KANSA

KANSA

"Your eighth son is alive! His name is Krishna and he's in Brindavan!" said Kansa in great anger. His sister Devaki and her husband Vasudev trembled before his terrible face.

"You two have tricked me for long," continued Kansa. "But not any more. Now I will slay that kid and then, I will slay you two! I had freed you two. But now I will send you back to prison. You'll remain there until your death."

With this thundering declaration, he ordered his soldiers to arrest the couple and put them behind bars in the royal prison.

Nine years of their lives had been spent behind the bars. Now the discovery of the survival of their child again led them back to prison. The tearful couple 
comforted each other and waited for that day when the tyrannical king would be slain by their son. 

It was many years now since the Oracle had warned Kansa that his sister Devaki's eighth child would kill him. After destroying her seven sons, Kansa had released his sister and her husband Vasudev when the eighth child turned out to be a daughter.

But now, it was revealed that his nephew was alive and well in Brindavan; Kansa again imprisoned Devaki and her husband and returned to his private chambers.

"Kootaka!" growled Kansa in his thundering voice. "Where is Keshi? It has been two days since I send him to kill that kid. Where the hell is he?"

"Keshi... was killed by Krishna, My Lord," the first minister shuddered in fear even as he replied, for he knew well the wrath of the King.

"Whatttttttt!!!" roared Kansa. "My favourite servant Keshi? Dead? But how can that be? Is that boy so powerful?" he asked Kootaka in fear and fury.

"Yes my Lord, he is...he is... so! Indeed!" babbled the minister." He seems to be blessed with magical powers from birth, my Lord. We now know that it is impossible to kill Krishna by ordinary means. So we should resort to cunning and make him come to Mathura. "

A terrible fear had slowly creeped into Kansa's mind. He had always had the nagging fear that the words of the Oracle may, somehow, come true and that he may not be able to kill his nephew after all. But he was supposed to be the mighty ruler, master of all. How could he show his fear? Swallowing his fear, Kootaka continued," What is not achieved by swords can be accomplished by words. Call Akrura, your cousin, and order him to go to Brindavan and ask Krishna to come to Mathura. He is wise with words and will surely be able to please Krishna and make him come here without any doubt. The rest will be easy. Once the boy is here, we can kill him easily."

Kansa thought for a few minutes. "Yes, this might just work," he agreed and called for his cousin. He explained his plan to Akrura and sent him to Brindavan. But little did he know that Akrura was a great devotee of Krishna!

Akrura didn't waste a moment. With great anxiety, he set out for Brindavan. Once there, he immediately told Krishna of Kansa's evil intentions.

Krishna laughed. He said, "Seems like Kansa is very eager to die," he said, "He's inviting death to come to him, instead of waiting for it patiently. If that is what he wants, then let him have it. Let us all go to Mathura!"

Krishna took the blessings of his parents, who gave their consent after much hesitation. Though they knew that their sons were no ordinary mortal, the thought of any harm coming to their sons worried them greatly.

Krishna left Brindavan with Akrura and travelled to his uncles kingdom, along with Balaram, his brother. The news of Krishna's visit spread in Mathura. So everywhere there was curiosity, excitement and joy.

Meanwhile, Kansa was hatching a plan to do away with his nephew. Suddenly he had idea. 

"Is the mad elephant Kuvalayapida awake?" he asked Kootaka.

"Yes, my lord." answered Kootaka. " He's safely chained but he's trying to break free."

"Then let him free in the streets!" hissed Kansa. "Let him kill the two young brothers!" he roared madly.

Kootaka, silently followed the king's order, and released the elephant in the streets, much against his wishes. For he too didn't want Krishna and Balaram to die. But the thought of the wrath of the king made him do otherwise.

As the mad Kuvalayapida was released, he started to destroy everything in his way. People screamed in fear and ran for their lives.

Suddenly, Kuvalayapida saw a blue-skinned youth standing in the middle of the main street. The youth was Krishna. The elephant rushed towards him. Just as he neared him, Krishna took his sword and cut off his trunk. The mad animal trumpeted in pain, fell down and died.

The people of Mathura were awestruck at Krishna's bravery. They yelled his name and shouted their praises aloud. The old women of the city blessed the two 
brothers and the young maidens threw flowers at them. 

"Jai Krishna! Jai Balaram!" cried the people, " Cheers for the two!"

"How they adore us!" exclaimed a smiling Balaram.

"Yes, but don't let it go to your head, brother. We are still surrounded by danger," cautioned Krishna.

And Krishna's prediction soon proved to be correct.

Back in the court, Kansa was full of anger. "Now the elephant is also dead. Tell me a way to kill my nephew! I will leave no stones unturned to see them dead. " he screamed at his minister.

"My Lord, you can trust Mushtika and Chanura to do the job. I think they will surely be able to kill Krishna," said Kootaka. "They are invincible warriors and they have never been beaten by any mortal till now."

"Yes!!!" agreed Kansa happily. "You're right! The demon brothers Mushtika and Chanura will surely kill my nephew!"

Kansa immediately sent word to them. They came out of their resting places and watched the two brothers walking near the arena.

