BHISHMAKA, the king of Vidarbha, had five sons and an only daughter, Rukmini, a princess of matchless beauty, charm and strength of character. Having heard of Krishna and his renown, she wished to be united to him in wedlock and the desire daily grew in intensity. Her relatives approved the idea, all except her eldest brother Rukma, the heir apparent, between whom and Krishna there was no love lost. Rukma pressed his father not to give Rukmini in marriage to the ruler of Dwaraka but to marry her instead to Sisupala, the king of Chedi. The king being old, Rukma's became the dominant voice and it looked as though Rukmini would be compelled to marry Sisupala. Rukmini, whose heart was wholly Krishna's because she was Lakshmi incarnate, was disconsolate. She feared that her father would be helpless against her domineering brother and would not be able to prevent the unhappy marriage. Mustering all her strength of mind, Rukmini resolved somehow to find a way out of her predicament. She took counsel with a brahmana whom, abandoning all maidenly reserve, she sent as her emissary to Krishna, charging him to explain matters to her beloved and sue for help. The brahmana accordingly went toDwaraka and conveyed to Krishna Rukmini's sad plight and her entreaty, and handed to him the letter Rukmini had sent through him. The letter ran as follows: "My heart has already accepted you as lord and master. I charge you therefore to come and succour me before Sisupala carries me off by force. The matter cannot brook any delay; so you must be here tomorrow. Sisupala's forces, as well as Jarasandha's, will oppose you and will have to be overcome before you can have me. May you be the triumphant hero and capture me! My brother has decided to marry me to Sisupala and, as part of the wedding ceremonies, I am going to the temple along with my retinue to offer worship to Parvati. That would be the best time for you to come and rescue me. If you do not turn up, I will put an end to my life so that I may at least join you in my next birth." Krishna read this and immediately mounted his chariot. At the king's behest, Kundinapura, the capital of Vidarbha, was most gorgeously decorated and preparations for the wedding of the princess with Sisupala were in full swing.