There are lot of talk about Lord Krishna and his sixteen thousand one hundred and eight wives. Little we know that out of these, only eight were wedded to him separately and rest sixteen thousand and one hundred he wedded, when these poor souls became widow of a demon. Lets talk about these eight queens.
Rukmini, most important amongst Ashtabharya was Krishna’s first wife and chief queen (Patrani) of Dwarka. She is considered as an avatar of Shridevi, the goddess of Material Prakriti. Satyabhama, the second wife, is considered the form of the Goddess of Elemental Prakriti Lakshmi. Though Rukmini and Satyabhama enjoy worship as the consorts of the married king Krishna, the others do not enjoy this honour. A young cowherd Krishna is worshipped with his lover Radha. Kalindi, the goddess of river Yamuna, is worshipped independently.
The story of his marriage to eight queens is below.
Lord Krishna married Rukmini, in response to her letter in which she requested him to kidnap her and save from Shishiupala. Her brother Rukma wanted her to marry Shishupala.
Lord Krishna left the battlefield in his duel with Jarasandha in order to marry her.He is also called Ranachora because of this incident. In the Kshatriya tradition of marriage called rakshasa, Krishna carried Rukmini away from the ceremony and fought off all the warriors who tried to obstruct Him.
Jambavati and Satyabhama
He married Jambavati and Satyabhama during the incidents happened in relation to Syamantaka Mani (Syamantaka was a valuable gem which produced Gold).
Krishna was falsely accused by King Satrajit of killing his brother Prasenjit for acquiring the valuable Syamantaka gem. Satrajit had received from this gem the Sun God.
To clear His name, Krishna searched for Syamantaka gem and found it in the possession of Jambavant. Krishna indulged in a fight with him for 28 days, before Jambavant realised whom he was fighting.
Jambavant handed over the gem as well as his daughter Jambavati to Krishna. On receiving the Jewel, Satrajit was remorseful at having accused Krishna.
In atonement, he gave Syamantaka gem along with his beautiful daughter Satyabhama to Krishna. Krishna however returned the Syamantaka gem to Satrajit.
Kalindi is personified Yamuna. One day Krishna and Arjuna went out on hunting. At the end of the day, they decided to bathe in the waters of the Yamuna.
Just then, Krishna spotted a beautiful maiden passing by the river. Krishna immediately sent Arjuna after her. When asked to reaveal her identity, she replied, “I’m Kalindi, the daughter of the sun god. I worship Krishna and hope to marry him one day.”
Arjuna then inquired why she was staying alone. Kalindi promptly answered. “So that nobody disturbs me during my prayers.” She continued, “I hope that one day my wish will come true and the Krishna will take me under his protection.”
Seeing the staunch devotion of Kalindi, Arjuna was pleased and went back to Krishna to tell him about her love for him and her wish. Touched by Kalindi’s pure love, Krishna decided to marry her and make her his queen.
The Bhagavata Purana records about Mitravinda’s marriage to Lord Krishna. She chooses Krishna as her husband in a Swayamvara ceremony and requests him to take her away.
However, her brothers do not like it and forbid the marriage. They join forces with the Kauravas and fight Krishna. Krishna defeats the princes and takes Mitravinda away.
Krishna married Satya by taming 7 powerful bulls. The King announced that any prince who could yoke the seven wild bulls he kept in his stables would win the hand of Satya in marriage. None of the suitors could do so but Lord Krishna tamed those ferocious bulls very easily. Arjuna also accompanied Lord Krishna in the swayamvara and he helped in defeating all the warriors who did not want the marriage to happen.
Lord Krishna‘s aunt (father’s sister) Shrutkirti was married in the kingdom of Kaikauja. Bhadra was the daughter of Shrutkirti. Bhadra had a strong desire to marry Krishna and she married Lord Krishna unconditionally. Bhadra’s brothers like Santardan etc. themselves had got their sister married to Lord Krishna.
Lakshana (or Lakshmana)
Lakshana was the daughter of the king of Madra. She was very beautiful and meritorious. Krishna competed in an archery competition. He competed with Arjuna and Duryodhana, each of them threw the match because they knew Krishna’s passion for her. He kidnapped her from Swayamvara and later married her.