Viṣṇu Purāṇa | Book 5 - Chapter 28

Chapter XXVIII

Rukmiṇī bore to Kṛṣṇa these other sons:

Chārudeṣṇa, Sudeṣṇa, Chārudeha, Sushena, Chārugupta, Bhadrachāru, Chāruvinda, Suchāru, and the very mighty Chāru; also one daughter, Chārumatī.

Kṛṣṇa had seven other beautiful wives:

Kālindī, Mitravrindā, the virtuous Nāgnajitī, the queen Jāmbavatī; Rohiṇī, of beautiful form; the amiable and excellent daughter of the king of Madra, Mādri; Satyabhāmā, the daughter of Śatrūjit; and Lakṣmaṇa, of lovely smiles.

Besides these, he had sixteen thousand other wives.

The heroic Pradyumna was chosen for her lord, at her public choice of a husband, by the daughter of Rukmī; and he had by her the powerful and gallant prince Aniruddha, who was fierce in fight, an ocean of prowess, and the tamer of his foes.

Keśava demanded in marriage for him the granddaughter of Rukmī; and although the latter was inimical to Kṛṣṇa, he betrothed the maiden (who was his son's daughter) to the son of his own daughter (her cousin Aniruddha).

Upon the occasion of the marriage Rāma and other Yādavas attended Kṛṣṇa to Bhojakaṭa, the city of Rukmī.

After the wedding had been solemnized, several of the kings, headed by him of Kalinga, said to Rukmī:

"This wielder of the ploughshare is ignorant of the dice, which may be converted into his misfortune: why may we not contend with him, and beat him, in play?"

The potent Rukmī replied to them, and said: "So let it be:" and he engaged Balarāma at a game of dice in the palace:

Balarāma soon lost to Rukmī a thousand Nishkas: he then staked and lost another thousand; and then pledged ten thousand, which Rukmī, who was well skilled in gambling, also won.

At this the king of Kalinga laughed aloud, and the weak and exulting Rukmī grinned, and said:

"Baladeva is losing, for he knows nothing of the game; although, blinded by a vain passion for play, he thinks he understands the dice."

Halāyudha, galled by the broad laughter of the Kalinga prince, and the contemptuous speech of Rukmī, was exceedingly angry, and, overcome with passion, increased his stake to ten millions of Nishkas.

Rukmī accepted the challenge, and therefore threw the dice.

Baladeva won, and cried aloud: "The stake is mine."

But Rukmī called out as loudly, that he was the winner:

"Tell no lies, Bala," said he: "the stake is yours; that is true; but I did not agree to it: although this be won by you, yet still I am the winner."

A deep voice was then heard in the sky, inflaming still more the anger of the high-spirited Baladeva, saying:

"Bala has rightly won the whole sum, and Rukmī speaks falsely: although he did not accept the pledge in words, he did so by his acts (having cast the dice)."

Balarāma thus excited, his eyes red with rage, started up, and struck Rukmī with the board on which the game was played, and killed him. Taking hold of the trembling king of Kalinga, he knocked out the teeth which he had shown when he laughed.

Laying hold of a golden column, he dragged it from its place, and used it as a weapon to kill those princes who had taken part with his adversaries. Upon which the whole circle, crying out with terror, took to flight, and escaped from the wrath of Baladeva.

When Kṛṣṇa heard that Rukmī had been killed by his brother, he made no remark, being afraid of Rukmiṇī on the one hand, and of Bala on the other;

but taking with him the newly wedded Aniruddha, and the Yādava tribe, he returned to Dvārakā.