Canto 10: The Summum BonumChapter 4: The Atrocities of King Kaḿsa

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.4.22

yāvad dhato 'smi hantāsmī-

ty ātmānaḿ manyate 'sva-dṛk

tāvat tad-abhimāny ajño

bādhya-bādhakatām iyāt


yāvatas long as; hataḥ asmiI am now being killed (by others); hantā asmiI am the killer (of others); iti — thus; ātmānam — own self; manyatehe considers; a-sva-dṛk — one who has not seen himself (because of the darkness of the bodily conception of life); tāvat — for that long; tat-abhimānī — regarding himself as the killed or the killer; ajñaḥa foolish person; bādhya-bādhakatām — the worldly transaction of being obliged to execute some responsibility; iyāt — continues.


In the bodily conception of life, one remains in darkness, without self-realization, thinking, "I am being killed" or "I have killed my enemies." As long as a foolish person thus considers the self to be the killer or the killed, he continues to be responsible for material obligations, and consequently he suffers the reactions of happiness and distress.


By the grace of the Lord, Kaḿsa felt sincere regret for having unnecessarily persecuted such Vaiṣṇavas as Devakī and Vasudeva, and thus he came to the transcendental stage of knowledge. "Because I am situated on the platform of knowledge," Kaḿsa said, "understanding that I am not at all the killer of your sons, I have no responsibility for their death. As long as I thought that I would be killed by your son, I was in ignorance, but now I am free from this ignorance, which was due to a bodily conception of life." As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (18.17):

yasya nāhańkṛto bhāvo

buddhir yasya na lipyate

hatvāpi sa imān lokān

na hanti na nibadhyate

"One who is not motivated by false ego, whose intelligence is not entangled, though he kills men in this world, is not the slayer. Nor is he bound by his actions." According to this axiomatic truth, Kaḿsa pleaded that he was not responsible for having killed the sons of Devakī and Vasudeva. "Please try to excuse me for such false, external activities," he said, "and be pacified with this same knowledge."

<<< >>>

Buy Online Copyright © The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
His Holiness Hrdayananda dasa Goswami
Gopiparanadhana dasa Adhikari
Dravida dasa Brahmacari