mocaye kṛpaṇām imām
sutā me yadi jāyeran
mṛtyur vā na mriyeta cet
gatir dhātur duratyayā
nivṛttaḥ punar āpatet
pradāya — promising to deliver; mṛtyave — unto Kaṁsa, who is death personified for Devakī; putrān — my sons; mocaye — I am releasing her from imminent danger; kṛpaṇām — innocent; imām — Devakī; sutāḥ — sons; me — my; yadi — whether; jāyeran — should take birth; mṛtyuḥ — Kaṁsa; vā — or; na — not; mriyeta — should die; cet — if; viparyayaḥ — just the opposite; vā — or; kim — whether; na — not; syāt — it may happen; gatiḥ — the movement; dhātuḥ — of providence; duratyayā — very difficult to understand; upasthitaḥ — that which is presently obtained; nivarteta — may stop; nivṛttaḥ — Devakī’s death being stopped; punaḥ āpatet — in the future it may happen again (but what can I do).
Vasudeva considered: By delivering all my sons to Kaṁsa, who is death personified, I shall save the life of Devakī. Perhaps Kaṁsa will die before my sons take birth, or, since he is already destined to die at the hands of my son, one of my sons may kill him. For the time being, let me promise to hand over my sons so that Kaṁsa will give up this immediate threat, and if in due course of time Kaṁsa dies, I shall have nothing to fear.
Vasudeva wanted to save the life of Devakī by promising to deliver his sons to Kaṁsa. “In the future,” he thought, “Kaṁsa may die, or I may not beget any sons. Even if a son is born and I deliver him to Kaṁsa, Kaṁsa may die at his hands, for by providence anything could happen. It is very difficult to understand how things are managed by providence.” Thus Vasudeva decided that he would promise to deliver his sons to the hands of Kaṁsa in order to save Devakī from the imminent danger of death.