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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Shrimad Bhagavatam > Canto-10 > Part-5 > The Shyamantaka jewel



The Shyamantaka Jewel.



There was a king named Satrajit who lived within the jurisdiction of Dvaraka, and he was a great devotee of the sun-god. Surya felt great affection for his devotee, and indeed, they had a very friendly relationship. As a token of his friendship, Surya had given Satrajit the jewel called Shyamantaka, and the king wore it around his neck. The jewel shone so brightly that Satrajit appeared just like an imitation Surya, and in this way he once entered Dvaraka.

    Although known to the residents of Dvaraka, no one recognized King Satrajit because of the jewel’s effulgence. Looking at him from a distance, the people were blinded by the light, and so they presumed that the sun-god had come to visit Lord Krishna. Some of the important citizens then went to inform the Lord, who at that time was engaged in playing chess.

     The people said, “Obeisances unto You, O Lord. Lord Savita has come to see You, and he is blinding everyone by his effulgence.”

     Lord Krishna smiled broadly and replied, “This is not the sun-god, Ravi, but rather Satrajit, coming just to show off his opulence.”

      The history of Satrajit is as follows: King Satrajit installed the Shyamantaka jewel in a temple at his palace, and it was worshiped by qualified brahmanas. Each day, this wonderful jewel produced more than one hundred kilograms of gold, and the place where it was worshiped would remain free of all inauspiciousness.

     Once, Lord Krishna requested Satrajit to donate the Shyamantaka jewel to Ugrasena, just to teach that the best of everything should be offered to the king. Being too materialistic and greedy, however, Satrajit refused, without giving a second thought to the offense he had committed.

     One day shortly thereafter, Satrajit’s brother, Prasena, put the jewel around his neck just to display his family’s opulence, mounted upon a horse, and went hunting in the forest. A lion killed Prasena and the horse, took the Shyamantaka jewel and entered a cave. When Jambavan heard of this, he went to the cave and killed the lion. Then, he gave the jewel to his son to play with as a toy. Being a great devotee of Lord Ramachandra, Jambavan did not consider the Shyamantaka jewel to be very important.

     When Prasena did not return, Satrajit became very upset and said, “Krishna must have killed my brother and taken the jewel, because previously I had refused His request.”

     Others were present, and when they heard this accusation, they passed it on, so that soon the rumor was spreading all over Dvaraka. When Krishna heard about this, he wanted to remove the stain on His reputation, and so, taking some of the residents of Dvaraka with Him, He went to the forest to retrieve the jewel.

     There, they found the dead Prasena and his horse, and then the lion that was killed by Jambavan and was lying at the entrance of a cave or tunnel that led to the King of the Rikshas’ (bears) residence. Knowing that they were afraid, Krishna stationed the others at the entrance and then entered the tunnel alone. There, He saw the jewel in the hands of a small child. When Krishna went to take the Shyamantaka jewel, however, the child’s nurse cried out in alarm.

     Upon hearing these cries, Jambavan rushed to the spot. Seeing Krishna before him, and considering Him to be an ordinary man, Jambavan angrily challenged the Lord to fight. The two then fought furiously, each determined to gain victory- at first with various weapons, and then with stones, tree trunks- and at last, with bare fists. The battle continued for twenty-eight days and nights, without cessation, and although Jambavan was the strongest being on earth, his limbs began to slacken and strength began to falter.

     Being highly astonished, Jambavan pondered over the identity of his opponent, and at last, when Krishna became pleased with his fighting, he could understand Him to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krishna had wanted to mock-fight with His devotee, and thus Jambavan rendered service with his bodily strength.

     Jambavan then prayed, “I can now understand that You are Lord Vishnu, the all-powerful supreme controller. You are He who impelled the ocean to give way when You slightly manifested Your anger. You are He who built a great bridge to Lanka, and whose arrows severed the heads of Ravana.”

     Being satisfied with these prayers, Krishna smeared His hands all over Jambavan’s body, just to mitigate his pain and fatigue from fighting. Lord Krishna then said, “I have come here for this jewel, O lord of the bears, for I need it to disprove the false allegations against Me.”

     Understanding the history of the Shyamantaka jewel, Jambavan happily gave it to Krishna, along with his daughter, Jambavati, who was of marriageable age. Indeed, Krishna married Jambavati there, within the cave.

     The people from Dvaraka who had accompanied Krishna had waited at the entrance of the cave for twelve days. When Krishna failed to return after such a long time, they returned to Dvaraka in great sorrow. When Vasudeva, Devaki, Rukmini and other relatives saw these people return without Krishna, they lamented very bitterly. While cursing Satrajit, the residents of Dvaraka went to worship the deity of goddess Durga known as Chandrabhaga, praying for Krishna’s safe return.

     The deity spoke in response, promising to grant the peoples’ request, and just at that time, Lord Krishna returned home, accompanied by His new wife and wearing the Shyamantaka jewel around His neck, thus filling everyone with great joy. Lord Krishna then summoned Satrajit to the royal assembly, and there, in the presence of King Ugrasena, He returned the Shyamantaka jewel.

     Hanging his head in shame, Satrajit silently accepted the jewel and returned home, all the while feeling great remorse for his sinful behavior. Satrajit thought, “How can I atone for my offense, so that Lord Achyuta may become pleased with me? How can I regain my good name, after being so short-sighted, miserly, foolish and avaricious? I will give the Lord my daughter, along with the Shyamantaka jewel, for this is the only proper way to pacify Him.”

     Having come to this decision, with the help of good intelligence given by the Supreme Lord, Satrajit arranged for the marriage of Satyabhama with Krishna.  Possessed of excellent behavior, great beauty, broad-mindedness, and other good qualities, she had been sought after by many men.

     Lord Krishna then told Satrajit, “I have no need for the Shyamantaka jewel. Let it remain in a temple so that people can derive benefit from it.”