The Story of the Syamantaka Jewel

March 24, 2012 in Articles, Narasimha Dasa by Nityananda Rama dasa

(A Summary Study)

This story from Srimad-Bhagavatam, Tenth Canto, which Srila Prabhupada presents in two chapters in Krsna Book, is very interesting and instructive. (Krsna Book, Chapters 55 and 56.) What follows is a brief summary and explanation from these chapters of Krsna Book, including some of my own comments. (Direct quotes from Srila Prabhupada are in bold.)

The Sun God gave the Syamantaka jewel to King Satrajit, the father of Princess Satyabhama, who later became Lord Krishna’s third wife due to the influence of this jewel. This jewel was so powerful that it produced 170 pounds of gold daily. Although Krishna advised Satrajit to deliver the jewel to Him so He could give the jewel to King Urgasena, the emperor of the Yadu Dynasty, Satrajit did not comply with this request. Instead he installed the jewel in a private temple to be worshipped by brahmins he employed. Although Satrajit was a devotee and later came to his senses, he was bewildered by the material opulence and prestige this jewel provided him and his family.

One day Satrajit’s brother, Prasena, took the jewel and wore it around his neck to show off the wealth of his family. At one point, while riding his horse through a forest, he was attacked by a huge lion that killed him and his horse. When Jambuvan, the gorilla king, heard about this event he immediately went to the scene, killed the lion with his bare hands and took the jewel, which he gave to his son for a toy. Because Jambavan was a liberated pure devotee, he was not much attracted to the material opulence of this jewel.

Later on, when Prasena did not return with the jewel, Satrajit was very upset. He guessed that Krishna had killed Prasena and taken the jewel because Satrajit had previously denied Lord Krishna’s request to deliver the jewel to Him. What started out as a mere speculation on the part of one mentally-disturbed man, Srila Prabhupada explains, turned into a rumor that was spread like wildfire.”

This story illustrates that even Krishna is sometimes defamed by false rumors originating from mentally disturbed or materially attached devotees. All this happened in Dvaraka Dhama, even before the advent of the internet. In this day and age, any foolish person can spread malicious rumors about devotees via the internet, and by repeating such rumors over and over again, foolish offenders try to establish facts without solid proof, and thus become candidates for severe misfortune.

Krishna did not like be defamed in this way, therefore He decided that He would go to the forest and find the Syamantaka jewel, taking with Him some of the inhabitants of Dvaraka. Along with important men of Dvaraka, Krishna, went to search out Prasena, the brother of Satrajit, and He found him dead, killed by the lion.”

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