padā calantīṁ kala-haṁsa-gāminīṁ
yāṁ vīkṣya te nṛpatayas tad udāra-hāsa-
yātrā-cchalena haraye ’rpayatīṁ sva-śobhām
saivaṁ śanaiś calayatī cala-padma-kośau
prāptiṁ tadā bhagavataḥ prasamīkṣamāṇā
prāptān hriyaikṣata nṛpān dadṛśe ’cyutaṁ ca
tāṁ rāja-kanyāṁ ratham ārurakṣatīṁ
jahāra kṛṣṇo dviṣatāṁ samīkṣatām
According to Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, Rukmiṇī was anxious that her locks of hair might impede her vision, since she was most eager to see her beloved Kṛṣṇa. The nondevotees, or demons, are bewildered at seeing the opulences of the Lord and think that His potency is meant for their gross sense gratification. But Rukmiṇī, an expansion of Kṛṣṇa’s internal pleasure potency, was meant for the Lord alone.
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī quotes the following verse to describe the kind of woman known as śyāmā:
śīta-kāle bhaved usṇo
uṣṇa-kāle tu śītalā
stanau su-kaṭhinau yasyāḥ
sā śyāmā parikīrtitā
“A woman is called śyāmā when her breasts are very firm and when someone in her presence feels warm in the winter and cool in the summer.”
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī further points out that since the beautiful form of Rukmiṇī is a manifestation of the Lord’s internal energy, the nondevotees cannot perceive her. Thus the heroic kings assembled in Vidarbha were agitated with lust upon seeing the Lord’s illusory potency, an expansion of Rukmiṇī. In other words, no one can lust after the Lord’s eternal consort, since as soon as one’s mind is contaminated with lust, the covering of Māyā separates one from the pristine beauty of the spiritual world and its inhabitants.
Finally, Śrīmatī Rukmiṇī-devī felt shy as she looked from the corners of her eyes at the other kings, for she did not want to meet the glances of those inferior men.