The Abduction of Rukmini

How to Cite

Tracy Coleman. (2022). The Abduction of Rukmini: Journal of Vaishnava Studies. Journal of Vaishnava Studies, 12(1), 14–30. Retrieved from


Although the following episode must be analyzed within the context of the tenth skandha and the entire Bhagavata Purkza, the isolated passage is worth translating and contemplating because it affords us a glimpse of Krishna's first wife and of Krishna himself as a kshtriya hus­band. The passage is therefore fascinating as a singular event in Krishna's adult life, apart from his role as advisor to the Pandavas in the Mahabharata, so frequently studied by scholars. But the episode and its context are important for another reason as well: though many people know the stories of Krishna and the gopis, frolicking in the forest during Krishna's youth in Vraja, fewer are familiar with the tales of Krishna and his many wives, all of whom he marries after returning to Mathura and then settling later in Dvarakk where his character changes significantly. No longer the charm­ing child and adolescent lover playing carelessly in the forest, Krishna now assumes his kratriya status and upholds his dhanna accordingly—protecting his people, his family, his children, his friends, and waging many wars and killing many men, Nevertheless, he is still a great lover of women, and they-16,008 of them—great lovers of him. He now marries them, howev­er, instead of simply seducing them in the fragrant moonlit forest. What follows, then, is the story of how he obtained his first and foremost wife, the beautiful radiant Rukrnini, princess of Vidarbha.


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.