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Krishna's 16100 junior wives come with an explanation of rescue from a life of indignity.

Rukmini and Radha are both supposed to be avatars of Lakshmi.

But then, how is Krishna's marriage to his other 7 chief wives reconciled with the idea of the LakshmiNarayana duality / trimurti-tridevi combination?

Both Shiva-Parvati and Brahma-Saraswati pairs seem to be exclusive, and the idea of exclusivity is considered highly ideal in the story of Sita-Ram, and even Radha-Krishna to some extent.

So what is the reason/origin of this seeming discrepancy when it comes to legends associated with Krishna, and do any texts attempt to explain it?

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Krsna's primary wife, Srimati Rukmini is a direct avatara of Mahalakshmi. The other 16107 wives are amsas of Mahalakshmi.

In the Bhagavatam, 10th canto, 1st Chapter, Brahma says to the gods:

Vasudeva Grhe Sakshat Bhagavan Purushah Parah
Janishyate tat Priyartham Sambhavantu Sura-Striyah

"The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who has full potency, will personally appear as the son of Vasudeva. Therefore all the wives of the demigods should also appear in order to satisfy Him." (Bhagavatam 10.1.23)

Thus, the wives of the devas also took part incarnations as Krsna's wives.

Furthermore, in the Garga Samhita (though it is accepted only by Gaudiya Vaishnavas), Lord Krsna instructs the devas:

Shrih sakshad rukmini bhaishmi shiva jambavati tatha
satya ca tulasi bhumau satyabhama vasundhara
dakshina lakshmana caiva kalindi viraja tatha
bhadra hrir mitravinda ca jahnavi papa-nashini

"The goddess of fortune will take birth as Bhishmaka's daughter Rukmini. Lord Shiva's consort (Parvati) will take birth as Jambavati. Tulasi will take birth as Satya and Vasundhara (Bhudevi) as Satyabhama. Dakshina (The consort of Yajnapurusha) will become Lakshmana, Viraja (the sacred river of Vaikuntha) will become Kalindi, Hri (The consort of Dharma) will become Bhadra, and Jahnavi (Ganga), who destroys sins, will become Mitravinda." (Garga Samhita 1.3.37-38)

Then later on, Krsna says,

ye ye 'vatara me purvam tesham rajnyo ramamshakah
bhavishya raja-rajnishu sahasrani ca shodasha

"Whenever in the past I incarnated in the world, the goddess of fortune would also incarnate as My queen. This time she will incarnate as My sixteen-thousand queens." (Garga Samhita, 1.4.32)

Thus, each wife of Krsna was a goddess with Lakshmi Devi's amsa residing within her. Also, this implies that only for Krsna avatar, the whole Trimurti-Tridevi and other deva's wives concept was scrapped, so that they could all become Krsna's wives.

1

The other wives are not reconciled to the LakshmiNarayana duality, They could in fact be like Vedavati in the Venkateshwara avatara.

Vedavati requested Rama that he take her as his wife to which the Lord replied that his incarnation as Rama was to demonstrate the concept of Eka Patnitva(one wife) and other dharmas.Hence he told her that he would marry her in his future Avatara as Lord Balaji

In fact Krishna's parents themselves got the good fortune of being his parents through intense Tapas.

It is also mentioned that great Rshis incarnated along with Krishna as the Gopikas to enjoy his divine Leela.

Hence the other 7 wives could have been ardent devotees of The Supreme or great Brahma Jnanis who had the great boon of being the lord's consort in his most powerful Avatara(PoornAvatara)

1

In the spiritual world, Govinda, Lord Krishna is served by hundreds and thousands of Laksmis. This is mentioned in Brahma Samhita 5.29

cintamani-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vrksa-

laksavrtesu surabhir abhipalayantam

laksmi-sahasra-sata-sambhrama-sevyamanam

govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, the first progenitor who is tending the cows, yielding all desire, in abodes built with spiritual gems, surrounded by millions of purpose trees, always served with great reverence and affection by hundreds of thousands of laksmis or gopis.

Radharani is the chief among all the above Laksmis. All Laksmis are Her expansions and She is mentioned in the Brhad-gautamiya-tantra and cited in Caitanya Caritamrta Adi lila 4.83

devi krsna-mayi prokta

radhika para-devata

sarva-laksmi-mayi sarva-

kantih sammohini para

“The transcendental goddess Srimati Radharani is the direct counterpart of Lord Sri Krsna. She is the central figure for all the goddesses of fortune. She possesses all the attractiveness to attract the all-attractive Personality of Godhead. She is the primeval internal potency of the Lord.”

Further more it is stated in Caitanya Caritamrta Adi lila 4.77 that the queens of Krishna are reflections of Her image.

CC Adi 4.77 — The goddesses of fortune are partial manifestations of Srimati Radhika, and the queens are reflections of Her image.

  • 1
    The Brahma-Samhita, the Brihad-Gautamiya Tantra, and the Chaitanya Charitamrita are all texts that are by and large accepted only by Gaudiya Vaishnavas. Are you aware of any other scriptures that describe this notion of multiple Lakshmis? – Keshav Srinivasan Dec 13 '14 at 7:04
  • @@Srinivasa Charya dasa - Also, please read the statement "laksmi-sahasra-sata-sambhrama-sevyamanam..." carefully. No where it means thousands of lakshmi...This means Lakshmi along with other thousands of others worship Lord Govinda..Here the name "Lakshmi" explicitly appears which is to separate out the others..Another meaning is Lakshmi expands herself in 1000 forms to serve the and no where in Bramha samhita it says there are thousands of Lakshmi. – user808 Dec 13 '14 at 14:55
  • @KeshavSrinivasan, I do not know about other texts and it is natural that not all schools accepts that conclusions of all others schools. – srinivasacarya dasa Dec 13 '14 at 15:00
  • @Krishna, "Also, please read the statement "laksmi-sahasra-sata-sambhrama-sevyamanam..." carefully. No where it means thousands of lakshmi" - Please explain why? – srinivasacarya dasa Dec 13 '14 at 15:01
  • @@Srinivasa charya dasa - I already gave you two meanings and Lakshmi is explicitly mentioned and not any other consort of the Lord....What i mean is that there are no thousands of Lakshmi, but one Lakshmi only who can expand into thousand lakshmis...Please read my statements carefully. – user808 Dec 13 '14 at 15:07

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