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Kansa (कंस), also Kamsa, was the tyrant ruler of the Vrishni kingdom with its capital at Mathura. He is the cousin of Devaki, the mother of the god Krishna—who slew Kamsa. His royal house was called Bhoja, and another of his names was Bhojapati.[1]

His family

Kamsa was born to King Ugrasena and Queen Padmavati. However, out of ambition and upon the advice of his personal confidantes, Banasura and Narakasura, Kamsa decided to overthrow his father and install himself as the King of Mathura. Therefore, upon the guidance of another advisor, Chanur, Kamsa decided to marry Asti and Prapti, the daughters of Jarasandha, King of Magadha.[2]

Mention by Panini

Kamsa (कंस) is mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [3]

Kansa (कंस) is mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi under Takshashiladi (तक्षशिलादि) (4.3.93) group.[4]

In Mahabharata

Udyoga Parva/Mahabharata Book V Chapter 128 mentions deeds of Krishna. Kansa is mentioned in verse (V.128.46)[5]...He hath also slain Aristha, and Dhenuka and Chanura of great strength, and Aswaraja, and Kansa, the doer of evil.

Annexation of kingdom

During his wedding in Mathura, Jarasandha brought over his army to escort the Princesses Asti and Prapti. Using the army of Magadha as his political cover, Kamsa overthrew his father after he refused to voluntarily retire from his position. This was done within the confines of the royal palace and the public was not informed. After Ugrasena failed to show up for public events, Kamsa announced his coronation.[6]

Krishna killed Kansa

After a heavenly voice prophesied that Devaki's eighth son will slay him, he imprisoned Devaki and her husband Vasudeva. Hearing that, he wanted to kill Devaki, but Vasudeva managed to save her life by promising Kamsa that he (Vasudeva) himself will deliver Devaki's all their children to Kamsa. Kamsa accepted that promise and spared Devaki because she herself was not a threat to him. In the confines of the prison, Devaki repeatedly conceived and cruel Kamsa murdered the first six children.[7]

The seventh child, Balarama, was saved when he was moved to Rohini's womb. The eighth child born to Devaki and Vasudeva was Krishna. Krishna was transported to Gokul, saved from Kamsa's wrath and raised by Vasudeva's relative Nanda and Yasoda, a cowherd couple.[8]

Kamsa sent a host of demons to kill the child Krishna, all of whom Krishna killed. Finally, Krishna arrived in Mathura and slew his uncle Kamsa.[9]


Hence Kamsa was eventually killed by Krishna, as was originally predicted by the divine prophecy, and Ugrasena reinstated as King of Mathura.[10]


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[11] ने लेख किया है ...असितांजन (AS, p.53) घटजातक (कॉवेल सं. 454) में वर्णित एक नगर जिसकी स्थिति उत्तरापथ में मानी गई है। असितांजन को कंस (वासुदेव कृष्ण का शत्रु) की राजधानी माना गया है। कृष्ण ने कंस को मारकर असितांजन पर अधिकार कर लिया था। इसे उत्तर-मधुरा मथुरा से भिन्न माना गया है। असितांजन नामक नगर का अस्तित्व वास्तविक जान पड़ता है।


  1. Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam, ed. India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 78.
  2. F. S. Growse. Mathura-Brindaban-The Mystical Land Of Lord Krishna. Diamond Pocket Books (P) Ltd. p. 70. ISBN 9788171824434.
  3. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.144, 249, 253
  4. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.511
  5. अरिष्टॊ धेनुकश चैव चाणूरश च महाबलः, अश्वराजश च निहतः कंसश चारिष्टम आचरन (V.128.46)
  6. James Talboys Wheeler (2010). The History of India from the Earliest Ages: Hindú, Buddhist, and Brahmanical revival. N. Trübner & Company. p. 377.
  7. Alo Shome, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya (2011). Krishna Charitra. V&S Publishers. p. 33. ISBN 9789381384879.
  8. Alo Shome, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya (2011). Krishna Charitra. V&S Publishers. p. 48. ISBN 9789381384879.
  9. B. K. Chaturvedi. Shrimad Bhagwat Purana. Diamond Pocket Books (P) Ltd. pp. 85–86. ISBN 9788171828319.
  10. Alo Shome, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya (2011). Krishna Charitra. V&S Publishers. p. 52. ISBN 9789381384879.
  11. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.53