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Indian Culture And Traditions

Valentine Love - Indian Ishstyle
By Seema Burman, February 2013 [[email protected]]

Chapter :

Valentines wait in breathless anticipation to find their posts flooded with greeting cards and phones jammed with messages. Those who have no one and yet wish to participate may say ‘I Love you’ to Krishna who accepts as many damsels in distress as the earth can hold. One such lady in distress wrote a love letter to Him that turns out to be the very first love letter written ever. It so happened………

Petite princess Rukmini had heard about the integrity of dark and handsome cow grazer Krishna whom girls of His village loved deeply but he had shifted residence and since then had been fighting evil kings, releasing his one set of parents from jail, building a wonderful city known for its architect under water in record time.  Rukmini had never set eyes on him but his virtuosity and fame lit a flame in her heart. Gradually Krishna became a passion and she desperately hoped her parents would hear of Him and marry her to him. Her one sided love took a turn when her father king Bhishmaka and queen mother discussed who would be best for their extraordinarily beautiful daughter.

Fame of Krishna had reached them too and they wondered if this most handsome, flute player, full of life yet wise person would be a suitable groom. A princely lineage was not important instead what mattered were a groom’s qualities.  No harm, they thought and decided to invite Him for the swayamvar (occasion where grooms present themselves to the bride) so that Rukmini could choose herself. Heart of hearts they hoped their divinely beautiful daughter with a heart of gold and mind of good judgment would choose Krishna. But son Rukmi rejected the suggestion and warned them of serious consequences if Krishna entered the swayamvar invited or uninvited. He shouted loudly so that his sister could overhear that his friend Shishupala, prince of Chedi would be ideally suited to her.

A horrified Rukmini cried and prayed to each and every God and Goddess. Days of swayamvar neared by and Rukmini’s became pale with fear. Her brother was planning where Shishupala was to be put up and how he, the new addition to the family, was to be welcomed. Shishupala sent word that he was willing to wed Rukmini. The swayamvar was now just a formality for the groom was finalized. Rukmini decided that giving up her life would be the best alternative. In a last bid she called her trustworthy family priest, Sunanda, and asked him to take a letter to Dwarka for Krishna. One look at the crying bride with swollen eyes and the Brahmin knew that he had an enormous role to play in the royal wedding. He hurried to reach Dwarka and fearlessly stood before Krishna with the first love letter ever written and indicated that it was to be read in privacy.

Krishna opened it unsuspectingly and as he read it he was struck with the girl’s surrender, sincerity and extreme love for him. Here was a girl who had never set eyes on Him but by hearing of his actions had loved him so much that she was ready to give up her life if he did not rescue her.  “O the infallible and the most handsome One! Having heard your qualities, which enter through the path of ears and absolve away the pains of life, and having heard about your handsome appearance, which is the only asset of the eyes of living beings with eyes, my heart is accepting you as a consort leaving behind shyness. O Mukunda, the lion among men! Given a chance, which composed girl from a good lineage will not wish for you as a consort; You - Who is the happiness of the minds of people, Who is the happiness of the world, and Who is incomparable from any viewpoint - be it lineage, nature, beauty, knowledge, energy, wealth, or abode. Therefore, O Lord! I have indeed accepted you as a consort and I have submitted myself to you. O lotus-eyed Krishna! Please arrive here and accept me; so that the prince of Chedi, Shisupala does not take away the property of brave — just like a jackal should not take away the prey of a lion.”

Rukmini even gave details of how to get her because her grand wedding would be the most well guarded occasion. There was no time to ask her parents for her hand, she clarified for her brother had conspired with Shishupala and had decided to kill Krishna if spotted anywhere. “Arrive secretly in Vidarbha one day before my marriage. Then after defeating the army-commanders Shisupala and Jarasandha, marry me with the ways of demons by showing your valor and conquering power. If you are wondering that how will you conquer me without killing the women and relatives inside my palace, then I am telling you a way out.

As per an old tradition, there is a grand fair before the marriage, during which the bride goes out to the temple of Girija for prayers”. Krishna knew that time was short and he rushed to get his chariot. The last bit of the letter made him charge with a hurry that left everyone in alarm, “O lotus-eyed Krishna! If I don’t achieve the dust of your feet, which is sought after by incomparable Ones like Umapati (Siva), then I will destroy my life. If the service of your feet is not achieved in this life, then I will take hundreds of birth and do penance; I am sure I will achieve your lotus feet someday.” Realizing something alarming had cropped up Krishna’s elder brother Balarama took his chariot and chased Krishna. The brahmin knew his job was done.

True love always wins. Divine love which is beyond the physical level gets forever etched in human memory. 

Also read
1. What is True Love

Chapter :

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