vanchanty uma-patir ivatma-tamo 'pahatyai
yarhy ambujaksa na labheya bhavat-prasadam
jahyam asun vrata-krsan chata-janmabhih syat
yasya—whose; anghri—of feet; panka-ja—lotus; rajah—in the dust; snapanam—bathing; mahantah—great personalities; vanchanti—desire; umapatih—Lord Siva; iva—like; atma—personal; tamah—ignorance; apahatyai—to drive away; yarhi—when; ambuja-aksa—O lotus-eyed one; na labheya—I do not get; bhavat-prasadam—Your mercy; jahyam—I shall give up; asun—life; vrata-krsan—reduced by observing vows; sata-janmabhih—by hundreds of births; syat—if it is possible.
" 'O lotus-eyed one, great personalities like Lord Siva desire to bathe in the dust of Your lotus feet to drive away ignorance. If I do not get the mercy of Your Lordship, I shall observe vows to reduce the duration of my life, and thus I shall give up bodies for hundreds of births if it is possible to get Your mercy in that way.'
This verse was spoken by Rukminidevi in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.52.43). Rukminidevi, the daughter of King Bhismaka, had heard about Krsna's transcendental attributes, and thus she desired to get Krsna as her husband. Unfortunately, her elder brother Rukmi was envious of Krsna and therefore wanted her to be offered to Sisupala. When Rukmini became aware of this, she was greatly aggrieved. Thus she wrote Krsna a confidential letter, which was presented and read to Him by a brahmana messenger. This verse appeared in that letter.
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