Bhadra: A Princess with an Unparalleled Devotion and the 8th Ashtabharya of Krishna.

Bhadra is the 8th Ashtabharya of Krishna. She is the beloved daughter of King Drishtaketu and Shrutakirti of the Kekeya region. Bhadra chose Krishna as her husband and became the 8th principal wife in Indian mythology and Vedic Story. She became known as Dwarkeshwari after being married to Sri Krishna and Yaduvanshi.

However, some ancient texts consider her the 7th Ashtabharya of Krishna, thus creating confusion about her status as the 7th or 8th principal wife of Dwarkadhish. Sage Veda Vyas has given detailed information about Bhadra, the princess of Kekaya, in the Mahabharata and Bhagavata Purana.

In Harivamsa and Vishnu Purana, Bhadra is not mentioned as the Ashtabharya of Krishna but instead is the cousin of Krishna from the paternal side.

Family and Relations of Bhadra: 8th Ashtabharya of Krishna

As per the Bhagavata Purana, Bhadra is the princess of the Kaikeya kingdom and is thus known as Kaikeyi. She is the beloved daughter of King Dhrishtaketu and Queen Shrutakirti.

People get confused with the name Shrutakirti because of Sita’s sister’s name. Both Shrutakirtis are different in character, yuga, and role in Hinduism.

Sita’s sister, Shrutakirti, belongs to the Ramayana, which happened in Treta yuga. However, Shrutakirti, the Queen of the Kaikeya kingdom, is the mother of Bhadra, the 8th Ashtabharya of Krishna. She was born in Dwapara Yuga and got married to King Dhrishtaketu. Shrutakirti is the sister of Queen Kunti, wife of King Pandu, and mother of Pandavas: Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjun, Nakula, and Sahdeva, and cousin of Vasudeva, father of Krishna.

Meanwhile, Bhadra has had five siblings. They were all brothers, and the eldest was Prince Santardana.

Swayamavara of Bhadra: Princess of Kaikeya

Marriage Tale of Bhadra: 1

King Dhrishtaketu and Prince Santardana, the eldest sibling of Bhadra, arranged Swayamvara for his lovely and one and only sister and invited the whole Bharatvarsha, princes, kings, and crowned princes. He asked her sister to choose one of the suitors who matched her wishlist for a dream husband. She chose Krishna as her husband from the queue of princes in the Swayamvara ceremony.

Thereafter, the king and queen of Kaikeya got Bhadra and Krishna married grandly.

Marriage Tale of Bhadra: 2

The second marriage tale of Bhadra and Krishna says that Prince Santardana arranged Bhadra’s marriage with Sri Krishna. He tied them into a holy relationship as husband and wife, thus making her sister the Ashtabharya of Krishna.

Marriage Tale of Bhadra: 3

The third marriage tale of Bhadra and Krishna narrates a story from their Swayamvara that King Dhrishtaketu arranged his daughter’s self-choice marriage ceremony and invited the kings and princes to find the best husband out of them for her.

Sri Krishna was invited as a suitor, and thus he participated in the ceremony and won the hearts of the King, Queen, and siblings of Bhadra. As a result, she got married to Krishna and became the 8th principal wife.

Bhadra Kalyanam

Dr. K.V. Krishna Kumari narrated the marriage story of Bhadra and Krishna in Telugu and called the book ‘Bhadra Kalyanam,’ ‘the marriage of Bhadra’.

Krishna Kumari penned her story in detail and considered Bhadra, the 8th principal wife of Krishna, an avatar of the goddess Maha Lakshmi.

Goddess Maha Lakshmi is the divine wife of the Lord of the Universe, Vishnu.

Thus, in Indian mythology, Krishna is also regarded as the 8th avatar of Lord Vishnu.

So, we can say that goddess Maha Lakshmi also took avatars as the Ashtabharya of Krishna so that she could marry him and become his principal wives to play certain roles on earth.

Krishna Kumari says that Bhadra is the epitome of purity, unparalleled beauty, love, care, and undying devotion.

Bond of Bhadra with Draupadi

Sri Krishna, the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, once visited Hastinapur to seek blessings from his aunt, Kunti, and meet the Pandavas and their common wife, Draupadi.

As guided by Kunti, Draupadi welcomed Krishna and his Ashtabharya, along with Bhadra, so lovingly and bestowed gifts and pure love through her Atithi Devo Bhava service.

She greeted the Ashtabharyas of Krishna and embraced them affectionately.

Heartfelt Talk Between Bhadra and Draupadi

Draupadi asked Bhadra how she got married to Krishna after she was satisfied with the stories of the other principal wives of Krishna, along with Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Lakshana, Kalindi, Mitravinda, and Nagnajiti.

Bhadra narrated her story of becoming the 8th Ashtabharya of Krishna.

She said she did not know whether she would be able to have the shelter of Sri Krishna in her life. However, she, without thinking of the outcome, constantly prayed to Lord Krishna that wherever and whenever she takes birth on earth, she must not forget the relationship she holds in her heart for Lord Krishna.

Thereafter, Bhadra said, Dear Draupadi, do you know that Sri Krishna, my beloved husband, is the son of my maternal uncle, Vasudev? I became so attracted to his lotus feet and cobalt blue color that I wanted him as my husband and began praying.

Bhadra then said that her father understood her feelings and arranged her marriage with Lord Krishna, inviting him to marry his daughter.

He gave Lord Krishna one aksauhini, or division of armed forces, thousands of maidservants, and royal things as a dowry.

Children of Bhadra and Krishna

According to the Bhagavata Purana, after marrying Bhadra, Krishna took her into his kingdom, Dwarka, and began spending time with his beloved newlywed wife.

Thereafter, Bhadra conceived and gave birth to Krishna’s first son, Sangaramajit.

Bhagavata Purana says that Bhadra has ten sons with Krishna, and they are: Sangaramajit, the eldest; Shura; Arijit; Jaya; Subhadra; Vama; Ayur; Brihatsena; Praharana; and Satyaka, the youngest son.

Bhadra: The Sati of Krishna

After 36 years of the Kurukshetra war between Pandavas and Kauravas, the curse of Gandhani on Krishna took place with the death of Dwarkadhish by a hunter.

Thereafter, his kingdom at Dwarka was submerged in the ocean. Ashtabharya of Krishna cried in the pain of separation and became Sati, jumping on his funeral pyre along with three more principal wives mentioned in Mausala Parva of the Mahabharata.

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