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.