Rukmini (or Rukmani) is the principal wife and queen of the Hindu God Krishna, the king of Dwaraka. Krishna heroically kidnapped her and eloped with her to prevent an unwanted marriage at her request and saved her from an evil Shishupal (described in the Bhagavata Purana). Rukmini is the first and most prominent queen of Krishna. Rukmini is also considered an avatar of Lakshmi, the Goddess of fortune.
- Rukmini was the daughter of Bhīshmaka, the Vidarbha king. Having heard unstinting praises of Krishna, then ruling over Dvaraka, from several visiting sages and others, Rukmini had decided that she would marry Krishna only. As her elder brother was not favourably disposed towards Krishna, she was betrothed to Shushupala, the Chedi king and the date of the marriage was also close at hand. Rukmini got perturbed and sent a message to Krishna through a dependable Brahmana, requesting him to come and take her away by force.
Rukmini's Message (abridged version):
"O Lord of unparalleled beauty in all the three worlds! From the time I first heard of Your excellence, I had fallen for You and Your glories, entering through my ears, have been cooling down my body which was yearning for You. The only benefit in having eyes is to be able to see Your form. I am yours and please do not allow Shishupala or to hers to claim me. May all the vows observed and the worship done to the Lord, the Guru and others resulting in granting this desire of mine. Before I am married to Shishupala tomorrow, please come incognito along with Your army chiefs and carry me away by force. You are the one the dust of whose holy feet is desired by even Lord Shiva for destroying his Tamoguna. Now that I have known about you, if I do not get your Grace in this birth, I shall die pining for You with my body starved by rigorous discipline birth after birth till You relent and accept me.
- Rukmini wrote what is claimed to be the world's first love letter to Krishna, revealing her affection for him.
- Anjali H. Desai in: India Guide Gujarat, India Guide Publications, 2006, p. 58.
- Complete text of the letter.
O the infallible and the most handsome One! Having heard Your qualities, which enter through the path of ears and absolve away the pains of life and having heard about Your handsome appearance, which is the only asset of the eyes of living beings with eyes, my heart is accepting You as a consort leaving behind shyness.||1||
O Mukunda, the lion (best) among men! Given a chance, which composed girl from a good lineage will not wish for You as a consort; You, Who is the happiness of the minds of people, Who is the happiness of the world and Who is incomparable from any viewpoint — be it lineage, nature, beauty, knowledge, energy, wealth or abode.||2||
Therefore, O Lord! I have indeed accepted You as a consort and I have submitted myself to You. O lotus-eyed Krishna! Please arrive here [and accept me]; so that the prince of Chedi (Shishupala) does not takes away the property of brave You — just like a jackal should not take away the prey of a [[w:LIon|lion.||3||
If I have revered the all pervading Paramatman by social welfare (digging wells), oblations, obeying rules, penance and serving demi-gods, saints, and preceptor, then O Gadagraja (Krishna)! You accept me after holding my hand — instead of anyone else like the son of Damaghosa (Sisupala).||4||
O Lord, Who is unconquered! Arrive secretly in Vidarbha one day before my marriage. Then after defeating all the army-commanders from the regions of Cedi and Magadha (Sisupala and Jarasandha), marry me with the ways of demons by showing Your valor and conquering power.||5||
If You are wondering that how will you conquer me without killing the women and relatives inside my palace, then I am telling You a way out. As per an old tradition, there is a grand fair before the marriage, during which the bride goes out to the temple of Girija for prayers.||6||
O lotus-eyed Krishna! If I don’t achieve the dust of Your feet, which is sought after by incomparable Ones like Umapati (Shiva), then I will destroy my life. If the service of Your feet is not achieved in this life, then I will take hundreds of birth and do penance; I am sure I will achieve Your lotus feet some day.||7||
- As told in the Krishna Story; the eight brides [of Krishna] appear in the story in this sequence: 1) Rukmini; 2) Satyabhama and 3) Jambavati—their marriages are entwined due to a wondrous jewel derived from Surya the Sun, Kalindi, Mitravinda, 6) Satya or Nagnajiti, 7) Bhadra, and 8)Lakshmana (Krishna's wife)|Lakshmana]]. This ranking consists of three sets of wives corresponding to the constituents of Krishna’s sovereign rule from Dwarka. The first set of wives signifies Krishna's majestic status: Rukmini signifies his majesty Sri, Satyabhama represents his realm (bhumi), and intertwined with her is Jambavati,who signifies his victory.
- D. Dennis Hudson in: The Body of God : An Emperor's Palace for Krishna in Eighth-Century Kanchipuram: An Emperor's Palace for Krishna in Eighth-Century Kanchipuram, Oxford University Press, 27 August 2008, p. 264.
