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.
He then called for Akrūra, one of the descendants in the family of Yadu, in which Kṛṣṇa was born as the son of Vasudeva. When Akrūra came to see Kaṁsa, Kaṁsa very politely shook hands with him and said, “My dear Akrūra, actually I have no better friend than you in the Bhoja and Yadu dynasties. You are the most munificent person, so as a friend I am begging charity from you. Actually I have taken shelter of you exactly as King Indra takes shelter of Lord Viṣṇu. I request you to go immediately to Vṛndāvana and find the two boys named Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. They are the sons of Nanda Mahārāja. Take this nice chariot, especially prepared for the boys, and bring Them here immediately. That is my request to you. Now, my plan is to kill these two boys. As soon as They come in the gate, there will be a giant elephant named Kuvalayāpīḍa waiting, and possibly he will be able to kill Them. But if somehow or other They escape, They will next meet the wrestlers and will be killed by them. That is my plan. And after killing these two boys, I shall kill Vasudeva and Nanda, who are supporters of the Vṛṣṇi and Bhoja dynasties. I shall also kill my father, Ugrasena, and his brother Devaka, because they are actually my enemies and are hindrances to my diplomacy and politics. Thus I shall get rid of all my enemies. Jarāsandha is my father-in-law, and I have a great monkey friend named Dvivida. With their help it will be easy to kill all the kings on the surface of the earth who support the demigods. This is my plan. In this way I shall be free from all opposition, and it will be very pleasant to rule the world without obstruction. You may know also that Śambara, Narakāsura and Bāṇāsura are my intimate friends, and when I begin this war against the kings who support the demigods, they will help me considerably. Surely I shall be rid of all my enemies. Please go immediately to Vṛndāvana and encourage the boys to come here to see the beauty of Mathurā and take pleasure in the wrestling competition.”
After hearing this plan of Kaṁsa’s, Akrūra replied, “My dear King, your plan is very excellently made to counteract the hindrances to your diplomatic activities. But you should maintain equilibrium, for the result of your activities may be fruitful or may not be fruitful. After all, man proposes, God disposes. We may make very great plans, but unless they are sanctioned by the supreme authority, they will fail. Everyone in this material world knows that the supernatural power is the ultimate disposer of everything. One may make a very great plan with his fertile brain, but he must know that he will be subjected to the fruits, misery and happiness. But I have nothing to say against your proposal. As a friend, I shall carry out your order and bring Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma here, as you desire.”
After instructing his friends in various ways, Kaṁsa retired, and Akrūra went back to his home.