The Appearance of Lord Sri Krishna
The Lord’s appearance or birth is not like that of an ordinary man, who is forced to accept a material body according to his past deeds. The Lord’s appearance is explained in the Second Chapter: He appears out of His own sweet pleasure. When the time was mature for the appearance of the Lord, the constellations became very auspicious. The astrological influence of the star known as Rohini was predominant.
There were auspicious stars visible in the sky, and on the surface in all towns and villages and pasturing grounds and within the minds of everyone there were signs of good fortune. The rivers were flowing full of waters, and lakes were beautifully decorated with lotus flowers. The forests were full with beautiful birds and peacocks. All the birds within the forests began to sing with sweet voices, and the peacocks began to dance along with their consorts. The wind blew very pleasantly, carrying the aroma of different flowers, and the sensation of bodily touch was very pleasing.
Vasudeva saw that wonderful child born as a baby with four hands, holding conchshell, club, disc and lotus flower, decorated with the mark of Srivatsa, wearing the jeweled necklace of kaustubha stone, dressed in yellow silk, appearing dazzling like a bright blackish cloud, wearing a helmet bedecked with the vaidurya stone, valuable bracelets, earrings and similar other ornaments all over His body, and beautified by an abundance of hair on His head. Due to the extraordinary features of the child, Vasudeva was struck with wonder. How could a newly born child be so decorated? Vasudeva could therefore understand that Lord Krishna had now appeared, and he became overpowered by the occasion. Vasudeva very humbly wondered that although he was an ordinary living entity conditioned by material nature and was externally imprisoned by Kansa, the all-pervading Personality of Godhead, Vishnu, or Krishna, was appearing as a child in his home, exactly in His original position. No earthly child is born with four hands, decorated with ornaments and nice clothing, fully equipped with all the signs of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Over and over again Vasudeva glanced at his child, and he considered how to celebrate this auspicious moment: “Generally, when a male child is born,” he thought, “people observe the occasion with jubilant celebrations, and in my home, although I am imprisoned, the Supreme Personality of Godhead has taken birth. How many millions and millions of times should I be prepared to observe this auspicious ceremony!”
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 Yashoda. She was Yogmaya, the internal potency of the Lord.
When Vasudeva was carrying Krishna, the darkness of the night disappeared. All the prison doors automatically opened. At the same time there was thunder in the sky and severe rainfall. While Vasudeva was carrying his son Krishna in the falling rain, Lord Shesha in the shape of a serpent spread His hood over the head of Vasudeva so that he would not be hampered by the rainfall. Vasudeva came onto the bank of the Yamuna and saw that the water of the Yamuna was roaring with waves and that the whole span was full of foam. Still, in that furious feature, the river gave passage to Vasudeva to cross, just as the great Indian Ocean gave a path to Lord Rama when He was bridging over the gulf. In this way Vasudeva crossed the river Yamuna. On the other side, he went to the place of Nanda Maharaj, situated in Gokula, where he saw that all the cowherd men were fast asleep. He took the opportunity to silently enter the house of Yashoda, and without difficulty he exchanged his son for the baby girl newly born there. Then, after entering the house very silently and exchanging the boy for the girl, he returned to the prison of Kansa and silently put the girl on the lap of Devakī. He again clamped the shackles on himself so that Kansa could not recognize that so many things had happened.
Mother Yashoda understood that a child had been born to her, but because she was very tired from the labor of childbirth, she fell fast asleep. When she awoke, she could not remember whether she had given birth to a male or a female child.