The Birth of Lord Krsna
1. At the auspicious time for the appearance of the Lord, the entire universe was surcharged with all the qualities of goodness, beauty and peace. The constellation Rohini appeared, as did stars like Asvini. The sun, the moon and the other stars and planets were very peaceful. All directions appeared extremely pleasing, and the beautiful stars twinkled in the cloudless sky. Decorated with towns, villages, mines and pasturing grounds, the earth seemed all-auspicious. The rivers flowed with clear water, and the lakes and vast reservoirs, full of lilies and lotuses, were extraordinarily beautiful. In the trees and green plants, full of flowers and leaves, pleasing to the eyes, birds like cuckoos and swarms of bees began chanting with sweet voices for the sake of the demigods. A pure breeze began to blow, pleasing the sense of touch and bearing the aroma of flowers, and when the brahmanas engaging in ritualistic ceremonies ignited their fires according to Vedic principles, the fires burned steadily, undisturbed by the breeze.
2. Thus when the birthless Lord Visnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was about to appear, the saints and brahmanas, who had always been disturbed by demons like Kamsa and his men, felt peace within the core of their hearts, and kettledrums simultaneously vibrated from the upper planetary system.
3. The Kinnaras and Gandharvas began to sing auspicious songs, the Siddhas and Caranas offered auspicious prayers, and the Vidyadharis, along with the Apsaras, began to dance in jubilation.
4. The demigods and great saintly persons showered flowers in a joyous mood, and clouds gathered in the sky and very mildly thundered, making sounds like those of the ocean's waves. Then the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu, who is situated in the core of everyone's heart, appeared from the heart of Devaki in the dense darkness of night.
5. Vasudeva then saw the newborn child, who had very wonderful lotuslike eyes and who bore in His four hands the four weapons sankha, cakra, gada and padma (conchshell, club, disc and lotus flower). On His chest was the mark of Srivatsa and on His neck the brilliant Kaustubha gem. Dressed in yellow, His body blackish like a dense cloud, His scattered hair fully grown, and His helmet and earrings sparkling uncommonly with the valuable gem Vaidurya, the child, decorated with a brilliant belt, armlets, bangles and other ornaments, appeared very wonderful.
6. Vasudeva praised Him, “Thou art known to me already as the Supreme Being. Thou art an embodiment of knowledge and bliss. Thou art seated in the hearts of all beings. Thou art the witness of the minds of all. Thou art beyond Maya and Avidya.”
7. Devaki beheld marks of Vishnu on her son and praised Him, “Thou art beginningless, Omnipresent, self-luminous, attributeless, changeless and actionless. Thou art the source and place of dissolution for everything. Kindly do not show me this form with four hands. Let me see you as an ordinary child. Withdraw this divine transcendental form. We are afraid of Kamsa.”
8. The Lord said, “Let both of you often meditate with love on Me as a son and as the Supreme Being as you will obtain eternal bliss and immortality.”
9. In the presence of Devaki and Vasudeva, the Lord by His internal energy, then transformed Himself into a small human child. The Lord said, “If you are afraid of Kamsa, then take me to Gokula and bring my Maya that is going to be born there of Yasoda immediately.”
10. Thereafter, exactly when Vasudeva, being inspired by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was about to take the newborn child from the delivery room, Yogamaya, the Lord's spiritual energy, took birth as the daughter of the wife of Maharaja Nanda.
11. By the influence of Yogamaya, in the jail, all the doorkeepers fell fast asleep, their senses unable to work, and the other inhabitants of the house also fell deeply asleep. When the sun rises, the darkness automatically disappears; similarly, when Vasudeva appeared, the closed doors, which were strongly pinned with iron and locked with iron chains, opened automatically. Since the clouds in the sky were mildly thundering and showering, Ananta-naga, an expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, followed Vasudeva, beginning from the door, with hoods expanded to protect Vasudeva and the transcendental child.
12. Because of constant rain sent by the demigod Indra, the River Yamuna was filled with deep water, foaming about with fiercely whirling waves. But as the great Indian Ocean had formerly given way to Lord Ramacandra by allowing Him to construct a bridge, the River Yamuna gave way to Vasudeva and allowed him to cross.
13. When Vasudeva reached the house of Nanda Maharaja, he saw that all the cowherd men were fast asleep. Thus he placed his own son on the bed of Yasoda, the wife of Nanda Maharaja, picked up her daughter, an expansion of Yogamaya, and then returned to his residence, the prison house of Kamsa.
14. Vasudeva placed the female child on the bed of Devaki, bound his legs with the iron shackles, and thus remained there as before.
15. Thereafter, the doors inside and outside the house of the jail closed as before. The inhabitants of the house, especially the watchmen, heard the crying of the newborn child and thus awakened from their beds.
16. All the watchmen very quickly approached King Kamsa, and submitted the news of the birth of Devaki's child.
17. Kamsa immediately got up from bed, thinking, "Here is Kala, the supreme time factor, which has taken birth to kill me!" Thus overwhelmed, Kamsa, his hair scattered on his head, at once approached the place where the child had been born.
18. The helpless Devaki told Kamsa, “O Kamsa! This child is your niece. It is not proper for you to kill a female child.” Kamsa threatened his sister and seized the child by her hands and dashed it on a stone.
19. The child, Yogamaya-devi, the younger sister of Lord Visnu, slipped upward from Kamsa's hands and appeared in the sky as Devi, the goddess Durga, with eight arms, completely equipped with weapons.
20. The goddess Durga was decorated with flower garlands, smeared with sandalwood pulp and dressed with excellent garments and ornaments made of valuable jewels. Holding in her hands a bow, a trident, arrows, a shield, a sword, a conchshell, a disc and a club, and being praised by celestial beings like Apsaras, Kinnaras, Uragas, Siddhas, Caranas and Gandharvas, who worshiped her with all kinds of presentations, she spoke as follows.
21. O Kamsa, you fool, what will be the use of killing me? The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has been your enemy from the very beginning and who will certainly kill you, has already taken His birth somewhere else. Therefore, do not unnecessarily kill other children.
22. Therafter Kamsa called his counsellors and told them all that Goddess Maya had spoken. The Ministers said, “If it be so, O king of Bhoja, we will kill all children whether ten days old or not, whether found in towns, villages or pastime grounds. Vishnu is the root of the Devas. The roots of Dharma are the Vedas, cows, the Brahmanas, Tapas and Yajna. Therefore by all means we shall kill the Veda-knowing, Yajna-performing and ascetic Brahmanas, and cows that supply the sacrificial ghee.” Kamsa ordered the demons to do havoc in all places and entered his palace.