Lord Krishna was born in a prison where his Parents, Devaki and Vasudeva were captured and kept by Devaki’s evil brother Kamsa. Kamsa captured his sister and her husband in prison because of a prophecy, according to which Devaki’s eighth child would end the life of Kamsa. Due to the fear of his death, he put the pregnant Devaki and her husband in prison and murdered all children born through his sister’s womb.
He also planned to kill her eighth child, but through divine intervention, Vasudev was able to take the eighth child out of prison. When the child was born, the Prison chains of Vasudev unlocked by itself and the guards surrounding the city got into a hypnotic state of sleep. Vasudev then took the child and crossed the Yamuna river in the midnight hours, and went to Nanda and Yashoda’s kingdom Gokul, where Yashoda had just delivered an infant girl. Vasudev exchanged the two babies and went back to the prison with the girl child.
After successfully returning to the prison, the girl child carried by Vasudev began crying, which alerted other guards and they went and reported to Kamsa about the eighth baby’s birth. Kamsa went inside the prison, and though was initially doubtful seeing a girl child, as the prophecy stated that the eighth child of Devaki would be a Boy who would end his life. However, despite the requests from Devaki and Vasudev, Kamsa proceeded to kill the newborn child.
It was then that the child slipped out of his hands, and transformed into Goddess Durga and told Kamsa that his nemesis was already in a safe place and out of his reach and that he would grow up and kill him.
Krishna grew up under Nanda and Yashoda in Gokul and later killed Kamsa, subsequently being the charioteer and advisor to Arjuna during the Mahabharata. The discourse between Arjuna and Lord Krishna is what forms the narrative of the Holy book Bhagavad Gita.
The birth of Lord Krishna itself has a very integral meaning, which adds depth to the story of his life, and of his preachings. From a spiritual perspective, Lord Krishna is the embodiment of Bliss and pure form of happiness, which is free from any form of desire, expectations, and ego. Such a state of bliss can only be attained when a person detaches himself from the material desires of the world and attains self-realization.
When this form of pure consciousness appeared in the world through a body (Devaki), assisted by the life-force provided by her husband Vasudev, the form of bliss was subject to be exposed to the temptations and threats of the external world (Kamsa is a symbol of ego which is born out of material expectations and desires).
The prison where Vasudev (life-force) and Devaki (physical body) were trapped signify the limitations one has when attracted or forced towards Evil (Ego of Kamsa). However, when Krishna (Bliss, love, Pure Happiness) appeared, this prison created by Ego opened itself, and surrendered to the greatness of this emotion (Krishna) and opened new ways for Vasudev (Life-force) to escape the prison with baby Krishna.
This event was a symbolism of the fact that pure happiness without any desire or expectation (Krishna), in the body (Devaki), consisting of the life-force (Vasudev) which powers consciousness, can withstand any adversity (Kamsa) and open new ways and opportunities for a greater life (Krishna’s survival and his life, the discourse between him and Arjuna which led to the creation of Bhagavad Gita, the values of which are followed by millions of people today).