Mitravinda: The 6th Ashtabharya of Krishna and His Lover

Mitravinda, the virtuous one, is the 6th Ashtabharya, or Krishna, of the eight principal wives. She is the daughter of monarch Jayasena of the Avanti region of Bharatbarsha in ancient India. King Jayasena also had two brothers, Vindya and Anuvindya. After becoming the 6th Ashtabharya of Krishna, she became a renowned member of the Yaduvansh clan. She is known by several names, such as Sudatta, Shaibya, and Dwarkeshwari, one of the principal queens of Dwarka. According to the Indian Vedic story and Puranas, there are no details about Mitravinda’s mother.

However, she was mentioned in the Indian epic, the Mahabharata, and other prominent ancient texts such as the Vishnu Puranas, Harivamsa, and Bhagavata Puranas.

Tales of Mitravinda and Her Origin

Nagnajiti was born Satya, the daughter of King Nagnajit of the Kosala region, where King Dashrath and Lord Rama, the 7th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, ruled. Nagnajita was the King of Kosala, or Kaushal.

Vedic Story: 1

Mitravinda has been described as the daughter of King Shibi or Shivi. She was called Shaivya or Shaibya in the Vishnu Purana. However, in Harivamsa, she has been called Sudatta, the daughter of King Shibi or patrilineal descendants of Shivi (a direct descendant of the “male lineage” of King Shivi).

Vedic Story: 2

As per the Bhagavata Purana, Shaivya has been described as the beloved daughter of the monarch Jayasena, who was the ruler of Avanti. Jayasena was leading the army of the Avanti and was co-regenting the Avanti, the nearest region of Hastinapura, with Duryodhana, the leader of Kauravas and the eldest son of Dhritarashtra. Therefore, he didn’t want to marry off Shivi with Krishna, as he allied with the Pandavas, the sons of King Pandu and Kunti, who were the rivals of the Kaurava brothers.

Characteristics of Mitravinda: The 6th Ashtabharya of Krishna

Mitravinda, the 6th principal wife of Dwarkadhish, is a member of the Ashtabharya of Krishna. She has been described as one of the most beautiful damsels, with attractive features such as a slender waist and wooly breasts. Apart from physical beauty, she was a pure soul with pious actions, or karma. She was a girl of noble character who liked to follow Dharma.

Enmity of Duryodhana with the Pandavas Turned Krishna into the Enemy of Jayasena

Princess Shivi, the beloved daughter of Jayasena, had two siblings, Vinda and Anuvinda, also spelled Vindya and Anuvindya. They were the rulers of Avanti and were allies of Duryodhana.

However, when Jayasena decided to arrange a Swayamvar for his darling daughter, her brothers and Duryodhana did not want to marry Mitravinda to Lord Krishna. Thus, they did not invite Sri Krishna, Balarama, brother of Shri Dwarkadish, and Pandavas.

Sri Krishna was the cousin of the Pandavas. He was the adviser of Yudhishthir, the King of Indraprastha. Krishna was even a dear friend to Pandavas and a beloved nephew of Kunti, the sister of Vasudeva. Thus, Jayasena and his sons consider him their indirect enemy.

The Elopement Marriage Story of Mitravinda and Krishna

The Bhagavata Purana mentions an interesting elopement marriage story between Shivi and Krishna when her family and other kings were against them.

Jayasena arranged Swayamvar, or self-choice marriage, for Mitravinda. Swayamvar in Dwapara Yuga allowed a girl to choose a suitable husband of her choice and decide to live the rest of her life with him.

She chose Sri Krishna from the assembled kings, princes, and leaders. However, her brothers, Vindya and Anuvindya, did not like her decision and decided to call off the marriage.

The brother joined the Kauravas, headed by Duryodhana, to fight Krishna. However, Krishna faced the army, defeated all the princes, and eloped with the princess. The opposition party kept looking helplessly.

Another Version of Krishna and Mitravinda’s Marriage

In another version, Mitravinda’s marriage to Krishna was intentionally dismissed. Jayasena, his sons, and Duryodhana did not want to invite Krishna to the Swayamvar. Balaram was furious due to this great insult and was upset at not being invited to their cousin’s marriage. Thus, he ordered Krishna to abduct as she loved him.

However, Krishna was not sure whether she loved him or not. Thus, he took Subhadra, his younger sister, along with him so that he could be sure of Mitravinda’s love and wish to be Ashtabharya of Krishna. Subhadra confirmed that Shivi loved Krishna. Thereafter, Sri Krishna and Bal Dau, or Balarama, entered the arena of Shaivya’s Swayamvar and abducted her, defeating the princes, Duryodhana, and many other candidates.

Commentary by Vallabhacharya: Devotee of Krishna, a Vaishnava Saint, and a Poet

Vallabhacharya, the Vaishnava saint and poet who wrote Madhurashtakam, added his commentary on the Bhagavata Purana on the relationship of Shivi and Krishna. He mentioned that Krishna and Shaivya were in love, but her father and siblings were against it and wanted Duryodhana to be her husband.

Jayasena arranged Swayamvar for Shaivya and invited princes from the entire Bharatvarsha along with Duryodhana, except Krishna. Krishna came to know about the Swayamvar and fled to rescue Mitravinda.

On seeing Krishna, she chose him as her husband and requested Dwarkadhish to abduct her. Krishna was challenged by the princes present in Swayamvar; however, he defeated all of them and eloped with Mitravinda. After reaching Dwarka, he married her formally in the presence of his family.

Mitravinda and Krishna: Life After Marriage

Once, Krishna and his principal wives visited Hastinapura to meet their aunt, Kunti, their cousin brothers, the Pandavas, and their common wife, Draupadi. Kunti, on reaching her beloved nephew and his Ashtabharya, asked Draupadi to worship and honour them. Draupadi presented gifts to Shaivya and other Ashtabharyas of Krishna. After the meet-up, she narrated the story of her marriage to Krishna in detail.

Children of Mitravinda and Krishna

According to Indian mythology and the Bhagavata Purana, Mitra gave birth to ten sons of Krishna, and they were Vrika, Harsha, Anila, Gridhra, Vardhana, Unnada, Mahamsa, Pavana, Vahni, and Kshudhi, the youngest. However, as per the Vishnu Purana, it is believed that She had many sons, and Sangramajit was the eldest.

Mitravinda: Sati of Krishna

After the death of Sri Krishna in the forest by a hunter, Shaivya and the other Ashtabharya of Krishna wailed, jumped on the blazing funeral pyre, and became Sati.

The Mahabharata and its Mausala Parva also mention the death of Sri Krishna and the end of the Yadava clan. It also mentioned that Mitravinda, the 6th Ashtabharya of Krishna, and other principal wives burned themselves alive in the pyre of their beloved husbands.

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