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Looking back through history, epics, literature, and scriptures, one can attribute many significant turns of events to the role of worthy emissaries. The emissary who smoothed out Rukmini’s Swayamvaram to its dramatic heights was an erudite Vedic scholar, commonly known as a Brahmin. He remained self-effacing and humble after performing a flawless job. Leaving aside the details of the Swayamvaram, I shall confine my analysis to the illustrious ambassador.

Bhishmaka, the king of Vidarbha in Central India, had four sons and one daughter. The daughter- the youngest of them all, was princess Rukmini. Bhishmaka agreed to the marriage of Rukmini with Shri Krishna, as per her desire. Nevertheless, under the pressure of his eldest son Rukmi to marry Rukmini to Sisupala- the prince of Chedi kingdom, King Bhishmaka had to stand by his son. Rukmini had no one in her family to bank on to share her feelings of disappointment. She worked out a plan to execute her action of marrying only Shri Krishna.

Rukmini sent a secret message to Shri Krishna, who lived in Dwarka, about 1300 kilometers from Vidarbha. She chose a Brahmin, an erudite Vedic scholar, as her trusted envoy.

The scholarly Brahmin was bold, as he was always in the realm of truth. Thus, he was not afraid of the powers of the king. He knew the feelings of Rukmini and her unassailable perseverance, by which she would not back out from her decision.

There is no mention in the scripture, Srimad Bhagavatam, that the Brahmin had carried a written message from Rukmini. So, he would have to convey the message to Shri Krishna verbally. The communication was delicate, and it had implications for Rukmini and the kingdoms of Vidarbha and Chedi. Hence, communicating the message to Shri Krishna in confidence had to be tactical. The scholarly Brahmin was the most suited person from the point of his skill in communication. The Brahmin treading the distance through other kingdoms to reach Shri Krishna had to be cautious not to invite any suspicion.

The Brahmin had easy access to Dwarka, as expected, and the guards led him straight to Shri Krishna, following the prescribed protocol for receiving such illustrious personalities. Shri Krishna greeted him warmly and revered him. Following that, he wanted to know from the Brahmin about his need to travel such a long distance. The Brahmin eloquently conveyed Rukmini’s prayers and her message in a profound explanation that could captivate anyone with a literary bent.

By that time, there was only one day left for the marriage to take place. Shri Krishna rode his chariot, taking along the illustrious Brahmin with him. They reached Vidarbha overnight. The details about the Swayamvaram of Rukmini are in chapters 52 and 53 of Dasama Skandam of Srimad Bhagavatam (illustrated vividly in my book Satyam Param Dhimahi Part 2).

When the Brahmin informed the worried Rukmini in her private room about Shri Krishna’s arrival in Vidarbha, Rukmini thanked God for assisting her in getting out of her predicament. She considered giving the Brahmin a gift in appreciation of his selfless service to her. Any material gift she imagined being valuable for the Brahmin fell short of her expectations. So she only bowed and touched the Brahmin’s feet as a token of her respect. This gesture was far more virtuous than any material gift.

History is full of such illustrious envoys who led events in the right direction. While the people relished the occasions, the silent role of such messengers remained hidden. The Brahmin has not been assigned any name in the story. There is nothing about his personal life as well.

Apart from the story contents, these aspects are a learning experience for a student through our scriptures. Diplomacy, perfection, tact and tenacity, all go together in shaping the outcome of important events and their conclusion!

GREG RAKOZY RFP
2 comments
    1. Yes, great lessons to be learnt from such emissaries who are silent and do not miss their goals.

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