The mystery behind the many marriages of Shri Krishna.
(Shri Krishna ke bahu-vivaha ka Rahasya).
From the book LEKH AUR UPDESH – chapter 3 of the section on UPDESH.
We have explained the Adhi Bhautik meaning of the Goverdhan leela, the meeting of Krishna and Kubja and some other leelas.
Today we shall learn the mystery behind the multiple marriages of Shri Krishna’s sixteen thousand one hundred and eight queens. What was the meaning behind ? Why did he leave Mathura and then build Dwarka and stay there?
Those who have listened to the Shreemad Bhagwad know that Raja Yayati had 5 sons- Yadu, Purru, Tuvarsu, Anu and Druhyu.
Tuvarsu and Anu left Bharat and went to Taatar (Turkestan).History proves the Turks are the descendants of these two. The Mughal emperors were also sons of these Turks. These Mughals had the emblem of the moon on their flags which goes to prove that they belong to the Chandra Vansh (dynasty) and thus were the real sons of the Turavsu and Anu. The other sons of Yayati stayed in India. For some reason Yayati had some differences with his son Yadu . He cursed him saying that his sons would be scoffed by the Kshatriya clan and that they would not keep harmonious relationships with him. Due to this curse the above did happen.
Shri Krishna was also born in this clan. He thought why should the dynasty that I belong to be looked at with hatred? Why should it be considered fallen or disgraced ? Can I not make it respectable and progressive? Blessed is the one who uplifts and brings fame to his family with sheer courage and grit. His fame spreads in all directions just as the rays of the moon.
It is said that On whose birth the family progresses and reaches its peak and attains universal fame , only such a person’s birth is of some consequence or meaning. In this ever changing world millions are born and millions die. Just one such son is enough who can bring glorious fame to his family ( char chand laga de). A thousand sons are useless if they do nothing for the family to bring it any glory.
A bitch and pig delivers so many little ones but they do not make any impact in the world. The lioness gives birth to just one cub who becomes the king of the jungle with his valor. Crores of stars cannot remove the darkness of the night but just one moon can bring in light in all directions.
Bhagwan Shri Krishna too found a way to make his dynasty glorious and progressive. He thought that if I have just one wife I shall be related to only one Kshatriya family but if I marry many then I can be related to many more Kshatriyas. We may have good relations with many but unless we have the bonding of ‘Roti aur beti’ (food and daughter) the relationship cannot be strong. An elevated and famous family will automatically bring the lesser family to its own status when a marriage or association takes place. Keeping this in mind Shri Krishna became related to 16108 Kshatriya families by marrying their daughters. There was no king left in Bharat who was not related to Him. This itself brought dignity and respect to His dynasty.
There is one more mystery behind the multi marriages. Every person weighs the loss-profit factor before doing anything. In classical language it is called Vyatirek and Anavya (punishment and reward). In
the Puranas we have both good and bad stories. The good stories encourage us to follow the right path so that we can benefit by imbibing virtues in our lives. The bad stories tell us that if we ignore the good stories we are sure to fall and be disrespected in life. From Yuddhistra’s game of dice we learn that this sport is evil and can bring in miseries and calamities. Indulging in this sport he had many problems. Yuddhistra was a capable person but yet he could not overcome this problems. We are really nothing in comparison to him (hum kis khet ki mooli hai ?).
Now let us understand ‘Reward and Punishment’ in greater detail. A boy cut off all the trees in the garden just for fun. The father was angry and wanted to know the name of the culprit. The son immediately confesses about his prank and the father is happy with his honesty and pardons him. This proves the merit of speaking the truth. Reward –(anavya).
Another boy simply shouts –“Lion has come, lion has come”.
The villagers rush to his rescue with axes in their hands. The boy laughed and said that he was playing a prank. The people return home with the conviction that the boy is naughty and not to be believed. One day the lion actually came and the boy screamed for help but the villagers paid no heed, and the lion attacked the boy and killed him. He got ‘punishment’ for speaking lies and had to face death due to it. To summarize—when we gain in life it is reward and when we lose it is punishment.
