vāñchanty umā-patir ivātma-tamo 'pahatyai
yarhy ambujākṣa na labheya bhavat-prasādaṁ
jahyām asūn vrata-kṛśāñ chata-janmabhiḥ syāt
yasya—whose; aṅghri—of feet; paṅka-ja—lotus; rajaḥ—in the dust; snapanam—bathing; mahāntaḥ—great personalities; vāñchanti—desire; umāpatiḥ—Lord Śiva; iva—like; ātma—personal; tamaḥ—ignorance; apahatyai—to drive away; yarhi—when; ambuja-akṣa—O lotus-eyed one; na labheya—I do not get; bhavat-prasādam—Your mercy; jahyām—I shall give up; asūn—life; vrata-kṛśān—reduced by observing vows; śata-janmabhiḥ—by hundreds of births; syāt—if it is possible.
" 'O lotus-eyed one, great personalities like Lord Śiva 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 Rukmiṇīdevī in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.52.43). Rukmiṇīdevī, the daughter of King Bhīṣmaka, had heard about Kṛṣṇa's transcendental attributes, and thus she desired to get Kṛṣṇa as her husband. Unfortunately, her elder brother Rukmī was envious of Kṛṣṇa and therefore wanted her to be offered to Śiśupāla. When Rukmiṇī became aware of this, she was greatly aggrieved. Thus she wrote Kṛṣṇa a confidential letter, which was presented and read to Him by a brāhmaṇa messenger. This verse appeared in that letter.
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