Krishna Lilas - The Nectarian Pastimes of the Sweet Lord

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60. The Genealogical Table of the Family of Kṛṣṇa

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Lord Krishna

Kṛṣṇa had 16,108 wives, and in each of them He begot ten sons, all of them equal to their father in the opulences of strength, beauty, wisdom, fame, wealth and renunciation. "Like father like son." All the 16,108 wives of Kṛṣṇa were princesses, and when each saw that Kṛṣṇa was always present in her respective palace and did not leave home, they considered Kṛṣṇa to be a henpecked husband who was very much attached to them. Every one of them thought that Kṛṣṇa was her very obedient husband, but actually Kṛṣṇa had no attraction for any of them. Although each thought that she was the only wife of Kṛṣṇa and was very, very dear to Him, Lord Kṛṣṇa, since He is ātmārāma, self-sufficient, was neither dear nor inimical to any one of them; He was equal to all the wives and treated them as a perfect husband just to please them. For Him, there was no need for even a single wife. In fact, since they were women, the wives could not understand the exalted position of Kṛṣṇa nor the truths about Him.

All the princesses who were wives of Kṛṣṇa were exquisitely beautiful, and each one of them was attracted by Kṛṣṇa's eyes, which were just like lotus petals, and by His beautiful face, long arms, broad ears, pleasing smile, humorous talk and sweet words. Influenced by these features of Kṛṣṇa, they all used to dress themselves very attractively, desiring to attract Kṛṣṇa by their feminine bodily appeal. They used to exhibit their feminine characteristics by smiling and moving their eyebrows, thus throwing sharpened arrows of conjugal love just to awaken Kṛṣṇa's lusty desires for them. Still, they could not arouse the mind of Kṛṣṇa or His sex appetite. This means that Kṛṣṇa never had any sex relations with any of His many wives, save and except to beget children.

The queens of Dvārakā were so fortunate that they got Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa as their husband and personal companion, although He is not approachable by exalted demigods like Brahmā. They remained together as husband and wife, and Kṛṣṇa, as an ideal husband, treated them in such a way that at every moment there was an increase of transcendental bliss in their smiling exchanges, talking and mixing together. Each and every wife had hundreds and thousands of maidservants, yet when Kṛṣṇa entered the palaces of His thousands of wives, each one of them used to receive Kṛṣṇa personally by seating Him in a nice chair, worshiping Him with all requisite paraphernalia, personally washing His lotus feet, offering Him betel nuts, massaging His legs to relieve them from fatigue, fanning Him to make Him comfortable, offering all kinds of scented sandalwood pulp, oils and aromatics, putting flower garlands on His neck, dressing His hair, getting Him to lie down on the bed and assisting Him in taking His bath. Thus they served always in every respect, especially when Kṛṣṇa was eating. They were always engaged in the service of the Lord.

Of the 16,108 queens of Kṛṣṇa, each of whom had ten sons, there is the following list of the sons of the first eight queens. By Rukmiṇī, Kṛṣṇa had ten sons: Pradyumna, Cārudeṣṇa, Sudeṣṇa, Cārudeha, Sucāru, Cārugupta, Bhadracāru, Cāarucandra, Vicāru and Cāru. None of them were inferior in their qualities to their divine father, Lord Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, Satyabhāmā had ten sons, and their names are as follows: Bhānu, Subhānu, Svarbhānu, Prabhānu, Bhānumān, Candrabhānu, Bṛhadbhānu, Atibhānu, Śrībhānu and Pratibhānu. The next queen, Jāmbavatī, had ten sons, headed by Sāmba. Their names are as follows: Sāmba, Sumitra, Purujit, Śatajit, Sahasrajit, Vijaya, Citraketu, Vasumān, Draviḍa and Kratu. Lord Kṛṣṇa was specifically very affectionate to the sons of Jāmbavatī. By His wife Satyā, the daughter of King Nagnajit, Lord Kṛṣṇa had ten sons. They are as follows: Vīra, Candra, Aśvasena, Citragu, Vegavān, Vṛṣa, Āma, Śaṅku, Vasu and Kunti. Amongst all of them, Kuntī was very powerful. Kṛṣṇa had ten sons by Kālindī, and they are as follows: Śruta, Kavi, Vṛṣa, Vīra, Subāhu, Bhadra, Śānti, Darśa, Pūrṇamāsa and the youngest, Somaka. For His next wife, Lakṣmaṇā, the daughter of the King of Madras Province, He begot ten sons, of the names: Praghoṣa, Gātravān, Siṁha, Bala, Prabala, Ūrdhvaga, Mahāśakti, Saha, Oja and Aparājita. Similarly, His next wife, Mitravindā, had ten sons. They are as follows: Vṛka, Harṣa, Anila, Gṛdhra, Vardhana, Annāda, Mahāṁsa, Pāvana, Vahni and Kṣudhi. His next wife, Bhadrā, had ten sons, of the names Saṅgrāmajit, Bṛhatsena, Śūra, Praharaṇa, Arijit, Jaya, Subhadrā, Vāma, Āyu and Satyaka. Besides these eight chief queens, Kṛṣṇa had 16,100 other wives, and all of them had ten sons each.