""Ha ha! Are these kids going to fight us? Why, they look as puny as newborn kittens!" laughed Chanura. "Look at them! So small, so weak... we can crush them with our little finger!" cackled Mushtika.

But what happened then was what no one ever expected.

THUUNNNNNNK!!!

It was the hard blow that Mushtika felt on his head the very next moment. Balaram had attacked Mushtika, using his mighty mace. Mushtika fell down with an enormous roar of pain .He lay on the ground, writhing in agony.

"You hit my brother!!!" Chanura roared. "How dare you attack him? I will not spare you. I will kill you..." he yelled and lunged at Balaram. The next minute, he lay flat on the ground, groaning in pain. Krishna had clubbed him.

By this time, the arena was full of eager spectators who wished the two demon warriors dead.

"Oh no! They're mere boys! What can they do against these demon-like wrestlers!" a softhearted woman shook her head in despair over the impossibility of the
situation.

"Our Krishna and Balaram are divine beings, blessed by Lord Vishnu. They will surely kill them," assured another man.

Suddenly the woman shrieked, "Behind you, Krishna!"

Krishna looked behind just in time to see Chanura ready to strike him with an enormous axe. He moved fast and escaped from the axe. He bent, caught hold of Chanura's meaty legs and tugged hard. The demon lost his balance and fell down with a hard thud!

Meanwhile, back in the palace, Kansa was restless. He had waited for long and could no longer contain his impatience. "My demon warriors must have killed Krishna by now... I want to see the boy dead!" he thought greedily and rushed to the arena with a devilish grin.

But what he saw there shocked him out of its wits. What a terrible shock he got when he found his best warriors in the clutches of Krishna and Balaram!

For the first time in his life, Kansa saw Krishna and his heart almost stopped in fear and terror. His nightmares, somehow, seemed to have come true.

Krishna looked up and saw that Kansa had come to watch the fight, "Here, Uncle!" he yelled in glee. "Watch your demons die!"

Saying thus, Krishna crushed the life out of Chanura without much effort.

"And now, it is your turn to go to Hell, evil Kansa!" thundered Krishna.

Kansa felt his body freeze within his body. He felt a terrible fear at the sight of his smiling nephew advancing towards him. This was the scene that he had seen in his nightmares, night after night, for the past few years. Filled with a mortal fear for his life, Kansa tried to run 
away.

The people of Mathura were delighted at their evil king's terror. "Punish Kansa! Kill the tyrant for his unfair rule! "Let him not escape!" they yelled in rejoice.

Kansa ran around the arena, hoping to find a gap where he could escape. But the citizens of Mathura whom he had tormented all these years, were not in a forgiving
mood. They circled the arena, not allowing Kansa to escape from the ground. Much injustice had been borne in silence. Much tears had been shed. Much had the citizens of Mathura endured without raising a voice out of fear. At last they had the opportunity to strike back. And they relished every moment of it. The king was laughed and jeered at wherever he ran. He had no escape now.

Krishna pounced on Kansa, caught hold of his hair and pushed him to the ground. “You are no more a king. You were never fit to be a king !”he declared and 
wrenched off Kansa’s crown.

But the king hardly minded. All he wanted was to be left alive. Kansa tried to get up to save himself. But Krishna's hold was like the grip of Death.

"Leave me Krishna," pleaded Kansa at last, "Forgive me...please!"

"It is too late now to beg for pardon. Your time is up, wicked tyrant." roared Balaram. "It is now your time to die. Think about your dark deeds in the darkness of Hell". 

"Now I'm going to crush you tighter and tighter for every sin you committed," said Krishna in anger. "This is for imprisoning my parents and making them live in a 
dungeon for nine years!" he said and tightened his hold. Kansa struggled to breathe.

"This is for killing my seven brothers and countless innocent children in Mathura when I was born!" said Krishna, and tightened his hold further. Kansa felt his lungs 
exploding.

"And this is for imprisoning my grandfather and terrorising the people of Mathura for all these years!" Krishna declared and finally snapped his head. Kansa breathed
his last and fell to the ground, dead.

The skies opened and flowers were showered from the heavens. The words of the Oracle had finally come true. Kansa was killed by the eighth son of Devaki!

After a long long time could the people of Mathura could smile again. They heaved a collective sigh of joy and relief. At last, they free from the reign of the evil Kansa.

"Our task is not yet finished. We have one more duty, Balaram," reminded Krishna.

"You are right, brother." nodded Balaram in agreement.

The brothers hurried to the palace and entered the dungeons where Devaki and Vasudev were imprisoned. They opened the prison gates. 

"Mother," called Krishna softly. Devaki and Vasudev could not believe their eyes. Here was their son standing before them. They were mad with joy to see their son. Devaki embraced Krishna and shed happy tears over him.

Krishna then rushed to the next cell, where he freed his grandfather Ugrasena. Ugrasena blessed him and said, "My grandson, you are now the king!"

"Yes Grandfather. But my destiny lies elsewhere,and there I must go first," replied Krishna as he prepared to leave for Brindavan.

Thus ended the tyranny of the evil Kansa. Punishment came to him late, but it was a punishment just and as terrible as his actions were.

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