--> Skip to main content

Symbolism In Rukmini Running Away With Sri Krishna Before Her Marriage

The grace of Bhagavan is always shining in our heart as our own being, ‘I am’, and its nature is to draw our mind inwards to merge it in him, as him. However, instead of submitting ourself to the sway of his grace by willingly turning within to attend to him in our heart, we generally submit ourself to the sway of our Vishaya Vasanas, allowing our attention to go outwards and thereby obstructing the work of his grace. Therefore, if we sincerely wish to avoid obstructing his grace in this way, we must surrender ourself wholeheartedly to him by trying to be steadfast in clinging fast to self-attentiveness.

To illustrate that his grace will do everything for us, provided that we surrender ourself to him with all-consuming love, Sri Ramana Maharishi would sometimes tell the story of Rukmini. She was the daughter of a powerful king, and having heard about the heroic deeds of Krishna, she had fallen in love with him and decided that she would not marry anyone else. When she told her parents of her love for Krishna and wish to marry him, they were happy at first, but her eldest brother was a friend of one of Krishna’s enemies, so he opposed her marriage to him and persuaded his parents to arrange her marriage with one of his friends. Rukmini was distraught, but was powerless to oppose her parents and brothers, so she sent a message to Krishna, opening her heart to him, telling him of her love for him, her desire to marry him and her plight. She also told him that on the morning of her wedding she would go to worship in a particular temple, and she begged him to come and rescue her at that time. Hearing the prayer of his devotee, on the pretext of attending her marriage Krishna at once came to save her, and when she went to worship in the temple, he eloped with her, taking her back to his kingdom, where he married her.

As Sri Ramana Maharshi pointed out, this story illustrates that God will do everything for us provided that our love for him is so wholehearted that we are ready to give up everything else for him. Rukmini was powerless to escape the marriage planned for her by her parents and brothers, but her love for Krishna was so great that to marry him she was willing to give up everything else that she held dear, including her parents and brothers, so he intervened and came to her rescue.

Likewise, we are powerless to escape the bonds of samsara without the help of his grace, but so long as we are unwilling to cease rising as ego and consequently attending to anything other than ourself, we are thereby obstructing the work of his grace, just as Rukmini would have obstructed Krishna’s act of rescuing her if she had been unwilling to leave her parents and brothers. Therefore, our love to know and to be what we actually are must be so strong that it leaves absolutely no room in our heart for any liking to know or to be anything else.