Once the world was overburdened by the unnecessary defense force of different kings, who were actually demons but were posing themselves as the royal order. At that time, the whole world became perturbed, and the predominating deity of this earth, known as Bhumi assumed the shape of a cow and presented herself before Lord Brahma with tears in her eyes. She related the calamitous position of the earth, and after hearing this, Lord Brahma became much aggrieved, and he at once started for the ocean of milk, where Lord Vishnu resides.
Then Lord Brahma personally sat in meditation, and there was a message-transmission from Lord Vishnu to Brahma. The message was this: The Supreme Personality of Godhead would appear on the earth very soon.
The leader of the Yadu dynasty, King Surasena, was ruling over the country known as Mathura. Once upon a time, Vasudeva, the son of Surasena, just after marrying Devaki, was going home on his chariot with his newly wedded wife. At that time, Kamsa, the son of Ugrasena, in order to please his sister, Devaki, had voluntarily taken the reins of the horses of Vasudeva’s chariot and was driving.
The procession was passing very pleasingly, and Kamsa was driving the chariot, when suddenly there was a miraculous sound vibrated from the sky which especially announced to Kamsa: “Kamsa, you are such a fool! You are driving the chariot of your sister and your brother-in-law, but you do not know that the eighth child of this sister will kill you.”
Kamsa was the son of Ugrasena, of the Bhoja dynasty. It is said that Kamsa was the most demoniac of all the Bhoja dynasty kings. Immediately after hearing the prophecy from the sky, he caught hold of Devaki’s hair and was just about to kill her with his sword. Vasudeva was astonished at Kamsa’s behavior, and in order to pacify the cruel, shameless brother-in-law, he began to speak as follows, with great reason and evidence. He said, “My dear brother-in-law Kamsa, you are the most famous king of the Bhoja dynasty, and people know that you are the greatest warrior and a valiant king. How is it that you are so infuriated that you are prepared to kill a woman who is your own sister at this auspicious time of her marriage?
Vasudeva, after deliberating on how to save his wife, began to speak to Kamsa with great respect, . If there are any sons born of her, I promise that I shall present all of them to you for necessary action.”
After being thus informed by Narada about the appearance of the demigods in different families, Kamsa at once became very much alarmed. He understood that since the demigods had already appeared, Lord Visnu must be coming soon. He at once arrested both his brother-in-law Vasudeva and Devaki and put them behind prison bars. Within the prison, shackled in iron chains, Vasudeva and Devaki gave birth to a male child year after year, and Kamsa, thinking each of the babies to be the incarnation of Visnu, killed them one after another. He was particularly afraid of the eighth child, but after the visit of Narada, he came to the conclusion that any child might be Krsna. Therefore it was better to kill all the babies who took birth from Devaki and Vasudeva.
When Kamsa was killing the six babies of Devaki and Vasudeva one after another, many friends and relatives of Kamsa approached him and requested him to discontinue these heinous activities. But all of them became worshipers of Kamsa.
When Devaki became pregnant for the seventh time, a plenary expansion of Krsna known as Ananta appeared within her womb. Devaki was overwhelmed with both jubilation and lamentation. She was joyful, for she could understand that Lord Visnu had taken shelter within her womb, but at the same time she was sorry that as soon as her child would come out, Kamsa would kill Him.
When the time was mature for the appearance of the Lord, the constellations became very auspicious. The astrological influence of the star known as Rohini was predominant. At the time of Krsna’s birth, the planetary systems were automatically adjusted so that everything became auspicious.
At that time, in all directions – east, west, south, north, everywhere – there was an atmosphere of peace and prosperity. There were auspicious stars visible in the sky, and on the surface in all towns and villages and pasturing grounds and within the minds of everyone there were signs of good fortune. The rivers were flowing full of waters, and lakes were beautifully decorated with lotus flowers. The forests were full with beautiful birds and peacocks. All the birds within the forests began to sing with sweet voices, and the peacocks began to dance along with their consorts. The wind blew very pleasantly, carrying the aroma of different flowers, and the sensation of bodily touch was very pleasing.
When things were adjusted like this, Lord Visnu, who is residing within the heart of every living entity, appeared in the darkness of night as the Supreme Personality of Godhead before Devaki, who appeared as one of the demigoddesses.
Vasudeva saw that wonderful child born as a baby with four hands, holding conchshell, club, disc and lotus flower, decorated with the mark of Srivatsa, wearing the jeweled necklace of kaustubha stone, dressed in yellow silk, appearing dazzling like a bright blackish cloud, wearing a helmet bedecked with the vaidurya stone, valuable bracelets, earrings and similar other ornaments all over His body, and beautified by an abundance of hair on His head. Due to the extraordinary features of the child, Vasudeva was struck with wonder.
When Vasudeva was convinced that the newborn child was the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, he bowed down with folded hands and began to offer Him prayers. At that time Vasudeva was in the transcendental position, and he became completely free from all fear of Kamsa. The newborn baby was also flashing His effulgence within the room in which He appeared.
While thus praying to the Lord for rescue, mother Devaki requested the Lord to assume the form of an ordinary child. On hearing the prayers of Devaki, the Lord replied, “My dear mother, I know you are very concerned about Me and afraid of Kamsa. Therefore I order you to take Me immediately to Gokula and exchange Me for the daughter who has just been born to Yasoda.”Having spoken thus to His father and mother, the Lord turned Himself into an ordinary child in their presence and remained silent.
Being ordered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva prepared to take his son from the delivery room, and exactly at that time, a daughter was born to Nanda and Yasoda. She was Yogamaya, the internal potency of the Lord. By the influence of this internal potency, Yogamaya, all the residents of Kamsa’s palace, especially the doorkeepers, were overwhelmed with deep sleep, and all the palace doors opened, although they were barred and shackled with iron chains. The night was very dark, but as soon as Vasudeva took Krsna on his lap and went out, he could see everything just as in the sunlight. When Vasudeva was carrying Krsna, the darkness of the night disappeared. All the prison doors automatically opened. At the same time there was thunder in the sky and severe rainfall. While Vasudeva was carrying his son Krsna in the falling rain, Lord Sesa in the shape of a serpent spread His hood over the head of Vasudeva so that he would not be hampered by the rainfall. Vasudeva came onto the bank of the Yamuna and saw that the water of the Yamuna was roaring with waves and that the whole span was full of foam. Still, in that furious feature, the river gave passage to Vasudeva to cross, just as the great Indian Ocean gave a path to Lord Rama when He was bridging over the gulf. In this way Vasudeva crossed the river Yamuna. On the other side, he went to the place of Nanda Maharaja, situated in Gokula, where he saw that all the cowherd men were fast asleep. He took the opportunity to silently enter the house of Yasoda, and without difficulty he exchanged his son for the baby girl newly born there. Then, after entering the house very silently and exchanging the boy for the girl, he returned to the prison of Kamsa and silently put the girl on the lap of Devaki. He again clamped the shackles on himself so that Kamsa could not recognize that so many things had happened.
Ref >> Srila Prabhupada Vani.