The Syamantaka Saga – 01- The magical gem

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Satrajit was one of the Yadava princes in the lineage of Satwata and enjoyed the friendship of Surya, the Sun God. Once when Satrajit was walking along the seashore, he thought of Surya and meditated in his memory. When Surya presented himself as a great ball of fire, he requested the Sun God to do him a favor and appear in a more distinguishable form. Acceding to this request, Surya took off the jewel called Syamantaka from his neck which allowed Satrajit to see Surya in his true form, with a body like burnished copper and slightly reddish eyes.

satrajitBeing among the few mortals to have ever seen Surya in his true form, Satrajit was extremely thankful to him and started singing his praises. Pleased with the devotion shown in him Surya granted a boon to Satrajit, to which he requested that the Syamantaka gem be given to him. The Sun God then gave the gem to him and took back his place in the skies.

Satrajit wore the gem on his neck and was now as irradiant as Surya himself and when he returned to Dwaraka, the citizens thought that Purushottama, the eternal male who sustained the burden of earth for all time had come to visit Krishna. When they approached Krishna and informed him of this, he just smiled and told them that it was not Surya, but Satrajit who was coming back from the seashore wearing the Syamantaka gem that had been given to him.

Satrajit kept the jewel in his home which yielded eight loads of gold every day, which made him very wealthy. The gem also dispelled all fear of portents, wild beasts, fire, robbers and famine, which rendered its owner practically invulnerable.

As time went by and the marvelous powers of the gem became public knowledge, Krishna was of the opinion that Ugrasena, the Yadava king should be given possession of the same. Although Krishna could easily have taken the gem from Satrajit and given it to Ugrasena, he did not do so because he did not want to cause any unnecessary disagreements due to this in the family.

Satrajit however was very fearful that Krishna might forcibly take the gem away from him and therefore gave it to his brother, Prasena for safekeeping. The Syamantaka gem in addition to its wonderful attributes also had a peculiar property. Although it was an inexhaustible source of good to a virtuous person, if a man of bad character ever wore it, then it would cause his death.

<<Part 2 of the story>>

27 thoughts on “The Syamantaka Saga – 01- The magical gem

    • @Kathy, this is just the first part of a six/seven part story which will be published over the next few days, one chapter at a time, glad you enjoyed the first part 😀

  1. Thanks thanks thanks..the brat keeps asking me for stories every day…now I am goin to read this as you put it up and tell her in parts and say well, ‘Mahabore uncle is yet to write the rest of the story’ 😉

    • @Vishal, just writing this post was an education for me as well as I had only heard about this precious stone in passing and didn’t quite know the whole story. Reading up various sources about this stone’s story was good fun 😀

  2. I love the story, Jairam.

    Just the other day while looking for something I came across an old pink glittery Christmas ornament that Vidur used to call the syamantaka gem. Fond memories. We more or less have all the ACK comics 😀

    • @Vidya, I was quite sure that this series will bring back some mythology related memories to you and Vidur 😀 Glad you liked it so much 🙂 Enjoy the next six posts 😀

  3. Wouldn’t it be great if money had a similar property as the Syamantaka gem? (It should be an inexhaustible source of good to a person who has earned it ethically, but cause the death of a person who has acquired it by unethical means?) If wishes were horses, ….. 😦

    • @Proactive Indian, so true, if wishes were horses 🙂 Most of these mythological tales have this magic where it can only be used for the benefit of others and immediately disintegrates when the owner wants to use it wrongly, don’t they ?

    • @Shilpa, yes, although the Syamantaka gem is somewhat well known the entire story behind it is not very popular, and hence decided to put up this series of posts 😀

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