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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 10a

The Atrocities of King Kamsa

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 10a   

 The Atrocities of King Kamsa

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'With the outer and inner doors of the building closed like before, awoke all the guards of the prison upon hearing the crying of the newborn child. (2) They then hurried to submit that to the king of Bhoja who with great anxiety was awaiting the time that Devakî would deliver. (3) He quickly got out of bed saying 'The Time has come' and went with this in mind without delay, with his hair on his head disheveled, to where the mother was.

(4) The chaste Devakî miserable in distress said to Kamsa, her brother: 'This one is meant for your son, o good one, she is a woman not to be killed. (5) Many little ones as bright as fire have by you, to what you heard from above, been killed, my brother, leave me this one daughter as a gift. (6) I'm still your younger sister, isn't it? Poor off without my children, o master, dear brother, you owe me so needy this last child.'

(7) S'rî S'uka said: 'Clasping her baby in tears she pleaded most piteously but he very cruel tore it with a growl away from her hands. (8) Taking the child by force wanted he, holding the newborn child of his sister by the legs, to dash it against the stone floor, self-centered as he was without any feeling for the familial affection. (9) But it slipped midair out of his hands and appeared the very instant in the sky as Devî [Durgâ] the younger sister of Vishnu, with all the eight weapons to her mighty arms [see also 8.12: 40]. (10-11) Adorned with sandalwood pulp, flower garlands, valuable jewels and being nicely dressed held she Vishnu's weapons: a bow, a lance, arrows, a shield, a sword, a conch, a lotus and a disc. Hailed by the perfected, the venerable ones and the singers of heaven, the dancing girls, the excellent [Uragas, the 'divine snakes'] and the specially talented did she, being served with all kinds of presentations, say: (12) 'What's the use of killing me o fool, He, your former enemy [see 1.68] who will kill you, has already been born [and is now] somewhere else, do not unnecessarily kill anymore poor little babies.'

(13) The goddess with the immense power of mâyâ this way addressing him indeed became known with different names in the different places on earth [see 10.2: 10-11]. (14) Kamsa hearing the words spoken by her was struck with wonder and forthwith released Devakî and Vasudeva saying humbly: (15) 'Alas, my dear sister and brother-in-law, like a man-eater with his own kids were, because of my sins, your sons killed by me. (16) I am indeed such a one void of mercy cruelly denying relatives and friends; what world am I, behaving like a brahmin-killer, heading for breathing here or in the hereafter? (17) Also heaven can speak a lie, not just human beings; just because of believing the prophecy did I, the greatest sinner, kill all those children of my sister! (18) O blessed souls, do not lament over your sons; all who are born are suffering because of their own acts [see footnote 3 ch.1] and hence is it to the will of God not always given to live in one place. (19) On earth all that is made from earth appears and disappears, similarly it so happens that heartening the soul one in this undergoes changes but that, like the earth itself, one does not change [compare 10.3: 15-17]. (20) When a person without knowledge of the difference [between body and self] has the idea that he is the body, then is such a one, unified with his casing, of false oneness in opposition with others and is he unable to escape from being caught in the cycle of rebirth. (21) With me wishing you the best, do therefore not lament over the sons that because of me found their death; isn't it so that everyone to what is given is confronted with what he did himself? (22) As long as he who has not learned to know himself thinks about himself in terms of killing or being killed is he, for the time that he is of that misconception, a fool bound to worldly responsibilities without an end [see also B.G. 3: 9 & 18: 17 and nitya-mukta]. (23) Please forgive me my atrocities, you're both saintly caring for the fallen souls!' and saying this with tears rolling down his cheeks clasped the brother-in-law the feet of his relatives.

(24) With belief in the words of Durgâ releasing them from their shackles, he proved Vasudeva and Devakî his family-heart. (25) Towards her regretful brother was Devakî then relieved of her anger and so gave Vasudeva also his anger up saying to him with a smile: (26) 'You're right, o graceful one, in what you said about the embodied soul that driven by ignorance separates his interests from those of others. (27) It is lamentation, jubilation, fear, hate, greed, illusion and madness what people get who, seeing [the immediate cause of] everything as being separate, kill one another when they with those distinctions do not see what the real situation is with the Lord [who is the remote cause].'

(28) S'rî S'uka said: 'Kamsa thus in purity answered by the appeased Devakî and Vasudeva, took leave and entered his palace. (29) When the night had passed called Kamsa for all his ministers and informed them about all that the 'Slumber of Yoga', Durgâ, had said. (30) Hearing what their master had to say replied the daitya opponents of the godly, who indignant towards the demigods were not so expert [see also B.G. 9: 12]: (31) 'Well, if this is so, o King of Bhoja, then let us right now kill all the children about ten days old or younger in every town, village and pasturing ground. (32) What can the godly afraid to fight do, who are always so nervous to hear the sound of your bowstring? (33) Slain here and there, pierced by the many of your arrows, have they, fearing for their lives, fled away willfully escaping from the battle field! (34) Some types of heaven very poor bereft of all their weapons folded their hands before you with all their hair and clothes in disarray and some said things as 'We've become so afraid of you!' (35) And you with them, who scared to death without their chariots forgot about their weapons, do not kill any of those who with their bows broken as pacifists are more attached to other things than fighting. (36) What of the position taken by the so very powerful godly? Away from the fighting they can boast! What of Lord Hari? He's hiding in the heart! Should we fear lord S'iva then? He's living in the forest! And what of Indra? He's not much of a hero! And Brahmâ then? He always meditates! (37) Still, you maintain, should the godly as our enemies not be overlooked; so let us, the ones faithful to you, uproot them! (38) Like with a neglected disease of the body that by men in its acute stage cannot be treated anymore and like it is with senses that are not controlled from the beginning, becomes similarly a great enemy too strong to control. (39) The root of it all is Vishnu, in Him do the godly find their traditional duties and is there the brahminical with the cows, the learned, the penances and the sacrifices for which they get paid [see also 7.5: 31]. (40) Therefore, by all means, o King, will we put an end to the brahmins so eager with the brahminical, those of repentance so busy with their sacrifices and cow business for some milk! (41) The learned and the cows, the Vedas, the austerity, the truthfulness and sense control, the calm, faith, mercy, the tolerance as well as the sacrifices are all part of Hari. (42) He indeed is the leader of all the Suras and truly the enemy of the Asuras; He's the one in each heart under whose shelter all the godly, including their controller [S'iva] and the four-faced one [Brahmâ], exist; really, the only way to strike Him is to persecute all His seers.'

(43) S'rî S'uka said: 'This way void of intelligence for long deliberating with his evil counselors accepted Kamsa, who as a demon was ruled by the Lord of Death, that the best thing he could do was to persecute the brahmins. (44) With his consenting with the Dânavas to fight the ones of penance, spread the adherents of destruction, who could assume any form they wanted, in all directions and returned Kamsa to his residence. (45) Full of passion being of the deepest darkness did they, completely unwise in fact, with the shadow of death already over them undertake the persecution of the truthful. (46) Of a person trespassing against great personalities are the benedictions of a long life, beauty, fame, religion, talents and heaven as well, all destroyed.'  

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SOURCE: Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu, http://bhagavata.org/

Production: the Filognostic Association of The Order of Time, with special thanks to Sakhya Devi Dasi for proofreading and correcting the manuscript. http://theorderoftime.com/info/guests-friends.html

The sourcetexts, illustrations and music to this translation one can find following the links from: http://bhagavata.org/