Monday, July 4th, 2022 12:18:15

Radha or Rukmini? : Who married Krishna at Madhavpur Ghed?

By Madhuri Shukla
Updated: March 23, 2022 2:44 pm

Perhaps, this is the only place where Rukmani is remembered by Lord Krishna’s followers

The marriage of Lord Krishna and Rukmani is lesser known compared to the spiritual and eternal love story of Radha and Krishna. There are a number of questions which arisein the mind of followers of Lord Krishna that why did he marry Rukmani when his heart and soul was with Radha ?

One thing is for sure, that it is not easy to understand Krishna’s philosophy on life. His every move was well calculated and of deep significance to humanity.We are not discussing here the love story of Radhe- Krishna but are curious about how Rukmani succeeded in grabbing Krishna’s attention and becoming his first wife. Was it merely destiny or intentionally done by Lord Krishna himself? Love story of Radha Krishna is popular but actual reason of marriage between Rukmani and Krishna is not known even amongst his millions followers across the world. Rukmani did become his first wife but did not get a proper position in Lord Krishna’s life, story or even a place next to him in temples. Let’s talk about Rukmani and her marriage with Lord Krishna.

Rukmini or Rukmani (Sanskrit: रुक्मिणी) wasthe princess of Vidarbha and she was the first and chief consort of Lord Krishna, the prince of Dwaraka. Krishna heroically kidnapped her and eloped with her as they loved each other but her brother Rukmi out of envy had forbid their marriage because Krishna killed his uncle Kamsa who was also a friend of Rukmi. He had arranged an unwanted marriage to Rukminidevi with evil Shishupala who was also cousin of Krishna because of political reasons(He was King of Chedi Kingdom whereas Sri Krishna was not yet a King). But later Rukmini wrote a beautiful love letter to Krishna to come and take her away in Rakshsa style. (described in the BhagavataPurana, Vishnu Puran, Harivansha, Mahabharat).

According to traditional accounts, princess Rukmini is believed to have been born on Vaishakha 11 (VaishakhEkadashi). Although born to an earthly king, her position as an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi is described throughout Puranic literature:

Rukminidevi, the Queen Consort of Krishna is the Swarupa-shakti (Mulaprakriti), the essential potency of Krishna (Krsnatmika) and she is the Queen / Mother of the Divine World (Jagatkatri), Dwaraka / Vaikuntha.

She was born at Haridwar and a royal princess from Vedic Aryan tribe, the daughter of a powerful king Bhishmaka.

The Shrutis which are closely associated with the narrations of the pastimes of the Vraja-gopis with Svayam-rupaBhagavanShri Krishna, the Parabrahma, have declared this truth (Gopala-tapani Upanisad 57). They cannot be separated. As Lakshmi is Vishnu’s Shakti (power or strength) so even as Rukmini is Krishna’s strength.

The Idu-Mishmi tribe of Arunanchal Pradesh believes that Rukmini belonged to the Idu-Mishmi tribe.

Rukmini’s parents wanted to marry Rukmini to Krishna but Rukmi, her brother strongly opposed it. Rukmi was an ambitious prince and he did not want to earn the wrath of Emperor Jarasandha, who was ruthless. Instead, he proposed that she be married to his friend Shishupala, the crown prince of Chedi and a cousin of Krishna. Shishupala was also a vassal and close associate of Jarasandha and hence an ally of Rukmi.

Bhishmaka gave in but Rukmini, who had overheard the conversation was horrified and immediately sent for a brahmana, Sunanda, whom she trusted and asked him to deliver a letter to Krishna. She asked Krishna to come to Vidarbha and kidnap her to avoid a battle where her relatives may be killed. She said that he may wonder how will he accomplish this without any bloodshed, considering that she is in the inner apartments of her palace, but the solution to this problem was that she would have to visit the temple of Goddess Girija, who is their family deity. Rukmini asked that he use this occasion to claim her. Krishna, having received the message in Dwarka, immediately set out for Vidarbha with Balarama, his elder brother.