In the Ramayana we learn the reward of having only one wife. Bhagwati Seeta gave birth to two brave and valorous young boys-Luv and Kush. To have such brave and noble and illustrious children is the reward of keeping the vow of one marriage.
‘Punishment’ aspect we can learn from Shri Krishna’s story of multi marriages. When there are many marriages the off springs will naturally be many. The Lord has shown us here that when we have many children they shall fight amongst themselves and thus bring an end to the family just as His sons did to the Yadav Dynasty. Even Krishna had to see the destructions of His sons in front of His eyes. Too many children are usually weak and less daring and since there will be constant friction, in the end there will be a fight and destruction.
Shri Krishna was the Lord and had the celestial powers to keep all his 16108 queens happy and satisfied, but of course the common man cannot do that. The Lord perhaps wants to convey the message that if His dynasty came to an end having so many children then the common man is absolutely doomed! We have to learn the lesson of multi marriages from this. We can call this punishment (Vyatirek).
The third mystery behind the many wives is also there. It is considered that Vedas have one lakh mantras out of which 80,000 are on Karma Kand (rituals) and 16,000 are on Upaasana kand (prayers),4000 are on Gyan Kand (Higher knowledge). It is well known that every insentient thing there is a corresponding sentient devta. Sun, Moon, Ganga, Yamuna all have a corresponding devta. Similarly each mantra of the Vedas has a presiding deity (devis are the deities here). The 16,000 devis of the Upaasana kand had done intense prayers and expressed their desire to serve Lord Krishna. Their desires were fulfilled and they took a human form to realize their ardent desire. The Lord accepted them all as His wives and thus we see that 16,108 wives of Shri Krishna are actually the Richas (mantras) of the Vedas.
In the beginning Lord Krishna lived in Vrindavan and there was no question of marriage then. Then He came to Mathura and killed Kamsa. He stayed there for a long time thereafter. Jarasandh was very angry about the killing of Kamsa so attacked Shri Krishna 17 times. On the 18th attack Shri Krishna left Mathura and established a new capital – Dwarka. He took all his relatives and subjects to make them secure. Only after completing all these duties did Shri Krishna marry and not before that and from this we can judge that he was already quite old by then. The lesson we learn here that perhaps the Lord wants to say that child marriages are not good and that one should get married only when one is mature and older. Another lesson that we learn is that marriage should not be only for sexual pleasure but it should be for bringing progress to the nation and family. The marriages took place in Dwarka when the Lord had settled His people well. His subjects were not safe in Mathura due to the attacks of Jarasandh .This proves that the main aim in life is to one’s family and nation and not marriage.
While Shri Krishna was in Mathura He went to study under Sandipani at Ujjain. He set an example for the young princes of today not to indulge in vaasanas and vilas (amorous activities) just as soon as the kingdom comes in their hands.
Some other insights in establishing Dwarka are –
1.At that time the population of Mathura had multiplied so He thought it would be good to take His subjects to a new and open space.
2.To save them from the attacks of Jarasandh and make them safe.
3.We also learn that an intelligent son can bring in more progress than his father and can be applauded for it. The one who spends his father’s wealth cannot be praiseworthy and such a son’s birth will be useless. A son who is not dependant on his father and makes his own living and achieves something in life can indeed be a worthy son. Shri Krishna thought that it was not necessary to stay in Mathura just because it had been the tradition and maybe it would be better to build a new capital. In recent times the Malavya of Tikri has made a new capital and called it Narendra Nagar after his own name.
4.Kings should not have just one capital city is the message echoed here. If attacked by the enemy the people can easily go to the other city to safeguard themselves.
These days the western countries follow the same strategy .America has 2 cities-Washington and New York and Russia has Moscow and Leningrad.