The Runaway Bride
Betrothed against her wishes to Shishupala, king of Chedi, by her brother Rukmi who sought to gain political advantage through this matrimonial alliance, Rukmini was a maiden in distress.
She encountered Krishna Vasudeva at Mathura, during the reinstatement of Ugrasena as King of Mathura after the death of his son Kans at the hands of Krishna. Rukmini had been completely smitten with the easy charm of Krishna and his heroic exploits as a youth. Not having anyone else to turn to in the face of her impending marriage to Shishupala, she sent a missive to Krishna at Dwarka to come and rescue her from an unwanted marriage.
Krishna responded with alacrity. Acting upon her suggestion that he abduct her from the temple of Ambai Devi in Kaundinyapuri, the lovers sped post-haste for Dwarka, where they were formally wed in the presence of Krishna’s parents Devaki and Vasudeva.
What followed was a marriage that endured despite the ups and downs Rukmini encountered during the seven other official marriages of Krishna, her chief rival among them being Satyabhama who was renowned for her beauty. Yet, Rukmini gained the status of being the first and chief wife of Krishna, whose love stood the tests of time.