Why Rukmini faints when Krishna teases her?

Why Rukmini faints when Krishna teases her?
Rukmini Devi Temple in Dwarka

To spice up his marital bliss, Krishna teases Rukmini. Rukmini Devi, a gentle, polite, submissive wife of Krishna always wanted to give the best joy to the Lord of her heart.  However one day, Krishna who is always willing to fulfil the desires of his beloved devotees had a desire to see the angry face of Rukmini.

He wanted that Rukmini who is the epitome of gentleness to quarrel with him.  So, to fill her heart with anger, Krishna begins to tease her.  But the words spoken by Krishna jokingly pierced the tender heart of Rukmini Devi, the source of the goddess of fortune.

You erred in choosing me as your husband

In order to invoke anger in her, Krishna said that you committed a big mistake by marrying me. There were many great kings who were eager to marry you. In fact, your marriage was fixed with Sisupala. He is rich, powerful, heroic and also a king. But mistakenly you chose me. I am not a king. I am merely a cowherd man. 

Also, I am not heroic. I fled the battlefield when Jarāsandha attacked me. I abandoned the city of Mathura and took shelter of the ocean. Now with my family members and friends, I am living in Dwarka away from Mathura. In Dwarka, I am not the king. Ugrasena is the ruler and I follow his order.

Being satisfied within myself, I do not have attraction for wife, children and wealth.  In fact, those who worship me are materially poor.  The beggars adore me, and the rich are indifferent to me.  Why do you want to be the wife of someone whose friends are poor?  You erred in choosing me.

“We care nothing for wives, children and wealth. Always satisfied within Ourselves, We do not work for body and home, but like a light, We merely witness.Srimad Bhagavatam 10.60.20

Rukmini always thought that amongst all of Krishna’s wives she was his most beloved. But when she heard these words from Krishna, she began thinking that Krishna has not accepted me whole heartedly. Her thoughts did not just end there.

She now feared that there could be a possibility that my beloved Krishna may abandon me.  This put her in great anxiety. Krishna teases Rukmini to make her angry but instead she became horrified.

Thought of separation from Krishna

Rukmini could not bear the thought of being separated from Krishna even for a moment. We conditioned souls do not feel the pain of separation from Krishna. But pure devotees cannot even think of living without Krishna even for a moment.

Once Madhumangala said to Krishna that while we are playing sometimes you go behind the tree and we are not able to see you for a moment, this causes unbearable pain to us. We cannot live without you even for a second. We live only for you.

As the thought of separation from Krishna overwhelmed her, Rukmini fell on the ground and fainted. Krishna realized that Rukmini did not get his joke, in fact she completely misunderstood him. Krishna teases Rukmini so that he can enjoy more with her but Rukmini got heartbroken by his words.

Rukmini is Chandravali

Rupa Goswami in his Lalit madhav and Vidagdh madhav mentions which gopis from the Vraj lila manifest as queens in Dwarka.

In Dwarka, Rukmini is Chandravali and Satyabhama is Radharani. Chandravali’s mood is different from Radharani’s mood. She does whatever Krishna asks her to do. She does not become angry at Krishna.

So, when Krishna was teasing Rukmini then she was responding as per her mood. Soon Krishna realized that he is dealing with Chandravali and not Radharani. Krishna

Krishna pacifies Rukmini

When Krishna saw that Rukmini has become unconscious, he immediately got down from the bed and lifted her and caressed her. With pleasing words, he consoled her and said that he was only trying to tease her and also gave the reason for it.

He said that the greatest pleasure which a husband enjoys is when he jokes with his wife. I was trying to do so but you misunderstood me. A husband enjoys light-hearted banter with his wife in her private quarters and when the wife becomes angry then husband enjoys great pleasure later in consoling her.

“The Supreme Lord said: O Vaidarbhī, do not be displeased with Me. I know that you are fully devoted to Me. I only spoke in jest, dear lady, because I wanted to hear what you would say. I also wanted to see your face with lips trembling in loving anger, the reddish corners of your eyes throwing sidelong glances and the line of your beautiful eyebrows knit in a frown. The greatest pleasure worldly householders can enjoy at home is to spend time joking with their beloved wives, My dear timid and temperamental one.” Srimad Bhagavatam 10.60.29 – 31

Rukmini’s answer to Krishna

Krishna’s words pacified Rukmini. She now began smiling. But she was angry too because of Krishna’s words. Or we can say that she started countering Krishna in an angry mood because Krishna wanted to see her angry. And Rukmini as per her nature does what pleases Krishna. 

Rukmini said:

“I know, I am not qualified to be your wife because no one can be equal to you.  You are most glorious and most lovable.  I am not the best match for you but what can I do I got attracted to you. In fact, anyone who hears about you quickly becomes mad for you. This is what happened with me. And this is your fault, not the fault of those whom you drive mad. As soon as I heard about you, I decided to marry you and no one else.

