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Most of us will be familiar with the story of how Krsna married Srimati Rukmini. Rukmini, due to her brother's friendship with Jarasandha, was betrothed to Shishupala. She then sent a Brahmana to Dvaraka with a message, following which Krsna came to Kundinapura and abducted her from the premises of the Gauri Temple, and bringing her to Dvaraka, married her.

But the Harivamsa has a very different story to tell. It tells us of a Svayamvara organised by Rukmi for his sister, much against the wishes of his father King Bheeshmaka. This begins from the 47th Chapter of the Vishnu Parva of Harivamsa and conitnues till Chapter 51.

Accordingly, when Rukmi organises this Svayamvara, all his friends, namely, Jarasandha, Shalva, Paundraka, Dantavakra, Shishupala and others come to the Svayamvara. Krsna too arrives with Balarama to attend this Svayamvara. Upon seeing Krsna, who arrives on Garuda (what a show-off), Jarasandha, Shalva, Dantavakra and others get instant Jnana, and they realise that Krsna is God, and like very dharmic people, say that Rukmini is eligible to marry Krsna. Krsna arrives, and is greeted by Bheeshmaka. Both of them have a nice friendly chat, during which Krsna tells BHeeshmaka that since Rukmini is Mahalakshmi, she can marry only Krsna.

Bheeshmaka agrees, and after apologising to the kings, sends them home. The Kings, like Brahmajnanis, gracefully accept his apology and go back. Except, Jarasandha asks Shalva to go to Kalayavana, who attacks Krsna. It is after this that Krsna shifts to Dvaraka, and then the usual story of Shishupala's betrothal continues, without the letter of Rukmini.

So, the main question is: Where else is this story mentioned? Because in Srimad Bhagavatam, Kalayavana arrives on the advise of Narada, not Shalva. Also, how did all those demoniac kings become dharmic and Brahmajnanis and realise who Krsna really is?

  • OK, so in both versions the betrothal to Shishupala does happen? Then I think Rukmini did send a letter and the Harivamsa just didn't mention it. As far as the Swayamvara goes, I find it totally plausible that Shishupala and the others realized who Krishna was for a moment, and then afterwards became deluded again. After all, Krishna revealed himself in the court of Hastinapura and the Kauravas still fought against him after that. But yeah, I'll see if the Swayamvaracis mentioned anywhere else. – Keshav Srinivasan Apr 13 '16 at 14:52
  • Any particular reason for Rukmini to send only a Brahmin to Dwaraka as the messenger? – sv. Apr 13 '16 at 19:20
  • @sv. No, the Brahmana was just passing by when he heard Rukmini crying and offered to help her. (Are you asking if she was making some caste-related decision???) – Surya Apr 14 '16 at 1:46
  • @sv. Plus the Brahmana was a siddhapurusha so he could reach Dvaraka in a short time. – Surya Apr 14 '16 at 1:47
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    @Surya Your earlier explanation makes sense. I was just curious that's all. – sv. Apr 14 '16 at 4:18

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