Kamsa in his previous birth was an Asura called Kalanemi. In Swayambhuva Manvantara, Marichi and his wife Urna had six sons. They once made fun of Brahma saying that he had married his own daughter Saraswati. Brahma cursed them. They had to take birth as the sons of Kalanemi on earth. They again took birth as the six sons of Hiranyakashipu and led a noble life. This pleased Brahma and they asked for a boon from him that they should not be killed by anyone. When Hiranyakashipu came to know about this, he cursed them to go to Pathala and live there. They asked for relief. Hiranyakashipu said that after spending a long time in Pathala, they will take birth as six sons of Vasudeva, and Devaki. Their father from the previous birth Kalanemi would take birth as their uncle Kamsa and he would smash them on the ground and kill them as soon as they were born. This would give them relief from the curse. According to Srimad Bhagavata, the queen of King Ugrasena (king of Mathura) was violated by a Gandharva called Dramila. Kamsa was born to her. She disliked the child and cursed her own son saying that he would be killed by a member of his own family. Narada told Kamsa about this. After that Kamsa developed animosity towards Ugrasena and Krishna.
Kamsa was the maternal uncle of Lord Krishna. He was very cruel and wicked. Lord Krishna's mother was Devaki. At the time of her wedding, an oracle was heard that her son would kill Kamsa, Kamsa imprisoned Devaki and her husband Vasudeva. He killed their first six sons. The seventh pregnancy was transplanted to Rohini the second wife of Vasudeva and was born as Balarama. The eighth child was Krishna. His father carried him to Gokula secretly and left him in the custody of Yashoda and Nandagopa. Kamsa came to know later that his slayer was still alive and was growing up in Gokula. He sent several Asuras to Gokula to take the life of Krishna but failed every time. In the meantime, Kamsa imprisoned his own father Ugrasena, and took over the rulership. He perpetrated atrocities upon the people of Mathura. Many prominent Yadavas fled to safety. Krishna had to release Mathura from the clutches of Kamsa. That's why the Lord killed him.
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