(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'The Descendant of Yadu [Krishna] at that moment hearing the confidential message of the princess of Vidarbha, took the hand of the messenger into His and said smiling the following. (2) The Supreme Lord said: 'I also am the same way in My mind fixed on her and cannot sleep at night; I know that Rukmî in his enmity is against Me marrying her. (3) I'll bring her, that indisputable beauty deeming Me the best, over here and crush in battle that half-breed royalty, the way one ignites a fire from firewood!'
(4) S'rî S'uka said: 'And known with the exact time of Rukminî's marriage told Madhusûdana His charioteer: 'Dâruka, immediately get the chariot ready'. (5) He accordingly bringing the chariot with the horses named S'aibya, Sugrîva, Meghapushpa and Balâhaka [*], next stood before Him with folded palms. (6) S'auri together with the brahmin mounting His chariot drove swiftly with His horses in a single night to the Vidarbha kingdom. (7) King Bhîshmaka who in his affection answered to the wishes of his son [Rukmî] was prepared to give his daughter away to S'is'upâla and saw to it that the required duties were performed. (8-9) The city thoroughly cleansed and with its avenues, streets and intersections abundantly sprinkled with water, was decorated with banners on flagpoles and with archways. With their homes aromatic of aguru arrayed the women and men of the city in spotless clothing, hung with jewels, fragrant and decorated with flowers and other ornaments. (10) To the rules correctly worshiping the forefathers and the demigods, o King, and feeding the scholars as was proper, had he [Bhîshmaka] chanted auspicious mantras. (11) The bride properly bathed and with her teeth washed put on her auspicious marriage-thread, as also a brand-new set of clothes and adorned herself with the most excellent jewels. (12) For the protection of the bride were, by the best of the twiceborn, mantras chanted from the Sâma, Rig and Yajur Veda and poured the priest expert in the Atharva mantras justly oblations of ghee for the peace of the ruling planets. (13) As the best of the ones known with the vidhi donated the king gold, silver, clothing and sesame seeds mixed with raw sugar to the brahmins. (14) The same way arranged the lord of Cedi, king Damaghosha, for his son [the bridegroom] that by the knowers of the mantras everything was done that was conducive to his prosperity. (15) He traveled to Kundina [Bhîshmaka's capital] accompanied by hordes of elephants dripping of the mada and arrays of golden chariots decorated with garlands and crowded by armies of foot soldiers and horses. (16) The master of Vidarbha half way meeting him with pleasure arranged for him honorably a specially constructed place to stay. (17) S'âlva, Jarâsandha, Dantavakra and Vidûratha taking to the side of S'is'upâla, came along with Paundraka and thousands of others. (18-19) Those inimical towards Krishna and Râma were thus prepared: 'In order to secure the bride for S'is'upâla will we join to fight Him together, should Krishna accompanied by Râma and other Yadus come to steal her', and thus decided had all the kings come complete with a contingent of troops.
(20-21) When Lord Balarâma heard of these hostile preparations of the kings and that Krishna had set off alone to steal the bride, went He, fearing a fight, filled with love for His brother swiftly to Kundina together with a mighty force of elephants, horses, chariots and soldiers on foot. (22) The daughter of Bhîshmaka with her lovely hips awaiting the arrival of Krishna, not seeing the brahmin return, then wondered: (23) 'Alas, three yamas [nine hours] are left before I, without the taste of happiness, will marry; the Lotus-eyed One does not come and I don't know for what reason, nor has as yet the carrier of my message returned. (24) Perhaps sees the One Faultless in Mind and Body, prepared as He for sure originally is, something contemptible in me, not having come to take my hand. (25) How unfortunate, the creator is not favorably disposed towards me, nor is the great Lord S'iva, or maybe has Devî his consort, [known as] Gaurî, Rudrânî, Girijâ or Satî turned against me.'
