Religious Studies and Theology, Vol 33, No 1 (2014)

The Abduction of Śrī-Rukmiṇī: Politics, Genealogy and Theology in 87–90

Christopher R Austin
Issued Date: 17 Jun 2014

Abstract


This article examines the Harivaṃśa’s rendering of Vāsudeva Kṛṣṇa’s encounter with and marriage to Rukmiṇī of Vidarbha (HV 87–90), and proposes that this episode of Kṛṣṇa’s life is of special importance to the Harivaṃśa’s larger concern to develop in full the Mahābhārata’s partial portrait of the adult Vāsudeva Kṛṣṇa. I argue that the Harivaṃśa’s basic work of unpacking Kṛṣṇa’s adult identity advances on three fronts simultaneously: genealogical, political and theological, and that it is especially by recounting Kṛṣṇa’s relationship with Rukmiṇī that the poets are able to develop all at once some of the key political, genealogical and theological dimensions of Kṛṣṇa’s identity revealed only partially in the Mahābhārata.

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DOI: 10.1558/rsth.v33i1.23

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