: "This article is about a Vrishni ruler. For other uses see
Kamsa (disambiguation)"In Hinduism, Kamsa or Kansa ( Sanskrit: कंस), often known as Kans in Hindi, is the cousin of Devaki, and ruler of the Vrishnikingdom with its capital at Mathura. His father was King Ugrasen and mother was Queen Padmavati. However, out of ambition and upon the advise of his personal confidante, King Banasur, Kansa decided to overthrow his father and install himself as the King of Mathura. Therefore, upon the guidance of another advisor, Chanur; Kansa decided to marry the two daughters of Jarasandha, King of Magadha as he was the best friend of Banasur. Their names were Asti and Prapti.
In reality, Kansa was not the biological son of Ugrasen. In the
Bhagavata Purana, it is revealed that a demon was flying over the city of Mathura and upon viewing Padmavati's irresistible beauty, he took form of Ugrasen and seduced with Padmavati, resulting in the birth of Kansa. This fact was unknown to Kansa and the wide public at that stage.
During his wedding in Mathura, Jarasandha brought over his army and made them escort the Princesses Asti and Prapti. Using the army of Magadha as his political cover, Kansa overthrew his father after he refused to voluntarily retire from his position. This was done within the parameters of the royal palace and the public wasn't informed after Ugrasen failed to show up for public events and Kansa announced his royal coronation.
Kamsa was told in a prophecy that the eighth child of Devaki would kill him, so he imprisoned both Devaki and her husband,
Vasudevaand allowed them to live only under the condition that all their children would be handed over to him, as soon as they were born. He murdered the first six children. The seventh child, Balarama, was saved when he was moved to Rohini's womb. The eighth child born to Devaki and Vasudevawas Lord Krishna. Krishna was saved from Kamsa's wrath and raised by a cowherd couple, Nanda and Yasoda. Kamsa was eventually killed by Krishna.
*"Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend" (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by Anna Dhallapiccola
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