- And sixteen thousand portions of those goddesses became, O king, in this world of men, the wives of Vasudeva. And a portion of Sri herself became incarnate on earth, for the gratification of Narayana, in the line of Bhishmaka. And she was by name the chaste Rukmini.
- Sacred Hindu lore abounds with tales of Satyabhama showing off her wealth to spite Krishna's other wife, Rukmini, who was extremely poor; she had eloped with Krishna with no gifts from her father's house.
- Devdutt Pattanaik in: The Goddess in India: The Five Faces of the Eternal Feminine, Inner Traditions / Bear & Co, 1 September 2000, p. 26.
- Narada once came to Krishna's palace for alms. Krishna's queens offered him anything he wished. "I want Krishna," he said. Horrified by this request, Krishna's eight wives asked Narada to ask for anything else but Krishna. "Give me something else worth Krishna in weight. So the queens made Krishna sit on one pan of a balance and wondered what they could put on the other pan that was as heavy as Krishna. Some queens brought fruits, others brought books — but nothing seemed to balance Krishna's weight. Satyabhama ordered her servants to bring all her jewelry. Even that could not balance Krishna's weight. Finally, Rukmini placed on the pan a sprig of the w:Ocimum tenuiflorumtulsi plant, saying, "This symbolizes my love for Krishna." Instantly, the balance tilted in Rukmini s favor. Her love was worth much more than Satyabhama's gold.
- Devdutt Pattanaik in: "The Goddess in India: The Five Faces of the Eternal Feminine", p. 26-27.
- Bhu and Shri are considered earthly and heavenly manifestations of Laxmi, goddess of wealth and fortune. When Vishnu descended upon the earth in the form of Krishna, they joined him as Rukmini and Satyabhama and their quarrels continued.
- Devdutt Pattanaik in: "The Goddess in India: The Five Faces of the Eternal Feminine", p. 36.
- The 2,500-year-old Rukmini temple stands alone on a barren land two kilometers outside the town of Dwarka. The reason for this distance is said to be a curse by the infamous Durvasa rishi. The story syas: While pulling Durvasa’s chariot, Rukmini got so thirsty that she drank water without offering it to her guest, Durvasa. This angered him and he cursed Rukmini to be separated from her beloved husband. Some locals also believe that it was on Krishna's behest that Durvasa had cursed Rukmini (Krishna had wanted to punish Rukmini for her arrogance).
- Every one of her forms is specifically female – most distinctly as Radha, Sita and Rukmini who are consorts of various forms of Vishnu. She is prithvi the divine feminine embodied as mother earth... the gods proclaim: You exist as little girls in their childhood, As young women in their youth, And as elderly women in their old age.
- Constantina Rhodes in: Invoking Lakshmi: The Goddess of Wealth in Song and Ceremony, SUNY Press, 29 September 2010In: p. 26.
- That steadfast Kama, begotten of Vasudeva [Krishna] in Rukmini, that one who was known as the destroyer of Sambara, was the handsome Pradyumna who looked like Kama.
- Catherine Benton in: God of Desire: Tales of Kamadeva in Sanskrit Story Literature, SUNY Press, 1 June 2006In: p. 67.
Puranic Encyclopedia : A comprehensive dictionary with special reference to the epic and Puranic Literature
Vettam Mani in:Puranic encyclopaedia : a comprehensive dictionary with special reference to the epic and Puranic literature, Motilal Banarsidass, p. 657.
- When Vishnu took birth as Shri Krishna, she was Rukmini.
- It was in the kingdom of Vidarbha that Lakshmi Devi took birth as Rukmini during the incarnation of Shri Krishna. To Bhismaka, the King of Vidarbha, five sons beginning with Rukmi, were born. The sixth was a daughter who was named Rukmini. She grew up into a beautiful damsel.
- In: Bhagavata
- Rukmini fell in love with Shri Krishna. Her parents agreed to her choice. But her brother Rukmi was an enemy of Sri Krisna. Rukmi desired to give his sister to Shishupala. The date of the marriage was fixed and the heart was burning within Rukmini. She sent a Brahmin as messenger to Krishna.
- The time of marriage drew near. The kings of Ahga, Kalinga, Malava, Kekaya, Vanga, Magadha, Kosala, Salva, Cola, Pandya, Kerala and so on took their seats in the nuptial hall. Sri Krisna and Balabhadra came with their army. The army under the leadership of Balabhadra remained behind and Shri Krishna went alone to the nuptial hall. While preparations were being made to give Rukmini to Shishupala, Shri Krishna took her in his chariot and quickly left the place. All the other kings who ran after Sri Krisna to fight had to confront with the mighty army of Balabhadra, who defeated the kings and returned to Dwaraka.
- In: Bhagavata
- Ten sons were born to Sri Krisna by Rukmini. They were Pradyumna, Charudesna, Sudesna, Charudeha, Sucharu, Charugupta, Bhadracharu, Charuchandra, Charubhadra and Charu.
- In: Bhagavata
- After the death of Shri Krishna, Arjuna visited Dvaraka. Seeing the dilapidated city without rulers and the women without husbands, he cried aloud. Rukmini Devi ran to him and consoled him and seated him on a golden chair.
- In: Mahabharata, Mausala Parva, Chapter 5, Stanza 12.
- After the death of Shri Krishna, Rukmini prayed to god Vishnu to take her as she was incrimination of Goddess Lakshmi.
- Vishwakarma built a palace for Shri Krishna at the instance of Indra. The highest dome of it is covered with gold. So this dome dazzled as the peak of Mahameru. It was this dome that was set apart for his beloved wife Rukmini by Sri Krishna.
- In the Mahabharata, Daksinatya Patha, Sabha Parva,
- She was the dearest of lord Krishna
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Srimad Bhagavatam
Srimad Bhagavatam in: Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Srimad Bhagavatam, Vedabase
- Just as Rukmini's mind is fixed on Me, My mind is fixed on her. I can't even sleep at night. I know that Rukmi, out of envy, has forbidden our marriage. She has dedicated herself exclusively to me and her beauty is flawless. I will bring her here after thrashing those worthless kings in battle, just as one brings a blazing flame out of firewood.
- King Bhishmaka, the master of Kundina, having succumbed to the sway of affection for his son, was about to give his daughter to Sisupala. The King saw to all the required preparations. Maharaja Bhishmaka worshiped the forefathers, demigods and brahmanas, feeding them all properly. Then He had the traditional mantras chanted for the well-being of the bride. The bride [Rukmini] cleaned her teeth and bathed, after which she put on the auspicious wedding necklace. Then she was dressed in brand-new upper and lower garments and adorned with most excellent jeweled ornaments.
- Raja Damaghosha, lord of Chedi, had also engaged brahmanas expert in chanting mantras to perform all rituals necessary to assure his son's prosperity.
- Bhishmaka, the lord of Vidarbha, came out of the city and met King Damaghosha, offering him tokens of respect. Bhishmaka then settled Damaghosha in a residence especially constructed for the occasion.
- Shishupala's supporters -- Salva, Jarasandha, Dantavakra and Viduratha - all came, along with Paundraka and thousands of other kings.
- If Krishna comes here with Balarama and the other Yadus to steal the bride, we shall band together and fight Him.
- Shishupala's supporters went to the wedding with their entire armies and a full complement of military conveyances.
- When Lord Balarama heard about these preparations of the inimical kings and how Lord Krishna had set off alone to steal the bride, he feared that a fight would ensue. Immersed in affection for His brother, He hurried to Kundina with a mighty army consisting of infantry and of soldiers riding on elephants, horses and chariots.
- Alas, my wedding is to take place when the night ends! How unlucky I am! Lotus-eyed Krishna does not come. I don't know why. And even the brahmana messenger has not yet returned. Perhaps the faultless Lord, even while preparing to come here, saw something contemptible in me and therefore has not come to take my hand. I am extremely unfortunate, for the creator is not favorably disposed toward me, nor is the great Lord Siva. Or perhaps Siva's wife, w:DevIDevi, who is known as Gauri, Rudrani, Girija and Sati, has turned against me.
- Rukmini, whose mind had been stolen by Krishna, out of anxiety, awaiting the arrival of Krishna, closed her tear-filled eyes, remembering that there was still time.
- As the bride thus awaited the arrival of Govinda, she felt a twitch in her left thigh, arm and eye. This was a sign that something desirable would happen.
- ...brahmana, following Krishna's order, came to see the divine Princess Rukmini within the inner chambers of the palace. Noting the brahmana's joyful face and serene movements, saintly Rukmini, who could expertly interpret such symptoms, inquired from him with a pure smile. The brahmana announced to her the arrival of Lord Yadunandana and relayed the Lord's promise to marry her.
- The King [Bhishmaka], upon hearing that Krishna and Balarama had come and were eager to witness his daughter's wedding, went forth with abundant offerings to greet Them as music resounded.
- Rukmini, and no one else, deserves to become His wife, and He also, possessing such flawless beauty, is the only suitable husband for Princess Bhaishmi.
- The people of the city.
- Rukmini appeared as enchanting as the Lord's illusory potency, who enchants even the sober and grave. Thus the kings gazed upon her virgin beauty her shapely waist, and her lovely face adorned with earrings. Her hips were graced with a jewel-studded belt, her breasts were just budding, and her eyes seemed apprehensive of her encroaching locks of hair. She smiled sweetly, her jasmine-bud teeth reflecting the glow of her bimba-red lips. As she walked with the motions of a royal swan, the effulgence of her tinkling ankle bells beautified her feet.
