Surasena and Mathura were the two kingdoms where most of the Yadavas lived. (The Yadavas were the descendants of Yadu, the son of Yayati)
It was the times when Sura was the king of Surasena.
Mathura was ruled by Ugrasena. Ugrasena had a brother Devaka. Kamsa was the son of Ugrasena and Devaki was the daughter of Devaka.
Kamsa, the crown prince of Mathura had no sisters of his own and because of this he loved his cousin sister like his own sister.
Vasudeva, the king of Mathura had six wives whom he loved dearly – Pauravi, Rohini, Bhadra, Madira, Rochana and Ila. It was proposed that Devaki the princess of Mathura should also be married to Vasudeva. Both Vasudeva and Devaki agreed gladly and the marriage was performed with great pomp and show.
Kamsa looked at his radiant sister and decided that Devaki would be very happy as the wife of Vasudeva and himself drove the couple in the chariot around the kingdom....
A loud voice cracked through the skies as Kamsa brought the chariot to a sudden skidding halt. 'YOU FOOL!' The voice jeered at him. 'What are you so happy about? Why are you so happy about the marriage of Devaki with Vasudeva? Do you not realize the consequences of this marriage? The eighth child born to Vasudeva and Devaki would be reason of your death!'
A sudden hush fell over the crowd as the voice stopped just as suddenly as it had started.
Everyone watched the crown prince.....A choleric rage spread through the face of Kamsa. With a snarl he threw down the reins of the chariot and stormed towards Devaki. Forgotten was the fact that he loved this woman as his own sister. Forgotten was the fact that he himself had approved of the marriage with his whole heart...All that mattered to Kamsa now was that Devaki had to cease to exist. Only if she died....Kamsa could live...
Devaki tried to calm down her brother but knew that he was beyond reason. Kamsa pulled out his sword and was about to attack a defenceless person, when Vasudeva interfered.
'KAMSA! The minute a person is born, his death is also written!' Vasudeva said retraining Kamsa with great difficulty. 'If the voice from the heaven speaks the truth then, Devaki's son may the instrument of your death.....Death is not something to be feared! It is natural!'
Kamsa did not even listen to a single word that Vasudeva said. He continued forward with his sword.
'DEVAKI IS NOT YOUR ENEMY!' Vasudeva shouted desperately. Kamsa stopped as he looked at Vasudeva. 'Your enemy is Devaki's son! Spare her life and...' Vasudeva swallowed as he realized that he was about to make a dangerous promise and also knew that he had no other choice if he had to save Devaki's life. '...I will give you all her children as soon as they are born!' Vasudeva said slowly, looking straight at Kamsa, praying....really praying that Kamsa listened to reason.
Kamsa looked at Devaki and then at Vasudeva and lowered his sword. 'I....I....Make sure you keep up your promise! Because if not....' Kamsa looked dangerously as he shoved the sword angrily inside the scabbard and huffed away from there, without completing the sentence.
The procession was cut short very quick as Vasudeva and Devaki went to the palace set aside for them...
The first son of Devaki was named Kirtiman (The first son has also been named as Smara in some other part of the Purana). Devaki watched in horror as Vasudeva took the new born baby with him.
'WHAT ARE YOU DOING?' Devaki shrieked trying to stop Vasudeva.
'Keeping my promise!' Vasudeva said feeling very angry with himself as he took the baby with him. He went to Kamsa's palace and offered the child to him.
Kamsa looked at Vasudeva and then at the child with a look of wonder in his face. He smiled. 'I do not know what to say! I knew you were a man of your word! And I am pleased! But the voice said that Devaki's eighth child was going to kill me! This is your first child! I see no harm in letting him be alive! Take him back!' Kamsa said quietly.
Vasudeva looked shocked and was about to happily take the child back when...
'Narayana! Narayana!' Both the men turned to see Sage Narada standing inside the palace with his trademark tamboora.
Vasudeva bowed to the sage first. Kamsa was irked. Everything about the sage irked him. Right from the look, to the tamboora....Kamsa realized that the name uttered by the sage was what made him angry most...Reluctantly he bowed to the sage.
Narada looked at the baby and then looked at Vasudeva. 'Please leave the child here, Prince Vasudeva! I wish to talk to Kamsa, privately!'
Flustered Kamsa led Sage Narada to the inner room. The sage looked shrewdly at Kamsa. 'What were you about to do, Kamsa?'
Kamsa frowned. 'What do you mean? I asked Vasudeva to take back...'
'I know!' Narada said impatiently. 'Are you a fool?' Narada thundered angrily as Kamsa watched perplexed. 'Do you even understand what you were about to do?'
Kamsa looked blankly as Narada sighed. 'Of course! How can I expect you to remember? I said 'Narayana's name....It annoyed you, did it not?'
Kamsa again nodded his head having no clue as to what the sage was going to say. 'Do you know who you were in your last birth?' Sage Narada said softly. Kamsa felt a throbbing headache as he mutely shook his head.
'You were born as Kalanemi, a great asura! And as Kalanemi you were killed by Lord Vishnu in your previous life!' Kamsa had a vision of huge asura, being killed....by a divine being. Kamsa blinked as Sage Narada nodded his head. 'Lord Vishnu is your enemy! And do you know that in this time, many devas have been born among the Yadavas under the command of Lord Vishnu! Right from Nanda, the cowherd head in Gokula to any of the powerful Yadava from your clan – They were born for the destruction of evil, everywhere! And you are just willing to let a child born among the Yadavas, to live?' Narada demanded angrily.
'But...but the voice said....' Kamsa said feeling very foolish.
'The voice said Devaki's eighth child would kill you, I know!' Narada cut in impatiently. Narada produced a lotus flower in his hand. A lotus flower with eight petals. Narada rotated it before Kamsa. 'Which is the first petal here, Kamsa? Which is the eighth petal?'
Narada did not need to speak anymore. Kamsa furiously got up realizing that he was about to make a folly in letting the first child of Devaki live....All the Yadavas were his enemy, all of them were loyal to Lord Vishnu....He should not let any of them alive...Or they would kill him.
Kamsa stormed out of the room and much to the horror of Vasudeva killed the first child.
Narada watched the entire scene with sad eyes as he went out. The Sada Garbhas could not live on earth...Because that was who the first child was. The first Sadha Garbha. An ordinary mortal life was not meant for any of the Sadha Garbhas. They were meant for salvation and a complete release from the eternal circle of life....And they could attain it only when Hiranyakasipu's curse was fulfilled. And for this they had to be killed by their own father – Kalanemi, who was now born as Kamsa....
Sage Narada passed Vasudeva and Devaki's palace which was filled with weeping and shrieking cries of Devaki as Vasudeva was trying to console Devaki, on the loss of her child....
Sage Narada smiled sadly. Neither Vasudeva nor Devaki knew who they were either. Sage Kashyap was Vasudeva and Devaki...had to face her punishment for what she had done to Diti when she had been Aditi.....
Devaki lost six sons this way – Smara, Udgita, Parishvanga, Patanga, Kshudrabhit and Ghrini.
Unfortunately Sage Narada's words proved dangerous for all of the Yadavas. Kamsa now started hating all the Yadavas and constantly harassed them. Kamsa even imprisoned his own father Ugrasena and took over the entire kingdom. The Yadavas fled the kingdom and settled in other kingdoms....