Yasoda brought up Sri Krishna, the son of Devaki, in his early years. However, Yasoda was not blessed to witness the marriage of Sri Krishna with Rukmini and she felt very sad. Sri Krishna promised to fulfil her desire in her next birth as Vakuladevi in his next avatara as Srinivasa. In Rukmini’s next birth as Vakuladevi, she was serving Lord Varahaswami when He sent her to serve Srinivasa.Sometime later, a King named Akasa Raja who belonged to the Lunar race was ruling over Thondamandalam.
He had a brother named Thondaman. Akasa Raja had no heirs, and therefore, he wanted to perform a sacrifice. As part of the sacrifice, he was ploughing the fields when his plough turned up a lotus in the ground. On examining the lotus, the King found a female child in it.Akasa Raja was happy to find the child. He carried it to his palace and gave it to his Queen. At that time he heard a voice from above which said, “Oh! King, tend to it as your child and fortune will befall you.” As the child was found in a lotus, the king named her Padmavati.
In course of time, Princess Padmavati grew up into a beautiful maiden and was attended to by a host of maids. One day, while she was spending her time in a garden picking flowers with her maids, Sage Narada approached her. Assuring her that he was her well-wisher, he asked her to show him her palm to read her future. He foretold that she was destined to be the spouse of Lord Vishnu himself.At this time, Lord Srinivasa, who was hunting, chased a wild elephant in the forests surrounding the hills. In the elephant’s pursuit, the Lord was led into a garden, where Princess Padmavati and her maids were picking flowers.
The sight of the elephant frightened the Princess and her maids. But the elephant immediately turned around, saluted the Lord and disappeared into the forest. Lord Srinivasa, who was following on horse back, and saw the frightened maidens, who accosted Him with queries.
When Lord Srinivasa returned, Vakuladevi brought him his usual dinner comprising various delicacies. However, she found him lying on his bed, pining for his love.
When she enquired about the cause, the Lord informed her that unless he married Princess Padmavati, he would never be well again. Vakuladevi then asked Him to tell her all about the Princess. The Lord then narrated the story of her (Padmavati’s) previous birth and his promise to wed her.