(26) Ruminating thus did the young girl, whose mind had been stolen by Krishna, close her eyes brimming with tears, knowing the time [that was left]. (27) As the bride was thus awaiting Govinda's arrival, o King, twitched her left thigh, arm and eye foretelling something desirable. (28) Just then came that purest of the twiceborn to the command of Krishna, to see the divine daughter of the king staying in the inner chambers of the palace. (29) Noticing his joyful face and the relaxed movements of his body did she, as an expert in the signs, inquire with a pure smile. (30) He told her of the arrival of that Child of the Yadus and related the words He had said in assurance of Him getting married to her. (31) Concluding that He had arrived, gladdened the mind of Vaidarbhî, upon which she knew no other answer than to bow down to the dear brahmin. (32) Hearing that He, eager to witness his daughter's marriage, had arrived came he [king Bhîshmaka] with the sounds of instruments and with abundant offerings to welcome Râma and Krishna. (33) As prescribed performed he worship with desirables as honey-milk [madhu-parka] and brought he new clothes. (34) Generously arranging for an opulent place to stay afforded he Them, together with their soldiers and associates, proper hospitality. (35) Thus was he according each his power, age, strength and wealth with all that was wanted of respect for the kings who had assembled. (36) The residents of Vidarbha-pura hearing that Krishna had come, all came to drink in His lotus face with the cupped palms of their eyes [and said]: (37) 'He, whose body is just as flawless, alone deserves Rukminî as a wife, and no one else; He's the most suitable husband for princess Bhaishmî! (38) May, with whatever of all our good deeds, the Creator of the Three Worlds be as merciful, that Acyuta takes the hand of Rukminî.'
(39) Thus overflowing with love spoke the citizens in fascination and left the bride protected by guards the inner palace for the temple of Ambikâ [see also 10.52: 42]. (40-41) And she, going there on foot to see the lotuspetal feet of Bhavânî, kept, totally absorbed in mediating Krishna's lotusfeet, silent in de midst of her mothers and female companions. Guarded by the valiant, armed soldiers of the king, who stood prepared with their weapons raised, were cymbals and mridangas, conch shells, horns and other wind instruments played. (42-43) Accompanying the bride were there the wives of the twice-born, well ornamented, thousands of prominent chosen ones with various items of worship and presents, flowergarlands, fragrances, clothing and jewelry, as also singers singing and offering prayers, musicians and bards, chroniclers and heralds. (44) Reaching the temple of the goddess washed she her feet and lotuslike hands, sipped she water for purification and entered she sanctified and peaceful the place where Ambikâ resided. (45) The so very young girl was by the elderly wives of the brahmins, who were well acquainted with the injunctions, led in offering respects to Bhavânî who was here together with her consort Lord Bhava [S'iva].: (46) 'I along with your children repeatedly offer my obeisances to you o Ambikâ, please allow Krishna, the Supreme Lord, to be my husband.'
(47-48) With various offerings and gifts of water, fragrant substances, whole grains, incense, clothing, garlands, necklaces, ornaments and an array of lamps, performed each of the brahmin ladies worship equipped with these articles as also with savories, cakes, prepared betel nut, sacred threads, fruits and sugar cane. (49) After they gave her what remained of the offering as also their blessings, bowed the bride down to them and to the deity and accepted she the remnants. (50) Then, ending her vow of silence, left she the temple of Ambikâ, with her hand, that was beautified by a jeweled ring, holding on to a maidservant. (51-55) As if she were the illusory potency [Mâyâdevî, zie ook 8.12: 38-40; 10.2***] of the Lord herself that even bewilders the sober ones, entranced she the entire gathering of the respectable heroes with the vision of her wearing the earrings that decorated the virginal beauty of her face, with her jewel-studded belt around her hips, her budding breasts, her eyes shy to the locks of her hair, her pure smile and teeth reddened by the glow from her bimba lips, her jasmine-bud feet walking, her gait gracious as a royal swan and the tinkling of her skillfully fashioned anklebells beautifying [her feet] with their effulgence. The kings all rose to their feet upon the sight of her broad smiles, shyness and mindboggling glances that was a lust to them of which being distressed their hearts were torn apart and their weapons dropped to the ground. Sitting on their horses, elephants and chariots fell they, loosing their grip, down to the ground as she on the pretext of the procession was offering her beauty to Lord Hari. Slowly walking, put she one before the other the two whorls of her lotus flower feet, meanwhile eagerly expecting the arrival of the Supreme Personality. Throwing aside her hair with the nails of her hand spotted she, coyly looking from the corners of her eyes at those present, that instant Acyuta. Right before the eyes of His enemies seized Krishna the king's daughter who stood prepared to mount the chariot. (56) Lifting her onto His chariot marked with [the flag of] Garuda drove He back the circle of kings and left He, with Balarâma in front, from there as slowly as a lion would remove his prey from the midst of jackals. (57) The adversaries headed by Jarâsandha, conceited as they were, could with their honor ruined not bear the defeat: 'Damn us archers, with those cowherds stealing the honor from us lions, like they are a bunch of puny animals!'