The Kings and the princes chasing Krishna and Rukmini did not know what hit them. Balarama and the Yadava army under him were so ruthlessly efficient that within no time the Kings and the princes ran off the battlefield along with their army. However Sishupala would not give up so easily. Rukmini was going to be his....He could not give up a princess who looked like a Goddess to that uncouth cowherd...Sishupala with his army followed by Salva, Dantavakra and the others fought bravely against Balarama.
Balarama realizing that this group of warriors were much more disciplined than the previous attackers changed his tactics. Till now he had merely been defending, he suddenly went offensive. He ordered his men to start regrouping and prepare for a major offensive.
Faced with the sudden change of tactics, the armies of the three kings were suddenly caught unawares. Still they regrouped subsequently and started fighting. However by this time the battle was already half lost. Balarama with his army with his sudden ferocious attack had decimated half of the armies. Finishing off the remaining army was no big deal for the Yadava army.
With Krishna and Rukmini watching, Sishupala, Salva and Dantavakra were routed as the soldiers fled from the scene. The Yadava army cheered watching the confused soldiers running in opposite directions. Balarama deciding that enough was enough ordered his men to stop the attack and march back. Sishupala was dejected as he slowly drove the chariot back to the Kingdom of Vidharba.
There Rukmi was waiting anxiously for the return of Rukmini with the kings. Imagine the surprise on his face when he saw a forlorn looking Sishupala coming with less than half the army....
'What happened...?' asked the flabbergasted Rukmi as soon as Sishupala stopped in front of the palace.
Sishupala refused to meet his friends eyes and muttered, 'The entire Yadava army was out there....' He did not speak any further. Looking at the army, Rukmi would have figured out the outcome....
Rukmi was however furious. 'She is my sister! Mine!' Rukmi's eyes glinted dangerously as he spoke sharply. 'If you won't protect her, I will....I swear, I will never return to this kingdom without my sister!' Rukmi pronounced ominously.
Rukmi was quiet unaware that other than him, everyone else in the kingdom was very happy with the sudden change of events. They all loved Krishna and knew that he was the best match for Rukmini….Bhishmaka secretly rejoiced as he celebrated with his wife. However when he heard the oath of Rukmi, he trembled. He ran to his son….'Rukmini loves Krishna! She was the one who invited Krishna to come and take her away....' Bhismaka pleaded with Rukmi. 'Please son! Let her be happy! Let the matter go!'
'HAPPY!' Rukmi shrieked. 'How do you think I would feel? She is my sister and I had chosen a good man for her...She goes and chooses a cowherd and you expect me to be happy with her decision....'
Bhishmaka looked at Rukmi, 'It is not your choice to make!' He said sharply.
Rukmi was breathing angrily came very close to his father. 'I am her elder brother! I have ever right in the world to choose the man she is going to marry. She has fallen under the cunning words of that cowherd and thinks she will be happy with him....I will not allow it!' Rukmi turned away and walked. He did not even turn when he heard Bhishmaka call him again and again....
Rukmi got on his chariot and with his army he was off. He did not even look at Sishupala and his other friends as he drove towards the outskirts of the kingdom.
Once he came there, Rukmi saw dust arising from the magnificent Yadava army which was now triumphantly going back home….They were thinking they had won by stealing my sister….Cowards…I will show them…Rukmi looked around as he was specifically looking for one chariot….Rukmi swore in disgust as he spotted Krishna’s chariot which was almost towards the end of the army….Rukmi spurred his horses faster as he drove towards Krishna and Rukmini….
Hearing the galloping of the horses, Krishna looked back surprised. He knew his brother had effectively destroyed the armies of the three kings….Fresh horses meant….Krishna sighed as he turned and saw Rukmi coming straight for him looking furious, with his sword raised…
Seeing Krishna suddenly looking grim and hearing the galloping of the horses, Rukmi turned. She was shocked and terrified when she saw her own brother coming straight for them…Terrified she turned to Krishna…Honestly she was not even remotely bothered about Krishna…She feared for her brother… ‘Krishna! He is my brother! Please!’ She pleaded with the Dark Lord, shaking her head, blinking back tears.
Krishna looked at the beautiful and terrified face of Rukmini and smiled sadly. He however nodded his head and turned his chariot and drove it further away trying to distance himself from Rukmi. He drove through another path, away from the Yadava army to make sure Rukmi was not able to find them….
Balarama heard the galloping of the fresh horses and the sudden change. He saw Rukmi and Krishna move away from the main army. Seeing that it was only Rukmi with his small battalion, Balarama hesitated.
