The birthday of Lord Krishna falls on the Ashtami of Krishna Paksh (the eighth day of the dark fortnight) in the month of Bhado (July-August of the English calendar), eight days after Raksha Bandhan. The exact year of Krishna's birthday has not been determined but is conjectured to be around 1400 B.C. when the Aryans got settled across the Indo-Gangetic plain.
It was on a dark and stormy night in the rainy season that Lord Krishna was born at midnight, in the prison of Kamsa, a despot, who was then the king of Mathura. He had imprisoned his father in order to become the king. His sister, Devaki, was married to a noble man Vasudeva. Kamsa one day heard a heavenly voice, saying, "Your days of tyranny will soon be over, you will be killed by the eighth child of Devaki."A frightened Kamsa immediately imprisoned Devaki and Vasudeva. He did not want to take any chance and killed each and every child of Devaki as soon as it was born. Thus he killed six of her children. When she conceived the seventh time, Lord Vishnu had the foetus removed from Devaki’s womb into Rohini’s (Vasudeva’s second wife) womb. Word spread that Devaki had aborted and Kamsa was happy. This child was born as Balarama. When it was time for the delivery of the eighth child, Kamsa increased the number of prison guards, kept strict vigilance and put Vasudeva in chains. But God planned otherwise.At midnight when the eighth child was born, the guards fell fast asleep and Vasudeva's chains fell off his hands and feet. Wasting no time, Vasudeva picked up the newborn baby and carrying it in a basket, started towards Gokul, a village of cowherds, located across the Yamuna river, where his friend Nanda lived with his wife Yashoda.
It was a very windy night with blinding rain. When Vasudeva reached the river bank of Yamuna, the river was in spate and Vasudeva was in a fix. Suddenly a miracle happened, the river parted and Vasudeva walked over the riverbed. Throughout the way Vasudeva and the baby were protected from rain by the hood of the great eternal snake, Vasuki. Finally, Vasudeva reached Nanda's house where he found Yashoda and her newborn baby girl in deep sleep. He had no time to think. He quickly exchanged the babies and returned to the prison with the infant girl, while the guards still slept.As soon as Vasudeva entered the prison cell, the door got locked behind him and he was chained again as if nothing happened in between. The guards woke up and heard the cry of the baby. Kamsa was immediately informed and he came running to kill the child. But to his utter surprise he found it to be a girl and not a boy, as he expected. Devaki begged for the newborn baby's life from her brother. The inhuman Kamsa did not pay attention to the appeal. As he was ready to kill the baby by smashing its head on a big boulder, the child slipped out of his hand and flew towards the sky. At that moment, a heavenly voice was heard, "Kamsa, the one who shall destroy you still lives. He is growing up in Gokul."Next morning, Nanda and his wife Yashoda discovered the boy, left by Vasudeva, lying in the crib. They were a little puzzled but did not want to fuss about it because they might lose the baby. The baby was of dark complexion, so he was named Krishna.
Krishna grew up in Yashoda's house until he reached his teens. He later challenged Kamsa and killed him. He then released his grandfather Ugrasena and reinstated him to his throne. He respected and loved his parents, Vasudeva and Devaki, and his adoptive parents, Nanda and Yashoda.
With all His superhuman qualities and achievements, Lord Krishna was ideal in all his human relationships - a darling son to his parents, an endearing friend and comrade, a devoted disciple, a loving husband and a trusted brother. The shadow of His greatness protects these bonds of the heart.