The eldest son of Rukmiṇī, Pradyumna, was married with Māyāvatī from his very birth, and afterwards he was again married with Rukmavatī, the daughter of his maternal uncle, Rukmī. From this Rukmavatī, Pradyumna had a son named Aniruddha. In this way, Kṛṣṇa's family--Kṛṣṇa and His wives, along with their sons and grandsons and even great-grandsons--all combined together to include very nearly one billion family members.

Rukmī, the elder brother of Kṛṣṇa's first wife, Rukmiṇī, was greatly harassed and insulted in his fight with Kṛṣṇa, but on the request of Rukmiṇī his life was saved. Since then Rukmī had held a great grudge against Kṛṣṇa and was always inimical toward Him. Nevertheless, his daughter was married with Kṛṣṇa' son, and his granddaughter was married with Kṛṣṇa's grandson, Aniruddha. This fact appeared to be a little astonishing to Mahārāja Parīkṣit when he heard it from Śukadeva Gosvāmī. "I am surprised that Rukmī and Kṛṣṇa, who were so greatly inimical to one another, could again be united by marital relationships between their descendants." Parīkṣit Mahārāja was curious about the mystery of this incident, and therefore he inquired further from Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Because Śukadeva Gosvāmī was a practical yogi, nothing was hidden from his power of insight. A perfect yogi like Śukadeva Gosvāmī can see past, present and future in all details. Therefore, from such yogīs or mystics there can be nothing concealed. When Parīkṣit Mahārāja inquired from Śukadeva Gosvāmī, Śukadeva Gosvāmī answered as follows.

Pradyumna, the eldest son of Kṛṣṇa, born of Rukmiṇī, was Cupid himself. He was so beautiful and attractive that the daughter of Rukmī, namely Rukmavatī, could not select any husband other than Pradyumna during her svayaṁvara. Therefore, in that selection meeting, she garlanded Pradyumna in the presence of all other princes. When there was a fight among the princes, Pradyumna came out victorious, and therefore Rukmī was obliged to offer his beautiful daughter to him. Although a far-off enmity was always blazing in the heart of Rukmī because of his being insulted by Kṛṣṇa's kidnapping of his sister, Rukmiṇī, when his daughter selected Pradyumna as her husband Rukmī could not resist consenting to the marriage ceremony just to please his sister, Rukmiṇī. And so Pradyumna became the nephew of Rukmī. Besides the ten sons described above, Rukmiṇī had one beautiful daughter with big eyes, and she was married to the son of Kṛtavarmā, whose name was Balī.

Although Rukmī was a veritable enemy of Kṛṣṇa, he had great affection for his sister, Rukmiṇī, and he wanted to please her in all respects. On this account, when Rukmiṇī's grandson Aniruddha was to be married, Rukmī offered his granddaughter Rocanā to Aniruddha. Such marriage between immediate cousins is not very much sanctioned by the Vedic culture, but in order to please Rukmiṇī, Rukmī offered his daughter and granddaughter to the son and grandson of Kṛṣṇa. In this way, when the negotiation of the marriage of Aniruddha with Rocanā was complete, a big marriage party accompanied Aniruddha and started from Dvārakā. They traveled until they reached Bhojakaṭa, which Rukmī had colonized after his sister had been kidnapped by Kṛṣṇa. This marriage party was led by the grandfather, namely Lord Kṛṣṇa, accompanied by Lord Balarāma, as well as Kṛṣṇa's first wife, Rukmiṇī, His son Pradyumna, Jāmbavatī's son Sāmba and many other relatives and family members. They reached the town of Bhojakaṭa, and the marriage ceremony was peacefully performed.

