Mumbai: Lord Krishna, the king of Dwaraka had a total of 16,108 wives. Out of them, Devi Rukmini is considered to be the principle wife of Sri Krishna.
In many Puranic literature, Rukmini is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. It is said that Lord Krishna was an embodiment of Lord Vishnu. And Lakshmi being the inseparable wife of Lord Vishnu took birth as Rukmini in her next life.
In Bhagvata Purana (one of Hinduism's eighteen great Puranas) it is mentioned that Goddess Lakshmi was reborn as princess Rukmini, “O hero among the Kuru, the Supreme Lord Himself, Govinda, married King Bhishmaka’s daughter, Vaidarbhi Rukmini, who was a direct expansion of the Goddess of fortune [Sriyo maatraam]”- as recited in Bhagavata Purana 10.52.16
She was born in the house of Bhismaka, king of Vidharbha. King Bhismaka was very well aware of the righteous deeds of Sri Krishna and hence decided to give away his beloved daughter, Rukmini to him in marriage.
However Bhismaka’s son ,Rukmi was discontent with his decision as he wanted his sister to marry Shishupala, king of Chedi who also happened to be Krishna’s cousin.
Arrangements were made of Shishupala and Rukmini’s wedding. As the wedding rituals were about to commence, Rukmini went to the temple and prayed to Gowri that her marriage should take place only with the Dwaraka king. She had mentally accepted Krishna as her life partner.
Sri Krishna drove to Vidharbha in his chariot and eloped away with Rukmini. After Lord Krishna defeated Jarasandha in a fierce battle, Rukmini and Krishna married in Dwarka and the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi went to become the senior queen.