Tales from Srimad Bhagavatam: Vishnumaya – XXX

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Nilanjana retells the story of the Bhagavatam. She talks about the incarnation of the Devi, Vishnumaya, and how she was swapped with Krishna, as a part of the great cosmic game. Read more in the weekly , exclusively in Different Truths.

After had given birth to her eighth child, was asked to go to Gokula and swap the child with Nanda’s new-borne. But and Vasudev were chained, for Kamsa chose to keep his prisoners that way. He had also increased the number of guards. The iron gates of the prison-like palace of Mathura were locked too.

Instead of getting swayed by logical reasoning about the impossibility of the task assigned to him, Vasudev stood up to carry out the Lord’s command. The shackles unfastened, the locks unlocked and the door opened – all on their own – to allow Vasudev to walk out with the newborn boy in a wicker basket. The guards were fast asleep. Vasudev walked out in the rain soaked night, on the empty streets towards river Yamuna. The flooded river gently parted way to allow him the passage to go to the other side. Without Vasudev’s knowing, Adisesha followed him and covered the little with his hood.

When Vasudev reached Gokula and entered Nanda’s house, the doors were open there too. He placed his son and picked up the girl that was born to Nanda’s wife, Yashoda. Since the whole of Gokula was asleep, nobody got to know of this child-swapping as Vasudev walked his way back to Mathura. He placed this girl next to Devaki. The doors had shut, locks fastened and the shackles were back on him – again all by themselves.

The cries of the newborn girl woke up the guards who lost no time to inform Kamsa about the arrival of the eighth child of Devaki. By now, Kamsa was suffering from a syndrome that we call insomnia. Sleep had abandoned him long back since his obsession with Narayana, who was to be born as the eighth child of Devaki, took over his mind. Kamsa rushed to the prison and snatched away the girl from Devaki.

Distraught, Devaki told him emotionally that a girl can barely harm him. When Kamsa would not listen to emotions, she reasoned that killing a woman is considered sinful in the ancient scriptures. But Kamsa would not listen to that too. He grabbed the girl from Devaki and holding the child with her tender legs, tried to dash her against a piece of stone.

 

The child flew from Kamsa’s grasp and assumed the form of Devi (the feminine aspect of the all-pervading cosmic consciousness). This form of the Devi is often referred to as Vishnumaya. She was bedecked with flowers, jewels and several weapons that could destroy Kamsa that very moment. However, she played her role in the cosmic drama and merely warned him that the “enemy” Kamsa is looking for is not her, but is growing up somewhere else. She also cautioned him about his increasing sins by random acts of killing innocent . As she disappeared, the world was engrossed in darkness.

The words of Vishnumaya had a strange effect on Kamsa. Suddenly, he realised his mistake and was very ashamed to treat his sister and brother-in-law the way he did. He pleaded guilty for all his sins and asked for forgiveness. Devaki and Vasudev, out of their compassion and magnanimity, forgave the king of Mathura.

Back in his palace, Kamsa decided to seek the counsel of his ministers and advisors…

Footnote: Srimad Bhagavatam is often called the Bhagavad Purana. Authored by Ved Vyasa, the stories are about the various avatars (incarnations) of Lord Vishnu, also known as Narayana.

[To be continued]
©Nilanjana Dey

Photos from the .

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Nilanjana Dey

Nilanjana Dey

A story-teller at heart, Nilanjana Dey is on a journey to experiment with fiction and poetry. Her first novel, largely aimed towards children, is titled ‘The Adventures of Puti – The Cheese Trail’. Her poems have been published at various prestigious portals. An alumni of English Literature from Jadavpur University (Kolkata), she is a marketing and communication professional based in Mumbai. She volunteers with a Mumbai based NGO working with the marginalised sections of the society.
Nilanjana Dey
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