Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna


  • Christopher Austin
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_555-1



Rukmiṇī: Vāsudeva Kṛṣṇa’s eldest and principal wife, a princess of Vidarbha.

Rukmiṇī: Queen of Dvārakā

Rukmiṇī is the eldest wife of Vāsudeva Kṛṣṇa and is often identified as an incarnation of the goddess of prosperity Śrī-Lakṣmī. The earliest sources that speak of her are the Mahābhārata (MBh) [14] and Harivaṃśa (HV) [16]. As a princess of Vidarbha (Eastern Maharashtra) and daughter of King Bhīṣmaka, she is abducted by Kṛṣṇa just moments before her unwanted marriage to Śiśupāla of Cedi and becomes Kṛṣṇa’s chief queen in Dvārakā, bearing him several sons, of whom the most important is Pradyumna. She is often cast in a discordant relationship with Satyabhāmā, a younger wife of Kṛṣṇa. Rukmiṇī’s importance in Hinduism is defined largely by the role she plays in the mythic accounts of Kṛṣṇa’s life, although she does have a significant presence in certain worship traditions such as at the temple of Viṭṭhal Kṛṣṇa in Paṇḍharpūr, Maharashtra.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Classics (Religious Studies)Dalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada