Bhagavatam - Tenth Skandha , Chapter 53

Abduction of Rukmini

Hearing the message of the princess Vidarbha, taking the hands of the Brahman in his hand Krishna smiled and said this.


Abduction of Rukmini

Suka Deva continued.

Hearing the message of the Princess Vidarbha, taking the hands of the Brahman in his hand, Krishna with a smile said,” my mind is also fixed on her in the same way and I am not able to sleep in the nights. I know because of the hatred of Rukmi, my marriage with her has been forbidden. Defeating those unfit kings in a battle, I shall bring that beautiful girl who is so much in love with me, here to Dwaraka”.

Knowing the time fixed for Rukmini's marriage, Krishna ordered, his charioteer Daruka to get his chariot ready. Soon Daruka brought his chariot, yoked with the four horses, Sabya, Sugriva, Meghapushpa, and Valahaka, and stood before him. Along with the Brahman, Krishna ascended the chariot, and covered the distance from Anarta to Vidarbha in one night.

Very much under the control of his affection for his son Rukmi, the King Bhishmaka made all arrangements for the marriage of his daughter Rukmini with Sisupala, the King of Chedi. The city was made ready for the occasion, with colorful flags, banners, decorated arches flowers and other adornments. Having propitiated the Devas and the departed elders, and having been sumptuously fed according to the appropriate rites, the Brahmans read out the benedictions for the bride.

Rukmini, the bride of beautiful appearance, wearing bridal clothes, was formally anointed as a bride wearing the auspicious jewels. Brahmans chanted mantras from Rik, Yajur and Sama Vedas for the bride's protection. Others well versed in Adharvan Veda chanted mantras for the pacification of the controlling planets. The King presented gifts like gold silver clothes and cows to all Brahmans as prescribed in the scriptures.

Just like the bride's father, King Damaghosha the father of Sisupala the proposed Bride groom, also engaged Brahmans for doing the required sacred rites for the well being of his son. He left for Kundina the capital of King Bhismaka with an army of elephants , chariots , horses and foot soldiers . The King of Vidharbha went forward and received the King Damaghosha with full honors and settled them in a specially constructed place.

The Kings Salva, Jarasandha, Dantavakra, Viduratha, along with Paundraka and thousands of others came there . These Kings who are hateful towards Balaram and Krishna came there in order to secure the bride for the King of Chedi. They came determined that they will all fight together if indeed should Krishna comes to steal the bride. They came prepared with full armies. Hearing about the preparations of the inimical kings, and knowing that Lord Krishna has gone alone to take away the bride and fearing a fight Lord Balaram also set off with an army to help Krishna.

The daughter of Bhishmaka too was anxiously waiting since the Brahman messenger she sent has not come back by the appointed time. She thought, “The Lotus eyed Lord Krishna has not come and I do not know the reason. Even the Brahman messenger has not come. Perhaps the Lord seeing something to be censured, has not come to take my hand .Perhaps Lord Brahma is not favorably disposed with me. May be the Lord Siva too. Or perhaps the Goddess known as Gauri, Rudrani, Girija and Sati turned against me. Indeed it is all my misfortune. “. Thinking in this manner the young girl whose mind was stolen by Krishna closed her eyes brimming with tears knowing that there is very little time left.

O King! , as the bride was waiting for the arrival of Lord Govinda her left shoulder and left eye twitched foretelling the unfolding auspicious events. Then the Brahman messenger entered the inner palaces to see Rukmini as desired by Lord Krishna. Seeing the Brahman with joy filled face, Rukmini understood the message. The Brahman too announced the arrival and assurance of Krishna. Fully realizing that Krishna has arrived, Rukmini, not finding anything to reward simply bowed to the Brahman and touched his feet.

The King Bhshmaka too having heard that Krishna has arrived to witness the marriage went forward and received them with full honors. Presenting them with new garments, he received them as per established rituals and also arranged appropriate accommodation.

When the residents of Vidarbha heard that Lord Krishna has arrived, they all went to see him with folded hands, having heard his glories already. They said among themselves that Rukmini alone is fit to the wife of Krishna and nobody else. They said,” whatever pious work we have done, let the creator show mercy and ensure that Krishna takes the bridal hand of Rukmini “.

Then the bride, Rukmini protected by the guards left the inner palace and went to the temple of Ambika. Accompanied by her mother and her other girl friends Rukmini went out on foot to see the lotus feet of the Goddess as per custom. She was also thinking of the Lotus feet of her Lord Krishna. All the while auspicious instruments played music in the background, with singers singing songs accompanied by the boards and chroniclers and heralds. After reaching the temple Rukmini followed the tradition and prayed to the Goddess Ambika,” Oh Mother Ambika, I offer my obeisance to you. May Lord Krishna become my husband. Please grant me this wish”. The married Brahman women also offered prayers to the deity. Then giving their benediction they offered Rukmini the Prasadam, a part of the offerings made to the deity . Rukmini accepted the Prasadam with a bow of her head. Then she gave up the vow of silence and left the temple.

As she left the temple, she looked like the Maya of the Lord, a fault less beauty , whose waist was well formed , whose face is decorated with ear rings, on whose hips is placed a traditional jewel studded golden belt. Such was her beauty that she bewilders even those who are sober. Such was her beauty that the assembled kings left their arms and swooned in their chariots, elephants and horses.

Rukmini walking along looked through the corners of her eye for her beloved and in a moment she saw Krishna among the assembled kings. Then while the enemies looked on Krishna seized the princess who was as eager to mount his chariot. Lifting the princess on to his chariot, with Balaram in the lead, Krishna drove back the circle of Kings who wanted to obstruct Krishna carrying away Rukmini. And then Krishna made his way out.

The conceited enemies headed by Jarasandha could not tolerate their defeat which ruined their honor. Those Kings cried out,” condemnation on us the mighty archers. These cowherds stole our honor, just like small animals steal the honor of the Lions. “


The conceited enemies headed by Jarasandha could not tolerate their defeat ruining their honor, “ah condemnation on us the honor of the archers taken away by the cowherds like that of Lions by small animals