After all the demigods offered the Puruṣa-sūkta prayer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they apparently heard no response. Then Lord Brahmā personally sat in meditation, and there was a message-transmission from Lord Viṣṇu to Brahmā. Brahmā then broadcast the message to the demigods. That is the system of receiving Vedic knowledge. The Vedic knowledge is received first by Brahmā from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, through the medium of the heart. As stated in the beginning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye: (SB 1.1.1) the transcendental knowledge of the Vedas was transmitted to Lord Brahmā through the heart. Here also, in the same way, only Brahmā could understand the message transmitted by Lord Viṣṇu, and he broadcast it to the demigods for their immediate action. The message was this: The Supreme Personality of Godhead would appear on the earth very soon, along with His supreme powerful potencies, and as long as He remained on the earth planet to execute His mission of annihilating the demons and establishing the devotees, the demigods should also remain there to assist Him. They should all immediately take birth in the family of the Yadu dynasty, wherein the Lord would also appear in due course of time. The Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, Kṛṣṇa, would personally appear as the son of Vasudeva. Before His appearance, all the demigods, along with their wives, should appear in different pious families in the world just to assist the Lord in executing His mission. The exact word used here is tat-priyārtham, which means the demigods should appear on the earth in order to please the Lord. In other words, any living entity who lives only to satisfy the Lord is a demigod. The demigods were further informed that Ananta, the plenary portion of Lord Kṛṣṇa who is maintaining the universal planets by extending His millions of hoods, would also appear on earth before Lord Kṛṣṇa’s appearance. They were also informed that the external potency of Viṣṇu (Māyā), with whom all the conditioned souls are enamored, would also appear by the order of the Supreme Lord, just to execute His purpose.
After instructing and pacifying all the demigods, as well as Bhūmi, with sweet words, Lord Brahmā, the father of all prajāpatis, or progenitors of the universal population, departed for his own abode, the highest material planet, called Brahmaloka.
The leader of the Yadu dynasty, King Śūrasena, was ruling over the country known as Māthura, wherein lies the city of Mathurā, as well as the district known as Śūrasena, which was named after him. On account of the rule of King Śūrasena, Mathurā became the capital city of all the kings of the Yadus. Mathurā was also made the capital of the kings of the Yadu dynasty because the Yadus were a very pious family and knew that Mathurā is the place where Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa lives eternally, just as He also lives in Dvārakā.
Once upon a time, Vasudeva, the son of Śūrasena, just after marrying Devakī, was going home on his chariot with his newly wedded wife. The father of Devakī, known as Devaka, had contributed a sufficient dowry because he was very affectionate toward his daughter. He had contributed hundreds of chariots completely decorated with gold equipment. At that time, Kaṁsa, the son of Ugrasena, in order to please his sister, Devakī, had voluntarily taken the reins of the horses of Vasudeva’s chariot and was driving. According to the custom of the Vedic civilization, when a girl is married, the brother takes the sister and brother-in-law to their home. Because the newly married girl may feel too much separation from her father’s family, the brother goes with her until she reaches her father-in-law’s house. The full dowry contributed by Devaka was as follows: 400 elephants fully decorated with golden garlands, 15,000 decorated horses, and 1,800 chariots. He also arranged for 200 beautiful girls to follow his daughter. The kṣatriya system of marriage, still current in India, dictates that when a kṣatriya is married, a few dozen of the bride’s young girlfriends (in addition to the bride) go to the house of the king. The followers of the queen are called maidservants, but actually they act as friends of the queen. This practice is prevalent from time immemorial, traceable at least to the time before the advent of Lord Kṛṣṇa 5,000 years ago. So Vasudeva brought home another 200 beautiful girls along with his wife Devakī.
While the bride and bridegroom were passing along on the chariot, there were different kinds of musical instruments playing to indicate the auspicious moment. There were conchshells, bugles, drums and kettledrums; combined together, they were vibrating a nice concert. The procession was passing very pleasingly, and Kaṁsa was driving the chariot, when suddenly there was a miraculous sound vibrated from the sky which especially announced to Kaṁsa: “Kaṁsa, you are such a fool! You are driving the chariot of your sister and your brother-in-law, but you do not know that the eighth child of this sister will kill you.”
Kaṁsa was the son of Ugrasena, of the Bhoja dynasty. It is said that Kaṁsa was the most demoniac of all the Bhoja dynasty kings. Immediately after hearing the prophecy from the sky, he caught hold of Devakī’s hair and was just about to kill her with his sword. Vasudeva was astonished at Kaṁsa’s behavior, and in order to pacify the cruel, shameless brother-in-law, he began to speak as follows, with great reason and evidence. He said, “My dear brother-in-law Kaṁsa, you are the most famous king of the Bhoja dynasty, and people know that you are the greatest warrior and a valiant king. How is it that you are so infuriated that you are prepared to kill a woman who is your own sister at this auspicious time of her marriage? Why should you be so much afraid of death? Death is already born along with your birth. From the very day you took your birth, you began to die. Suppose you are twenty-five years old; that means you have already died twenty-five years. Every moment, every second, you are dying. Why then should you be so much afraid of death? Final death is inevitable. You may die either today or in a hundred years; you cannot avoid death. Why should you be so much afraid? Actually, death means annihilation of the present body. As soon as the present body stops functioning and mixes with the five elements of material nature, the living entity within the body accepts another body, according to his present actions and reactions. It is just like when a man walks on the street: he puts forward his foot, and when he is confident that his foot is situated on sound ground, he lifts the other foot. In this way, one after another, the bodies change and the soul transmigrates. See how the plantworms change from one twig to another so carefully! Similarly, the living entity changes his body as soon as the higher authorities decide on his next body. As long as a living entity is conditioned within this material world, he must take material bodies one after another. His next particular body is offered by the laws of nature, according to the actions and reactions of this life.
“This body is exactly like one of the bodies which we always see in dreams. During our dream of sleep, we create so many bodies according to mental creation. We have seen gold, and we have also seen a mountain, so in a dream we can see a golden mountain by combining the two ideas. Sometimes in dreams we see that we have a body which is flying in the sky, and at that time we completely forget our present body. Similarly, these bodies are changing. When you have one body, you forget the past body. During a dream, we may make contact with so many new kinds of bodies, but when we are awake we forget them all. And actually these material bodies are the creations of our mental activities. But at the present moment we do not recollect our past bodies.
“The nature of the mind is flickering. Sometimes it accepts something, and immediately it rejects the same thing. Accepting and rejecting is the process of the mind in contact with the five objects of sense gratification—form, taste, smell, sound and touch. In its speculative way, the mind comes in touch with the objects of sense gratification, and when the living entity desires a particular type of body, he gets it. Therefore, the body is an offering by the laws of material nature. The living entity accepts a body and comes out again into the material world to enjoy or suffer according to the construction of the body. Unless we have a particular type of body, we cannot enjoy or suffer according to our mental proclivities inherited from the previous life. The particular type of body is actually offered to us according to our mental condition at the time of death.