He then ordered a small platoon to take care of Rukmi’s army as he himself went after Krishna and Rukmi, who were now quiet far away from the main army….
Rukmi was now beyond furious. Krishna was refusing to fight him! And people called him a brave man! Rukmi was disgusted. He was now more than convinced that his sister had made the wrong choice by choosing this man, who refused to even fight back bravely…Rukmi pushed his horses almost to the limit trying to reach Krishna.
Rukmi was almost close to Krishna, when he saw Krishna focused on driving the horses away….For some reason the scene made him even more angry as he yelled at Krishna. He called Krishna everything from a coward to the thief…
The Dark Lord tried his best not to get distracted at the continuous outpourings of hatred from Rukmi and focused on driving the chariot. However Rukmi was now within striking distance. He pulled out his swords and slashed at their chariot. The sword missed both Krishna and Rukmini by a whisker….Krishna took a deep breath decided that enough was enough….Brother-in-law or no.....This matter could not be solved by talk…It needed force…He brought the horses to a standstill….
Rukmi looked surprised and almost drove his horses past Krishna as Krishna stopped suddenly. Rukmi furiously brought the horses to a stop as he looked at Krishna venomously. ‘Krishna!’ He bellowed. ‘I hope atleast now, you have the guts to fight me, one on one….You coward! You can’t even fight another person in an honest battle, and you dare aspire to marry my sister…’
Both Krishna and Rukmi got down from their chariot and took out their swords, advancing towards each other.
Rukmini realizing that Krishna had no choice but to fight with her brother, prayed to all the Gods hoping….praying….the matter would get resolved without any bloodshed…
Rukmi was a good warrior but unfortunately he was not the same class as Krishna and to add to his problems, Rukmi was very angry…To fight a battle, what was needed was a calm mind with a clear thought process…Many battles had been lost even before it began because of the emotional attachment of the warriors…Rukmi discovered that in his fight with Krishna.
Rukmi was shocked when he found Krishna matching all his attacks and parrying him very well. Krishna was able to tire Rukmi so easily…who was gasping and trembling as Krishna’s calm face flitted in and out of his sight. Rukmi realized that Krishna was not just a warrior…Krishna was a class apart…Rukmi struggled to match Krishna’s attack…
Rukmi realized that Krishna was toying with him and finally he fell down as Krishna’s sword met his with great force and his sword clattered and fell a few feet away. Krishna came forward with his sword raised, when Rukmini shouted. ‘No! Krishna! No! Please!’
Rukmi was having trouble focusing as he saw Rukmini get down of the chariot and run towards them. Krishna looked at Rukmini and his grim face suddenly changed to a calm one….It was at that instant that Rukmi realized that Krishna had refused to fight him for Rukmini….He was embarrassed to the core when another hard realization came to him…If he survived this battle it was only and only because of his sister….Saved by a woman…Rukmi decided that he would rather die and live through this humiliation….
Rukmini was looking at Krishna and standing close to him. Rukmi realized that no matter what he did, Rukmini would always belong to Krishna. She was his the way he was hers! His sister had chosen….Waves of bitter defeat washed through him as he saw Krishna and Rukmini.
Krishna came forward his sword raised and said. ‘The only reason I am letting you live is because of Rukmini!…’ Krishna came forward with his sword. Rukmini screamed as she saw the sword straight for her brother’s head. Rukmini blinked as the sword stopped and instead of the head, Rukmi’s hair went with it…[The hair being chopped off by the opponent was a mark of great disrespect in battle]
Balarama was almost within range as he looked at the entire scene. He saw Rukmi who looked like he was incapable of speech..his eyes filled with hatred…He turned to Krishna. ‘Krishna! You should not have done that!’ He admonished his younger brother. He looked at Rukmini who was also looking petrified, scared and relieved at the same time…
Krishna slowly nodded his head and turned to Rukmini and held her. She was trembling like a leaf. Krishna quietly led her towards the chariot. Krishna did not even bother looking back at the defeated prince…he was of no concern to him anymore.
Balarama, Krishna and Rukmini drove back victoriously to the kingdom of Dwaraka.
[Rukmi, who had promised that he would never go back to his own kingdom without his sister, kept his word. He never went back to Vidharba. He became the king of another area, right there where he was defeated by Krishna.
Rukmini and Krishna had a son Pradhyumna and they lived very happily.
As a sub-story, Pradhyumana when he grew up fell in love with Princess Rukmavathi, Rukmi’s daughter, who also loved him. Pradhyumana carried off Rukmavathi exactly the same way as Krishna had carried away Rukmini….Rukmi was defeated the second time too….]