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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Shrimad Bhagavatam > Canto-10 > Part-5 > Krishna kidnaps Rukmini



Krishna kidnaps Rukmini.



     After hearing Rukmini’s message, Krishna held the brahmana’s hand, and being very pleased, He smilingly said, “Just as Rukmini’s mind is fixed on Me, so My mind is fixed on her. I cannot even sleep properly at night. I know that Rukmi has arranged her marriage to Sishupala, due to envy of Me, and so I shall bring her here after thrashing those worthless kings in battle.”

     Krishna ordered Daruka to prepare His chariot, and so the driver yoked the horses named Shaibya, Sugriva, Meghapushpa, and Balahaka- that were of various colors- and then stood before the Lord with folded hands. Lord Krishna then mounted His chariot, taking the brahmana with Him. In a single night, they covered at least 1500 kilometers and reached Kundina, the capital of Vidarbha.

     King Bhishmaka, although not inclined to do so, had succumbed to his son’s whims and arranged for the marriage of his daughter to Sishupala. All the city streets were thoroughly cleansed, and the public places were nicely decorated. The citizens had dressed and decorated themselves to the best of their ability. The brahmanas, after being worshiped and sumptuously fed by King Bhishmaka, were engaged in chanting the Vedic mantras for the well-being of the bride. After cleaning her teeth and bathing, Rukmini was dressed in new clothing and the most excellent jeweled ornaments.

     Raja Damaghosha, the ruler of Chedi and father of the groom, also engaged brahmanas in chanting Vedic mantras and performing rituals necessary to insure his son’s prosperity. He had come to Kundina with a large army, for he suspected that Krishna might create a disturbance. Bhishmaka came out of the city to greet Damaghosha, and after offering him respect, he showed him to the residence especially constructed for him.

     Sishupala’s supporters- Shalva, Jarasandha, Dantavakra, Viduratha and Paundraka- as well as thousands of other kings- all arrived for the occasion, accompanied by their armies. Being envious of Krishna, and knowing that Rukmini was actually meant for Him, they had made the following agreement: “If Krishna comes here, along with Balarama and the other Yadus, to steal the bride, we shall band together and fight Him.”

Indeed, it appeared as if these kings had come, more with the intention of fighting than attending a marriage. When Lord Balarama heard how Krishna had set off alone to steal the bride, He assembled a mighty army and hurried to Kundina.

     Meanwhile, within the palace, Rukmini anxiously awaited Krishna’s arrival. However, when she failed to see the brahmana return, she thought, “My wedding is to take place at the end of this night. Why hasn’t Krishna come here? Where is the brahmana messenger? Perhaps Krishna has found something in me that is not to His liking and so has rejected my proposal. If that is the case, I can understand that the brahmana would not return here, out of disappointment. Perhaps I neglected to worship Lord Shiva and his wife properly, and so they have frustrated my attempt.”

     Feeling helpless, Rukmini began to cry, but was somewhat consoled by knowing that there was still time. Rukmini then felt twitching in her left thigh, arm and eye, which is a sign that something desirable would soon happen. Just then, following Krishna’s order, the brahmana messenger came to see Rukmini within the inner chambers of the palace.

     Seeing the brahmana’s happy expression and serene movements, Rukmini, who could expertly interpret such symptoms, smiled and asked about his mission. The brahmana then told Rukmini of Krishna’s arrival, and assured her that the Lord had promised to carry her away without fail.

     Princess Vaidarbhi was overjoyed, and would have liked to give all her possessions in charity to the messenger. Finding nothing suitable, however, she simply bowed down to offer her obeisances.

     When King Bhishmaka heard of Krishna and Balarama’s arrival, he went to greet Them, taking with him many valuable presentations. After worshiping the two Lords, Bhishmaka gave Them suitable accommodations, and also provided for Their entourage and army.

     When the residents of Kundina heard of Krishna’s arrival, they went to see Him, and with the cupped palms of their eyes, they drank the honey of His lotus face. Talking amongst themselves, the people said, “Krishna is the only suitable husband for Rukmini. The princess, and no one else, deserves to become His wife. May the Supreme Lord be satisfied with whatever piety we have performed, and show His mercy by accepting the hand of Vaidarbhi.”

     At this time, Rukmini came out of the palace and being protected by her guards, she proceeded on foot toward the temple of goddess Ambika. Her mother, her friends, and many elderly brahmana ladies- accompanied Rukmini and there was musical accompaniment. While going, Rukmini absorbed her mind in the lotus feet of Krishna.

     When she came to the temple, Rukmini first of all washed her feet and sipped water for purification. After she entered the temple, the elderly brahmana’s wives directed Rukmini in her worship, and she prayed, “O Mother Ambika, wife of Lord Shiva, I repeatedly offer my obeisances unto you. May Lord Krishna become my husband. Please grant me this!”

Rukmini worshiped goddess Durga with offerings of water, scents, whole grains, incense, clothing, garlands, necklaces and other jewelry, along with an array of lamps. The unmarried brahmana girls simultaneously performed worship with the same articles, as well as with offerings of food and drink. At the conclusion, Rukmini offered her obeisances to the deity and the brahmana ladies.

     Then, giving up her vow of silence, Rukmini caught the hand of one of her girlfriends and left the temple. All the princes were assembled outside the temple, hoping to have Rukmini as their wife. Rukmini was only thirteen or fourteen years old, and she appeared as enchanting as the Lord’s illusory energy, which enchants even the sober and grave. (The form of Rukmini is actually a manifestation of the Lord’s internal potency and thus non-devotees cannot see her. The princes with lust in their heart were seeing a maya-Rukmini, for as soon as one is thus contaminated, the illusory potency separates him from the pristine beauty of the spiritual world.)

     As the kings and princes gazed upon Rukmini’s lovely, sweetly-smiling face, with red lips and jasmine-bud teeth, her slender waist and other features, they became struck with wonder, thinking her to be a special creation just meant to bewilder them. Indeed, some of the princes became so stupefied that their weapons dropped from their hands, while others fell down unconscious from their chariots, horses and elephants.

     Although all the princes were staring at her, Rukmini was not proud, and she proceeded slowly while pushing away some locks of hair, in the hopes of seeing her Lord. Just at that moment, Rukmini saw Krishna amongst the assembled kings. Then, as His enemies looked on, the Lord came and caught hold of the princess and placed her upon His chariot, whose flag was marked with the emblem of Garuda.

     With Balarama in the lead, Krishna slowly exited, just like a lion taking his prey from the midst of jackals. Being thus humiliated, Jarasandha bellowed, “All condemnation upon us! Although we are mighty warriors, mere cowherds have stolen our honor, just as jackals might steal the prey of lions!” (This is a good example of the perverted intelligence of atheists.)