Lakshmana: A Shy Princess with a Lovely Smile and the 7th Ashtabharya of Krishna

Lakshmana is also called Lakshana, the daughter of an unnamed King of Madra and the 7th Ashtabharya of Krishna, the principal wives of Dwarkadhish. She is the 7th consort of Sri Hari, or Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Lakshana has many names, each narrating a story of its own: as Dwarkeshwari, she is the queen of Dwarka; as Madri, she is the princess of Madra; and as Charuhasini, she is a dame with a lovely smile. However, Vishnu Purana and Indian Vedic Story did not discover her lineage in detail, not even about her father and mother. Still, she is regarded as the princess of the Madra kingdom.

Birth and Family of Lakshmana: 7th Ashtabharya of Krishna

According to Padma Purana, the king of Madra, the father of Lakshmana, is either called Madra or Brihatsena. She describes her father as a talented veena player, a musical instrument also held by the goddess Saraswati, in Padma Purana’s texts. However, we can notice that Lakshmana is often called Madri; thus, she is the daughter of Madara or Madra.

Vishnu Purana mentioned that Lakshmana is a princess but of a different region apart from Madra, where King Pandu of Hastinapura and the father of Pandavas married Madri, the second queen after Kunti. Thus, she is still a princess, but from a different legacy or lineage that is unknown.

Statue of Lakshmana at Srivaikuntanathan Perumal temple

Charuhasini: A Princess with a Lovely Smile

Lakshana is also called Charuhasini, as per the Vishnu Purana. Charuhasini is a princess with a lovely smile and attractive beauty. Charu means gorgeous. Hasini means smile, and that is contagious. A dame with a beautiful smile is thus known as Charuhasini.

Harivamsa, another ancient Indian text, narrates about the charming features and attractiveness of Charuhasini. However, Vishnu Purana separated Charuhasini from the associations of Madra, Madri, and Subhima.

Swayamavar of Lakshana

Brihadsena, or Madra, the father of Lakshana, arranged a Swayamvara ceremony for his lovely daughter, just like Jayasena arranged Swayamvara for Mitravinda, the 6th Ashtabharya of Krishna.

Swayamvara is a self-choice marriage ceremony where the bride can choose her husband from the princes, kings, and leaders who came to attend as candidates. The bride chooses the best groom by knowing about his family background, authoritative position, personal interest, heroic abilities such as fighting, hunting, and warship, and last but not least, his character.

The Significance of the Abduction of Lakshmana

The Bhagavata Purana narrates that Sri Krishna, the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the prime energy source, has abducted Princess Lakshana from the Swayamvara. It compares how Krishna kidnaps Lakshmana exactly with the act of Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu, stealing the pot of elixir from the divine beings. However, while researching the story of Lakshmana and Krishna’s marriage, we at Vedic Story found two tales.

Archery Contest to Win Lakshmana in Swayamvara

Brihadsena invited all the princesses from the Bharatvarsh to his lovely daughter Swayamvara, along with Jarasandha, the king of Magadha, and Duryodhana, a crowned prince of Hastinapura.

He also invited Arjuna, the 3rd Pandava prince, and Sri Krishna, the king or leader of Dwarka. Duryodhana, Jarasandha, and other princes, kings, and leaders lost their opportunity to marry Lakshmana. They were all not able to hit the board in the archery contest and lost.

Arjuna, the 3rd prince of Hastinapura and Indraprastha, and a dear friend of Lord Krishna came to the competition grounds and intentionally missed the arrow. He wanted that his friend and cousin, Madhava, could win the contest, as well as Lakshmana as Ashtabharya of Krishna, the principal wife. He did not consider the Swayamvara a priority because, for him, his friendship was more important.

Bhima, the 2nd Pandava prince, did not wish to take part in the archery competition, as he too wanted Krishna to win the contest and marry Lakshana. As a result, Krishna entered the archery arena, hit the board, and won the competition. Thereafter, he married Lakshmana and made her his 7th Ashtabharaya.

Vedic Fairy Tale Marriage Story of Lakshmana and Krishna

In another tale, Lakshmana’s marriage to Krishna was thrilling and filled with all his heroic actions. The hero, or a lover of Lakshmana, enters the arena of her Swayamvar ceremony and abducts the princess in front of all the suitors and family. And then fades away in a swift attempt to start a new life where there is only love and ultimately becomes the Ashtabharya of Krishna, the 7th principal wife and queen of Dwarka.

Friendship of Lakshmana with Draupadi

Lakshana, the 7th Ashtabharya of Krishna, was a shy princess of Madra. She was a shy person in character among all the other principal wives of Krishna.

Such an account has been mentioned in Mahabharat when Lakshana visited Hastinapur, the kingdom of Pandavas and Kauravas, with Krishna and other Ashtabharya. Draupadi, the queen of five Pandavas, welcomed her with great regard and an auspicious gift. She even made her so comfortable during her stay in the kingdom.

Lakshana expressed her gratitude and thanked Draupadi for understanding her nature. Thereafter, she narrated her story of getting married to Sri Krishna and how exciting the whole ceremony was.

Children of Lakshmana and Krishna

After the eventful marriage of Lakshmana and Sri Krishna, they left for Dwarka so that they could begin their married life. Lakshmana, as a shy princess and person, was excited but wasn’t able to express herself. However, Krishna, on the other hand, knew all about his wife’s personality and character, and thus, he loved her so dearly.

Lakshana bloomed with the love of Krishna, and as a result, she gave birth to their first child together, Pargosha, the eldest son.

The Bhagavata Purana too narrates Lakshana’s fairy tale marriage with Krishna and how she gave birth to ten sons of Krishna after their firstborn, Praghosha. Lakshana’s second son was Gatravan, and the others were Simha, Bala, Prabala, Urdhvaga, Mahashakti, Saha, Oja, and the youngest, Aparajita.

However, on the contrary, Vishnu Purana says that Gatravan was the eldest son of Lakshmana and Krishna, and Pragosha was the second one.

Lakshana: Sati of Krishna

The Bhagavata Purana has detailed records of the wailing of the Ashtabharya of Krishna. Lakshana and other principal wives became sati of Dwarkadhish after the death of their husband(s) by a hunter in the forest. They threw themselves in the pyre of Krishna as per the Mausala Parva of the Mahabharata, a Hindu epic, when Dwarka was under attack by robbers. Ashtabharya of Krishna wanted to save their Stri Dharma as a wife of Krishna. Thus, they became Satis.

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