Shyam

The blessed Lord said,

man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te
pratijane priyo 'si me

"Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your obeisances to Me. In this way you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend."

Srimati Radhika

bhajami radham aravinda-netram
smarami radham madhura-smitasyam
vadami radham karuna-bharardram
tato mamanyasti gatir na kapi

I worship Sri Radha, Who has eyes like lotus petals, I meditate on Sri Radha, Who has a gentle, sweet smile; I glorify Sri Radha, who is filled with compassion - in this way I have no other refuge than Her.

The birth of Lord Krishna

Kamsa was a cruel king of Mathura. His cousin, Princess Devaki, married a good man, called Vasudeva. On the day of their marriage, a heavenly voice was heard to say that Devaki and Vasudeva's eighth son would kill Kamsa. The enraged Kamsa tried to kill Devaki there and then. Vasudeva pleaded for Devaki's life, saying that they would give all their children to Kamsa as soon as they were born. So, Kamsa imprisoned Devaki and Vasudeva. Whenever a child was born to them, Kamsa would carry the child away and kill it. Devaki and Vasudeva were very unhappy and prayed to the Lord for His mercy.

Kamsa was an evil man, who ill-treated his people, imprisoned his father, killed and plundered innocent folks. In course of time, Devaki's seventh child was born. The internal potency of the Lord, known as Yogamaya, miraculously transferred the child to the womb of Vasudeva's second wife, Rohini devi, and everyone thought that Devaki had had a miscarriage. This baby was known as Sankarsana, because he was forcibly attracted from the womb of Devaki to that of Rohini, and Balarama because He was an incarnation of the all-pleasing, all-powerful Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Now Kamsa grew even more attentive because he knew the eighth child would come next. He had Vasudeva and Devaki put in chains, and stationed more guards around their prison. On the eighth day of the month of Sravana, there was a heavy thunderstorm and lightning. At midnight, Devaki's eighth child was born. He was a very beautiful boy with a dark (shyam) complexion, like a raincloud. The parents were very happy to see the child, but very anxious for His safety. But He did not cry, and so no-one heard Him. As if by magic, Vasudeva's chains broke off and the doors to the prison flung open. Vasudeva quickly picked up the baby, bundled Him up in some warm clothes and put Him in a small basket. Then he carried Him outside.

The guards were fast asleep. Vasudeva walked towards Gokula where his friends Nanda and Yasoda lived. He had to cross the river Yamuna. Suddenly the river gave way to him and he ran towards Gokula. When he came to Nanda's house, he found out that Yasoda had just given birth to a baby girl and was fast asleep. He put his new born son near Yasoda and carried the baby girl back. He thought that Kamsa would not kill this baby because it was a girl. He rushed back to the prison. The baby started crying and Kamsa arrived hearing her cry. He took the baby and Vasudeva begged him to let the child live because it was a girl. Kamsa lifted the baby high in the air to kill her, but she flew from his hands, taking her original form as Goddess Durga. She said "Kamsa you fool! You cannot kill me! Your killer is already born somewhere else!" Kamsa, on seeing his worshipable goddess, regretted his previous heinous activities, and released Devaki and Vasudeva from the prison. But on the advice of his demoniac associates, he made plans to kill baby Krishna, and all the other newborn children in the area. Meanwhile, Krishna was happily growing up in Nanda and Yasoda's house in Gokula, Vrindavan.

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