Shadgarbha - 6 brothers of ShriKrishna

Shadgarbha - 6 brothers of ShriKrishna

Shadgarbha - 6 brothers of ShriKrishna

Everyone knows the story of Shrikrishna's birth and the events in his parents' lives leading up to that. Kamsa out of fear for his life at the hands of the eighth son of Devaki decided kill all of them at childbirth.

Chapter 2 of Vishnu Parva of Shri Harivamsha Purana tells the backstory of the first 6 sons of Devaki and Vasudev, who were killed by Kamsa. This post is about them.


Kamsa ordered the ministers to be engaged in destroying the conception of Devaki. "Starting with the first, all the conceptions shall be destroyed as they are born. Where there is an apprehension about a danger, it should be destroyed at the root. Let Devaki move freely in the house, guarded by my men in disguise. When she becomes pregnant, she should be placed under guard. My women will track her pregnancy and we will do the needful at the time of delivery. Servants desiring my benefit shall guard Vasudeva in the women's quarters throughout day and night. Only such human efforts are possible by humans. But a powerful man like me can thwart the course of fate by certain means. Listen. With the chanting of mantra-s, appropriate use of medicines and using suitable tactics, fate can be made favourable."

Thus Kamsa began to make efforts to destroy Devaki's conception. He had understood everything from Narada. Frightened, he began to make plans for his protection.

Hearing about the efforts of Kamsa which will bring disaster, the invincible, valiant Bhagwan Vishnu contemplated as follows: "Kamsa will definitely kill the seven conceptions of Devaki. I should install myself as her eighth conception."

While thinking like this, Bhagwan Vishnu's mind was suddenly drawn to Patala, where danavas named Shadgarbha were undergoing austerities lying in water. These danavas who had powerful bodies, were bright like devas who drink amrita. They displayed vigour like devas in battle. They were sons of Kalanemi.

Long ago, these daityas abandoned their grandfather Hiranyakashipu and started worshipping the grandfather of the world (Brahmadev). Wearing matted hair on their heads, they performed severe penance. Brahmadev, pleased with Shadgarbha gave them boons. "O danava heroes! I am highly pleased with your penance. Tell me your desires. I shall do accordingly." said the grandfather of the world.
All those like-minded daityas, told Brahmadev: "Bhagwan! If you are pleased, kindly grant us this boon. We shall not be killed by devas or great Serpents. Even the great Sages, who are capable of striking with curses, shall wish us well. Let us not be killed by yakshas, gandharvas, siddhas, charanas and men as well." Then
Brahmadev said with a well-pleased mind: "What is said by you, all will be fulfilled."
After granting the boon to Shadgarbha, the self-born Brahma returned to his heavenly abode.
Then Hiranyakashipu angrily spoke these words: "Abandoning me, you have received boons from Brahma. Hence you have rejected my affection. I am rejecting you, who have become my enemies. The same father who called you Shadgarbha and brought you up, will kill all of you when you are conceived. All six of you, great asuras Shadgarbha will become Devaki's conceptions. Then Kamsa, (incarnation of your father Kalanemi) will kill you at conception."
As soon as Bhagwan Vishnu remembered these asuras Shadgarbha, he went to Patala, where they were undergoing austerities lying in water. Narayan saw the Shadgarbha sleeping in water influenced by the Goddess of sleep. Bhagwan Vishnu entered their bodies in the form of dream, forcibly took away their souls and handed them to the Goddess of sleep (Nidra).
Then the truly valiant Vishnu said: Nidra! By my instruction, go to Devaki's residence. Take these souls of Shadgarbha, the best of danavas. Implant them in the womb of Devaki in sequence. When they are born from womb and taken to the world of Yama (death) (killed by Kamsa), Kamsa's efforts will be fruitless and Devaki's endeavour will be fruitful."
We all know what happened after that. Seventh conception of Devaki was transferred to Rohini's womb by Nidra devi and Kamsa thought she had a miscarriage. Eighth conception was Narayana himself in the form of Shrikrishna.
Contributed by Gaurav Tiwari