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The Vishnu Purana, translated by Horace Hayman Wilson, [1840], at

p. 573


Krishńa carries off Rukminí: the princes who come to rescue her repulsed by Balaráma. Rukmin overthrown, but spared by Krishńa, founds Bhojakat́a. Pradyumna born of Rukminí.

BHÍSHMAKA was king of Vidarbha, residing at Kundina 1. He had a son named Rukmin, and a beautiful daughter termed Rukminí. Krishńa fell in love with the latter, and solicited her in marriage; but her brother who hated Krishńa, would not assent to the espousals. At the suggestion of Jarásandha, and with the concurrence of his son, the powerful sovereign Bhíshmaka affianced Rukminí to Śiśupála. In order to celebrate the nuptials, Jarásandha and other princes, the friends of Śiśupála, assembled in the capital of Vidarbha; and Krishńa, attended by Balabhadra and many other Yádavas, also went to Kundina to witness the wedding. When there, Hari contrived, on the eve of the nuptials, to carry off the princess 2, leaving Ráma and his kinsmen to sustain the weight of his enemies. Pauńd́raka, the illustrious Dantavakra, Viduratha, Śiśupála, Jarásandha, Śalya, and other kings, indignant at the insult, exerted themselves to kill Krishńa, but were repelled by Balaráma and the Yádavas. Rukmin, vowing that he would never enter Kundina again until he had slain Keśava in fight, pursued and overtook him. In the combat that ensued, Krishńa destroyed with his discus, as if in sport, the host of Rukmin, with all its horse, and elephants, and foot, and chariots, and overthrew him, and hurled him on the ground, and would have put him to death, but was withheld by the entreaties of Rukminí. "He is my only brother," she exclaimed, "and must not be slain by

p. 574

thee: restrain your wrath, O divine lord, and give me my brother in charity." Thus addressed by her, Krishńa, whom no acts affect, spared Rukmín 3; and he (in pursuance of his vow) founded the city Bhojakat́a 4, and ever afterwards dwelt therein. After the defeat of Rukmin, Krishńa married Rukminí in due form, having first made her his own by the Rákshasa ritual 5. She bore him the gallant Pradyumna, a portion of the deity of love. The demon Sambara carried him off, but he slew the demon.


573:1 Vidarbha is the country of Berar, and the name remains in the present city of Beder: the capital however, Kundinapur, is commonly identified with a place called Kundapur, about forty miles north-east of Amarávatí (in Berar).

573:2 When she had gone forth from the city to worship Ambiká: Bhágavata. Indráńí, the wife of Indra: Hari Vanśa. Our text tells the circumstance more concisely than the others.

574:3 After depriving him of his eyebrows and hair. In the Bhágavata, Balaráma also interferes in favour of Rukmin, and reproves Krishńa for disfiguring him.

574:4 Of course this was somewhere in the neighbourhood of Kundina or Vidarbha, and is usually supposed to be situated on the Narmadá.

574:5 That is, by violence: thus Manu; "The seizure of a maiden by force, whilst she weeps and calls for assistance, after her kinsmen and friends have been slain in battle, or wounded, and their houses broken open, is the marriage called Rákshasa." III. 33. According to the Bhágavata, Rukminí sends to invite Krishńa to carry her off, and instructs him how to proceed.

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