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Narada arrives

CHENNAI: Vasudeva, knowing of no other way of saving Devaki from Kamsa, offered to hand over to Kamsa all his children, as soon as each was born.

It seems a hard-hearted decision for Vasudeva. But Vasudeva, because of his strong belief in God, knew that nothing could happen against Lord Narayana's wishes. If the Lord intended to save any of the children, he would, and Kamsa could do nothing to stop the Lord. In case the Lord decided that the children were not to have a long life, there was nothing Vasudeva or anyone else could do about it. So it was for the Lord to decide whether to save or let go the children. This must have been the thought foremost in Vasudeva's mind, said Damal Ramakrishnan.

When Devaki's first child Kirtiman was born, Vasudeva, as he had promised to Kamsa, took the baby to Kamsa and gave the infant to him. Kamsa looked at the child and could not bring himself round to killing it. He reasoned that since the voice that had warned of his death said the eighth child of Devaki would slay him, there was no need for him to kill the first child. So he handed the child back to Vasudeva. Vasudeva was as calm as he had been when he had brought the baby to Kamsa.

Great men are never swayed by emotion. Moreover, Vasudeva knew that one should keep one's distance from snakes, elephants and kings. All the three are as dangerous as fickle.

Vasudeva knew that it was possible that Kamsa might change his mind. So he didn't rejoice at the child being returned to him.

Narada, the sage who makes sure that things proceed in the right direction, was alarmed at Kamsa's sudden kindness. He wanted to ensure that Kamsa was killed by the Lord. So he warned Kamsa that Krishna was a wily one.

The prophecy was that Kamsa would be killed by the eighth child of Devaki. What if Krishna, instead of counting in the usual way, chose to count backwards, starting from the eighth. Then the first child would be the eighth! So Kamsa had better kill the first child itself, said Narada. Thus Narada made sure that Kamsa provoked the Lord into making His appearance soon.

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