The birth of Lord Krishna according to the Srimad Bhagavatam, chapter 3

Lord Krishna BirthSrî S’uka said: ‘Then there was the supremely auspicious hour that, with the constellation of Rohinî rising, was endowed with all qualities. All the stars and planets stood in a favorable position. There was peace all around, all the stars twinkled in the sky and the cities, towns, pasturing grounds and mines were at their best.

With the rivers crystal clear and the lakes beautiful with lotuses, with the flocks of birds and the swarms of bees sweetly singing their praise in the blooming forests, the breezes fragrant and free from dust blew with a gentle touch while the fires of the brahmins burned steadily and undisturbed.

The minds of the virtuous ones who were oppressed by the Asura [Kamsa and his men], cleared up when in that situation the kettledrums resounded together to celebrate the birth of the Unborn One. The Kinnaras and Gandharvas [de excellent ones and the singers of heaven] sang, the Siddhas and Câranas [the perfected ones and the demigods] offered prayers and the Vidyâdhara women [the wives of the scientists] danced in great jubilation together with the Apsaras [the dancing girls of heaven].

The sages and the demigods joyously showered the finest flowers and the clouds rumbled silently like the ocean waves when at the darkest hour of the night Janârdana, the World’s Well-wisher, appeared from the divine form of Devakî. Lord Vishnu, the One residing in the heart of everyone manifested Himself in full, like the full moon rising in the east.

That wonderful child with His lotus-like eyes and His four arms that held different weapons [and other attributes like] a conch, a club and so on, was decorated with the S’rîvatsa mark, with the shining Kaustubha jewel around His neck, with yellow garments and with a beautiful hue like that of rain clouds.

Vasudeva saw Him beautifully decorated sparkling with a with vaidûrya (tiger’s eye) studded helmet, with rings in His ears, with luxuriant scattered locks of hair, with an exquisite belt around His waist and with armlets and bracelets on His arms.

Ânakadundubhi was amazed to see the beautiful appearance of the Lord as his son. Overwhelmed by great jubilation he lost himself in dreams of holding a festival to the occasion of the descent of Krishna, a festivity where he would donate ten thousand cows to the brahmins.

Oh son of Bharata, understanding that the child definitely was the Original Personality, he lost all his fears. Having arrived at that conclusion he enraptured by His majesty fell down with folded hands to offer prayers to the child that illumined His birth place in every direction.

Vasudeva said: ‘You my Lordship, are the Original Person Himself transcendental to material nature, You are the absolute understanding and blissfulness [sat-cit-ânanda] in its true form, the intelligence that watches over each. You for sure we know as He who, after in the beginning by His personal energy having created this world consisting of the three modes, next seems to have entered [as avatâras] but in reality You did not.

It is like the notion of the material elements [earth, water, air, fire and ether] that have not changed at all, even though they are caught in many combinations of different separated energies [or molecules] that together form the complete of the universe. After in their association having appeared it seems that the  primal elements have entered creation later on, but that entering of this world never took place since they existed there before.

The same way oh my Lord, reasoning from true intelligence and such attributes You, despite being in touch with the objects of the senses and the modes of nature, are not determined by those material qualities at all. You after all [being the complete], are not covered by them. Because You are the root of everyone and everything there is no such thing as a within and a without to You, the Supersoul of all existence.

Anyone who in the position of being recognizable as a material body continues to act as if he would have an existence for himself separate from the original self or soul, is a fool. He is a person who in his false identification will be rejected as stupid for lacking in proper analysis and missing the full consideration of ‘that’.

Oh Almighty Lord, the birth, the maintaining and the ending of this all is there, so conclude the scholars, because of You who are free from inclinations, free from changes and free from the modes. This is not contradictory because You, who are both the Lord and the Supreme Brahman, constitute the solid foundation for the modes of nature.

You thus [as that basis, as that transcendence] assume, in order to maintain the three worlds with Your energy, a white form from the Soul [in goodness and knowledge], the color red belonging to the passion of creation [the movement] as also the form of darkness [of ignorance] for the purpose of the ultimate destruction.

You now here present oh Mighty One, have appeared in my home as the Completeness of Control with the wish to protect this planet and punish all the demoniac men and their armies, who unenlightened by the millions all over the world pose as kings and statesmen. But he who is so godless [Kamsa] and who, after hearing about Your taking birth in our home, has killed all the brothers who were born before You oh Lord of the God-fearing souls, will be informed by his lieutenants about Your appearance and undoubtedly immediately take up his arms.’

S’uka said: ‘After having seen that their son was endowed with all the characteristics of the Supreme Personality, Devakî, who had been afraid of Kamsa but now was most [happily] surprised [about the arrival of Krishna], offered Him prayers.

