How Could Devaki Be So Forgiving

[Kamsa and Durga]“When Devaki saw her brother so repentant, she also became pacified and forgot all his atrocious activities against her children. Vasudeva also, forgetting all past incidents, spoke smilingly with his brother-in-law.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 4)

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Friend1: I will make a bold declaration here. A sweeping generalization, but I think it holds merit.

Friend2: Okay.

Friend1: People don’t like to be cheated. More so than being upset, they cannot tolerate it.

Friend2: What kind of cheating?

Friend1: Whatever you can think of. For instance, the scandal involving a baseball team relaying signals from the dugout to the batter at the plate.

Friend2: What kind of signals?

Friend1: They are able to tell what kind of pitch is about to be thrown.

Friend2: Oh, from the opposition team? How can they do that? What is their secret?

Friend1: As the saying goes, “With every convenience there is an inconvenience.” The league recently added a new system called replay challenges. You can review the video replay in the dugout of a controversial play and then decide to challenge.

Friend2: I see. Sort of like a time-machine. Though they called the last person out at the plate, you could go back in time and say they were safe.

[baseball umpire]Friend1: Exactly, and so one of the negatives of having this technology is that the teams now have real-time access to video feeds of the field. What some people did is take advantage by viewing the signals from the catcher, who tells the pitcher what kind of pitch he wants to be thrown.

Friend2: Okay, but how do you relay those signals to the batter?

Friend1: The accusation involves a complex system of sounds. Banging on a trash can, whistling, and so forth. In the egregious sense, they say that the batters wear a wire underneath the uniform. They get buzzed by someone else to signal the kind of pitch. Though no one has admitted to using the buzzer, publicly anyway.

Friend2: Wow, people will go to such great lengths to cheat!

Friend1: The higher the stakes, the more they will try. Which brings me to King Kamsa, as described in Shrimad Bhagavatam. You could say that he was trying to cheat destiny, which had proclaimed him a dead man at the hands of the eighth son of his sister Devaki.

Friend2: An akasha-vani. A voice from the sky. Why trust someone that you can’t see, but this message was kind of important. Difficult to ignore.

Friend1: Kamsa cheated children out of life. He robbed them of the living experience. As soon as any child was born to Devaki, Kamsa immediately killed it.

Friend2: Yeah, such a wicked person.

Friend1: What I want to know is how Devaki could forgive him.

Friend2: What do you mean?

Friend1: Well, after the eighth child was born, Kamsa didn’t find out until it was too late. Vasudeva, the father, transferred baby Krishna to Gokula. He did an infant-swap with Nanda Maharaja.

Friend2: Yes, Nanda’s family had given birth to a girl, who was actually yogamaya, Goddess Durga.

Friend1: Which Kamsa learned the hard way shortly thereafter. He tried to kill the baby, but it revealed the form of Durga and mocked Kamsa for the futile attempt. It was after that where Devaki forgave Kamsa.

[Kamsa and Durga]Friend2: I see. I mean that is in the nature of a saintly person. They understand that succumbing to evil is not difficult while living here. We make so many wrong decisions. We shouldn’t hold a grudge, especially towards someone who is contrite.

Friend1: Okay, but to me that contrition is not genuine. Whatever Kamsa would say to me, I could never forget what he did previously.

Friend2: I see what you mean. Again, there is a higher platform of understanding. A different way of looking at things. Mind you, Kamsa was not spared punishment. Shri Krishna fulfilled destiny. The voice had been telling the truth. You mess with saintly people and you will eventually have to answer to a higher force. No reason to remain upset at Kamsa, since everything eventually works itself out.

In Closing:

Cruelty by Kamsa shown,
When to stone babies thrown.

But sister later forgiving,
Rather in peace forward living.

How that compassion to show?
When great atrocities to know.

Since Krishna’s mercy to unfold,
Saints never a grudge to hold.

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