Making the Right Choice

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.53.44-45 - Making the Right Choice (download mp3)
by Gaur Gopal Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.53.44
asadya devi-sadanam
upasprsya sucih santa

Upon reaching the goddess’s temple, Rukmini first washed her lotus feet and hands and then sipped water for purification. Thus sanctified and peaceful, she came into the presence of mother Ambika.

SB 10.53.45
tam vai pravayaso balam
 vidhi-jña vipra-yositah
bhavanim vandayam cakrur
 bhava-patnim bhavanvitam

The older wives of brahmanas, expert in the knowledge of rituals, led young Rukmini in offering respects to Bhavani, who appeared with her consort, Lord Bhava.

According to the acaryas, here the term bhavanvitam indicates that in the Ambika temple visited by Rukmini, the presiding deity was the goddess, whose husband appeared in an accompanying role. Thus the ritual was properly performed by women.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti comments that the term vidhi-jñah may be understood to mean that since the learned wives of brahmanas knew of Rukmini’s desire to marry Krsna, the verb vandayam cakruh thus indicates that they prompted her to pray for what she really wanted. In this way, like the goddess Bhavani, Rukmini could be united with her eternal male companion.