Kalindi: The Lifesaver and the 4th Ashtabharya of Krishna

Kalindi is the 4th wife and ashtabharya of Krishna. She is one of the principal queens of Dwarkadhish. Yami is the daughter of Lord Surya, also known as the River Yamuna in Hinduism and a tributary of the Ganges. Kalindi flows in Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh before she units with the Ganges at Allahabad, Prayagraj.

Birth Story of Kalindi: River Yamuna

As per Indian mythology, Yamuna was born to Surya, the Sun God, and Sanjana, or Saranyu, the Cloud Goddess. Yami is the younger twin sister of Yamraj, the God of Death. Kalindi is the favorite child of Surya, and thus she has been known as Suryatanaya, Suryaja, and Ravinandini.

The Significance of Kalindi in Krishna’s Life Beyond Being An Ashtabharya

Apart from being the ashtabharya of Krishna, Yamuna has had great importance in Sri Dwarkadish’s life since the day of his birth in Dwapara Yuga.

Krishna was the son of Vasudeva and Devaki and was born in Mathura. Yami helped Vasudeva escape and reach Vrindavan for the safety of Krishna at Nanda’s home. She gave a path to Vasudeva and saw him for the first time. She was so furious, and her water flooded so heavily. With the touch of Krishna’s tiny feet, Yami turned calm. Kalindi thus fell in love with the little Nandalal.

Kalindi: The Dark Goddess and a River

As per Vamana Purana, Kalindi’s name was derived due to her dark complexion and earthly source as mountain Kalinda’s daughter. It is also believed that Lord Shiva bathed in her waters, thinking about his wife Sati, who was destitute after her death. Thus, the river Yamuna turned black due to Shiva’s sorrow and was called Kalindi.

Another Indian Vedic mythology says that Lord Krishna defeated Kaliya Naag in the Yamuna river, and due to Kaliya’s poison, she turned dark.

The Penance of Kalindi to Get Krishna as a Husband

Yami, with the presence of Krishna in Vrindavan and seeing him every day with Radharani, the divine consort of the Lord, infused the desire to be with him. Krishna also loved her cool water and often spent time playing in her streams with his friends. Growing up, Krishna moved to Dwarka and married Rukmini, Satyabhama, and Jambavati, the other Ashtabharya of Krishna, or the principal wives of Dwarkadhish.

On the other hand, Yami was performing her penance on the water in Indraprastha to get Krishna as her husband. She expressed her desire to marry Lord Krishna before Surya, the Sun God, and her father. Surya blessed his daughter and made a palace in the water so that she could be successful in her prayer.

The Marriage Story of Kalindi and Krishna

Goddess Kalindi and Krishna’s sacred marriage is mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana. It narrated how Krishna met the river Yami and blessed her with the desires she wished for. Sri Krishna, the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, blessed Yami happily to be her husband and accepted him as his ashtabharya, the principal wife.

However, it was a time when Krishna went to Indraprastha to meet Pandavas and Draupadi. Krishna and Arjuna were walking along the river Yamuna one day. They saw a charming girl penancing the austerities, or tapasya, in the water.

Arjuna learned that Yamuna was practicing tapsa to gain Sri Krishna as her beloved husband. He told Krishna about the desire of Kalindi. Krishna, without any doubt, accepted her as his Ashtabharya.

He took the river Yamuna in his chariot and introduced her to the Pandavas, Draupadi, and finally to his family and the principal wives, the Ashtabharaya of Krishna in Dwarka. After that, he married her in the presence of his loved ones.

Children of Kalindi and Lord Krishna

After marriage, Kalindi and Lord Krishna spent beautiful times together and became parents to 10 courageous sons, the princes of Dwarka. They were: Shruta, Vrsa, Kavi, Subahu, Vira, Santi, Bhadra, Darsa, Purnamasa, and Somaka, the youngest son.

However, Vishnu Purana mentions that Suryatana and Krishna had many sons, and Shruta was the eldest.

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Legends of Goddess Kalindi

Vedic Story:1

Balarama, the elder brother of Krishna, was spending his time on the shores of Yamuna in Ambadi. He was enjoying and playing with the gopis in Vrindavan, near the river, and desired to dip in the waters due to the scorching heat of the sun. However, Balarama did not want to walk to the Yamuna for a bath and called Kalindi to come to him and flow. But Yamuna, the chaste river, refused the orders of Balarama.

The furious Balarama dragged Yamuna using his weapon, the hal, or plow, and changed the direction of Yamuna, hurting the goddess.

River Jamuna was terrified by the furious Balarama and took the form of a goddess. Thereafter, she bowed and apologized for her denial. Balarama, still angry, ordered her to flow in the forest so that he could bathe and play along with gopis, gopas, and Krishna in her waters. Jamuna accepted the order and flowed as he wished.

Vedic Story: 2

Padma Purana narrates the story of two brothers and the Yamuna River.

Once upon a time, two brothers were living their lives in ignorance, indulging themselves in lust, and giving up doing righteous things.

They soon became poor due to their disgraceful acts and thus became robbers. The brothers were killed in a heart-wrenching way in the forest by beasts.

Both the brothers reached the court of Yamraj, the twin brother of Yamuna, for their final judgment.

The elder brother was punished to spend his life in hell and get tortured by any means.

The younger brother was granted to live in heaven and enjoy the luxury and peaceful life among devas, devis, apsaras, and other divine beings.

He was astonished by hearing his judgment from Yamraj and asked what the reason was behind it. The younger brother reasoned that they both had lived the same life, explaining why his brother got hell and he got heaven.

Yamraj explained that he spent his life in the ashram of a virtuous sage on the Yamuna River and had bathed in the waters for two months.

In the first month, Kalindi, Ashtabharya of Krishna, absorbed all his sins, and in the second month, he was granted a place in heaven.

Vedic Story: 3

According to Padma Purana, the goddess Kalindi and her waters are so holy that if a person drinks her water and bathes in her divine stream, they will purify themselves and gain heaven. Thus, the Vedic Story of Kalindi, the Ashtabharya of Krishna is filled with divinity and many adventures.

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