Relevance of Rukmini’s Love Letter

Rukmini’s love letter to Krishna comprises of 7 verses in which she says that she is enamored with him, explains why she loves him and declares that she will marry none other than him. In the larger sense of divinity, this is a symbolic of man’s union with God.

The message has tremendous social relevance and offers us a better understanding from the level of divinity. While it guides the younger generation about the choice of life partners it also guides the people who wish to derive religious illumination and seek oneness with God.

Marriage is often taken for granted. It is a sacred union of the mind, body, and soul and not a mere licence to start a family. If mutual compatibility is not ensured unpleasant consequences could follow. It is no exaggeration that though the wedding ceremony takes only a couple of hours, the troubles can last a lifetime. We must understand that without God, human love is never perfect.

The story of Rukmini is about her self-esteem, clarity about who can be her ideal life partner, her decisive approach to realization of her objective and her total devotion to Krishna. It involves the understanding that to be one with God you must be totally devoted to him.

In the 52nd Chapter of the 10th Canto in Bhagavata Purana Rukmani, the daughter of Bheeshmaka, the ruler of Vidarba send an emissary Sukhdev to Krishna with the letter beseeching him to come in stealth and carry her away.

Her brother Rukmi wants her to marry Shishupala, a protege of the evil emperor Jarasanda. However, Rukmini, who is Mahalakshmi incarnate, has other plans.

Krishna response positively to her entreaties. He arrives just when Rukmini is completing her prayer to Devi Katyayani. Krishna carries her away and a fierce battle ensues in which he emerges victorious. Later he marries Rukmini in Dwarka.

In her letter Rukmini exclaims: O beauty of the worlds, having heard of your qualities, which enter the ears of those who hear and remove their bodily distress and having also heard of your beauty, which fulfills all visual desires of those who see, I have fixed my shameless mind upon you, O Krishna’.

It is believed that if these verses are recited as a prayer by a girl in search of a suitable husband, she will be blessed with the same. Wise men have explained these verses as the seven wedding wows of union between the individual self and the supreme self.

Even today when a marriage ceremony is performed, the bride is given a blessing that hers may be like the idea marriage of Krishna and Rukmini --- the perfect couple.

Krishna had 16108 consorts. However, the most accommodating Rukmini was the most celebrated. We can infer that one who give space to others in life can succeed like Rukmini. In the wedding ceremonies, we use the word ‘Savdhan’ meaning caution and therefore we embark upon our life journey we must exercise caution.

The other underlying message of the letter is in the divine sense about how man’s union with God, should be the ultimate goal of life. It refers to our evolution which lasts until we reach the absolute purity of the being arriving at divinity to form a vast oneness and enjoy that entirety of divine power.

(Based on the discourses given by Pujyashree Bhupendrabhai Pandya and the compilation of Pradeep Parekh.)

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