Meanwhile, Shishupala was overjoyed at the news from Rukmi that he could simply go to Kundina (present-day Koundanyapur) Amravati district and claim Rukmini. Jarasandha, not so trusting, sent all his vassals and allies along because he felt that Krishna would certainly come to snatch Rukmini away. Bhishmaka and Rukmini received the news that Krishna was coming by their respective spies. Bhishmaka, who secretly approved of Krishna and wished he would take Rukminiaway had a furnished mansion set up for him.

He welcomed them joyfully and made them comfortable. Meanwhile, at the palace, Rukmini got ready for her upcoming marriage. She was disappointed and tearful that  no news yet had come from Krishna. But then her left thigh, arm and eye twitched and she took that as an auspicious omen. Soon the brahmana messenger came and informed that Krishna had accepted her request. She went to the temple to offer her obeisance’s to Goddess Ambika, consort of Lord Shiva. As she stepped out, she saw Krishna and he soon swept her into his chariot with him. They both started to ride off when Shishupala noticed them. All of Jarasandha’s forces quickly started chasing them. While Balarama occupied most of them and held them back Rukmi had almost caught up with Krishna and Rukmini. He overtook Krishna near Bhadrod.

According to folklore, Krishna came to the village of MadhavpurGhed after kidnapping and marrying Rukmini at this very place. In the memory of that event, there is a temple built for Madhavraiji. A celebration of this event is held at Madhavpur in memory of this marriage every year in a cultural fair. At Dwaraka, Krishna and Rukmini were welcomed with great pomp and ceremony.

There is a myth also that Radha and Rukmini were same. Radha is the incarnation of Goddess Laxmi and Rukmini is also an incarnation of Goddess Laxmi as said by the reliable source of Hinduism ‘Mahabharat’. Rukmini is also regarded as the incarnation of Radha in Hindu every, incarnation Laxmi has to be the wife of only Radha as Rukmini married Lord Krishna.There are many aspects of the life of Rukmini which absolutely match with the life of Radha. Both Rukmini and Radha was elder than Krishna. Both were mesmerized with Krishna from childhood.Both were the strength of Krishna.Moreover, if we  notice the idols of Rukmini and Radha, they both appear strikingly similar. Another interesting point is “Radha” is nowhere mentioned in any ancient scriptures including Mahabharat. Even ‘Srimad Bagawat’, the story of Lord Krishna has no mention in any purans anywhere.

Now the question arises if Rukmini and Radha are same, then how a person can have two identities and two parents? This question is very obvious.The answer lies in the birth of Radha.There was an evil called Putana.We all have heard about Putana in Krishna’s story. Putana used to kill the children by making them suck her poisonous milk. Putana snatched a child Rukmini from Vidharba. But as she was flying Rukmini became excessively heavy so putana left her into a lotus flower.Then she was found by Vrishvanu and his wife Kriti. They named her Radha.After a long time, Vishmaka came to know this truth that Radha is his lost daughter who was their lost child Rukmini, so he took her with him.This is the main reason the ending of Radha is mystery whereas ending of Rukmini is clearly mentioned. Even when there was Radha then there was no Rukmini.Similarly, when there was Rukmini, there was no Radha.

So it’s just a myth that Radha and Krishna didn’t get married. Shri Krishna knew the truth of Rukmini so he married Rukmini as his love Radha.Belonging to Hindu Culture we all must know this hidden truth of our culture.

In Madhavpur Ghed, near Porbandar, villagers still celebrate marriage of Lord Krishna and Rukmani in the month of “Chaitra”. A week long colourful fair is held and Krishna’s marriage re-enacted by artists. Madhavpur Fair is celebrated traditionally every year. This time Madhavpur fair will be planned and organized from 10th to 13th April 2022.

Madhavpur Ghed is not yet popular in our country but has immense religious importance no less than Dwarka and Mathura. Let’s celebrates Lord Krishna and Rukmani’s marriage spiritually.


By Madhuri Shukla

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