Queen Rukmini’s Pure Devotion to Lord Krishna
By Nandini Radha devi dasi
From Caitanya Mangala by Locana Das Thakur (Chapter 2)
Narada Muni Visits Dvaraka
Murari Gupta continued, “Thus the great sage Narada, seeing the miserable condition of the people in Kali-yuga, thought deeply about their deliverance. Knowing that only the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna Himself, could rectify the situation, Narada Muni set out for Dvaraka, in the spiritual world.
“At that time, Lord Dvarakadisa, having just spent the night with Queen Satyabhama, decided to visit the palace of Queen Rukmini. As soon as Rukmini learnt that Krishna was coming to see her, she became filled with ecstasy. Her body trembled in anticipation.
“Although the palace was already spotlessly clean, Rukmini, in the ecstasy of receiving Lord Krishna in her palace, dressed nicely and personally cleansed her private chambers. Musicians filled the air with sweet vibrations to greet the Lord. Placing pots full of water near the door, she lit ghee lamps and fragrant incense to provide an auspicious welcome for her Lord.
“The good-natured, topmost Queen Rukmini, along with Mitravinda and Nagnajiti, joyfully received Lord Krishna. Rukmini washed His lotus feet with scented water and offered arati. Taking Krishna’s feet as her only property, Rukmini held them to her breasts. While looking lovingly at the Lord, Rukmini cried uncontrollably.
“Cakrapani [Krishna, the wielder of the disc], becoming astonished, asked Rukmini, ‘O Devi, I can’t understand why you are weeping. Please tell me why you are crying so profusely. The whole world knows that you are My favorite. Who is more dear to Me than you?’
“Krishna continued, ‘Have I disobeyed any of your orders, or done anything wrong, My dear? Are you still disturbed over that time I joked with you? Feeling guilty about that, I tried to pacify you in many ways, but I couldn’t soften your heart.’
“Remembering that time when Krishna spoke cruel words to her, Rukmini spoke in an angry tone mixed with affection, ‘My heart may be hard, but still I am most fortunate in that You are my life and soul.’
“Rukmini continued, ‘My Lord, Your lotus feet are more dear to me than even You Yourself. After drinking madhvika [an intoxicat’mg celestial drink], Lord Siva dances continually, hoping to attain Your lotus feet. Prabhu, You know everything there is to know, but how is it that You don’t understand the heart of one who loves Your lotus feet? You will understand the intensity of the love I feel if you cultivate Radha-bhava, the mood of Srimati Radharani’s selfless love, within Your heart.’
“Becoming astonished by hearing these words’ of His dear most Queen Rukmini, Lord Krishna asked her to explain it again. Lord Krishna said, ‘O Devi, I didn’t understand exactly what you just said. What is it that remains unknown to Me? Your words have captivated My heart. I have never heard before that there was something which I did not understand. What is that rare substance which is most valuable in the three words? Though I cannot perceive the meaning of Your words, My mind has become blissful just by hearing them. O Devi, I beg You, please tell only, “Me.” ‘
With complete faith in the lotus feet of the Lord, I, Locana Dasa, describe these transcendental pastimes.
The Power of Krishna’s Lotus Feet
Murari Gupta continued, “Rukmini Devi, the goddess of fortune, replied to Lord Krishna, ‘My dear Lord, You are the crest-jewel of all transcendental qualities. Within Your heart You can’t know why I’m crying, even though everything else is known to You. You don’t know the power of Your lotus feet. My heart weeps because soon You will leave my palace and go away.’ ‘The fragrance of Your lotus feet spreads in all directions. Simply smelling that fragrance frees anyone from old age and death. One who drinks the nectar of Your lotus feet becomes transcendental to day, night, and the passing seasons. The pure devotees who lovingly clasp Your reddish lotus feet are worshiped by the whole world. And the world becomes auspicious by worshiping the feet of such pure devotees.’
The Power of Radharani’s Pure Love
“Rukmini Devi continued, ‘My dear Lord, You control everyone in the three worlds. No one can control You. Now please listen. I’m going to tell You something from the bottom of my heart. Whoever has intense attachment to serving Your lotus feet will definitely taste transcendental ecstasy. Because I am completely devoted and surrendered to You, I can experience the ecstasy of worshiping Your lotus feet. ‘You, however, are the Supreme Lord, so how can you understand this ecstasy? Besides me, only Srimati Radharani knows how to relish the mellows of love and taste the highest transcendental pleasure. Although devotees discuss these topics throughout the day and night, they are always amazed by the unique quality of Radharani’s pure love for You. ‘Laksmi Devi, the goddess of fortune; Lord Brahma, the demigods, and the demigoddesses are all eager to serve Your lotus feet. By receiving the nectar of Your feet, they all attained spontaneous devotional service. Kamala, the goddess of fortune, who always lies on your bed enjoying Your kisses and loving embraces, always desires to attain Your lotus feet. Who can estimate the unlimited glories of Your lotus feet? ‘Even after enjoying so much happiness, the goddess of fortune longs for the mercy achieved by serving Your lotus feet. Only Radharani who enjoyed with You in Vrndavana, can understand this completely. No one can compare with Radharani. It mystifies me how Radharani binds You so completely with Her transcendental qualities. Even today, Your heart pines for Her, and tears pour from Your eyes whenever You chant the name of Radha. Just see the power of Radha’s pure love. ‘Now I’m ecstatic to have Your lotus feet in my home. Fearing our inevitable separation, I can’t help but cry. The taste of serving Your lotus feet overpowers my attraction to You. In transcendental love, Your devotees always hanker for Your lotus feet, meditate upon You, and absorb themselves in Your pastimes. You are the only shelter of the pure devotees. ‘Laksmi Devi always serves Your lotus feet with a desire to love You. Although You are Her Lord and master, You fail to reciprocate with Her desire and give pain to Her heart. Whoever wants to taste an unlimited supply of nectar will find it by serving Your lotus feet. Laksmi and Sarasvati think themselves most fortunate to have surrendered at Your feet, even if You neglect them.
‘Whoever tastes the ecstasy of Your love considers the four kinds of liberation, and even residence on Vaikuntha, to be most insignificant. It is a quality of Your lotus feet that they manifest pure ecstatic love of God in those who serve them. With folded hands, I pray to You, my dear Lord. Your feet are sweeter than lotus nectar. Please give me this benediction. May I become a honeybee forever attached to Your lotus feet. Fearing separation from You, my heart trembles in lamentation. Grant me the boon that You will never leave my home.'”
In reality, this was not a prayer of Rukmini Devi, but rather an outburst of love, gushing from Her heart of pure devotion.
Thus, I, Locana Dasa, sing the nectarcan glories of the Lord.
Murari Gupta continued narrating the story to Damodara Pandita. Murari said, “After hearing Rukmini Devi’s wonderful words, Krishna’s heart danced in ecstasy. His lotus eyes, reddish like the rising sun, filled with tears of compassion. Sitting on His throne, Lord Krishna gently placed Rukmini on His lap and consoled her. He held Rukmini’s chin with His right hand and lovingly looked at her. Waves of nectar overflowed from the ocean of prema within their hearts.
“Lord Krishna said to Rukmini, ‘O My beloved, I’ve never heard such an amazing and wonderful description. Until today, no one has ever suggested to Me that I should personally taste the love that My pure devotees have for Me.’