High Spirited Sree's blog

Syamanthakhopaakhyanam

Posted on: September 13, 2010

The story of the Syamanthaka Jewel / സ്യമന്തകമണി

There was a king Satrajit. He was a great devotee of Sun-God. Pleased with his prayers Sun God presented to him a divine jewel called Syamanthaka. The Syamanthaka jewel was so powerful that it was daily producing a large quantity of gold. Besides that, it is mentioned in Vedic literature that in whatever part of the world this jewel is worshiped there is no possibility of famine or of anything inauspicious.

When this jewel was worn by Satrajit in a locket around his neck, he appeared like Sun-God. Putting on this jewel, he would enter the city of Dwaraka, and people would think that the Sun-God had come into the city to see Krishna. Krishna knew that Satrajit  had come to Dwaraka to show his opulence in the form of the valuable jewel obtained from the Sun-God.

Krishna asked Satrajit to present the Syamanthaka jewel to King Ugrasena (Grandfather of Krishna), who was the ruling chief. But Satrajit, had become too materialistic and, instead of accepting the request of Krishna, thought it wiser to worship the jewel in order to get the 170 pounds of gold every day.

One day, Satrajit’s younger brother Prasena, took the jewel, put it on his neck and rode on horseback into the forest. In the forest, a big lion attacked him, killing both him and the horse on which he was riding, and took away the jewel to his cave. The news was received by the gorilla king, Jambavan, who then killed that lion in the cave and took away the jewel. Jambavan gave it to his young son to play with as a toy.

In the city, when Prasena did not return from the forest with the jewel, Satrajit became very upset. He did not know that his brother had been killed by a lion and that the lion had been killed by Jambavan. He thought instead that because Krishna wanted that jewel and it had not been delivered to Him, Krishna might have therefore taken the jewel away from Prasena by force and killed him. This grew into a rumor which was being spread by Satrajit in every part of Dwaraka.

The false rumor that Krishna had killed Prasena and had taken away the jewel was spread everywhere like wildfire. Krishna did not like to be defamed in that way, and therefore He decided that He would go to the forest and find the Syamanthaka jewel. Along with important men of Dwaraka, Krishna went to search out Prasena and He found him dead, killed by the lion. At the same time, Krishna also found the lion which had been killed by Jambavan. He then found in the forest a great tunnel, said to be the path to Jamabavan’s house. Krishna knew that the inhabitants of Dwaraka would be afraid to enter the tunnel; therefore He asked them to remain outside, and He Himself entered the dark tunnel alone to find Jambavan. After entering the tunnel, Krishna saw that the very valuable jewel known as Syamanthaka had been given to the son of Jambavan as a toy, and in order to take the jewel from the child, He went there and stood before him. When the nurse who was taking care of Jambavan’s child saw Krishna standing before her, she was afraid, thinking the valuable Syamanthaka jewel might be taken away by Him. She began to cry loudly out of fear.

Hearing the nurse crying, Jambavan appeared on the scene in a very angry mood. Jambavan was actually a great devotee of Lord Krishna, but because he was in an angry mood he could not recognize Krishna; he thought Him to be an ordinary man. Krisnha engaged Jambavan in a duel.

After some time Jambavan learnt that he was fighting with Lord Krishna for whom he had great respect, and reverence. He at once apologised for his unseemly behaviour. Krishna informed Jambavan that He had come to him to ask for the Syamanthaka jewel because since the Syamanthaka jewel had been stolen His name had been defamed. Jambavan understood the whole situation, and to satisfy the Lord he not only immediately delivered the Syamanthaka jewel, but he also brought his daughter Jambavati, and sought Krishna’s consent for marrying his daughter. Krishna happily accepted teh jewel and Jambavathi as his wife.

Although the fighting between Krishna and Jambavan went on for twenty-eight days, the inhabitants of Dwaraka waited outside the tunnel only for twelve days, and after that they decided that something undesirable must have happened and they had returned home.

All the members of the family, friends, relatives and residents of the palace, became very sorry when the citizens returned home without Krishna. Because of their natural affection for Krishna, they began to call Satrajit ill names, for he was the cause of Krishna’s disappearance.

But when they saw that Krishna had actually returned, not alone but with a new wife, Jambavati, they immediately performed another celebration ceremony.

King Ugrasena then called for a meeting of all important kings and chiefs. He also invited Satrajit, and Krishna explained before the whole assembly the incident of the recovery of the jewel from Jambavan. Satrajit was aware that he had offended Krishna and he sincerely wanted to rectify it.

Satrajit decided to hand over to Krishna both the jewel and his beautiful daughter, Satyabhama.

Lord Krishna, being pleased upon Satrajit, informed him that He did not have any need of the Syamanthaka jewel. Because of the jewel’s presence in the city of Dvaraka, there will be no more famine or disturbances created by pestilence or excessive heat and cold.

References:

Read in English :  Cantos 10- chapter 56 of Srimad Bhagavatham

Read in malayalam (pdf) : “സ്യമന്തകമണി

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