Kamsa was genuinely shocked as he saw Vasudeva come to his palace with a new born baby in his hands.
Kamsa had known. He had always known that Vasudeva would keep his word, no matter what. But actually watching Vasudeva bringing the new born infant shocked Kamsa so badly that he grew numb.
"This is Devaki's first born son, Kamsa." Vasudeva said in a dull and listless tone as he looked at the baby in his hands. And as Vasudeva said it he was trying to forget the screaming and waling of Devaki back at his home. But then Vasudeva knew that this was the only way.
Kamsa looked at the new born baby and then at Vasudeva and at that minute a powerful feeling shot through him. A powerful compassion. Something that he had not felt much. Something which reminded him of his own childhood with his sister – a time where he had really loved her.
"It is prophecised that the eighth child of Devaki will kill me, Vasudeva." Kamsa looked at the new born infant. "This child has done me no wrong. Please take it back."
Vasudeva heard the words but it did not make sense to him. Not in the least.
For one forbidden second he looked at the baby and wondered whether he had even heard right.
"Wha...." Vasudeva asked as he choked and words completely failed him.
"You have proved that you are a man of your word." Kamsa said quietly. "And the prophecy says that it is only the eighth child of Devaki which will kill me. I have no desire to kill the other children of Devaki. Take back your son."
Vasudeva did not know what to believe. He was afraid. He was genuinely afraid of what he was hearing.
But then the fact remained that Kamsa did not seem interested in his son. For one second Vasudeva felt immensely happy as he realized that Devaki's first child was going to live.
Vasudeva took the son back to his home.
(It can be presumed that everyone had known by now that Kamsa had taken over Mathura by overthrowing Ugrasena. It is also possible that no one was strong enough to face Kamsa and so everyone just decided to accept Kamsa as the new ruler of Mathura.
The Bhagawatam does mention that Kamsa ruled like a tyrant.)
Kamsa had a surprise visitor that night.
It was Narada, the wondering sage and the "Manasputra" of Brahma. ("Manas" means mind and "putra" means son. Sage Narada was supposedly born from the mind thoughts of Brahma. Narada is a frequent character who appears in most of the epics and the Puranas. He is a messenger of the Trinity – Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. Sage Narada is known for his mischievous ways. It is always said that he creates problems and the end of the problems always comes out right. Another characteristic of this sage is that he always chants the name of "Narayana" which is why it is believed that Lord Narayana comes to his aid.)
Kamsa was surprised to see the sage and as a mark of respect to the sage, he ordered a grand feast. Kamsa took good care of the sage, which pleased Narada.
"You have taken good care of me, Kamsa," Narada told the beaming Kamsa. "And for this, I shall tell you a story."
Kamsa frowned but said nothing.
"Long back there lived an asura called Kalanemi." Narada started.
Probably, there was something about the name. The minute Kamsa heard it, something in his heart stirred – he felt something powerful which nearly blew him away.
"Kalanemi?" Kamsa asked as the name felt natural in his lips.
"Yes." Narada nodded slowly. "Kalanemi was the son of Hiranyaksha, the asura."
"Hiranyaksha?" Kamsa asked sharply. "The asura who was killed by the boar."
Narada smiled mirthlessly nodding his head. "Yes. Lord Vishnu killed Hiranyaksha during the Varaha or the Boar Avatar."
Kamsa frowned as Narada continued, "Kalanemi was also killed by Lord Vishnu."
Kamsa was jarred slightly as he heard the news. He looked at Narada with slight anger. "Why are you telling me all this?" He demanded in a harsh tone.
"Isn't it obvious, Kamsa?" Narada asked in the same quiet tone. "You were Kalanemi in your previous life time."
It suddenly felt like cold water was poured on him.
Kamsa was panting as he was struggling to control himself.
"Why...?" Kamsa could not complete as Narada continued. "You should also know that Lord Vishnu is going to incarnate again in the Dwapara Yuga. And it is to help him that other Devas are incarnating among the Yadavas."
"Among the Yadavas?" Kamsa asked as he just could not control his anger.
Narada looked at Kamsa with stern eyes. "Probably, they are already born."
That was it.
Narada just said the words and after that he said nothing more.
But then the damage had already been done.
Kamsa realized that all of the Yadavas were his enemy. Somehow he believed that they were all going to try and kill him.
Kamsa decided that he was going to destroy the Yadavas – every single one of them.
That was the day that Devaki's miseries started.
Because immediately, Kamsa went to Vasudeva's home and killed Devaki's first son.
(The Puranas state that Narada acted the way he did for two reasons – one to fulfil the curse of the Sada Garbhas who were born as the sons of Devaki and second to fulfil the curse of Diti. Because Devaki was an incarnation of Aditi, the mother of the Devas.
It was after Narada's visit that Kamsa became a full fledged villain. Because after this, he just started massacring his own people, nearly destroying all the Yadavas.)