Why did Kṛṣṇa had more than 16,000 wives?

We understand from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, that when Kṛṣṇa was present on this earth He had 16,108 wives; however, because Kṛṣṇa sometimes appears like an ordinary man, people sometimes cannot believe or understand His activities. They wonder, “How can God become an ordinary person like us?” But although Kṛṣṇa sometimes plays like an ordinary person, in fact He is not ordinary, and whenever necessary He displays the powers of God. When sixteen thousand girls were kidnapped by the demon Bhaumasura, they prayed to Kṛṣṇa, and therefore Kṛṣṇa went to the demon’s palace, killed the demon, and delivered all the girls. But according to the strict Vedic system, if an unmarried girl leaves her home even for one night, no one will marry her. Therefore when Kṛṣṇa told the girls, “Now you can safely return to your fathers’ homes,” they replied, “Sir, if we return to the homes of our fathers, what will be our fate? No one will marry us, because this man kidnapped us”. “Then what do you want?” Kṛṣṇa asked. The girls replied, “We want You to become our husband”. And Kṛṣṇa is so kind that He immediately said yes and accepted them. Now, when Kṛṣṇa brought the girls back home to His capital city, it is not that each of the sixteen thousand wives had to wait sixteen thousand nights to meet Kṛṣṇa. Rather, Kṛṣṇa expanded Himself into sixteen thousand forms, constructed sixteen thousand palaces, and lived in each palace with each wife.

Although this is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam, rascals cannot understand this. Instead they criticize Kṛṣṇa. “He was very lusty,” they say. “He married sixteen thousand wives”. But even if He is lusty, He is unlimitedly lusty. God is unlimited. Why sixteen thousand? He could marry sixteen million and still not reach the limits of His perfection. That is Kṛṣṇa. We cannot accuse Kṛṣṇa of being lusty or sensuous. No. There are so many devotees of Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa shows favor to all of them. Some ask Kṛṣṇa to become their husband, some ask Kṛṣṇa to become their friend, some ask Kṛṣṇa to become their son, and some ask Kṛṣṇa to become their playmate. In this way, there are millions and trillions of devotees all over the universe, and Kṛṣṇa has to satisfy them all. He does not need any help from these devotees, but because they want to serve Him in a particular way, the Lord reciprocates. These sixteen thousand devotees wanted Kṛṣṇa as their husband, and therefore Kṛṣṇa agreed.

Source : A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Teachings of Queen Kunti”, Page 90 & 91
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “The Science of Self-Realization”, Page 21

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