Kansa Vadh marks the victory of good over evil. On this day Lord Krishna killed ‘Kansa’ and reinstated ‘King Ugrasena’ as the Ruler of Mathura. Kansa Vadh is observed on the tenth day of the ‘Shukla Paksha’ in the month of ‘Kartik.’ According to the Hindu scriptures, Kansa was an evil ruler of Mathura. Lord Vishnu in his Eighth avatar as ‘Krishna’ killed his maternal uncle Kansa and released his grandfather and parents from the prison. Kansa Vadh is a victory of ‘Dharma’ over ‘Adharma.' It celebrates the annihilation of evil and restoration goodness.
Significance and Legend:
Kansa Vadh holds religious significance for the followers of Lord Krishna. It commemorates the victory of goodness over evil. As per the Hindu legends, Kansa, the son of King Ugrasena and Queen Padmavati was an evil ruler of Mathura. Kansa wanted to become king. He decided to overthrow his father. He married to Princesses Asti and Prapti, daughters neighbouring King Jarasandha of Magadha province and used his army to overthrow his father. He carried out atrocities. He imprisoned his father, sister Devaki and her husband, Vasudev. Kansa was prophesied by sage Narada that Devaki’s eighth son would cause his death, he imprisoned his sister and killed all her children. However, Balaram and Lord Krishna survived and brought up by Nanda and Yashoda. When Kansa got to know that Krishna was Devaki’s eight children, he made many unsuccessful attempts to kill him by sending out demons like Putana, Kaliye, Bakasura, and Aghasura. He devised a plan to invite Lord Krishna and Balaram to Mathura as a representative of the people in Gokul and kill him off with a mad elephant. This plan failed too. He asked the demons, Canura, and Mustika to wrestle with Lord Krishna and Balaram and kill them during a fight. Lord Krishna and Balaram defeated them. Later, Lord Krishna killed King Kansa and released his parents from prison. King Ugrasen was restored his crown and people of Mathura were set free from the miseries. Since then, this day began to be celebrated as Kansa Vadh. This day is celebrated in Mathura, as it signifies the freedom from the oppressive rule of King Kansa and the presence of Lord Krishna on their soil.
Devotees worship Lord Krishna and Balram. Sweets and other delicacies are prepared and offered to the deities. An idol of Kansa is burnt by the followers of Lord Krishna. The ritual symbolizes that evil is short-lived and goodness and truth prevail. On the occasion of Kansa Vadh, a huge procession is carried out. Devotees recite the mantras. Kansa Vadh is celebrated with great enthusiasm. People apply colors and flowers on each other to express their bliss and happiness. The town of Mathura comes alive. Several cultural events such as drama, music, and dance are held at different places. Locals enjoy the Kansa Vadh Leela, a skit portraying the event.