S’rî Devakî said: ‘Being the ‘tat’ form [or the substance of our oneness in diversity], You are sometimes called the imperceptible one, the original one or Brahman, the light, the freedom above the modes, the changeless one and pure existence [the measure of goodness and perfection]. You are the undivided one free from material motives who is directly Lord Vishnu, the light of the Supersoul.

When after millions and millions of years the cosmos runs at its end and the primary elements merge with their primal forms and everything that manifested by the force of Time turns into the unmanifest, You oh Lord with the Many Names, are the only one to remain.

This so powerful Time factor by which, from the smallest measure of time up to the measure of a year, this entire creation works, is said to be Your action, the movement of You, the secure abode, the Supreme Controller whom I offer my surrender. The mortals afraid of the serpent of death flee in all directions but cannot shake off the fear. Only when they are happy having obtained Your lotus feet they sleep undisturbed whith death running away from them.

Oh Lordship can You, in Your form as the One dispelling the fears of Your servants, protect us against the terrible son of Ugrasena we fear so much? And please can You, as this Original Personality we attend to in meditation, make it so that You are not directly visible to those who consider You a physical form?

Oh Madhusûdana, off balance because of Kamsa I am plagued by fear with Your appearance. May Your taking birth from my womb escape the attention of that great sinner. Please oh All-pervading One, withdraw this supernatural four-armed form that is equipped with the attributes of the conch, lotus, disc and club.

The entire creation with everything that belongs to it is by You oh Lord, the transcendental Original Personality, easily sheltered and kept within Your body at the time of devastation. But to see You now having entered my body is something unimaginable in the human world oh Godhead!’

The Supreme Lord replied: ‘In a previous age you became known as Pris’ni oh chaste lady, and he [Vasudeva] at the time was a Prajâpati called Sutapâ, an impeccable  person. When Lord Brahmâ told you both to create offspring, you were thereafter of severe austerities to keep your senses under control.

Enduring the rain, the wind, the blistering sun and the severe cold and heat of the seasonal changes, you by practicing restraint freed your mind from contaminations. Eating fallen leaves and air only you became pure and peaceful, performed My worship in serenity and prayed for a boon from Me. While you, with your mind fixed on Me, thus in severe penance practiced the most difficult austerities, twelve thousand celestial years passed.

By this determination of heart and constant, faithful service and penance oh sinless ones, I, proclaimed to be the most favorable bestower of boons, very satisfied with the both of you then appeared in this form. Eager to fulfill your desires I told you to think about a boon for yourselves whereupon you asked for a son just like Me.

You, who as a man and wife without a son and dissatisfied in your sensual concerns were so strongly attracted to My divine energy, never asked Me for being liberated from this world. After you received the benediction and I had left, you enjoyed sexual intercourse whereupon the two of you achieved the desired result of having a son like Me.

Because I did not find anyone else in this world with your noble character and qualities, I became your son and am thus known as Pris’nigarbha. Through Kas’yapa and Aditi I again appeared from the two of you with the name Upendra and was also called Vâmana because I was a dwarf.

True to my word for the third time appearing in this manner in a form like this, I again took My birth from the two of you oh chaste lady. I showed you this [four-handed] form to remind you of My previous appearances. The spiritual understanding of My identity would otherwise not arise [in you] with the transient form. When you treat Me with love and affection the two of you, in your constant awareness of Me as being both your son and the Absolute Truth, will thus attain My transcendental abode.’

S’rî S’uka said: ‘Thus having spoken the Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Lord, was silent and directly from His inner potency assumed the form of an ordinary human child before the eyes of His parents. When thereafter the son of S’ûrasena as instructed by the Supreme Lord carefully wanted to carry his son away from the place of delivery, precisely at that time Yogamâyâ, the one [of transcendence who factually is] never born, took her birth from the wife of Nanda.

By her influence the guards and the rest of the people being fast asleep had lost consciousness of all their senses. As soon as Vasudeva carrying Krishna approached, all the heavy doors and gates sealed with bolts and chains opened wide out of their own, like darkness dissipated by the sun. The slightly rumbling clouds showered rain but S’esha Nâga followed them and stopped the rains with His spread out hoods.

The surface of the deep waters of Yamarâja’s younger sister, the Yamunâ, was foaming because of Indra’s constant showers. The waters whirled agitated, but the waves of the forceful, fierce stream gave way just like the ocean did before the Husband of Sîtâ [Lord Râma]. The son of S’ûrasena reached the cow-village of Nanda and found all the cowherds there fast asleep.

While they slept he put his son on Yas’odâ’s bed, took up her daughter and then returned home. There he placed the little girl on Devakî’s bed and put the shackles back on his feet so that he remained bound as before.  Yas’odâ, Nanda’s wife,  delivering her child had no idea what it precisely looked like because being overwhelmed by sleep from the hard labor, she lay unconscious.’

Source: Srimad Bhagavatam, chapter 3

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