Devaki and Vasudeva’s eighth child, Krishna, was destined to be the destroyer of evil. This made Devaki’s brother, Kamsa, very nervous. He had thrown Devaki and Vasudeva in prison and killed the six children born to them. Devi Yogamaya had protected the seventh child using her magic. A few months later, on a rainy night, Krishna was born.
Kamsa had Vasudeva tied up in chains. Any attempt to escape was impossible. But as soon as Krishna was born, to Vasudeva’s surprise, the chains fell off! He kissed his new born son and hugged his wife.
“This is no ordinary child. He will be our deliverer. It is our duty to protect this eighth child of yours, the saviour of the Universe,” said Vasudeva.
“But how can we protect him? Kamsa will be here any moment,” said Devaki.
Vasudeva folded up their blankets to made a soft bedding and placed it in the basket. He tenderly picked up the new born child and placed it inside. He covered the basket with a shawl.
“Where are you taking my child?” Devaki cried out.
Vasudeva looked at her and spoke gently, “your child?”
Then Devaki remembered what had happened just before the child was born. Lord Vishnu had appeared to them. As the couple fell at His feet, the Lord had said, “I’m going to be born as your eighth child.”
Thus, the Lord of the Universe had taken birth as her child.
Devaki joined her hands in salutation. “Govinda, you have chosen to be born to me. You show us the way.”
Vasudeva picked up the basket and placed it on his head. Everything he did was full of care and tenderness.
As Vasudeva walked towards the prison door, the locks fell off, and Vasudeva walked out. Without looking at the guards who were fast asleep, he walked away, uttering the name of the Lord, “Govinda, Govinda, Govinda…”
It was the dead of night. The streets of Mathura were deserted. Not even a dog barked. Vasudeva walked unmindful of the rain. He was not even aware that a seven-headed serpent had opened its hoods over the basket like an umbrella, shielding the child from the rain.
Vasudeva headed straight to the river front. Yamuna was swelling with water. No one would dare cross the river which was rising by the minute. Saying, “Govinda, Govinda…” Vasudeva stepped into the river.
As soon as he took a step forward, the river parted, making a path for Vasudeva to cross over. Vasudeva walked, closely followed by the seven-headed serpent with its hoods spread over the basket.
As soon as Vasudeva reached the other bank of the river, he started walking towards Gokula. As he neared the house of his friend Nanda, who was the Village Chief, he found the doors open. He walked through the doors. At Nanda’s house, his wife Yashoda had just given birth to a girl child, who was none other than Devi Yogamaya. Under the spell of Yogamaya, Yashoda was fast asleep. As Vasudeva lowered the basket, baby Yogamaya smiled at the child in the basket.
Vasudeva placed his son next to the sleeping Yashoda. He picked up the girl child and placed her in the basket. He placed the basket on his head and left.
He did not even glance at the house next door where Rohini, his first wife, was living with his seventh son. He began to walk towards the river with the seven-headed serpent following him, spreading its hoods over the child in the basket. As Vasudeva approached the Yamuna, the river parted again, making a path for him to cross over.