The First Love Letter & The First Queen
Gauranga Darshan Das
Princess Rukmiṇī was the young daughter of Bhīṣmaka, King of Vidarbha.
She had heard of Kṛṣṇa’s beauty and other attractive qualities from sages like
Nārada Muni, and thus desired Him as her husband. Lord Kṛṣṇa also wanted
to marry her. Rukmiṇī’s brother Rukmī was envious of Kṛṣṇa and wanted her
to marry Śiśupāla instead. Rukmiṇī-devī then wrote a letter expressing her
love for Kṛṣṇa and sent it to Him through a trustworthy brāhmaṇa.
Simply hearing about Kṛṣṇa, if done sincerely, creates uncontrollable
attraction towards Him, filling the heart with spiritual satisfaction and a
hankering for more.
The brāhmaṇa travelled to Dvārakā and Kṛṣṇa welcomed and honored him.
The brāhmaṇa then showed Śrīmatī Rukmiṇī-devī’s letter to Kṛṣṇa, that
śrutvā guṇān bhuvana-sundara śṛṇvatāṁ te
nirviśya karṇa-vivarair harato ‘ṅga-tāpam
rūpaṁ dṛśāṁ dṛśimatām akhilārtha-lābhaṁ
tvayy acyutāviśati cittam apatrapaṁ me
“O beauty of the worlds, having heard of Your qualities, which enter the
ears of those who hear and remove their bodily distress, and having also
heard of Your beauty, which fulfills all the visual desires of those who see, I
have fixed my shameless mind upon You, O Kṛṣṇa.” SB 10.52.37
She further expressed Her intense feelings. “O Lord, I am fully attracted
to You ever since I have heard about You. Please come and take me
away. On the day before my planned marriage with Śiśupāla, I will visit
the temple of Ambikā, from where You could come and kidnap me. I
shall give up my life if You don’t grant this favor. Then perhaps in my
next life I will be able to obtain You.”
Kṛṣṇa set out for Vidarbha at once on His chariot driven by Dāruka. Lord
Baladeva also gathered His entire army and quickly went to Kuṇḍinapura,
the capital of Vidarbha.
Rukmiṇī was anxious. Not seeing the brāhmaṇa or Kṛṣṇa till the night
before the wedding, she cursed her bad fortune. Just then she felt her left
side twitch (a good omen) and the brāhmaṇa came and informed her of
Kṛṣṇa’s firm promise to kidnap her. Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma had arrived at
Kuṇḍinapura and Bhīṣmaka received Them with reverence and worshiped
Them with various gifts. The people of Vidarbha felt that Kṛṣṇa alone
would be a suitable husband for Rukmiṇī and prayed for Their union.
Meanwhile, Rukmiṇī went to the temple of Ambikā and prayed to be
allowed to have Śrī Kṛṣṇa as her husband. Then she left the temple and
walked with deliberate steps until she noticed Kṛṣṇa. Then, as everyone
looked on, Kṛṣṇa came on His chariot and took the princess with Him.
The inimical kings including Jarāsandha pursued Kṛṣṇa. Seeing the violent
attack, Rukmiṇī became fearful, but Kṛṣṇa encouraged her. Balarāma and
the Yādavas began to annihilate the opposing army. The enemy kings,
headed by Jarāsandha, withdrew their further attempts.
Who can desist the Lord’s will when He wants something and who can
achieve anything which He doesn’t sanction?
Jarāsandha consoled Śiśupāla who then returned to his kingdom. But
Rukmī took a vow that he would not return to Kuṇḍina until Kṛṣṇa had
been destroyed and Rukmiṇī rescued. Rukmī then set out with his army
and struck Kṛṣṇa with arrows and demanded that He release Rukmiṇī.
Kṛṣṇa broke Rukmī’s weapons to pieces. Then He raised His sword to kill
Rukmī, but Rukmiṇī pleaded Him for her brother’s life. Kṛṣṇa then
disfigured Rukmī by shaving off bits of his hair here and there. Balarāma
appeared at the site and gently reproached Kṛṣṇa for disfiguring the now
family member Rukmī. Balarāma then pacified Rukmiṇī. Rukmī
constructed a city on that very spot and stayed there, maintaining his
angry mood. Lord Kṛṣṇa took Rukmiṇī to Dvārakā and married her.
An Excerpt from the book “Bhāgavata Pravāha” by Gauranga Darshan