The Glories of Srimati Rukmini Devi

The Abduction of Rukmini

In Anuccheda 386 of Sri Priti-sandarbha, Vol. I, Srila Jiva Goswami describes pranaya-mana, jealous anger or pride without a cause. Having no external cause, such anger is caused only by the pastimes of love. In describing pranaya-mana, Sri Jiva Goswami discusses the pastimes of Lord Krsna and Rukmini Devi, as they are described in the 10th Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam:

Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.29.48:

tasam tat-saubhaga-madam
viksya manam ca kesavah
prasamaya prasadaya

“Lord Kesava, seeing the gopis too proud of their good fortune, wanted to relieve them of this pride and show them further mercy. Thus He immediately disappeared.

The word prasadaya here is significant. Lord Krsna was not going to neglect the gopis; rather, He would increase the power of their loving affairs by making another spectacular arrangement. After all, the gopis were basically proud of Krsna. He also made this arrangement, as we shall see, to show special favor to the beautiful young daughter of King Vrsabhanu.”

In Anuccheda 386 of his Priti-sandarbha, Sri Jiva Goswami provides an elaborate description of Rukmini’s great love for Krsna:

“The gopis have pride without cause (ahetu) and Lord Krishna has pride with a faint reflection of a cause (hetv-abhasa). Flowing through the great whirlpool of deceitful crookedness, the gopis’ loving pride and anger become very intense. When they are separated from Lord Krishna, their anger becomes sublimely pure. Lord Krishna’s other beloveds (other than the gopis) manifest grief, fear, and worry when they become angry with a cause. As example of this is seen in the Srimad-Bhagavatam chapter when Lord Krishna teased Queen Rukmini with loving joking words. There Lord Krishna’s intention was to make a playful joke. Queen Rukmini was very deep and her love very sincere. There Lord Krishna thought: “My wish is to enjoy pastimes of making My beloved angry. Her throat will be filled with emotional words that reveal her great love for Me. However, she may not clearly understand My intention. She will either become playfully angry, or she will say she does not understand My words. In this way I will try to joke with her. Even when I made her brother very ugly-looking she still did not become angry. It is not appropriate to continue in that direction. However, the happiness she feels by associating with Me is the be-all-and-end-all of her life. It is everything for her. Perhaps by mocking the pride she feels by being able to associate with Me I will make her angry. If she does not become angry in that way, then perhaps by making her afraid that she will be separated from Me she will speak many words revealing her love for Me.” Thinking in this way, Lord Krishna spoke the loving joking words that begin in this verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.60.10):

raja-putripsita bhupaih. . .
“My dear princess, you were sought after by many kings as powerful as the rulers of planets. They were all abundantly endowed with political influence, wealth, beauty, generosity, and physical strength.”

That Lord Krishna was joking is also seen in these words of Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.60.9):

tam rupinim. . .pritah smayan
“As He contemplated her, the goddess of fortune herself, who desires only Him, Lord Krishna smiled.”

In this way it is seen that Lord Krishna was only joking. The sincerity of Queen Rukmini’s love is seen in these words of Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.60.25):

tad drishtva bhagavan krishnah priyayah prema-bandhanam hasya-praudhim ajanantyah karunah so ‘nvakampata. . .
“Seeing that His beloved was so bound to Him in love that she could not understand the full meaning of His teasing, merciful Lord Krishna felt compassion for her.

“The Lord quickly got down from the bed. Manifesting four arms, He picked her up, gathered her hair, and caressed her face with His lotus hand.”

The Wedding of Rukmini and Krishna

In these verses the word “hasya-praudhim” means “the meaning of His joking words”. Here Lord Krishna proudly thought: “Even though she is very wise and profound, and even though her love is very sincere, I will agitate her.” The word “ajanantyah” means “because there was no crookedness or deceit in her sweet and sincere love, she did not understand the meaning of Lord Krishna’s words”. This is described in these words of Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.60.28):

“Rukmini’s mind was bewildered by Lord Krishna’s clever joking.”

