- Devaki is the mother of KRISHNA, whose birth was assured by a miracle. Devaki’s husband, VASUDEVA, was minister to the evil king Kamsa of Mathura. The king was determined to kill Devaki’s children to forestall a prediction that one of her sons would assassinate him. He had the couple put under guard and had the couple’s first six children killed. The seventh child, BALARAMA, was miraculously transferred while an embryo into the womb of Vasudeva’s second wife, Rohini. By divine inter-vention, when the eighth child, Krishna, was born, all of the king’s guards who kept watch over the couple fell asleep, and Vasudeva was able to deliver Krishna to his foster mother, YASHODA, with whom he was raised.Further reading: Kenneth E. Bryant, Poems to the Child-God: Structures and Strategies in the Poetry of Surdas (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978); Cornelia Dimmitt and J. A. B. van Buitenen, Classi-cal Hindu Mythology: A Reader in the Sanskrit Puranas (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1978); E. Washburn Hopkins, Epic Mythology (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1986).
Encyclopedia of Hinduism. A. Jones and James D. Ryan. 2007.