Ashtabharya means 8 wives. Ashta means 8(eight) and Bharya means wife. According to Vishnu Purana; Ashtabharya describes the 8 mainstream queens and dearest wives of Lord Krishna.
Names of 8 wives of Lord Krishna
The pre-eminent eight queens are popular as Ashtabharya in ‘Srimad Bhagavata Maha Purana’.
|Names||Who they are?|
|Rukmini||Daughter of Bhishmaka, the king of Vidarbha|
|Satyabhama||An incarnation of Mother earth & Daughter of Satrajit|
|Jambavati||Daughter of Jambavan|
|Kalindi||Daughter of God Surya and Saranyu and the deity of river Yamuna|
|Mitravinda||Daughter of Jayasena, Rajadhidevi|
|Nagnajiti||Daughter of king Nagnajita of Kosala|
|Bhadra||Daughter of Dhrishtaketu & Shrutakirti|
|Lakshmana||Daughter of Brihatsena the King of Madra|
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On scrutinizing the personal life of Lord Krishna; it has been perused that he always respected women’s desires. The marriage with Goddess Rukmini and Mitravinda are great examples of his nobility. While respecting their wishes, Lord Krishna had kidnapped them from Swayamvara- a traditional practice of choosing a spouse among various bride-grooms. Lord Krishna had 16,108 wives, but out of them, there were only 8 who were most dear to him. Together, they called Ashtabharya.
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Rukmini: First wife of Lord Krishna – Princess of Vidarbha
The very first wife of Lord Krishna and the prettiest incarnation of Goddess Laxmi. She was the head- queen and thus held the most important position in Krishna’s heart. Rukmini was the daughter of King Bhishma of Vidarbha. She desperately wanted to marry Lord Krishna, but his brother Rukmini was against the marriage. Finally, they had to run away and get married. They later had ten sons.
Satyabhama: Incarnation of Mother earth
Satyabhama. She was the daughter of Satrajit who was the owner of that stolen Mani. Lord Krishna finally returned his gem that caused Satrajit to ashamed and thus he apologized for the allegation. To regret the same, he requested Lord Krishna to marry his daughter- Satyabhama.
Satyabhama’s father Satrajit owned a divine jewel called Syamantaka. Krishna told Satrajit to send the jewel to Ugrasena so that it could be guarded safely. Satrajit’s brother Prasanna took the jewel and went hunting, he was attacked and killed by a lion. Meanwhile, Jambava (who lived from the time of Sri Rama) took the jewel and gave it to his daughter to play with.
When Satyajit heard of his brother’s death and missing Syamantaka he accused Krishna of it. Krishna went in search of Syamantaka so that he could clear the accusation, he found the jewel with Jambava. they fought for 28 days for the jewel, Jambava finally surrendered and recognized Krishna to be the incarnation of Rama. and prayed for him to marry his daughter. Thus Krishna married Jambavati.
Krishna returned the jewel to Satrajit, when Satyajit came to know of the happenings he asked Krishna’s forgiveness and gave his daughter Satyabhama’s hand in marriage to Krishna
Jamvanti: Daughter of Jambava
Jamvanti was the daughter of Jamvant Ji. Lord Krishna was accused of stealing the precious gem-Mani. To prove that allegation wrong, he himself started looking for the gem. Then he came to know that the man was with one of the devotees of previous birth- Jamvant. Jamvant did not recognize Lord Krishna and consequently fought with Him in disguise. During the brawl, he incarnated Himself as Lord Rama, and on this account; Jamvant gave the mani back and announced his daughter’s Jamvanti official marriage with Lord Rama (Lord Krishna).
Kalindi: Deity of River Yamuma
The daughter of Sun God-Kalindi is renowned as the fourth better-half of Lord Krishna. She penances hard with the desire to marry Lord Krishna. Thus God fulfilled his wish and married with the proper marital ceremony. Kalindi used to live in a forest named- Khandava. This is the same forest where Indraprastha was made ‘five Pandavas’.
Nagrajiti: Princess of Kosala
His Fifth consort was Nagrajiti who was also famed as Satya. Nagrajiti was the daughter of King Nagrajit. King Nagrajit organized an onerous Swayamvara for her daughter’s marriage. He already knew that it could only be achieved by Lord Krishna. The condition for triumphing Swayamvara was extremely weird and difficult as it was: the one who would be able to fight with seven crazy oxen in his sovereignty was capable of getting his daughter- Satya as her spouse. Lord Krishna fulfilled his condition; he won the Swayamvara and married Satya.
Mitravinda: Princess of Ujjain
Lord Krishna also married Mitravinda who was his sixth wife. The sister of Ujjain’s distinguished kings – Vind and Anuvind. Both of them were followers of Duryodhana. The Swayamvara organized for her marriage ceremony; she wanted to choose Lord Krishna as her husband, but Vind and Anuvind did not allow her sister to do so. Then, Lord Krishna seized Mitravinda from Swayamvara.
Bhadra: The princess of Kekeya
Bhadra is the seventh wife of Lord Krishna, who was the daughter of King Dhrishtaketu and his wife Shrutakirti. Her five brothers including Santardana had married Bhadra off to Lord Krishna.
Lakshana: 8th Wife of Lord Krishna
Lakshana was famous as the eighth (last but not the least) wife of Lord Krishna. She is blessed with adept traits and splendid qualities. She was the daughter of an unnamed monarch of the Madra kingdom.
Lord Krishna married these charming women with proper rituals and divine sacraments. According to another legend; 16100 slaves (dasiya) were locked in Narakasur jail when Shri Krishna liberated them from imprisonment. No one in society was ready to adopt them. In this adverse scenario, Lord Krishna proclaimed each of them as his queen and aided them in gaining their respect back.
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How many wives did Lord Krishna have?
Lord Krishna had 16, 108 wives; among them, 8 queens are principal wives. However, Sri Radharani was the most beloved of all and very close to Lord Krishna in every aspect. In essence, Lord Krishna always wanted to marry Sri Radha yet he could not (due to some adverse unfavorable context).