Wives of Krishna beyond Radha are also known as Astabharya or 8 Wives. Besides them, he had 16,100 minor wives who were rescued from the demon Narakasura. Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jamvanti, Kalindi, Nagarjiti, Mitravinda, Bhadra, and Lakshana are the principal wives of Lord Krishna. The Astabharya are mentioned in the book Vishnu Purana.
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The Astabharya or the principal wives of Krishna are 8 wives.
Here are a few interesting stories about the wives of Krishna.
Table of Contents
- Rukmini, the first among the wives of Krishna
- Satyabhama and Jamvanti, the connected wives of Krishna
- Kalindi, the divine wife of lord Krishna
- Nagnajiti, the princess of Astabharya.
- Mitravinda, fifth among the wives of Krishna.
- Bhadra, the personal connection in Astabharya.
- Lakshana, the mysterious wife.
- 16,100 wives of Krishna.
- Is Radha, one of the wives of Krishna?
- Nandini, the cheater.
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Rukmini, the first among the wives of Krishna
Rukmini is the principal wife of Krishna. As per the Purana, Rukmini is said to be the reincarnation of goddess Sita. The shloka from the puran is as follows.
रुक्मिण्यभूद्रुक्ममनोज्ञभूषणा विदेहपुत्री सहधर्मचारिणी
पुरी पुरद्वारवती तदानीं ह्यासीदयोध्या रघुराज्यधानी ।।
Adorned with beautiful ornaments divine Rukmini turned into a wedded wife of Rama form and then Dwaraka of Krishna turned into the city Ayodhya which is the city of Rama.
As per Hinduism, lord Vishnu takes birth directly into the Earth to establish dharma. His direct births as per the Puranas are Rama and Krishna. In Rama avatar, Ravana kidnapped Sita from Rama, which was later reversed on another birth that fulfills the law of karma.
Ravana in another birth was Shishupala who wanted to marry Rukmini and the marriage was fixed by her brother Rukmi but as per the Rukmini’s wish, lord Krishna himself pretended and kidnapped her which avoided her marriage with Shisupala. So she became one of the principal wives of Krishna.
Satyabhama and Jamvanti, the connected wives of Krishna
Satyabhama was the daughter of a pious King of Yadavas named Satrajit. He was a wealthy individual who was also a treasurer of magnificent Dwaraka city. Satrajit was the owner of the Syamantaka jewel. One day his brother Prasena went out for hunting while wearing the jewel. Unfortunately, he was killed by a lion. Further, the lion was spotted by the bear king of Ramayana named Jambavan who is one of the immortals in Hinduism. He killed the lion and acquired the jewel from Prasena’s body. He gave the jewel to his daughter Jamvanti. However, at the court of Satrajit, he accused lord Krishna of stealing the jewel.
Krishna sent his best men in search of the jewel and found it in Jambavan’s cave with Jamvanti. Jambavan being powerful destroyed his men which made Krishna enter the cave. A fierce battle was fought between these two. Lastly, he recognized him to be non-other than Rama from the Ramayana period. He immediately wished him to marry her daughter and make her life blissful. Krishna couldn’t refuse one of his greatest devotees of the past life and agreed to marry his daughter Jamvanti. This is the story of Jamvanti.
Confused right? How did Satyabhama marry Krishna and how this story is connected?
Later on, when King Satrajit realized his mistake. He also requested Krishna to marry his three daughters. He agreed and married his three daughters including Satyabhama.
Kalindi, the divine wife of lord Krishna
Kalindi was the daughter of Surya, the sun god. One day lord Krishna went to Indraprastha located on the banks of the Yamuna River. Arjuna had accompanied him on the journey. When he was tired, he decided to rest near the Yamuna River for some time and have a bath. He saw a girl who was meditating on lord Vishnu. He immediately knew her identity. Later on, Arjuna also confirmed her identity and came to know that she wanted to marry lord Vishnu. When Arjuna informed her that Krishna is lord Vishnu, she wanted to marry Krishna. Lord Krishna agreed to marry her and took her to Indraprastha. She is the fourth among the wives of Krishna
Read the names of 33 gods in Hinduism from here.
