Raja Ravi Varma Painting Themes – Mohini and Rukmangada

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Mohini and Rukmangada

King Rukmangada was an ardent devotee of Mahavishnu and was very particular about observing Ekadasi vrata puja, a type of worship for Lord Vishnu on the day of Ekadasi. He was leading a happy life with his wife Sandhyavalli and their son Dharmangada.

Mahavishnu wanted to test Rukmangada’s devotion. So he sent Mohini, an apsaras in heaven to Rukmangada. When Rukmangada met Mohini he fell in love with her and took her to his palace as his wife.  Mohini agreed to stay with him on a condition that Rukmangada should fulfill all her desires and if at any time he refused, she would leave him.

On an Ekadasi day, when Rukmangada was doing the Puja, Mohini approached him which was rebuffed by Rukmangada. Mohini got offended and she demanded that either he should stop the puja or kill his only son Dharmangada.  Rukmangada decided to continue with the Ekadasi puja and was ready to kill his only son. Just before he killed his son, Vishnu appeared before him and blessed Rukmangada and Sandhyavalli.

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