Ashtabharya – Eight Wives of Lord Krishna

Lord Krishna, the 8th avatar of Lord Vishnu, is well known for his many roles during the end of Dwapara Yuga. Shri Krishna had eight principal wives: Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Kalindi, Mitravrinda, Nagnajiti, Bhadra, and Lakshana. Together they are called Ashtabharya.

Mahabharata says he had 16108 wives in total. The remaining 16,100 were rescued from Narakasura, where they were forcibly held. These women were ashamed because they lived with the Asura king, and none of their families accepted them. So, Sri Krishna gave these women the status of his wives to provide them with refuge and a place of honor in society.

Ashtabharya with Krishna 
Ashtabharya with Krishna 

Eight Consorts of Krishna

Let’s talk about the eight main consorts of Lord Krishna in chronological order:

1. Rukmini

Lord krishna and Rukmini
Rukmini Harana

Rukmini Devi is the first wife of Krishna, the main queen of Dwarka. Her birthday is celebrated on Rukmini Dwadashi. The Bhagavata Purana describes how Krishna kidnaps Rukmini at her request from a wedding ceremony in which she was to marry another prince.

Among Ashtabharya, Rukmini is considered the most important. Although the princess was born into the earthly king Bhishmaka in the province of Vidarbha, she is an incarnation of the goddess Lakshmi.

Rukmini and Krishna had ten children. Rukmini’s first son was Pradyumna. Then she gave birth to Charudeshna, Sudeshna, the powerful Charudeha, Sucharu, Charugupta, Bhadracharu, Charuchandra, Vicharu, and Charu.

2. Jambavati

Jambavant Offers His Daughter Jambavati and Shyamantaka Gem to Shri Krishna
Jambavant Offers His Daughter Jambavati and Syamantaka Gem to Shri Krishna

Jambavati was the daughter of Jambavan, the bear who helped Lord Rama find his wife, Sita, and fight Ravana. Rama blessed him with a long life.

Once, a Yadava who lived in Dwaraka named Satrajit was a great devotee of Surya, the sun god, so Surya gave him his famous gem Syamantaka, which provides wealth to whoever wears it.

Krishna advised Satrajit to give it to Akrurji, but Satrajit refused. Then the Syamantaka gem disappeared, and Satrajit accused Krishna of stealing it. Krishna tracked the gem down to Jambavan Mountain Cave to clear his name. Jambavan found it but gave it to his son to play with. Then Krishna fought against Jamabavan to retrieve the gem.

Jamabavan soon realized that Krishna was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and, therefore, a rebirth of Rama, to whom Jamabavan had the greatest loyalty. He then gave Krishna the Syamantaka gem and gave him the hand of his daughter Jambavati in marriage.

Krishna and Jambavati had ten children: Sumitra, Purujit, Shatajit, Sahastrajit, Vijay, Chitraketu, Vasuman, Dravida, and Kratu.

3. Satyabhama

satyabhama killing narakasura
Satyabhama and Krishna during the war with Narakasura

Satyabhama is the third wife of Krishna, the embodiment of the Earth goddess Bhumidevi and the daughter of Satrajit Yadava.

When Bhagavan Sri Krishna returned to Dwaraka by marrying Jambavati, he returned the Syamantaka gem to Satrajit, the rightful owner. Satrajit felt guilty for falsely accusing Krishna of stealing the gem, so he gave Krishna the hand of his daughter Satyabhama in marriage.

It is said that Satyabhama treated Krishna more like her husband, her lover/soulmate, rather than the Lord, which was very pleasing for him as well. Therefore, Krishna takes Satyabhama with him on various expeditions and adventures.

Lord Krishna took her to the heavenly planets, where he stole the Parijata tree and fought with Lord Indra. He also took her to the battle with Narakasura, where Krishna behaves like a true hero, saving 16,000 princesses. Krishna tries to show his prowess to Satyabhama. She appreciates his pressure and courage and respects him for his generosity.

