Relationship of Krishna with his Servants

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.52.16-17 - Relationship of Krishna with his Servants (download mp3)
by Dina Gauranga Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.52.16-17
bhagavan api govinda
 upayeme kurudvaha
vaidarbhim bhismaka-sutam
 sriyo matram svayamvare
pramathya tarasa raj├▒ah
 salvadims caidya-paksa-gan
pasyatam sarva-lokanam
 tarksya-putrah sudham iva

O hero among the Kurus, the Supreme Lord Himself, Govinda, married Bhismaka’s daughter, Vaidarbhi, who was a direct expansion of the goddess of fortune. The Lord did this by her desire, and in the process He beat down Salva and other kings who took Sisupala’s side. Indeed, as everyone watched, Sri Krsna took Rukmini just as Garuda boldly stole nectar from the demigods.

Srila Jiva Gosvami gives the following profound comments on these two verses: The words sriyo matram indicate that beautiful Rukmini is a direct expansion of the eternal goddess of fortune. Therefore she is worthy to be the bride of the Personality of Godhead. As stated in the Brahma-samhita (5.56), sriyah kanta kantah parama-purusah: “In the spiritual world, all the female lovers are goddesses of fortune and the male lover is the Supreme Personality.” Thus, Srila Jiva Gosvami explains, Srimati Rukmini-devi is a plenary portion of Srimati Radharani. The Karttika-mahatmya section of the Padma Purana states, kaisore gopa-kanyas ta yauvane raja-kanyakah: “In childhood, Sri Krsna enjoyed with the daughters of cowherd men, and in His adolescence He enjoyed with the daughters of kings.” Similarly, in the Skanda Purana we find this statement: rukmini dvaravatyam tu radha vrndavane vane. “Rukmini is in Dvaraka what Radha is in the forest of Vrndavana.”

The term svayamvare here means “by one’s own choice.” Although the word often refers to a formal Vedic ceremony in which an aristocratic girl may select her own husband, here it indicates the informal and indeed unprecedented events surrounding Krsna’s marriage to Rukmini. In fact, Sri Krsna and Srimati Rukmini chose each other because of their eternal, transcendental love.