It was after this incident that the great sage Nārada disclosed to Kaṁsa the secret of Kṛṣṇa. Nārada Muni is generally known as deva-darśana, which means that he can be seen only by demigods or persons on the same level with the demigods. But Nārada visited Kaṁsa, who was not at all on the level of the demigods, and allowed Kaṁsa to see him. Of course, Kaṁsa also saw Kṛṣṇa, what to speak of Nārada Muni. But unless one sees the Lord or His devotees with purified eyes, one cannot derive the actual benefit. Of course, anyone who associates with a pure devotee derives imperceptible benefit, which is called ajñāta-sukṛti. One cannot understand how he is making progress, yet he makes progress by seeing the devotee of the Lord. Nārada Muni’s mission was to finish things quickly. Kṛṣṇa appeared in order to kill the demons, and Kaṁsa was the chief among them. Nārada wanted to expedite things; therefore, he immediately approached Kaṁsa with all the real information. “You are to be killed by the eighth son of Vasudeva,” Nārada told Kaṁsa. “That eighth son is Kṛṣṇa. You were misled by Vasudeva into believing that the eighth issue of Vasudeva was a daughter. Actually, the daughter was born to Yaśodā, the wife of Nanda Mahārāja, and Vasudeva exchanged his son for the daughter, so you were misled. Kṛṣṇa is the son of Vasudeva, as is Balarāma. Being afraid of your atrocious nature, Vasudeva has tactfully hidden Them in Vṛndāvana, out of your sight.” Nārada further informed Kaṁsa, “Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma have been living incognito in the care of Nanda Mahārāja. All the asuras, your companions who were sent to Vṛndāvana to kill different children, were killed by Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma.”
As soon as Kaṁsa got this information from Nārada Muni, he took out his sharp sword and prepared to kill Vasudeva for his duplicity. But Nārada pacified him. “You are not to be killed by Vasudeva,” he said. “Why are you so anxious to kill him? Better try to kill Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma.” But in order to satisfy his wrath, Kaṁsa arrested Vasudeva and his wife and shackled them in iron chains. Acting on the new information, Kaṁsa immediately called for the Keśī demon and asked him to go to Vṛndāvana immediately to kill Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa. In actuality, Kaṁsa asked Keśī to go to Vṛndāvana to be killed by Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma and thus get salvation. Then Kaṁsa called for his expert elephant trainers, as well as for the wrestlers Cāṇūra, Muṣṭika, Śala, Tośala, etc., and he told them, “My dear friends, try to hear me attentively. At Nanda Mahārāja’s place in Vṛndāvana there are two brothers, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. They are actually two sons of Vasudeva. As you know, I have been destined to be killed by Kṛṣṇa; there is a prophecy to this effect. Now I am requesting you to arrange for a wrestling match. People from different parts of the country will come to see the festival. I will arrange to get those two boys here, and you will try to kill Them in the wrestling arena.”
Wrestling matches are still enjoyed by people in northern India, and it appears from the statements of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that five thousand years ago wrestling was also popular. Kaṁsa planned to arrange such a wrestling competition and to invite people to visit. He also told the trainers of the elephants, “Be sure to bring the elephant named Kuvalayāpīḍa and keep him at the gate of the wrestling arena. Try to capture Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma on Their arrival and have the elephant kill Them.”
Kaṁsa also advised his friends to arrange to worship Lord Śiva by offering animal sacrifices and performing the sacrifice called Dhanur-yajña and the sacrifice performed on the fourteenth day of the moon, known as Caturdaśī. This date falls three days after Ekādaśī, and it is set aside for the worship of Lord Śiva. One of the plenary portions of Lord Śiva is called Kālabhairava. This form of Lord Śiva is worshiped by demons who offer animals killed before him. The process is still current in India in a place called Vaidyanātha-dhāma, where demons offer animal sacrifices to the deity of Kālabhairava. Kaṁsa belonged to this demoniac group. He was also an expert diplomat, and so he quickly arranged for his demon friends to kill Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma.