Background: Rukmiṇī is an incarnation of Goddess Lakṣmī. During the third-epoch or Dvāparayuga, She took birth as the daughter of Vidarbha-King Bhīṣmaka. In the human incarnations of Viṣṇu, Lakṣmī accompanies Him. In this yuga, Rukmiṇī took birth to accompany Kṛṣṇa. Bhīṣmaka's son Rukmin was the eldest brother of Rukmiṇī. He hated Kṛṣṇa and wanted Rukmiṇī to marry Cedi-king Śiśupāla. Rukmiṇī got wary of Rukmin's wish and wrote a secret letter to Kṛṣṇa and asked Him for Her own abduction. Kṛṣṇa happily agreed and defeated everyone who opposed the abduction of Rukmiṇī (see  for details).
Purpose: This story is often used to accuse and defame Kṛṣṇa, for example: (i) Kṛṣṇa did injustice by abducting woman, (ii) Krishna was engrossed in getting more and more woman from around the world, (iii) Kṛṣṇa fought those who wanted to safeguard their woman from abduction, etc., are only a few among such controversies. The purpose of this article is to explain Rukmiṇī-Haraṇa from a philosophical standpoint.
Definitions: Any theory of logical reasoning starts with certain axioms. We will use the axiom of reciprocity here. By definition, reciprocity means:
Every mentally-expressed thought or physically-expressed action of a soul (or intellection) A on B is reciprocated by another (similar) action of soul (or intellection) B on A.
Explanation: This axiom is a formalized version of ‘‘tit for tat’’; a few terms need some explanation. In this model (discussed at length in the Śrīmadbhāgavatpurāṇa), the formless qualityless soul or intellection expresses actions or thoughts through the physical qualitative body. Whatever one soul does, through expression, gets reciprocated on the body or the qualitative-form it is possessing. The soul lives endlessly in different bodies and different bodies may get the reciprocation of the same soul.
Note a subtle point that God or destiny or Māyā cannot be subjected to an axiom. Thus, God may or may not follow reciprocity. However, using the stories, the observation is that reciprocity is honored in many cases.
Since Rukmiṇī or Lakṣmī is unconditionally devoted to Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu, therefore, Kṛṣṇa got unconditionally devoted to Her (reciprocal). Thus, He fulfilled the wish Rukmiṇī had, i.e., Her abduction.
Consequences: Interesting consequences are: (i) Unaware humans do not imitate Kṛṣṇa by abducting a woman, since they don't do it for ensuring reciprocity in the universe; such acts are done in the absence of any knowledge about unconditional devotion. (ii) Prahlāda was saved again and again due to reciprocity. This story and theme is discussed in detail in Viṣṇupurāṇa , and (iii) The saving of unconditionally devoted beings to Lord, like Gajendra-Mokṣa, can be explained using reciprocity. Do remember that the previous-birth devotion of Gajendra helped him .
Conclusion: We discussed the concept of reciprocity and used it to explain the abduction of Rukmiṇī by Kṛṣṇa. We argued that the abduction happened because of unconditional devotion of Rukmiṇī and not due to any mundane sensual reason. Please send any feedback here.
 Śrīmadbhāgavatpurāṇa, Gitapress.
 Viṣṇupurāṇa, Gitapress.
Thanks: The author expresses thanks to Lisa [CA, USA] for providing some corrections.
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