The Syamantaka Saga – 06 – The conclusion


<<Part 5 of the story>>

To prevent the gem from causing any more conflict and ill will between his family or his clansmen Krishna immediately spoke to Akrura – “I requested you to present the gem in front of the Yadava elders only to clear my reputation. Both Balarama and Satyabhama are right in claiming their ownership of the gem from their points of view. But this jewel, to be of benefit to the whole kingdom, must be carried by a person who leads a life of perpetual continence, self-restraint and moderation. If worn by an impure individual, it will be the cause of his death.

Now as I have sixteen thousand wives, I am not qualified to keep the gem. I am sure Satyabhama also will not agree to this condition to keep the gem with her. My brother, the good Balarama is much too addicted to the pleasure of the senses for him to keep the gem. All of us, the Yadavas and the three of us, therefore request you to retain the care of the gem as you have done all these years. You are qualified to keep it in your possession for the greater good of the entire kingdom and Dwaraka will be grateful for you if you accept this request.”

Hearing Krishna speak so, Akrura was delighted and wore the gem around his neck from that day onwards. As it shone with its dazzling brightness, he moved around like the sun, wearing a necklace of light. Such was the shimmering brilliance of the Syamantaka gem.


This story has been completely sourced from the English translation of The Vishnu Purana, translated by Horace Hayman Wilson in 1840.


In case you are wondering why I started writing this novella in the first place, the reasons are quite simple. While most readers of the blog are well aware of the great epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, the other great epics, the Puranas remain relatively under-appreciated and unexplored by most of us (including me). I have therefore embarked on a small mission (if I can call it that) to read more stories from the Puranas and present them in an easy to read, easy to understand format in the form of individual posts or novellas such as these. My posts related to the Ramayana and the Mahabharata also will continue on the blog. The Puranas are an invaluable new addition to my existing mythology related posts.

While I have heard of the Syamantaka gem being mentioned in the context of some stories involving Krishna, this novella gave me the opportunity to read the story in its entirety. And the moment I read it, I knew that it had to be published on my blog as a novella. Here’s hoping all you readers enjoyed the story as much as I did.

32 thoughts on “The Syamantaka Saga – 06 – The conclusion

  1. Jai, I wanted to read the whole novella in one go. And I’m glad I did 🙂 It was an amazing read. And of course along with tons of others, I too had no information about the puranas. Looking forward to more of such novella’s from you, and hoping that I’ll be able to read them to Little R 🙂 Cheers man !

    • @Sid, some part of me does want to share these wonderful stories from Indian mythology with all the parents out there so that they read it out or narrate it to their children. While I am not against parents feeding their children with Grimms’ Brothers or Hans Christian Andersen, my opinion is that Indian children will have a better appreciation of our culture if they are told these stories when they are 5-6 yrs old going on till they are around 16-17 yrs old. Just my humble attempt, that’s all, I really have no clue as to how successful I am.

      And for sure, 2014 is going to see more and more stories from the Puranas, as I have realized that the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are relatively more popular and most readers are more than aware of these stories.

  2. Akrura was quite ashamed of his behaviour i.e. of concealing the gem. Krisna had to convnce him that he was the right person to possess the gem.
    Rest of his life Akrura spent in glorifying the Lord 🙂

    • @Bhagyashree, so true, in the court episode also, Akrura’s thoughts were filled with so much guilt that he tried to hide the gem from everybody around and it took Krishna’s smart moves to ensure that he revealed possession of the gem while not shaming him 😀

    • @TTS, thank you so much, glad you enjoyed this novella, the intention is to write more such novellas related to mythological tales in 2014, enjoy the rest of them as well 😀

  3. I thoroughly enjoy all of your stories. While they may be common where you are from in most cases, they are all new to me and completely fascinating. You are one great story teller.

  4. I used to sit with my grandparents and listen to the stories from the Puranas. This brought back some lovely memories 🙂

  5. You mentioned your sources were the Puranas. Was curious, if you are reading an online version of them or have actually bought them as paperbacks (In both cases, I want to know from where). Secondly, what language are you reading the Puranas in?
    I haven’t read a mythological/religious books in years (Genesis was the last one), would be nice if I started on another

    • @Ayush, most of my Purana related stories are sourced from which has English translations of most of these Sanskrit books. All of them are in English, albeit embellished English, mind you 🙂

      • Yup I thought as much. I was thinking of buying paperback in Hindi. Even Hindi translations would not be perfect, but they would be closer to the mark than English. Thanks for the help though, will surely look into…should be some nice stories

  6. Thank you thank you thank you *rushes off to part 3 to tell R the story from there* Was on a wedding spree last week and couldnt read the previous parts…tonight the brat will be happy 🙂

  7. First thing to say, superb superb simple narration. You made the whole story look so captivating by narrating it in a simple language. What makes the Puranas less palatable is the perceived complexity of their language. Not all of us are adept at Sanskrit, and not many take an effort to understand it. Efforts to translate the same also goes unnoticed. Blogging it the way you’re planning to do is the best way to enlighten the masses 🙂 All the best for your efforts ! Waiting to read more from you !!
    ( Was waiting for the whole story, to comment. Also blogger dear was behaving weirdly with me for the past few days. Some system error I suppose. Now back to blogdom and rushing off to read other posts:) )

    • @Sreeja, am so happy that you find my mythological posts so enlightening. The attempt is to simplify these stories and put them across in as simple a language as possible so that everybody can enjoy these stories. And going by your comment it is clear that this objective is being met and that makes me so happy 😀

Let me know what you think about this post...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s