Nagnajiti, the princess of Astabharya.
Nagnajiti’s father Nagnajita had arranged a Swayamvara for his daughter. It is the ceremony where the girl chooses her own consort based on the condition set by the king. The prince or a king who could defeat the seven ferocious bulls of Nagnajita would only be able to marry her. Lord Krishna knew about it and went to Kosala kingdom for Swayambara. At the Swayambara Lord Krishna took seven different forms to defeat the seven bulls. All seven forms defeated them. This made him victorious and Nagnajiti married him.
Mitravinda, fifth among the wives of Krishna.
Mitravinda was the sister of Ujjain’s distinguished kings namely Vind and Anuvind. However, their kingdom had openly supported Duryodhana, the enemy of Krishna’s Pandava friends. One day, Swayambara was organized for the marriage of Mitravinda. Lord Krishna also went to the ceremony where she immediately chose him to be her husband. However, her brothers were against it. This made Lord Krishna make her run away with him.
Bhadra, the personal connection in Astabharya.
Bhadra was the princess of the Kaikeya kingdom. Her father Drishtaketu had organized a Swayambar for Bhadra. Lord Krishna too participated in the ceremony. She wholeheartedly chose Krishna to be her husband which was agreed unanimously for all the family members. The mutual agreement was because her family knew Krishna personally. She was one among the wives of Krishna having a personal connection.
Lakshana, the mysterious wife.
Lakshana’s father had organized Swayambara ceremony for his daughter. In the ceremony the powerful kings and princes like Jarasandha, Duryodhana, and Arjuna were present along with lord Krishna. An archery competition was being organized for the ceremony. Jarasandha and Duryodhana failed miserably in the competition. However, when it was Arjuna’s turn, he being a close companion to Krishna understood his desire to marry her. Arjuna intentionally failed in the competition so that lord Krishna would win it. The same thing happened. Lord Krishna won and both of them got married. She is the final Astabharya or 8th in the principal wives of Krishna.
16,100 wives of Krishna.
The demon Narakasura was the son of mother Earth. From his childhood itself, he understood the meaning of his mother’s love. However, he wanted to use it for his own benefit. He started meditating on Brahma to achieve a boon. After severe penance, Brahma was impressed. He asked Brahma for a boon in which he could only be killed by his mother. Brahma agreed to it
This made in invincible and he conquered 16,100 women from all over the kingdoms of Earth and the Kingdoms of heaven. He abducted them and took them to his own realm. Later on, Satyabhama knew about this story and wanted to free them. She was an avatar of the goddess of Earth so only she could kill Narakasura. A fierce battle was fought between Narakasura and Satyabhama where he was killed. Lord Krishna on the request married all 16,100 women. They all became minor wives of Krishna.
Is Radha, one of the wives of Krishna?
No, Radha is not among the wives of Krishna or Astabharya. She is a Yogic dual of Krishna and a philosophical component of pure Bhakti Yoga. In major Puranas and Ithihaasas there is no mention of Radha. Her role is deeper and can only be understood by Bhakti Yogis which requires an accomplished teacher. However one of the basic things as a metaphor is ‘only love like Radha or Krishna towards each other can make someone reach enlightenment through Bhakti Yoga’. This is a complex philosophy that cannot be explained through Jnana or knowledge.
You can read our article on Bhakti Yoga to know more.
Nandini, the cheater.
Do you know one of the junior wives of Krishna namely Nandini was infatuated by the charm and appearance of Krishna’s son Samba? She acted like Samba’s wife and embraced him from the back. At the same time, Krishna saw it with his eyes. Lord Krishna cursed Samba that he will suffer from leprosy after this act.
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