The Syamantaka Jewel

- May 4, 2022

By Srinidhi Murthy

Syamantaka was a precious jewel that had the power to bring prosperity and end famine and war. However, its disappearance created trouble for Krishna himself. Here is the story of how Krishna found it and eventually cleared his name. 

A gift from the Sun god 
Script: Kamala Chandrakant; Illustration: H.S. Chavan

Prince Satrajit of Dwaraka was a devotee of Surya, the Sun God. One day, pleased with his devotion, Surya presented him with the Syamantaka jewel. When Satrajit rode back to Dwaraka, the people noticed that their prince was shining with a strange light. Wonderstruck, they all went to Krishna, who explained to them that it was due to the power of Syamantaka. He further added that the jewel had the power to end famine and war. In a few days, Satrajit noticed that the jewel also gave him eight measures of gold each morning. He installed Syamantaka in a temple and worshipped it daily.

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Krishna’s visit

One day, Krishna visited Satrajit, who welcomed him warmly. Krishna praised the devotion of Satrajit, due to which he acquired such a precious jewel. Then, Krishna told Satrajit that since he had obtained enough gold, he should give the jewel to King Ugrasena as the jewel would be safer with a king. Satrajit immediately rejected Krishna’s suggestion and refused to part with the jewel. 

Syamantaka in Jambavan’s hands
Script: Kamala Chandrakant; Illustration: H.S. Chavan

A few days after this incident, Prasena, the brother of Satrajit, went on a hunt, wearing the Syamantaka. Unfortunately, he was killed by a lion and the lion took the jewel from Prasena. As the lion walked with the jewel, Jambavan, the king of bears, saw him. Jambavan saw the precious jewel and decided to present it to his son. He attacked the lion, killed it, and then presented the jewel to his dear son. 

Satrajit’s suspicion 

Meanwhile, at Dwaraka, Prasena’s absence created suspicion in Satrajit’s mind. He suspected that Krishna killed his brother to acquire the jewel. When Krishna learned about Satrajit’s suspicion, he became determined to clear his name. He immediately went to the forest with his men, to trace the location of Prasena. Krishna and his men soon found the dead body of Prasena and also noticed the lion’s marks on his body. The men then followed the footsteps of the lion and found it lying dead in front of a cave. Krishna asked his men to wait for him, as he went inside the cave all alone.

Krishna and Jambavan 
Script: Kamala Chandrakant; Illustration: H.S. Chavan

Krishna noticed that the jewel was in the hands of a small bear, who was Jambavan’s son. Though Krishna tried to take back the jewel without scaring the child, Jambavan’s son noticed him and cried loudly. Hearing the cries, Jambavan emerged to fight the stranger who had frightened his son. Krishna agreed to fight with a condition that the winner would take possession of the jewel. Soon, a fierce fight ensued between Krishna and Jambavan. Meanwhile, outside the cave, the men waited patiently for the return of Krishna, for the next twelve days. When Krishna did not return, they assumed he was dead and returned to Dwarka to convey the sad news to his parents and wife. 

Return of the Jewel

Inside the cave, Krishna and Jambavan fought for twenty-eight days. They fought with weapons, boulders and even uprooted trees. Jambavan, realizing the strength of Krishna, gave up the fight and surrendered himself to Krishna. Jambavan not only returned the jewel but also gave his daughter Jambavati in marriage to Krishna. As soon as they garlanded each other, Jambavati turned into a beautiful woman. Krishna returned to Dwaraka with the jewel and Jambavati. He returned the jewel to Satrajit, who apologized for doubting Krishna earlier. To make amends, Satrajit requested Krishna to accept his daughter Satyabhama as his wife. Krishan accepted his proposal and also asked Satrajit to give him yields of the gold.  Having proved his innocence, Krishna married Satyabhama in a joyous ceremony.

A new challenge
Script: Kamala Chandrakant; Illustration: H.S. Chavan

However, the disappointed suitors of Satyabhama – Akrura, Kritavarma, and Shatadhanwa – nursed thoughts of revenge on Satrajit. Shatadhanwa killed Satrajit without anyone’s knowledge and took possession of Syamantaka. In order to save himself from the wrath of Krishna, he approached Kritavarma and Akrura for help. When they refused to give him protection, he gave the jewel to Akrura and fled from Dwaraka. However, Krishna caught him and killed him when he tried to escape. A few days later, Akrura came to meet Krishna to give him the jewel. Krishna refused the jewel but asked Akura to declare that he had its possession, to clear the doubts from the minds of Dwaraka’s citizens. Having cleared all doubts and suspicions about his innocence, Krishna returned to his home to spend time with his family.

Read more stories of Krishna in our title Bhagavat, now available on the ACK Comics App, Kindle, Flipkart, Amazon, and other major e-tailers. 

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