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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Shrimad Bhagavatam > Canto-10 > Part-5 > Satrajit murdered, the jewel returned (The killing of Satrajit and Shatadhanva)



Satrajit murdered, the jewel returned.

(The killing of Satrajit and Shatadhanva).



     After Akrura had visited Hastinapura, the Pandavas were taken to a house made of shellac, which then burnt down. Everyone thought that the Pandavas and their mother, Kunti, had perished. When Krishna and Balarama received the news, They immediately departed for Hastinapura, to fulfill Their family obligations, although They very well knew that the Pandavas were unharmed.

Krishna and Balarama visited Bhishma, Kripa, Vidura, Gandhari and Drona. While showing sorrow equal that of the residents of Hastinapura, Krishna and Balarama cried out, “How painful this is!”  They also met those who were not at all bereaved, because of being involved in the assassination attempt.

     Taking advantage of the situation (that Krishna and Balarama were away from Dvaraka), Akrura and Kritavarma went to Shatadhanva and said, “Why not go and take the Shyamantaka jewel? Satrajit had promised his beautiful daughter to you but then gave her to Krishna. For this reason, why should not Satrajit follow his brother’s path?”

     In this way, a conspiracy was hatched. Both Akrura and Kritavarma were exalted devotees, so why did they join in such a plot? Shrila Jiva Gosvami says that Akrura was a victim of the great anger that was directed against him, due to taking Krishna away from Vrindavana. Kritavarma had associated with Kansa, because both were members of the Bhoja dynasty, and that undesirable association was now taking effect. Shrila Vishvanatha Chakravarti says that Akrura and Kritavarma were against Satrajit because he had spread false rumors about Krishna.

     Coming under the influence of such advice, Shatadhanva one night entered Satrajit’s home and mercilessly killed him in his sleep. Then, he took the Shyamantaka jewel and left, while the palace women, headed by Satyabhama, screamed and cried hysterically.

Satyabhama put her father’s corpse in a large vat of oil to preserve it, and then went to Hastinapura to see her husband. When Satyabhama sorrowfully informed Krishna of her father’s murder, He and Balarama exclaimed, “Oh! This is a great tragedy!” Although They already knew about what had happened, They imitated the ways of human society by lamenting, Their eyes filled with tears.

     Krishna, Balarama, and Satyabhama returned to Dvaraka. Lord Krishna’s first concern was to kill Shatadhanva and retrieve the Shyamantaka jewel, and when he learned of this, Shatadhanva became very fearful. To try and save himself, he went to Kritavarma and begged for help.

     Kritavarma replied, “I dare not offend the Supreme Lords, Krishna and Balarama. Indeed, how can one who troubles Them expect any good fortune? Look what happened to Kansa and Jarasandha!”

     Shatadhanva next approached Akrura and begged for help. But, Akrura replied, “Who would oppose the two Personalities of Godhead, knowing of Their prowess? As a child of seven, Krishna uprooted an entire mountain and held it aloft, as easily as a boy picks up a mushroom.”

     Shatadhanva then placed the Shyamantaka jewel in the care of Akrura and fled on a horse that could run up to 700 kilometers at a stretch. Krishna mounted His chariot, along with Balarama, and pursued His father-in-law’s murderer.

     At the outskirts of Mithila, Shatadhanva’s horse collapsed and so he continued fleeing on foot. To be fair, Krishna and Balarama also got down from Their chariot. Then, as He ran, Krishna cut off Shatadhanva’s head with His chakra. Krishna searched Shatadhanva’s body, looking for the jewel, and when He failed to find it, He said, “We have killed Shatadhanva uselessly, for the Shyamantaka jewel isn’t here.”

     Balarama replied, “Shatadhanva must have given the jewel to someone to keep. Return to Dvaraka and find out who that is. I wish to stay here and visit King Janaka, for He is My very good friend.”

     Upon seeing Balarama approach, the King of Mithila immediately got up from his seat to greet Him. Lord Balarama remained at Mithila for several years as the honored guest of His affectionate devotee, Janaka Maharaja, and it was at this time that Duryodhana learned the art of fighting with a club from Him.

     When Krishna returned to Dvaraka, He informed Satyabhama of Shatadhanva’s demise and His failure to find the Shyamantaka jewel. Together, they performed the funeral ceremonies for Satrajit. When Akrura and Kritavarma heard that Shatadhanva had been killed, they fled Dvaraka in fear and took up residence elsewhere. Akrura went to Kashi, to be with his maternal grandfather, and by worshiping the Shyamantaka jewel, he became quite a celebrity.  

In Akrura’s absence, some ill omens were seen in Dvaraka, and the people began to suffer from natural disturbances, as well as from mental distress. Some of the citizens felt threatened due to Akrura’s absence, and even imagined that Krishna had sent him into exile, considering him a rival. The feeling that Akrura’s absence caused inauspiciousness was basically a superstition. After all, Krishna was present in Dvaraka!

     Some of the elder Yadus then said, “Previously, when there was a drought at Kashi, on the advice of an astrologer, the king gave his daughter Gandini to Svaphalka, who was at that time residing there as his guest. Soon thereafter, it began to rain, because of Svaphalka’s mystic power. Wherever his equally powerful son, Akrura stays, Indra provides sufficient rain. Indeed, that place will also be free of miseries and untimely death.”

    Upon hearing this, Krishna had Akrura summoned from Kashi, although He very well knew that his absence, and that of the Shyamantaka jewel, was not the factual cause of the bad omens and disturbances.

     Upon his arrival, Krishna greeted Akrura very warmly and then said, “I am sure that Shatadhanva left the Shyamantaka jewel in your care, and that it is still with you. Indeed, I knew this all along. Because Satrajit had no sons, his daughter’s sons should receive his inheritance.”

     Here, Krishna indicated that Satyabhama was pregnant, and that her son would be the rightful heir to the jewel, and would indeed, take it by force if it were not given to him voluntarily.

     Lord Krishna continued, “Nevertheless, I want the jewel to remain with you, for no ordinary man can keep it. But, you must show the jewel just once, because My brother and other relatives doubt My word that you actually have it. It’s quite obvious that the Shyamantaka jewel is in your possession, however, for you are performing sacrifices on altars made of pure gold.”

     Feeling somewhat ashamed after hearing these words, and understanding that nothing can be concealed from the Lord, Akrura took the jewel from where he had concealed it in his clothing and gave it to Krishna. After Krishna showed the jewel to His relatives, thus dispelling the false accusations against Him, He gave it back to Akrura.