, to descend to this world as soon as possible so that the society of demigods would be pleased and would see Kamsa and his friends killed by Krsna. Kamsa would also attain salvation from his nefarious activities, and this too would very much please the demigods and their followers. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura remarks in this connection that Narada Muni sometimes did things that were beneficial to the demigods and the demons simultaneously. Sri Viraraghava Acarya, in his commentary, has included the following half-verse in this regard: asurah sarva evaita lokopadrava-karinah. Asuras are always disturbing elements for human society.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Tenth Canto, First Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled “The Advent of Lord Krsna: Introduction.”
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