In the town of Gokula, Nanda was a happy man. His wife Yashoda was carrying a child and he had no doubt that the child was special. Everywhere the signs he saw showed that his wife was destined to bring up someone whom the entire world was going to look up to. His sister-in-law Rohini had just given birth to a strong son – Rama. Nanda was sure that his child and Rama would be good friends and play here in the fields of Gokula.
In Mathura, Kamsa was more than worried. Ever since Devaki miscarried and the seventh child was not born, he was worried. He could not help but feel that something was wrong and that he had missed something important. Something was happening right under his eye and he did not know what.....He had his sister and brother-in-law imprisoned and still that did not satisfy him. No matter where he looked, he saw a dark beautiful child look at him, sometimes with love and sometimes with anger....
Kamsa was sure because he was now seeing Devaki in person and that too daily. Her face was gaunt and in despair, but she was radiant almost.....powerful. Kamsa had no doubt that she carried within her, the child who was going to be the reason of his death. He doubled the guards around the prison, even tripled it....Still it did nothing to bring him peace of mind.
Devaki and Yashoda went into labour on the same day. Yashoda gave birth to a beautiful girl child and then something happened....The entire village of Gokula went into a trance and the effect slowly spread to all the places around. The kingdom of Mathura was also not spared. All the people went into a trance there too.
Devaki was looking at her beautiful black son and found no words to express her feeling. Looking at the face, she was able to forget everything. All that she had endured for him to be born...She just kept looking unable to say anything. That was when they both heard a voice.
'Mother! You in your previous lives were Prishni and Vasudeva was Sutapa. At that time, you performed such a powerful meditation that you could have even asked for Moksha and I would I have given it to you....But you did not!'
Devaki and Vasudeva felt all this unfolding in their mind as the voice continued. 'You said that the only desire you had was that you wanted me as your child! As Prishni and Sutapa, I was born as Prishnigarbha, and I fulfilled the boon you had asked. The next time you were reborn as Aditi and Kashyap! At that time I was born as Upendra, your youngest son! I was better known as Vamana at that time! And now that you have been born as Devaki and Vasudeva, I have been born to you, to keep my promise!'
Vasudeva and Devaki looked in wonder as the voice continued. 'Take me to Gokula! There you will find a girl child Maya born to Yashoda and Nanda. Leave me there and bring that child here....I will come back and protect you when the time in right!'
Vasudeva looked shocked. It was raining outside and the the guards had been tripled the previous day. 'How can I do that?'
The voice continued. 'The guards would not stop you and neither will Nature! Go now!'
Vasudeva nodded and picked up a basket and placed the child inside and after looking at the baby for one last time, he carried the basket on his head. To say that Vasudeva was shocked was probably an understatement because he found all the guards in a sleep so deep that nothing seemed to wake them up. The prison doors which Vasudeva was sure had been locked almost opened by itself as he walked out. He reached the outside gates and looked stunned as he saw the howling rain. He knew that it was not very smart to carry a young baby in such a weather. But he knew that he had no other choice. He did not know how long the guards would remain asleep and he had to cross the Yamuna in this weather.....He had to be quick about it.
He walked through the cities and found that other than the howling wind and the rain, there was no other noise anywhere. It almost looked like whatever reason the guards had slept, had also put the entire village to sleep....The rain....The rain bothered Vasudeva. Not because it was incessant, but because none of it reached him. It almost seemed like he was looking at the rain, but none of it fell on him....Vasudeva did not know but had he turned, he would seen a huge snake following him acting as an umbrella to protect the child and Vasudeva. Sesha, the thousand headed snake who was the bed for Lord Vishnu was now the umbrella protecting the child and Vasudeva from the rain.
Vasudeva reached the banks of the river Yamuna and there he was in for another rude shock. The rain had made the water from the river run over the banks and was threatening to flood the villages nearby. He did not have a clue as to what he had to do. He looked around when something happened. Something which he was not able to explain....something impossible. The waters in the Yamuna parted....Vasudeva looked on unable to believe because right there in the middle of the river, a path was formed, a path completely free of water. A path from one end of the bank to the other. Vasudeva hastily stepped into the path and walked straight. The Yamuna looked ferocious as he threatened to overrun the banks. But the minute the waters reached the path, the water just stopped....Vasudeva carried the child across the path and the minute he came out of the river he looked back and was shocked. The river was now back to its ferocious pounding and it looked like the nearby villages were all going to get flooded. Vasudeva quickly carried the child to the house of Nanda and there he heard the cry of the other child. Yashoda seemed deep in sleep. Taking a deep breath, Vasudeva placed the dark child on the bed and took Yashoda's child with him. He kissed the baby once again and walked out of the house without turning his head.
Vasudeva reached the prison the exact same way he had gone to Gokula and the minute he was back in the prison, the prison doors clanged shut. The child in his hands which had been quiet till then, suddenly burst out crying loudly like a new born baby.
The guards rushed inside hearing the cries of the baby and knowing that it was the eighth child of Devaki, one of them rushed to tell Kamsa, the news.
Kamsa who was already having trouble sleeping ever since he knew that Devaki was carrying the eighth child, woke up with a start. He rushed out to the prison with the guards and true enough found the eighth child in Devaki's hands.
Devaki was clutching the child safely in his hands trying to shield it for Kamsa. Kamsa thinking that he was looking at his killer, pushed Devaki aside and pulled the baby towards him.
'ITS JUST A CHILD! A BABY! WHAT DO YOU THINK SHE IS GOING TO DO YOU?' Devaki screamed trying to take back the wailing baby. Kamsa rudely pushed Devaki to a side. 'Today is the day I conquer my death! With my killer gone, I will leave forever.....' Kamsa was about to kill the child when the child flew from his hands. Kamsa looked as much shocked as the guards and Vasudeva and Devaki when the fierce and beautiful Goddess Maya appeared before them.
'YOU FOOL! Did you really think you can kill the eighth child of Devaki so easily?' The eyes of the Goddess flashed angrily as she looked at Kamsa. 'The eighth child of Devaki is safe and he will come and kill you when it is the time for your death!' The Goddess smiled fiercely. 'Till the eighth child kills you....you will never never be able to sleep or have any peace of mind!' The Goddess vanished from there leaving the prison almost dark as the stunned people looked on.....