Is There Any Symbolism To The Original Marriage Arrangements For Rukmini Devi

[Rukmini and Krishna]“While Rukmini was being given in charity to Shishupala, she was snatched from the marriage arena by Krishna, exactly as Garuda snatched the pot of nectar from the demons. Rukmini, the only daughter of King Bhishmaka, was exquisitely beautiful. She was known as Ruchiranana, which means ‘one who has a beautiful face, expanding like a lotus flower.’” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 51)

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“I was thinking the other day about the story of the marriage of Rukmini to Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I’ve heard it explained as the rakshasa style of marriage, which is not uncommon for that time period. There are the traditional styles, where the parents make arrangements or the father of the bride selects a groom after consulting with certain advisors.

“In this instance, there were rivals on the scene and Krishna snatched the bride away at the last moment, in front of everyone. It seems strange that the Supreme Lord would have to stoop to this level, but I understand that with politics and ruling families there are such battles every now and then.

“I was especially considering the alternative. The marriage was supposed to be to Shishupala. This would have been dreadful for Rukmini. Not only was her heart set on Krishna, but Shishupala was totally against the leader of Dvaraka. It would be like getting stuck with the worst person in the world for the rest of your life.

“Is there some symbolic element to that aspect? If we pray to Krishna, if we humbly ask for His association, will He rescue us from darkness? He will surely deliver, even if it is at the last moment. I know we shouldn’t view these factual events symbolically, but I was wondering if there was any significance.”

Bhagavan has the greatest artistic mind. This is one of His opulences; intelligence. He possesses every opulence we can think of. Bhagavan holds those attributes to the highest degree and simultaneously. This is one way to understand God.

[Lakshmi Devi]Therefore, His pastimes recorded for history have many layers to them. There is symbolism embedded in the timing, the place, the characters, and the story. In Rukmini’s case, we learn that she is the goddess of fortune. Just as Krishna can descend from the spiritual world to manifest before our eyes, prakata, so His eternal consort follows Him on occasion.

The unique property of the goddess of fortune is that she can never have eyes for anyone other than her husband. God is always her beloved, no matter the situation. Rukmini’s caretakers arranged her marriage to Shishupala, but that could never take place due to her nature.

Rukmini is so smart that she provided Krishna with hints on how He could fulfill her desire. This means that she is an active supporter; she does not just rely on others to do the work for her. She will be by her husband’s side, serving Him, and if events turn the wrong way, she will work towards correcting them.

A person can take hope from that rakshasa-style marriage that they will similarly be rescued from darkness, but Bhagavan’s consort is never subject to darkness. She is never at risk of being under the influence of maya, in the same way that Sita Devi never had any harm done to her after forcibly being taken to Lanka, away from her husband Rama.

Krishna’s will always dominates in the end. Even if everything appears to be headed in a certain direction, He can change things for the better. Sometimes He intervenes Himself. The rival princes could not do anything to stop the decision to take Rukmini back to Dvaraka. Rukmini’s brother, who had made the original arrangements, objected, but his will could not be asserted.

[Rukmini and Krishna]Devotees take great pleasure in that event. The one who is known as Ruchiranana because of her beautiful face became the first and chief queen to the king of Dvaraka. She lived with her husband in opulence, serving humbly and without any feelings of jealousy as events played out in the future.

In Closing:

Never to live life of sin,
Her will eventually to win.

Manifesting in Krishna’s arrival,
True groom shown to the bridal.

Can rescue from darkness for me,
So that not with Shishupalas to be.

And eternally that couple to serve,
Dvaraka’s king that queen to deserve.

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