The false kings

You praised the kings saying that they are the rulers of the kingdom, are rich and powerful. But the truth is that they are not the kings because they are always under the control of the three modes of material nature and the powerful time.

Not just that they are worthless puppet who are always under the control of women. They are no better than dogs and assess.  An intelligent woman should not even think of marrying such unfortunate men.

“O infallible Kṛṣṇa, let each of the kings You named become the husband of a woman whose ears have never heard Your glories, which are sung in the assemblies of Śiva and Brahmā. After all, in the households of such women these kings live like asses, oxen, dogs, cats and slaves.” Srimad Bhagavatam 10.60.44

Your devotees chose to be poor

You say you are poor, but you are the proprietor of this universe. The first being of this creation, Lord Brahma, comes from your navel. He is your devotee. Lord Shiva is your devotee. And your devotees are not at all poor.

Many times they choose to be materially poor because they want to relish the spiritual wealth. Always absorbed in thinking about you, they are always blissful.  Your devotees are most fortunate and they always aspire to be with you.  I also have the same desire. I always want to be with you.  

I only want you

I never look at anybody even for a moment other than you, not even Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva. I only want you. I only desire you. You are the most wonderful person in the entire creation. You cannot be compared with anyone.

If I would have failed to get you in this life then I was ready to extend my austerity to next life but I would have never accepted anyone other than you as my husband.”  

Never choose anyone else

Rukmini Devi is teaching an important lesson to all the devotees of Krishna – we should never choose anyone else other than Krishna. Even if it takes many lifetimes, we should patiently wait for Krishna to come and accept us.  Just like Rukmini is a chaste wife of Krishna, we should be a chaste devotee of Krishna.  

We should always say, “Krishna, I only desire you. Please come and accept me.”

Rukmini only wanted Krishna, so she ultimately got Krishna. Krishna shows that if the desire of a devotee is too strong then he also cannot resist fulfilling that desire.

Krishna responds to the quality of our devotion, our service and our eagerness to have him. Quality of Rukmini’s devotion was so strong that Krishna immediately responded and accepted her as his wife.

Plan to be successful in Krishna Consciousness

We see that before her marriage, Rukmini was always planning how to be successful in her Krishna Consciousness. Although at her home conditions were not favourable for her to be a devotee of Krishna but still she did not give up Krishna.

Her brother Rukmi considered Krishna as an enemy. And her father because of pressure from his son, Rukmi, agreed to marry her to Sisupala who was also an enemy of Krishna.  But she did not give up hope.

With determination she continued pursuing Krishna. She secretly called a brahmana and sent a letter to Krishna. That letter can be considered the first love letter since the dawn of creation.

In that letter, she poured her heart into it. She expressed her desire to marry him. She requested Krishna to come and pick her up from her palace and take her away. In the letter, she also explained in detail that how Krishna can come and kidnap her and marry her. She told him the place where to come and also the exact time when he should come.

Strong determination attracts Krishna’s attention

Rukmini was also clear that if Krishna fails to reciprocate with her feelings then she would end her life rather than marry Sisupala or anyone else. That was her resolve.

She thought that if Krishna will not come then it is her fault because her devotion is not strong enough to attract Krishna’s mercy. So, she was ready to continue her austerity life after life till she gets Krishna as her husband.  She was determined to have Krishna.

“O lotus-eyed one, great souls like Lord Śiva hanker to bathe in the dust of Your lotus feet and thereby destroy their ignorance. If I cannot obtain Your mercy, I shall simply give up my vital force, which will have become weak from the severe penances I will perform. Then, after hundreds of lifetimes of endeavor, I may obtain Your mercy.”
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.52.43

Rukmini Devi’s life teaches us the importance of determination in our Krishna conscious journey. Situations and circumstances are sometimes favourable and sometimes unfavourable but we should always practice Krishna Consciousness. 

For that we need strong determination. And off course patience is also required. We cannot expect quick result always. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, also tests our endurance many times.

Krishna teases Rukmini to glorify her

Krishna teases Rukmini to show to the world the love she had for him. The Supreme Lord ,Krishna, teases his beloved wife Rukmini to glorify her transcedental qualities. Rukmini is not just the queen of Dwarka, but she is the queen of Krishna’s heart.

Let us pray at the lotus feet of Rukmini to instil our heart with love for Krishna.

Krishna acknowledges Rukmini’s love for him in these beautiful words:

In all My palaces I can find no other wife as loving as you, O most respectful one. When you were to be married, you disregarded all the kings who had assembled to seek your hand, and simply because you had heard authentic accounts concerning Me, you sent a brāhmaṇa to Me with your confidential message.” Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.60.55

Krishna further says that your love for me is so great that I cannot do anything to reciprocate with your pure love. I can simply thank you for this.

“When you sent the messenger with your most confidential plan and yet I delayed going to you, you began to see the whole world as void and wanted to quit your body, which could never have been given to anyone but Me. May this greatness of yours remain with you always; I can do nothing to reciprocate except joyfully thank you for your devotion.Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.60.57

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