As a joke Lord Krishna had wished to see her playful anger. Thus He said to her in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.60.29-31):

ma ma vaidarbhy asuyetha jane tvam mat-parayanam tvad-vacah shrotu-kamena kshvelyacaritam angane
“O Vaidarbhi, do not be displeased with Me. I know that you are fully devoted to Me. I only spoke in jest, dear lady, because I wanted to hear what you would say.

mukham ca prema-samrambha- sphuritadharam ikshitum kata-ksheparunapangam sundara-bhru-kuti-tatam
“I also wanted to see your face with lips trembling in loving anger, the reddish corners of your eyes throwing sidelong glances, and the line of your beautiful eyebrows knit in a frown.

ayam hi paramo labho griheshu griha-medhinam yan narmair iyate yamah priyaya bhiru bhamini
“The greatest pleasure worldly householders can enjoy at home is to spend time joking with their beloved wives, My dear timid and temperamental one.”

Although at first she was frightened, now Rukmini may be displeased. That is why Lord Krishna now throws away the idea that Rukmini is meekly submissive to Him. Here the word “bhamini” is in the vocative case.

Lord Krishna, who had yearned to see Rukmini reveal Her love for Him, says in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.60.49):

sadhvy etac-chrotu-kamais tvam raja-putri pralambhita
“O saintly lady, O princess, We deceived you only because We wanted to hear you speak like this. Indeed, everything you said in reply to My words is most certainly true.”

Wishing to refute Lord Krishna’s assertion of Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.60.49 and also wishing to reveal the truth about Lord Krishna, Queen Rukmini spoke these words of Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.60.38):

tvam vai samasta-purushartha-mayah phalatma. . .
“You are the embodiment of all human goals and You are Yourself the final aim of life. Desiring to attain You, O all-powerful Lord, intelligent persons abandon everything else. It is they who are worthy of Your association, not men and women absorbed in the pleasure and grief resulting from their mutual lust.”

After understanding that Lord Krishna was only joking, Queen Rukmini manifested a little of the anger that He had yearned to see. She said in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.60.40):

jadyam vacas tava gadagraja. . .
“My Lord, as a lion drives away lesser animals to claim his proper tribute, You drove off the assembled kings with the resounding twang of Your Sharnga bow and then claimed me, Your fair share. Thus it is sheer foolishness, my dear Gadagraja, for You to say You took shelter in the ocean out of fear of those kings.”

Here the word “jadyam” means “great foolishness” just as “madhuryam” means “great sweetness” in these words of Srila Bilvamangala Thakura’s Sri Krishna-karnamrita (Text 68):

madhuryam eva nu mano-nayanamritam nu
“Lord Krishna is the great nectar sweetness that fills the eyes and the heart.”

In speaking these joking words, Lord Krishna’s purpose was to agitate Queen Rukmini and destroy the pride she felt in always having His association. This is seen in these words spoken by Srila Sukadeva Gosvami in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.60.21):

etavad uktva bhagavan atmanam vallabham iva manyamanam avishleshat tad-darpa-ghna uparamat
“Rukmini had thought herself especially beloved by the Lord because He never left her company. By saying these things to her He vanquished her pride, and then He stopped speaking.”

Lord Krishna had another purpose also, a purpose seen in these words He personally spoke in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.60.56):

bhratur virupa-karanam yudhi nirjitasya prodvaha-parvani ca tad-vadham aksha-goshthyam duhkham samuttham asaho ‘smad-ayoga-bhitya naivabravih kim api tena vayam jitas te
“When your brother, who had been defeated in battle and then disfigured, was later killed during a gambling match on Aniruddha’s wedding day, you felt unbearable grief, yet out of fear of losing Me you spoke not a word. By this silence you have conquered Me.”

In this chapter of Srimad-Bhagavatam are seen Queen Rukmini’s great love for Lord Krishna and her natural absence of anger. From this it is seen that it certainly truthfully said that Lord Krishna’s beloveds love Him very dearly. When the manifestation of pride and anger is concluded, then sambhoga is manifest. This is seen in these words of Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.33.1):

ittham bhagavato gopyah shrutva vacah su-peshalah jahur viraha jam tapam- tad-angopacitashishah
“When the cowherd girls heard the Supreme Personality of Godhead speak these most charming words, they forgot their distress caused by separation from Him. Touching His transcendental limbs, they felt all their desires fulfilled.”

The meaning of this verse is clear. This verse was spoken by Srila Sukadeva Gosvami.

The Marriage of Krsna and Rukmini

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