We’ve commenced our final event of the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana – The “Rukmini-Kalyaana”. As mentioned previously, this event is actually supposed to be part of the tenth Skandha, but as per the customary practice, we reserve this event till the end of the “Charitra” and finish it with this. As part of this practice, we had witnessed in yesterday’s episode as to how Rukmini Devi fell in love with Bhagawan Krishna, with just hearing about Him through many sources. Even without looking at Him once, Rukmini Devi firmed up herself that if at all there’s a marriage scheduled for her in this birth, it should only be with Bhagawan Krishna and not with anybody else. Obviously Rukmini Devi was an incarnation of Goddess Mahalakshmi Herself, and in any case, she was destined to be divine consortium of Bhagawan Vishnu, who has incarnated in this world as Bhagawan Krishna. Hence, it is now just finding a way out to reach Bhagawan Krishna somehow.
As Rukmini Devi was thinking about Bhagawan Krishna all the time, her father, Rukmi never understood all of this. He was hell-bent in marrying Rukmini Devi to Sishupaala, who was a “Raakshasa” by nature. Sishupaala was extremely interested in Rukmini Devi and fell in love with her, the moment Rukmi came up with the marriage proposal. However, Rukmini Devi was least interested in Sishupaala and her mind, heart and soul were totally immersed in Bhakti towards Bhagawan Krishna. From this entire event, we can witness that this is not just another marriage and a love relationship that we would see today. This was one of the highest levels of Bhakti that is exhibited by an ardent devotee towards Bhagawan. Even if we witess the “Paasurams” (Hymns) of the Alwars and other Aachaaryas, many of their poetries would be of the “Naayikaa Bhaava”. It means that they would imagine themselves as women / lovers, longing for the presence of their boy / husband, who is none other than Bhagawan, and sing in praise of Bhagawan in this “Bhaava”. This cannot be categorized as the romantic relationship that normal people like us have with each other. This is a relationship of divine love and bonding with Bhagawan, and this is one way to attain proximity to Him.
In fact, if we consider the life of “Aandaal”, it was of the same category. We can draw many parallels between Rukmini Devi and Aandal. Many of us might know who Aandal is. She is the author of the famous text called “Thiruppavai” in Tamil – A collection of 30 poetries, in praise of Bhagawan Krishna, which is normally sung during the Tamil month of “Maargazhi” every year. Aandal was also in divine love with Bhagawan Krishna at a place called Srivilliputhur in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Finally it is believed that Bhagawan Krishna was deeply moved by Aandal’s divine love towards Him, and He transcended to the earth, just to marry her and take her with Him to Vaikunta. Similar is the case here with Rukmini Devi too. She was so deeply in love with Bhagawan Krishna that whatever dress or ornaments or bangles that she wears on herself, she would see it in front of the mirror, and think whether Bhagawan Krishna would like all of this in her body. Even if she smiles, she would look into the mirror and check if Bhagawan Krishna would love it, if she smiles this way. Thus, in each and every action of hers, Rukmini Devi was so immersed in love with Bhagawan Krishna.
It is at this time, Rukmini Devi had drafted a “letter” to Bhagawan Krishna, expressing her love for Him and desire to get married to Him at any cost. She sends the letter via a Brahmin messenger, who travels all the way to Dwaaraka and delivers it in person to Bhagawan Krishna. In the letter, Rukmini Devi explains how Bhagawan Krishna has entered into her heart, even without having a glance at Him in person. She explains how she was moved deeply and immersed into His characteristics and significances. She explains how she has heard a lot of His divine “Leelas” from many people and how she fell for him by hearing all of it.
We can understand one important point from this accord here – How can we feel and understand Bhagawan? Obviously we cannot see Him in person and we cannot touch Him with our hands. So how do we still manage to experience Bhagawan? It is mainly through hearing a lot about Him. The more and more we listen about Bhagawan and His significances, the more we would be attracted towards Him isn’t it? This is why we often emphasize that we should always be in the company of people who would constantly keep discussing about Bhagawan’s divine “Leelas”, debate upon them, bring out their significances and the deeper meanings attached to them, etc. By hearing all of this again and again, we slowly develop that interest to attain Bhagawan’s divine lotus feet. This process of attaining Bhagawan is called as “Shravanam” and this is one of the most important paths to attain “Moksha” according to our Sanaatana Dharma. We’ve witnessed how Prahlaada developed ardent devotion towards Bhagawan Narayana by constant listening to Sage Naarada’s accord, even when he was in his mother’s womb as a baby. It is only with this “Shravanam”, did Prahlaada develop into Bhagawan Vishnu’s most ardent devotee.
Similarly, we’re now witnessing Rukmini Devi’s accord here, and this too stresses on the importance of “Shravanam” or listening to Bhagawan’s “Charitra” over and over again. It is only because of this, we’re also spending lot of time in writing and reading this Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana text, isn’t it? The more we read, the more we listen to Bhagawan’s “Leelas”, the more we get immersed into devotion. So for today, let us understand this important point on “Shravanam” and let us wait till the next episode to witness how Bhagawan Krishna is going to respond to Rukmini Devi’s call! Stay tuned! 😊