“Once Narada took a parijata flower and presented it to Krishna’s senior wife, Shri Rukminidevi. On account of this, Satyabhama developed an inferiority complex; she also wanted a flower from Krishna.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 2, Ch 4)
“I know that His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada would often counsel females interested in bhakti-yoga to think of Shri Krishna as their husband. This is relevant both in the symbolic and literal sense. We know from the stories in Bhagavata Purana that during His earthly pastimes the son of Yashoda had over sixteen thousand wives.
“This was not a sign of excessive lust. Krishna’s primary business was not to go around looking for more queens to place in Dvaraka. Rather, each princess had exceptional qualifications and came into His sphere during the basic sequence of events. The large majority, sixteen thousand, were accepted at a single time. They had been held captive by a demon, and so after the ordeal they desired to be married to their rescuer, the Supreme Lord.
“In the symbolic sense, God is unlimited. We see two hands, a smiling face, a peacock feather in the hair, a garland of lotus flowers around the neck, a yellow garment around the waist, and so forth. Yet that is simply the manifest version. The nature of the individual aspects is transcendental. As exhibited on the battlefield of Kurukshetra to Arjuna, Krishna is the entire universe and more.
“In that sense, of course He can accept any person as an eternal consort. My issue is the kind of nature expected. We know of the ideal qualities in a wife based on the varnashrama-dharma system. Chastity. Support. Submissiveness. Help the husband in his devotional efforts and then the couple shares in the benefits. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says that it is the woman who makes the home.
“Yet in Krishna’s pastimes we see different natures; almost contradictory. Rukmini Devi barely raises an objection. She dreads the dawn each day since it signals the time that her husband will leave her side and take care of the business of the day. She is not envious of the other queens in Dvaraka, as noticed by Narada Muni.
“Then you have Satyabhama. She is not embarrassed in asking for gifts from her husband. She does get envious of others who are related to Krishna. This doesn’t seem ideal, but people can’t help themselves. It is how they are. In the face of these competing tendencies, how should we behave towards the Almighty?”
The wide variety in natures corresponding with the omnipresence of Supersoul explains everything. God is the greatest well-wisher to every living entity. He actually does not make a distinction between friend and foe, saint and sinner. Only material nature, with its duality, draws such distinctions, with accompanying reactions.
समो ऽहं सर्व-भूतेषु
न मे द्वेष्यो ऽस्ति न प्रियः
ये भजन्ति तु मां भक्त्या
मयि ते तेषु चाप्य् अहम्
samo ‘haṁ sarva-bhūteṣu
na me dveṣyo ‘sti na priyaḥ
ye bhajanti tu māṁ bhaktyā
mayi te teṣu cāpy aham
“I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.29)
One person may think it beneath them to be jealous. Even if they are insecure based on the supposed favoritism the Supreme Lord shows to someone else, they will not raise an objection. They will not do anything to make God’s life any more difficult than it already is.
Another person understands that Krishna has unlimited hands. He can carry out the work of the world with minimal effort. It is almost impossible for a human being to lift a car, and yet the Supreme Lord maintains the heaviest objects in the form of planets. Those massive collections of land remain suspended in space, not deviating from the assigned orbit.
What is the harm, then, in asking for something? Why should Satyabhama feel ashamed in requesting a parijata plant from the heavenly region? The suras might get upset. They may even attack Krishna in retaliation, but as Ajita that leader in Dvaraka cannot be conquered.
Lakshmi Devi is always massaging the feet of Narayana, but even she becomes envious from time to time. The single qualifying factor is pure devotion. Nothing else mixed in. No desire for personal fame. No insistence on great wealth or external beauty. If you simply desire the association of the Almighty, who is attractive in every feature, you are worthy of His time.
One wife not hoarding his time,
Another constantly bothering to find.
Such as requesting a plant,
That wish immediately grant.
No single way ideal considered,
Any person by Krishna delivered.
When His association desiring,
To dedicated servant aspiring.