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Vishnu Purana – Fifth Kandha

Chapter 26

Krishna married Rukmini

1-8BHĪṢMAKA was king of Vidarbha, residing at Kundina[1]. He had a son named Rukmin, and a beautiful daughter termed Rukminī. Kṛṣṇa fell in love with the latter, and solicited her in marriage; but her brother who hated Kṛṣṇa, would not assent to the espousals. At the suggestion of Jarāsandha, and with the coñcurrence of his son, the powerful sovereign Bhīṣmaka affianced Rukminī to Śiśupāla. In order to celebrate the nuptials, Jarāsandha and other princes, the friends of Śiśupāla, assembled in the capital of Vidarbha; and Kṛṣṇa, attended by Balabhadra and many other Yādavas, also went to Kundina to witness the wedding. When there, Hari contrived, on the eve of the nuptials, to carry off the princess[2], leaving Rāma and his kinsmen to sustain the weight of his enemies. Pauṇḍraka, the illustrious Dantavakra, Viduratha, Śiśupāla, Jarāsandha, Śalya, and other kings, indignant at the insult, exerted themselves to kill Kṛṣṇa, but were repelled by Balarāma and the Yādavas.
9-12Rukmini, vowing that he would never enter Kundina again until he had slain Keśava in fight, pursued and overtook him. In the combat that ensued, Kṛṣṇa destroyed with his discus, as if in sport, the host of Rukmin, with all its horse, and elephants, and foot, and chariots, and overthrew him, and hurled him on the ground, and would have put him to death, but was withheld by the entreaties of Rukminī. “He is my only brother,” she exclaimed, “and must not be slain by thee: restrain your wrath, O divine lord, and give me my brother in charity.”
13-15Thus addressed by her, Kṛṣṇa, whom no acts affect, spared Rukmīn[3]; and he (in pursuance of his vow) founded the city Bhojakaṭa[4], and ever afterwards dwelt therein. After the defeat of Rukmin, Kṛṣṇa married Rukminī in due form, having first made her his own by the Rākṣasa ritual[5]. She bore him the gallant Pradyumna, a portion of the deity of love. The demon Sambara carried him off, but he slew the demon.


[1] Vidarbha is the country of Berar, and the name remains in the present city of Beder: the capital however, Kundinapur, is commonly identified with a place called Kundapur, about forty miles north-east of Amarāvatī (in Berar).
[2] When she had gone forth from the city to worship Ambikā: Bhāgavata. Indrāṇī, the wife of Indra: Hari Vaṃśa. Our text tells the circumstance more concisely than the others.
[3] After depriving him of his eyebrows and hair. In the Bhāgavata, Balarāma also interferes in favour of Rukmin, and reproves Kṛṣṇa for disfiguring him.
[4] Of course this was somewhere in the neighbourhood of Kundina or Vidarbha, and is usually supposed to be situated on the Narmadā.
[5] That is, by violence: thus Manu; “The seizure of a maiden by force, whilst she weeps and calls for assistance, after her kinsmen and friends have been slain in battle, or wounded, and their houses broken open, is the marriage called Rākṣasa.” III. 33. According to the Bhāgavata, Rukminī sends to invite Kṛṣṇa to carry her off, and instructs him how to proceed.

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