Satyabhama and Krishna also had ten children: Bhanu, Subhanu, Swarbhanu, Prabhanu, Bhanuman, Chandrabhanu, Vrihadbhanu, Atibhanu, Sribhanu, and Pratibhanu.

While Satyabhama was proud of her beauty and being the princess of a noble family, she got the boon of longevity from Goddess Aditi. However, in the last stage of her life, Satyabhama retired to the forest to impose severe penance on herself.

4. Kalindi

Kalindi is the daughter of the Sun (Surya) and the river goddess, the Yamuna. She is the fourth wife of Krishna, whom Krishna saw during his visit to Pandavas.

After successfully escaping from the House of Fire (Lakshagriha), Shri Krishna went to Indraprastha to meet the Pandavas with Satyaki. Yudhishthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, Sahadeva, Draupadi, and Kunti worshiped him.

During this stay, Krishna and Arjuna went hunting on the banks of the Yamuna River, and they saw a young girl doing penance so that she could marry Vishnu. So Krishna convinced her to marry him. Kalindi lived in the Khandav forest. This is where the Pandavas’ kingdom Indraprastha was built.

Krishna and Kalindi also had ten children: Shruta, Kavi, Vrisha, Veer, Subahu, Bhadra, Shanti, Darsa, Poornamas, and Somaka.

5. Mitravinda

Mitravrinda is the daughter of Jayasena, king of Avanti, and a cousin of Krishna. Her brothers wanted her to marry Duryodhana, and they organized a Swayamvara without inviting Krishna and Balarama.

Balarama, who knew of Mitravinda’s fondness for Krishna, advised him to marry her, but Krishna was unsure of her true feelings. He then questioned his sister, Subhadra, who comforted him in Mitravinda’s love for him, so he took her away and married her.

Krishna and Mitravinda had ten sons; Vrika, Harsha, Anila, Gridhra, Vardhana, Annad, Mahasa, Pavana, Vahini, and Shudhi.

6. Nagnajiti

Nagnajiti, also known as Satya, is the daughter of Nagnajita, king of Kosala. He was a very pious king who carefully followed the writings of the Vedas. He had promised to give his daughter’s hand to the one who tamed seven fierce bulls.

But so far, no prince had achieved this task. Krishna once visited the king with all his court. The king greeted the god with enthusiasm and told him that he would be happy to have him as a son-in-law but that he had to manage to tame the bulls, which he had no doubts about.

Krishna entered the arena and transformed into seven figures who soon tied a noose around the necks of the angry bulls. When the couple returned to Dwarka, they were attacked by the dismissed princes. But Krishna’s army quickly routed them.

The children of Satya and Krishna are Veer, Chandra, Asvasen, Chitragupta, Vegeta, Vrisha, Aanm, Shanku, Vasu, and Kunti.

7. Bhadra

Bhadra is the daughter of Dhrishtaketu and his wife, Shrutakirti. The Princess of Kaikeya herself chooses Krishna as her bridegroom in the Swayamvara ceremony (assembly of suitors).

They had ten sons; Sangramjit, Brihatsen, Shoor, Praharan, Arijit, Jai, Subhadra, Vam, Ayu, and Satyaka.

8. Lakshana

Lakshana is the daughter of the king of Bhadra Brihatsena, who had organized a Swayamvara ceremony for his daughter. She loved Krishna; therefore, Krishna went to her Swayamvara and kidnapped her.

In another story, Krishna participated in an archery competition with Arjuna, the best archer, and the Duryodhana and Jarasandha. The princes missed the mark, and for Krishna to win the princess’s hand, Arjuna intentionally missed the mark, and his brother, Bhima, refused to shoot.

They had Praghosha, Gatravan, Singh, Bal, Prabal, Urdhwag, Mahashakti, Saha, Oz, and Aparijit as their children.

Lord Krishna and his Wives

Rukmini is considered the ideal, divine, and loyal wife among the eight wives, so she is Dwarka’s important and main queen.