Kalindi is the fourth wife of Lord Krishna which makes her a part of the Ashtabharya list. In the earlier texts available to the man, Kalindi is referred to as Yamuna or Yami and then in the later literature and scriptures is when she is described with the name Kalindi. Pertaining to her earlier name Yamuna, we can say that she is the celebrated and sacred river of the Hindu tradition. She is worshipped and known to remove the sins of the humans who bathe in the river. Yamuna was the daughter of Surya and Sanjna. Surya is the god of the sun and Sanjana is the goddess of clouds. Yamuna has a twin brother who happens to be the god of death, Yama. Kalindi’s importance in the life of Krishna is not limited to being his spouse but also extends to his earlier days of bathing in the river.
Yamuna has been of significant importance to Lord Krishna’s life right from the day of his birth. Vasudeva carried Lord Krishna on his head across Yamuna river to reach Vrindavan and give him safely to Nanda and Yashoda. Vasudeva requested Yamuna to make way for them to cross the river and reach Vrindavan. She did so and Vasudeva was able to cross the river safely and soundly. This was her very first time seeing Lord Krishna and being introduced to him. She was enraged that night and became calm instantly after touching the feet of this baby.
Growing up, Krishna was very close to Yamuna as he spent most of his time with his friends on the bank of the river. He played the flute, he danced with Gopis and Radha. He also played catch and throw with his friends. The game of catch and throw takes us to a specific incident of his life. Kaliyadaman, the king of snakes that resided in the river was polluting it and turned out to be fatal for most Vrindavan residents. Krishna smartly found a way to defeat the snake and send him away from the river and the village. Kalindi kept falling in love with him and was more attracted to him when she saw the soul-touching love of Krishna & Radha.
Bhagavata Purana goes on to narrate the story of how Krishna and Kalindi met and fell in love. An adult Krishna had come to Indraprastha which is situated on the banks of Yamuna river. He was visiting Pandavas, his cousins. Krishna and Arjuna were tired from hunting and decided to bathe in the Yamuna river and drink the clear and pure water of the river. There, Krishna saw a beautiful girl who was taking a walk on the banks of the river. Krishna came to know that she is Kalindi, Surya and Sanjana’s daughter. Arjuna made his inquiries and found out about her and her place of residence. She mentioned that she was performing penance to have Lord Vishnu as her husband and would not move till she did so. Arjuna conveyed this message to Krishna who in turn was the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. He agreed to marry Kalindi and took her with him to Indraprastha. They had ten sons out of which Shruta was the eldest and Somaka was the youngest.