- On the pretext of the procession, Rukmini displayed her beauty for Krishna alone. Slowly she advanced the two moving lotus-whorls of her feet, awaiting the arrival of the Supreme Lord. With the fingernails of her left hand she pushed some strands of hair away from her face and shyly looked from the corners of her eyes at the kings standing before her. At that moment she saw Krishna. Then, while His enemies looked on, the Lord seized the princess, who was eager to mount His chariot.
- Lifting the princess onto His chariot, whose flag bore the emblem of Garuda, Lord Madhava drove back the circle of kings. With Balarama in the lead, He slowly exited, like a lion removing his prey from the midst of jackals.
Tales of Krishna from Mahabharatha
M. Padmanabhan, Meera Ravi Shankar in: Tales of Krishna from Mahabharatha, Sura Books, Aug 1, 2004
- Rukmini was a great beauty, and the daughter of the king of Vidarbha. She was also very clever. When she was of a marriageable age, her father king Bheeshmaka, summoned his ministers and asked them to suggest suitable alliances. They recommended Vasudeva’s son Krishna as suitable groom.
- In: p. 32-33.
- The king was convinced, when he heard of Krishna's achievements and valour. But Rukmi who was her brother refused.
- In: p. 33.
- I cannot give my sister in marriage to one who plays on the flute. He has no spate status. I had like her to marry Shishupala, the king of Cheddi
- Rukmi in: p. 33.
- The Councillors did not want to go against Rukmi. The father could also not refuse. As they could not argue against Rukmi, they all kept quiet. Rukmi sent a message to Sihshupala immediately. He also took care of the marriage arrangements. But, Rukmini was very sad as she had dreamt of Krishna as her husband. She started crying at her fate. Her friends tried to console her. Her mother asked her to pray to Krishna and surrender to his will. Then they heard a celestial voice: "Dear girl, don't worry! Send a good messenger to Dwaraka, Krishna will come and take you away in a chariot." Rukmini was pleased. She sent for a special messenger.
- In: P. 33.
- When the next day dawned, Shishupala arrived in his chariot with his friends. Jarasandha and Saluva accompanied him. Rukmi received them with open hands and was very thrilled.
- In: P. 33.
- The wedding arrangements continued. Rukmini was getting upset as the time for wedding approached. Her mother consoled her. She was decorated like a bride. She went with her friends to Durga's temple. Her mother went along with them.
- In: P. 33.
- As per the message, Krishna arrived there in his chariot. Rukmini’s mother handed her over to Krishna. Krishna and Rukmini left in his chariot. The news spread. Rukmi was furious. Jarasandha, Saluva, Sisupala and Dhandhavakra started fighting with Krishna. They wanted to kill him and take Rukmini back. Krishna won the battle and they were defeated disgracefully. He arrived at Dwarka with Rukmini. He married her amidst the joy of earth dwellers as well as celestials.
- In: P. 34.
- Krishna was seated with his wife Rukmini. Saint Narada visited him. Krishna greeted him with great warmth.
- In: P. 41.
- I've brought the Parijatha flower, from the celestial world, and I'd like to give it to you.
- Saint Narada to Krishna
- Krishna took it from him and handed over to Rukmini. She adorned her hair with it. Narada took leave of them and went directly to Satyabhama.
- Bama you seem to be thinking of Krishna always, but he seems to be more fond of Rukmini.
- Saint Narada to Satyabhama.
- I'd like to confirm this statement. I gave the Parijatha flower to Krishna and he gave it to no one but Rukmini. Do you understand that he loves Rukmini more? When she heard this, Bama got angry with Krishna. She was jealous of Rukmini.
Krishna-The God Who Lived As Man
Bhawana Somaaya in: Krishna-The God Who Lived As Man, Pustak Mahal, 1 January 2008
- After many nights of patient waiting, an exhausted Rukmini had in a comparatively happy moment asked her husband, “Lord, am I married to the king of Dwarka. Are you the same person to whom I wrote a love letter and surrendered my life to? Will you forever worry about others and never think about your wife? Have you ever pondered to think what I desire or what are my expectations of you...?
- In: p. 19.
- As she climbed the staircase, Draupadi recalled her first visit to the palace after Krishna married Rukmini. She remembered the elaborate welcome ceremony Rukmini had organized in her honour...Draupadi experienced a difference in fragrance to the customary ritual after she was welcomed by Rukmini in Dwarika...She was showered with flowers and pearls before she could step inside the gate.
- In: p. 149
- She [Draupadi] is my Vasudeva’s sakhi[friend].
- Rukmini was younger to Draupadi and much younger to Krishna. When she failed in her attempts to dissuade brother Rukmin from arranging her alliance with King Shishupal, she wrote a letter to Krishna carried over by a Brahmin called Suden. That letter from Rukmini entailed merely seven shlokas.