Rukmini's Choice Is Not Blind

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.60.39 - Rukmini's Choice Is Not Blind (download mp3) and (download mp4)
by Sarvabhauma Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.60.39
tvam nyasta-danda-munibhir gaditanubhava
 atmatma-das ca jagatam iti me vrto ’si
hitva bhavad-bhruva udirita-kala-vega-
 dhvastasiso ’bja-bhava-naka-patin kuto ’nye

Knowing that great sages who have renounced the sannyasi’s danda proclaim Your glories, that You are the Supreme Soul of all the worlds, and that You are so gracious that You give away even Your own self, I chose You as my husband, rejecting Lord Brahma, Lord Siva and the rulers of heaven, whose aspirations are all frustrated by the force of time, which is born from Your eyebrows. What interest, then, could I have in any other suitors?

This is Queen Rukmini’s refutation of Lord Krsna’s statement in text 16. There the Lord Krsna said, bhiksubhih slaghita mudha: “I am glorified by beggars.” But Queen Rukmini points out that those so-called beggars are actually sages in the paramahamsa stage of life — sannyasis who have reached the highest level of spiritual advancement and thus given up the sannyasi rod. Lord Krsna also made two specific accusations against His wife in text 16. He said, vaidarbhy etad avij├▒aya — “My dear Vaidarbhi, you were not aware of the situation” — and tvayadirgha-samiksaya — “because you lack foresight.” In the present verse, Rukmini’s statement iti me vrto ’si indicates “I chose You as my husband because You possess the above-mentioned qualities. It was not a blind choice at all.” Rukmini further mentions that she passed over lesser personalities like Brahma, Siva and the rulers of heaven because she saw that even though, materially speaking, they are great personalities, they are frustrated by the powerful waves of time, which emanate from the eyebrows of Lord Krsna. Therefore, far from lacking foresight, Rukmini chose Lord Krsna after an exhaustive appraisal of the entire cosmic situation. Thus she lovingly rebukes her husband here.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti interprets Rukmini’s mood as follows: “My dear husband, Your accusation that I lack foresight indicates that You did know of my deep insight into the situation. Actually, I chose You because I knew of Your true glories.”