Goddess Durga is the One who removes obstacles, and helps us overcome difficulties and find solutions to our problems, said Sengalipuram Rama Dikshitar, in a discourse.

Devaki was Kamsa’s sister, and when she married Vasudeva, Kamsa himself took the couple in a chariot around the streets of the city. But even as the chariot was going around, a voice was heard, which said the eighth child of Vasudeva and Devaki would kill Kamsa. Afraid of losing his life, Kamsa decided to kill Devaki, but Vasudeva begged that her life be spared. Instead, Kamsa could kill their children.

Kamsa agreed, and as each child of Devaki’s was born, he would kill it. Devaki was unable to bear the loss of one child after another, and cried to the family preceptor — Garga. He advised her to pray to Goddess Durga. Devaki requested the sage to conduct pujas to the Goddess on her behalf.

The sage went to the foothills of the Vindhya mountains, and prayed to the Goddess. At the end of it, Durga appeared before the sage and said that Lord Narayana would be born as Krishna, and that He would slay Kamsa. She Herself would appear as the daughter of Yasoda. On the night of the birth of Krishna, Vasudeva would have to take Him to Yasoda, and bring Durga away from Yasoda. Kamsa would be unable to harm Durga, who would evade him. Krishna could not be harmed by Kamsa, and He would eventually kill Kamsa.

Events happened just as Durga had said they would, and Yasoda’s girl child, who was none other than Durga Herself, eluded Kamsa’s grasp and vanished into the sky, but not before warning Kamsa that his killer was alive and well.

When Krishna was accused later on as being responsible for the loss of the Syamantaka gem, the Lord went to the forest in search of it. He did not return for a long time, and His parents were worried. Sage Narada visits them and said that they should pray to Durga, who would rid them of anxieties.

Vasudeva then recalled how Sage Garga had prayed on behalf of himself and Devaki, and how Durga had warned Kamsa. Praying to Durga thus gives us courage, and helps us deal with our worries.

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