“Narada warned Kamsa to be careful of the friends and well-wishers and all the demigods taking birth in those families. Kamsa and his friends and advisors were all demons. Demons are always afraid of demigods. After being thus informed by Narada about the appearance of the demigods in different families, Kamsa at once became alert.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 1)
Friend1: I was reading the story of Krishna’s advent the other day.
Friend2: For the first time?
Friend1: Definitely not.
Friend2: From what book? Or was it a website?
Friend1: The original source is the Bhagavata Purana, also known as Shrimad Bhagavatam. The accounts are presented in story form, through the kind efforts of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Friend2: The Krishna book?
Friend1: Yes. “Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead” is the full title. In the opening chapter I found a few thought-inspiring interactions. They involve Narada Muni and Kamsa.
Friend2: Explain who those people are.
Friend1: Narada is something like a space-travelling monk. He is very dear to and close with the Supreme Lord in Vaikuntha, which is the spiritual realm. Narada travels from place to place to share the glories of God and to inspire others to take up the same service, which will make them supremely blissful.
Friend2: And who is Kamsa?
Friend1: He is the king of Mathura at the time. This is around five thousand years ago, in comparison to the present day. Kamsa has an interesting dilemma. Upon escorting his sister after her wedding to her new home, a voice from the sky announces that Devaki’s eighth child will spell Kamsa’s doom.
Friend2: Devaki is the new bride, in this case?
Friend1: Yes. Vasudeva is the husband. Kamsa wants to kill Devaki right away, but Vasudeva steps in and persuades the king otherwise. Crisis averted, for the time being. Everyone is living peacefully, but Narada decides to step in.
Friend2: What does he say?
Friend1: He warned that demigods were taking birth in the surrounding areas. This portended the advent of the Supreme Lord Vishnu, which meant that Kamsa was in trouble. Narada essentially got Kamsa to put his foot back on the gas pedal. Take the threat seriously. Imprison Devaki and Vasudeva.
Friend2: That is true. Narada wanted to accelerate the sequence of events, to ensure the advent of Shri Krishna in this world.
Friend1: In reading the accounts, Prabhupada describes that demons are always afraid of the demigods.
Friend2: This is in the context of Kamsa being warned by Narada?
Friend1: Yes. It just seems odd to me. Why would you be worried about godly figures appearing in this world? Was there violence involved?
Friend2: Not in this case, anyway.
Friend1: But it is such a sweeping declaration. Why are the demons always afraid of the demigods?
Friend2: Isn’t it simple enough to understand?
Friend1: I mean if I am a non-believer, an atheist, if you will, what do I care if someone else believes strongly? Isn’t the dividing line here between demon and demigod? Asura and sura, if using the Sanskrit.
Friend2: We can think of it like the criminals and the police. If you are law-abiding, there is usually no reason to fear the presence of a police officer. On the other hand, if you have just stolen something or plan to carry out a heist in the near future, the last thing you want is law enforcement around.
Friend1: Were these demigods going to play the role of police? It doesn’t sound like it to me.
Friend2: The influence is the same. The godly people can help society turn towards pious behavior. You are essentially creating demigods on earth. Saintly people are known as bhusuras. The more saintly people you have, the more the villains get isolated.
Friend1: Sort of like the walls closing in.
Friend2: Better to suppress the opposition. Make sure that the godly side never rises to power. Narada instinctively knew this about Kamsa. That’s why he manipulated in that way. By Devaki and Vasudeva in prison, the events would take place as planned. In this case destiny could not be denied. The voice from the sky had been telling the truth.
Afraid of demigods why?
When already in position high.
For Kamsa no reason to fear,
But distressed from Narada to hear.
Idea that like criminals so,
On alert where police to go.
Since saints minds of people turning,
Thus reason for asuras concerning.