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THE HISTORY OF KRISHNA MARRYING RUKMINI

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The story of Krishna’s marriage with Rukmini is described as follows. The King of Vidarbha, Maharaja Bhishmaka, was very qualified and devoted. He had five sons and only one daughter. Rukmini was beautiful and chaste and was meant to be married to Lord Krishna. Many saintly persons and sages like Narada Muni used to visit the palace of King Bhishmaka. Naturally Rukmini had a chance to talk with them, and in this way she obtained information about Krishna. All of the relatives of King Bhishmaka decided that Rukmini should be given in marriage to Krishna. But her elder brother Rukmi, despite the desire of the others, arranged for her marriage with Shishupala, a determined enemy of Krishna. When Rukmini heard of the settlement, she immediately became very morose. After some deliberation, she decided to send a message to Krishna, and so that she might not be deceived, she selected a qualified brahmana as her messenger.
Reaching the gate of Dwaraka, the brahmana informed the doorkeeper of his arrival, and the doorkeeper led him to the place where Krishna was sitting on a golden throne. He got out the letter Rukmini had written to Krishna and said, “These are the words of Princess Rukmini: ‘My dear Krishna, I have heard of your transcendental qualities. I may be shameless in expressing myself directly, but You have captivated me and taken my heart. You may doubt my steadiness of character, since how could an unmarried young girl like me approach you without any shame? But my dear Mukunda. My dear Lord, I have selected Your Lordship as my husband, and I therefore request you to please come here and catch hold of my hand so that I shall not be touched by Shishupala and his company.’ After relaying Rukmini-devi’s statement to Krishna, the brahmana said, “My dear Krishna, chief of the Yadu dynasty, I have brought this confidential message for You from Rukmini; now it is placed before You for Your consideration. After due deliberation, You may act as You please, but if You want to do something, You must do it immediately. There is not much time left for action.”
After hearing Rukmini’s statement, Lord Krishna was very much pleased. He immediately shook hands with the brahmana and said, “My dear brahmana, I am very glad to hear that Rukmini is eager to marry Me, since I am also eager to get her hand. I can understand that the marriage of Rukmini with Shishuipala has been arranged by her elder brother in a spirit of animosity toward me; so I am determined to give a good lesson to all of these princes.
It was an open secret that Rukmini was meant to be married to Krishna but that her elder brother Rukmi had arranged her marriage to Shishuipala. There was also some whispering about a rumor that Rukmini had sent a messenger to Krishna; therefore the soldiers suspected that Krishna might cause a disturbance by attempting to kidnap Rukmini. Meanwhile, inside the palace, Rukmini was thinking, “There is only one night between today and my marriage day, and still neither the brahmana nor Shyamasundara has returned. I cannot ascertain any reason for this.” Having little hope, she thought that perhaps Krishna had found reason to become dissatisfied and had rejected her fair proposal. As a result, the brahmana might have become disappointed and not come back. Although she was thinking of various causes for the delay, she expected them both at any moment. Not expressing her mind to anyone, she simply shed tears, unobserved by others, and when her tears became more forceful, she closed her eyes in helplessness.
Just then, Rukmini, full of anxiety, saw the brahmana messenger. When Rukmini saw the brahmana, she could understand the auspicious trembling of her body and immediately became elated. She smiled and inquired whether Krishna had already come. The brahmana replied that the son of the Yadu dynasty, Sri Krishna, has arrived; he further encouraged her by saying that Krishna had promised to carry her away without fail.
On that day the people of Kundiina assembled before Krishna, they were very much pleased, considering Lord Krishna the suitable match for Rukmini. In the meantime, Rukmini, being very nicely dressed and protected by bodyguards, came out of the palace to visit the temple of Ambika, goddess Durga.
As Rukmini proceeded toward the temple, she was silent and grave. Her mother and her girlfriends were by her side, and the wife of a brahmana was in the center; surrounding her were royal bodyguards. Rukmini caught hold of the hand of one of her girlfriends in her own hand, which was decorated with a jewelled ring, and left the temple in the company of the others.
