Srimad bhagavata by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyāsa

Chapter Sixty-One Lord Balarama Slays Rukmi

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Chapter Sixty-One Lord Balarama Slays Rukmi

1. Sukadeva Gosvami said: Each of Lord Krsna wives gave birth to ten sons, who were not less than their father, having all His personal opulence.

2. Because each of these princesses saw that Lord Acyuta never left her palace, each thought herself the Lord’s favorite. These women did not understand the full truth about Him.

3. The Supreme Lord’s wives were fully enchanted by His lovely, lotuslike face, His long arms and large eyes, His loving glances imbued with laughter, and His charming talks with them. But with all their charms these ladies could not conquer the mind of the all-powerful Lord.

4. The arched eyebrows of these sixteen thousand queens enchantingly expressed those ladies’ secret intentions through coyly smiling sidelong glances. Thus their eyebrows boldly sent forth conjugal messages. Yet even with these arrows of Cupid, and with other means as well, they could not agitate Lord Krsna’s senses.

5. Thus these women obtained as their husband the master of the goddess of fortune, although even great demigods like Brahma do not know how to approach Him. With ever-increasing pleasure, they felt loving attraction for Him, exchanged smiling glances with Him, eagerly anticipated associating with Him in ever-fresh intimacy and enjoyed in many other ways.

6. Although the Supreme Lord’s queens each had hundreds of maidservants, they chose to personally serve the Lord by approaching Him humbly, offering Him a seat, worshiping Him with excellent paraphernalia, bathing and massaging His feet, giving Him pan to chew, fanning Him, anointing Him with fragrant sandalwood paste, adorning Him with flower garlands, dressing His hair, arranging His bed, bathing Him and presenting Him with various gifts.

7. Among Lord Krsna’s wives, each of whom had ten sons, I previously mentioned eight principal queens. I shall now recite for you the names of those eight queens’ sons, headed by Pradyumna.

8-9. The first son of Queen Rukmini was Pradyumna, and also born of her were Carudesna, Sudesna and the powerful Carudeha, along with Sucaru, Carugupta, Bhadracaru, Carucandra, Vicaru and Caru, the tenth. None of these sons of Lord Hari was less than his father.

10-12. The ten sons of Satyabhama were Bhanu, Subhanu, Svarbhanu, Prabhanu, Bhanuman, Candrabhanu, Brhadbhanu, Atibhanu (the eighth), Sribhanu and Pratibhanu. Samba, Sumitra, Purujit, Satajit, Sahasrajit, Vijaya, Citraketu, Vasuman, Dravida and Kratu were the sons of Jambavati. These ten, headed by Samba, were their father’s favorites.

13. The sons of Nagnajiti were Vira, Candra, Asvasena, Citragu, Vegavan, Vrsa, Ama, Sanku, Vasu and the opulent Kunti.

14. Sruta, Kavi, Vrsa, Vira, Subahu, Bhadra, Santi, Darsa and Purnamasa were sons of Kalindi. Her youngest son was Somaka.

15. Madra’s sons were Praghosa, Gatravan, Simha, Bala, Prabala, Urdhaga, Mahasakti, Saha, Oja and Aparajita.

16. Mitravinda’s sons were Vrka, Harsa, Anila, Grdhra, Vardhana, Unnada, Mahamsa, Pavana, Vahni and Ksudhi.

17. Sangramajit, Brhatsena, Sura, Praharana, Arijit, Jaya and Subhadra were the sons of Bhadra, together with Vama, Ayur and Satyaka.

18. Diptiman, Tamratapta and others were the sons of Lord Krsna and Rohini. Lord Krsna’s son Pradyumna fathered the greatly powerful Aniruddha in the womb of Rukmavati, the daughter of Rukmi. O King, this took place while they were living in the city of Bhojakata.

19. My dear King, the sons and grandsons of Lord Krsna’s children numbered in the tens of millions. Sixteen thousand mothers gave rise to this dynasty.

20. King Pariksit said: How could Rukmi give his daughter to his enemy’s son? After all, Rukmi had been defeated by Lord Krsna in battle and was waiting for an opportunity to kill Him. Please explain this to me, O learned one—how these two inimical parties became united through marriage.

21. Mystic yogis can perfectly see that which has not yet happened, as well as things in the past or present, beyond the senses, remote or blocked by physical obstacles.

22. Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: At her svayamvara ceremony, Rukmavati herself chose Pradyumna, who was the re-embodiment of Cupid. Then, although He fought alone on a single chariot, Pradyumna defeated the assembled kings in battle and took her away.

23. The answer to King Pariksit’s question is given here. Ultimately Rukmi approved his daughter’s marriage to Pradyumna in order to please his sister, Rukmini.

24. O King, Bali, the son of Krtavarma, married Rukmini’s young daughter, large-eyed Carumati.

25. Rukmi gave his granddaughter Rocana to his daughter’s son, Aniruddha, despite Rukmi’s relentless feud with Lord Hari. Although Rukmi considered this marriage irreligious, he wanted to please his sister, bound as he was by the ropes of affection.

26. On the joyous occasion of that marriage, O King, Queen Rukmini, Lord Balarama, Lord Krsna and several of the Lord’s sons, headed by Samba and Pradyumna, went to the city of Bhojakata.

27-28. After the wedding, a group of arrogant kings headed by the King of Kalinga told Rukmi, “You should defeat Balarama at dice. He’s not expert at dice, O King, but still He’s quite addicted to it.” Thus advised, Rukmi challenged Balarama and began a gambling match with Him.

29. In that match Lord Balarama first accepted a wager of one hundred coins, then one thousand, then ten thousand. Rukmi won this first round, and the King of Kalinga laughed loudly at Lord Balarama, showing all his teeth. Lord Balarama could not tolerate this.

30. Next Rukmi accepted a bet of one hundred thousand coins, which Lord Balarama won. But Rukmi tried to cheat, declaring “I’m the winner!”

31. Shaking with anger like the ocean on the full-moon day, handsome Lord Balarama, His naturally reddish eyes even redder in His fury, accepted a wager of one hundred million gold coins.

32. Lord Balarama fairly won this wager also, but Rukmi again resorted to cheating and declared, “I have won! Let these witnesses here say what they saw.”

33. Just then a voice from the sky declared, “Balarama has fairly won this wager. Rukmi is surely lying.”

34. Urged on by the wicked kings, Rukmi ignored the divine voice. In fact destiny itself was urging Rukmi on, and thus he ridiculed Lord Balarama as follows.

35. [Rukmi said:] You cowherds who wander about the forests know nothing about dice. Playing with dice and sporting with arrows are only for kings, not for the likes of You.

36. Thus insulted by Rukmi and ridiculed by the kings, Lord Balarama was provoked to anger. In the midst of the auspicious wedding assembly, He raised His club and struck Rukmi dead.

37. The King of Kalinga, who had laughed at Lord Balarama and shown his teeth, tried to run away, but the furious Lord quickly seized him on his tenth step and knocked out all his teeth.

38. Tormented by Lord Balarama’s club, the other kings fled in fear, their arms, thighs and heads broken and their bodies drenched in blood.

39. When His brother-in-law Rukmi was slain, Lord Kåñëa neither applauded nor protested, O King, for He feared jeopardizing His affectionate ties with either Rukmini or Balarama.

40. Then the descendants of Dasarha, headed by Lord Balarama, seated Aniruddha and His bride on a fine chariot and set off from Bhojakata for Dvaraka. Having taken shelter of Lord Madhusudana, they had fulfilled all their purposes.

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