devakīṁ vasudevaṁ ca
vimucya praśrito ’bravīt
tayā—by the goddess Durgā; abhihitam—the words spoken; ākarṇya—by hearing; kaṁsaḥ—Kaṁsa; parama-vismitaḥ—was struck with wonder; devakīm—unto Devakī; vasudevam ca—and Vasudeva; vimucya—releasing immediately; praśritaḥ—with great humility; abravīt—spoke as follows.
After hearing the words of the goddess Durgā, Kaṁsa was struck with wonder. Thus he approached his sister Devakī and brother-in-law Vasudeva, released them immediately from their shackles, and very humbly spoke as follows.
Kaṁsa was astonished because the goddess Durgā had become the daughter of Devakī. Since Devakī was a human being, how could the goddess Durgā become her daughter? This was one cause of his astonishment. Also, how is it that the eighth child of Devakī was a female? This also astonished him. Asuras are generally devotees of mother Durgā, Śakti, or of demigods, especially Lord Śiva. The appearance of Durgā in her original eight-armed feature, holding various weapons, immediately changed Kaṁsa’s mind about Devakī’s being an ordinary human. Devakī must have had some transcendental qualities; otherwise why would the goddess Durgā have taken birth from her womb? Under the circumstances, Kaṁsa, struck with wonder, wanted to compensate for his atrocities against his sister Devakī.
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