All the princes and visitors who came to Kundiina for the marriage had assembled outside the temple to see Rukmini. Krishna, unconcerned with the other princes, immediately took the opportunity to place Rukmini on His chariot, marked by a flag bearing an image of Garuda. He then proceeded slowly, without fear, taking Rukmini away exactly as a lion takes a deer from the midst of jackals. Meanwhile, Balarama appeared on the scene with the soldiers of the Yadu dynasty.
Jarasandha, who had many times experienced defeat by Krishna, roared, “How is this? Krishna is taking Rukmini away from us without opposition! What is the use of our being chivalrous fighters with arrows? My dear princes, just look! We are losing our reputation. He is just like a jackal taking booty from a lion.”
Jarasandha and all the other princes were very angry at Krishna for having kidnapped Rukmini. Picking up their bows and arrows, they began to chase Krishna on their chariots, horses and elephants. To check their progress, the soldiers of the Yadu dynasty turned and faced them. Rukmini, seated by the side of Krishna, saw arrows raining from the opposing party onto the faces of the Yadu soldiers. In a fearful attitude, she looked upon Krishna’s face, expressing her gratefulness that He had taken such a great risk for her sake only. Her eyes moving, she appeared sorry, and Krishna, who could immediately understand her mind, encouraged her with these words: “My dear Rukmini, don’t worry. Please rest assured that the soldiers of the Yadu dynasty will kill all the opposing soldiers without delay.”
As Krishna was speaking with Rukmini, the commanders of the Yadu dynasty’s soldiers, headed by Lord Balarama, who is also known as Saìkarñaëa, as well as by Gada, not tolerating the defiant attitude of the opposing soldiers, began to strike their horses, elephants and chariots with arrows.
When the enemy, headed by Jarasandha, found that they were gradually being defeated by the soldiers of Krishna, they thought it unwise to risk losing their armies in the battle for the sake of Shishupala. Shishupala himself should have fought to rescue Rukmini from the hands of Krishna, but when the soldiers saw that Shishupala was not competent to fight with Krishna, they decided not to lose their armies unnecessarily; therefore they ceased fighting and dispersed.
The whole catastrophe of the defeat was due to the envious nature of Rukmini’s elder brother Rukmi. Having seen his sister forcibly taken away by Krishna after he had planned to marry her to Shishupala, Rukmi was frustrated. So after Shishupala, his friend and intended brother-in-law, returned home, Rukmi, very much agitated, was determined to teach Krishna a lesson personally. He equipped with this military strength began to follow Krishna to Dvaraka. To show his prestige, Rukmi promised all the returning kings, “You could not help Shishupala marry my sister, Rukmini, but I cannot allow Rukmini to be taken away by Krishna. I shall teach Him a lesson. Now I am going to follow Him.”
Lord Krishna immediately shot an arrow and severed the string of Rukmi’s bow, making him unable to use another arrow. Being repeatedly baffled in his attempts, Rukmi took his sword and ran swiftly toward Krishna, just as a fly proceeds toward a fire. But as soon as Rukmi reached Krishna, Krishna cut his weapon to pieces. This time Krishna took out His sharp sword and was about to kill him immediately, but Rukmi’s sister, Rukmini, understanding that this time Krishna would not excuse her brother, fell down at Krishna’s lotus feet and in a very grievous tone, trembling with great fear, began to plead with her husband.
Rukmini pleaded to her husband not to kill her brother just at the auspicious time of her being united with Krishna, but to excuse him. Lord Krishna immediately became compassionate and agreed not to kill the foolish Rukmi. But, at the same time, He wanted to give him some light punishment, so He tied him up with a piece of cloth and snipped at his moustache, beard and hair, keeping some spots here and there.
While Krishna was dealing with Rukmi in this way, the soldiers of the Yadu dynasty, commanded by Balarama Himself, broke the whole strength of Rukmi’s army just as an elephant in a pond discards the feeble stem of a lotus flower. In other words, as an elephant breaks the whole construction of a lotus flower while bathing in a reservoir of water, the military strength of the Yadus broke up Rukmi’s forces. After defeating all the opposing elements and forcibly carrying away Rukmini, Krishna brought her to His capital city, Dvaraka, and then married her according to the Vedic ritualistic principles. After this marriage, Krishna became the King of the Yadus at Dvaraka.
The story of Rukmini’s is being kidnapped by Krishna was poeticized, and professional readers recited it everywhere. All the assembled kings and their daughters especially were struck with wonder and very much pleased upon hearing the chivalrous activities of Krishna. In this way, all the visitors as well as the inhabitants of Dvaraka City were joyful to see Krishna and Rukmini together.

Ref >> Srila Prabhupada Vani.

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