The King of Kaliṅga was a friend of Rukmī's and he gave him the ill advice to play with Balarāma and thus defeat Him in a bet. Amongst the kṣatriya kings, betting and gambling in chess was not uncommon. If someone challenged a friend to play on the chessboard, the friend could not deny the challenge. Śrī Balarāmajī was not a very expert chess player, and this was known to the King of Kaliṅga. So Rukmī was advised to retaliate against the family members of Kṛṣṇa by challenging Balarāma to play chess. Although not a very expert chess player, Śrī Balarāmajī was very enthusiastic in sporting activities. He accepted the challenge of Rukmī and sat down to play. Betting was with gold coins, and Balarāma first of all challenged with one hundred coins, then 1,000 coins, then 10,000 coins. Each time, Balarāma lost, and Rukmī became victorious.

Śrī Balarāma's losing the game was an opportunity for the King of Kaliṅga to criticize Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. Thus the King of Kaliṅga was talking jokingly and purposefully showing his teeth to Balarāma. Because Balarāma was the loser in the game, He was a little intolerant of the sarcastic joking words. He became a little agitated, and when Rukmī again challenged Balarāma, he made a bet of 100,000 gold coins. Fortunately, this time Balarāma won. Although Balarāmajī had won, Rukmī, out of his cunningness, began to claim that Balarāma was the loser and that he himself had won. Because of this lie, Balarāmajī became most angry with Rukmī. His agitation was so sudden and great that it appeared like a tidal wave in the ocean on a full moon day. Balarāma's eyes are naturally reddish, and when He became agitated and angry His eyes became more reddish. This time He challenged and made a bet of a hundred million coins.

Again Balarāma was the winner according to the rules of chess, but Rukmī again cunningly began to claim that he had won. Rukmī appealed to the princes present, and he especially mentioned the name of the King of Kaliṅga. At that time there was a voice from the air during the dispute, and it announced that for all honest purposes Balarāma, the actual winner of this game, was being abused and that the statement of Rukmī that he had won was absolutely false.

In spite of this divine voice, Rukmī insisted that Balarāma had lost, and by his persistence it appeared that he had death upon his head. Falsely puffed up by the ill advice of his friend, he did not give much importance to the oracle, and he began to criticize Balarāmajī. He said, "My dear Balarāmajī, You two brothers, cowherd boys only, may be very expert in tending cows, but how can You be expert in playing chess or shooting arrows on the battlefield? These arts are well-known only to the princely order." Hearing this kind of pinching talk by Rukmī and hearing the loud laughter of all the other princes present there, Lord Balarāma became as agitated as burning cinders. He immediately took a club in His hand and, without any further talk, struck Rukmī on the head. From that one blow, Rukmī fell down immediately and was dead and gone. Thus Rukmī was killed by Balarāma on that auspicious occasion of Aniruddha's marriage.

Lord Krishna

These things are not very uncommon in kṣatriya society, and the King of Kaliṅga, being afraid that he would be the next to be attacked, fled from the scene. Before he could escape even a few steps, however, Balarāmajī immediately captured him and, because the King was always showing his teeth while criticizing Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa, broke all his teeth with His club. The other princes who were supporting the King of Kaliṅga and Rukmī were also captured, and Balarāma beat them with His club, breaking their legs and hands. They did not try to retaliate but thought it wise to run away from the bloody scene.

During this strife between Balarāma and Rukmī, Lord Kṛṣṇa did not utter a word, for He knew that if He supported Balarāma, Rukmiṇī would be unhappy, and if He said that the killing of Rukmī was unjust, then Balarāma would be unhappy. Therefore, Lord Kṛṣṇa was silent on the death of His brother-in-law, Rukmī, on the occasion of His grandson's marriage. He did not disturb either His affectionate relationship with Balarāma or with Rukmiṇī. After this, the bride and the bridegroom were ceremoniously seated on the chariot, and they started for Dvārakā, accompanied by the bridegroom's party. The bridegroom's party was always protected by Lord Kṛṣṇa, the killer of the Madhu demon. Thus they left Rukmī's kingdom, Bhojakaṭa, and happily started for Dvārakā.

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Second Volume, Sixth Chapter, of Kṛṣṇa, "The Genealogical Table of the Family of Kṛṣṇa."

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