Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Rukmini included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Rukmiṇī

The chief queen of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.


From the following Purāṇic statements, it could be understood that Rukmiṇī was the incarnation of goddess Lakṣmī.

(i) "Śrī Devī (Lakṣmī) by her portions, took birth in the earth as Rukmiṇī in the family of Bhīṣmaka". (M.B, Ādi Parva, Chapter 67, Stanza 156).

(ii) Formerly Lakṣmī Devī took birth as the daughter of Bhṛgu by his wife Khyāti. Next she took birth from the sea of Milk at the time of the churning of it by the combined efforts of the devas and the asuras, to take Amṛta (ambrosia). When Viṣṇu took birth as Āditya, Lakṣmī took birth from lotus. When Viṣṇu incarnated as Paraśurāma Lakṣmī Devī became the earth-goddess. In the incarnation of Śrī Rāma she became Sītā and in that of Śrī Kṛṣṇa she was Rukmiṇī. (Viṣṇu Purāṇa, Aṃśa 1, Chapter 9).

It was in the kingdom of Vidarbha that Lakṣmī Devī took birth as Rukmiṇī during the incarnation of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. To Bhīṣmaka, the King of Vidarbha, five sons beginning with Rukmī, were born. The sixth was a daughter who was named Rukmiṇī. She grew up into a beautiful damsel. (Bhāgavata, Skandha 10).


Rukmiṇī fell in love with Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Her parents agreed to her choice. But her brother Rukmī was an enemy of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Rukmī desired to give his sister to Śiśupāla. The date of the marriage was fixed and the heart was burning within Rukmiṇī. She sent a Brahmin as messenger to Kṛṣṇa.

The time of marriage drew near. The kings of Aṅga, Kaliṅga, Mālava, Kekaya, Vaṅga, Magadha, Kosala, Sālva, Cola, Pāṇḍya, Kerala and so on took their seats in the nuptial hall. Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Balabhadra came with their army. The army under the leadership of Balabhadra remained behind and Śrī Kṛṣṇa went alone to the nuptial hall. While preparations were being made to give Rukmiṇī to Śiśupāla, Śrī Kṛṣṇa took her in his chariot and quickly left the place. All the other kings who ran after Śrī Kṛṣṇa to fight had to confront with the mighty army of Balabhadra, who defeated the kings and returned to Dvārakā. (Bhāgavata, Skandha 10).


It is mentioned in Bhāgavata, Skandha 10, that ten sons were born to Śrī Kṛṣṇa by Rukmiṇī. They were Pradyumna, Cārudeṣṇa, Sudeṣṇa, Cārudeha, Sucāru, Cārugupta, Bhadracāru, Cārucandra, Cārubhadra and Cāru. But a slight difference is observed in the description of the sons of Rūkmiṇī given in Mahābhārata, Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 14, Stanzas 33 and 34.

Yoked to the chariot by Durvāsas.

See under Durvāsas, Para 3.

Consoled Arjuna.

After the death of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna visited Dvārakā. Seeing the dilapidated city without rulers and the women without husbands, he cried aloud. Rukmiṇī Devī ran to him and consoled him and seated him on a golden chair. (Mahābhārata Mausala Parva, Chapter 5, Stanza 12).


After the death of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Rukmiṇī, with the other wives of Śrī Kṛṣṇa jumped into a burning pyre and died.

"Śaibyā, Rukmiṇī, Gāndhārī, Haimavatī and Jāmbavatī jumped into the fire." (Mahābhārata Mausala Parva, Chapter 7, Stanza 73).

The Palace of Rukmiṇī.

There is a statement in the Mahābhārata, Dākṣiṇātya Pāṭha, Sabhā Parva, Chapter 28, about the palace of Rukmiṇī. "Viśvakarmā built a palace for Śrī Kṛṣṇa at the instance of Indra. The highest dome of it is covered with gold. So this dome dazzled as the peak of Mahāmeru. It was this dome that was set apart for his beloved wife Rukmiṇī by Śrī Kṛṣṇa".

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