“When Kamsa killed the six babies of Devaki and Vasudeva one after another, many friends and relatives of Kamsa approached him and requested him to discontinue these heinous activities. But all of them became worshipers of Kamsa.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 2)
“I know that this is history from long ago. I realize that some people relegate the stories to mythology. They think the tales are made-up, created in the mind of a fantastically imaginative author. Don’t you know, it was the stuff for people of primitive times, who did not have the benefit of modern science to open their horizons.
“I tend to not go in that direction, especially since the people who posit such theories are often the biggest cheats and scammers. They are duplicitous in their behavior, they lie to get ahead, and so their ratification of a specific philosophy or viewpoint has no value with me.
“I am speaking of the history presented in Vedic literature. Through the passage of time and continued tradition we know of characters like Kamsa, the king of Mathura. We know what he did during a specific period of time, when he had his sister imprisoned and forced to sacrifice her newborn children, soon after they were born.
“I understand that the sequence of events correlates to the Divine descent, to give an external cause for the one of causeless mercy, Shri Krishna. If not for Kamsa and his heinous behavior, perhaps there would not have been sufficient justification for the demigods to petition Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to appear on earth.
“Nevertheless, I struggle with understanding the mentality of that king. Those children were the essence of innocence. They had done nothing wrong. They could not be guilty of any crime. They were totally helpless. At the time when they relied on the mercy of others the most, they were treated in the worst possible way.
“Kamsa took each newborn and threw it against stone. Visible infanticide; no womb to cover up the gruesome details. There was no pretending that these were unviable masses of tissue. Everyone understood that this was a real-life human being sent for sacrifice for the personal safety of the king.
“How was there no remorse? How could Kamsa not repent immediately? How could he proceed after having killed a single child? These things are unfathomable to me. I get it that the same continues to this day, with both the murder of children in the womb and the more recent trend of suffocating schoolchildren in the name of junk science. I guess it is still one of those things which is hard to believe.”
Kamsa was your asura’s asura. He was the worst of the worst when it came to going against dharma in its true form. The embodiment of the asura-spirit is doing whatever it takes to secure personal interest, svartha, in the short-term.
You can’t meet a personal interest without being alive, and thus a derivative behavior is going to extreme lengths to both protect and prolong life. Though the wise person understands that death is guaranteed as soon as there is birth, the asura tries their best to nullify this strict law of nature.
जातस्य हि ध्रुवो मृत्युर्
ध्रुवं जन्म मृतस्य च
तस्माद् अपरिहार्ये ऽर्थे
न त्वं शोचितुम् अर्हसि
jātasya hi dhruvo mṛtyur
dhruvaṁ janma mṛtasya ca
tasmād aparihārye ‘rthe
na tvaṁ śocitum arhasi
“For one who has taken his birth, death is certain; and for one who is dead, birth is certain. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should not lament.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.27)
Kamsa previously heard the voice from the sky inform that Devaki’s eighth child would spell the end for the king. It would be his angel of death. If you possess the asura mentality and you hear such a prediction, the easy solution is to make sure that the child never appears. If they happen to make it out of the womb alive, deal with the situation accordingly.
From the Kamsa incident, we see that the reactions to sinful behavior eventually manifest. Sort of like a boomerang returning to the person who originally hurled the object, the pace of travel is not always predictable. Kamsa would have to wait until the eighth child finally did appear in order to receive justice.
A swift delivery it was. A punch to the face, from the child that escaped to Gokula shortly after birth. Nothing could deny destiny. Kamsa took to extreme measures, but it was worthless in the end. The asura-spirit continues through the passage of time, but for every instance of evil there is a corresponding side of good, represented by Krishna and His followers. They are so potent that they can even turn the mind of the asura, from ignorant to enlightened, through something as simple as chanting the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Asura behavior to expect,
Since life at all costs to protect.
Even if child murder the expense,
No thought to relent.
Kamsa again and again to repeat,
Even well-wishers to defeat.
Until destiny finally to show,
In Krishna’s powerful blow.