Viṣṇu Purāṇa | Book 5 - Chapter 4

Chapter IV

KAṀSA, much troubled in mind, summoned all his principal Asuras, Pralamba, Keśin, and the rest, and said to them:

"O valiant chiefs, Pralamba, Keśin, Dhenuka, Pūtanā, Ariṣṭa, and all the rest of you, hear my words:

The vile and contemptible denizens of heaven are assiduously plotting against my life, for they dread my prowess: but, heroes, I hold them of no account:

What can the impotent Indra, or the ascetic Hara, perform? Or what can Hari accomplish, except the murder of his foes by fraud?

What have we to fear from the Ādityas, the Vāsus, the Agnis, or any others of the immortals, who have all been vanquished by my resistless arms?

Have I not seen the king of the gods, when he had ventured into the conflict, quickly retreat from the field, receiving my shafts upon his back, not bravely upon his breast?

When in resentment he withheld the fertilizing showers from my kingdom, did not my arrows compel the clouds to part with their waters, as much as were required?

Are not all the monarchs of the earth in terror of my prowess, and subject to my orders, save only Jarāsandha my sire?

Now, chiefs of the Daitya race, it is my determination to inflict still deeper degradation upon these evil-minded and unprincipled gods:

Let therefore every man who is notorious for liberality (in gifts to gods and Brahmans), every man who is remarkable for his celebration of sacrifices, be put to death, that thus the gods shall be deprived of the means by which they subsist.

The goddess who has been born as the infant child of Devakī has announced to me that he is again alive who in a former being was my death.

Let therefore active search be made for whatever young children there may be upon earth, and let every boy in whom there are signs of unusual vigour be slain without remorse."

Having issued these commands, Kaṁsa retired into his palace, and liberated Vāsudeva and Devakī from their captivity:

"It is in vain," said he to them, "that I have slain all your children, since after all he who is destined to kill me has escaped. It is of no use to regret the past. The children you may hereafter have may enjoy life unto its natural close; no one shall cut it short."

Having thus conciliated them, Kaṁsa, alarmed for himself, withdrew into the interior apartments of his palace.