While thus praying to the Lord for rescue, mother Devakī nonetheless expressed her motherly affection: “I understand that this transcendental form is generally perceived in meditation by the great sages, but I am still afraid because as soon as Kaṁsa understands that You have appeared, he might harm You. So I request that for the time being You become invisible to our material eyes.” In other words, she requested the Lord to assume the form of an ordinary child. “My only cause of fear from my brother Kaṁsa is due to Your appearance. My Lord Madhusūdana, Kaṁsa may not know that You are already born. Therefore I request You to conceal this four-armed form of Your Lordship, which holds the four symbols of Viṣṇu—namely the conchshell, the disc, the club and the lotus flower. My dear Lord, at the end of the annihilation of the cosmic manifestation, You put the whole universe within Your abdomen; still by Your unalloyed mercy You have appeared in my womb. I am surprised that You imitate the activities of ordinary human beings just to please Your devotee.”
On hearing the prayers of Devakī, the Lord replied, “My dear mother, in the millennium of Svāyambhuva Manu, My father Vasudeva was living as one of the Prajāpatis. His name at that time was Sutapā, and you were his wife named Pṛśni. At that time, when Lord Brahmā was desiring to increase the population, he requested you to generate offspring. You controlled your senses and performed severe austerities. By practicing the breathing exercises of the yoga system, both you and your husband could tolerate all the influences of the material laws: the rainy season, the onslaught of the wind, and the scorching heat of the sunshine. You also executed all religious principles. In this way you were able to cleanse your heart and control the influences of the material laws. In executing your austerity, you used to eat only the leaves of the trees which fell to the ground. Then with a steady mind and controlled sex drive, you worshiped Me, desiring some wonderful benediction from Me. Both of you practiced severe austerities for twelve thousand years by the calculation of the demigods. During that time, your mind was always absorbed in Me. When you were executing devotional service and always thinking of Me within your heart, I was very much pleased with you. O sinless mother, your heart is therefore always pure. At that time also I appeared before you in this form just to fulfill your desire, and I asked you to ask whatever you desired. At that time you wished to have Me born as your son. Although you saw Me personally, instead of asking for your complete liberation from material bondage, under the influence of My energy you asked Me to become your son.”
In other words, to appear in the material world the Lord selected His mother and father—namely Pṛśni and Sutapā, respectively. Whenever the Lord comes as a human being, He must have a mother and a father, so He selected Pṛśni and Sutapā perpetually as His mother and father. And on account of this, neither Pṛśni nor Sutapā could ask the Lord for liberation. Liberation is not so important as the transcendental loving service of the Lord. The Lord could have awarded Pṛśni and Sutapā immediate liberation, but He preferred to keep them within this material world for His different appearances, as will be explained in the following verses. On receiving the benediction from the Lord to become His father and mother, Pṛśni and Sutapā retired from the activities of austerity and lived as husband and wife in order to beget a child who was the Supreme Lord Himself.
In due course of time Pṛśni became pregnant and gave birth to the child. The Lord spoke to Devakī and Vasudeva: “At that time My name was Pṛśnigarbha. In the next millennium you took birth as Aditi and Kaśyapa, and I became your child of the name Upendra. At that time My form was just like a dwarf, and for this reason I was known as Vāmanadeva. I gave you the benediction that I would take birth as your son three times. The first time I was known as Pṛśnigarbha, born of Pṛśni and Sutapā, in the next birth I was Upendra, born of Aditi and Kaśyapa, and now for the third time I am born as Kṛṣṇa from you, Devakī and Vasudeva. I have appeared in this Viṣṇu form just to convince you that I am the same Supreme Personality of Godhead again taken birth. I could have appeared just like an ordinary child, but in that way you would not have believed that the Supreme Personality of Godhead had taken birth in your womb. My dear father and mother, you have therefore raised Me many times as your child, with great affection and love, and I am therefore very much pleased and obliged to you. And I assure you that this time you shall go back home, back to Godhead, on account of your perfection in your mission. I know you are very concerned about Me and afraid of Kaṁsa. Therefore I order you to take Me immediately to Gokula and exchange Me for the daughter who has just been born to Yaśodā.”
Having spoken thus to His father and mother, the Lord turned Himself into an ordinary child in their presence and remained silent.
Being ordered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva prepared to take his son from the delivery room, and exactly at that time, a daughter was born to Nanda and Yaśodā. She was Yogamāyā, the internal potency of the Lord. By the influence of this internal potency, Yogamāyā, all the residents of Kaṁsa’s palace, especially the doorkeepers, were overwhelmed with deep sleep, and all the palace doors opened, although they were barred and shackled with iron chains. The night was very dark, but as soon as Vasudeva took Kṛṣṇa on his lap and went out, he could see everything just as in the sunlight.