Thursday, 23 June 2011


Satrajit was a poor man. He wanted to become rich. He asked Surya to help him to get rich...

Satrajit was a pious man. He was a devotee of Surya, the sun god. He worshipped Surya for a long time. Surya was pleased. He appeared before Satrajit and asked him to name his wish.

Satrajit was a poor man. He wanted to become rich. He asked Surya to help him to get rich.

Surya granted Satrajit's wish. He gave Satrajit a precious stone called 'Syamantakam'. Surya told Satrajit: "This will produce a good quantity of gold every day. Look after it well."

'Syamantakam' was a bright gem, shining like the sun itself. Satrajit took it home. People who saw it thought that 'Syamantakam' was Surya, the sun god, himself. They feared that something bad might happen because the sun god had appeared on earth. So they went to Lord Krishna for advice.

Krishna talked to them. He tried to calm their fears. 'Syamantakam', he said, was only a precious stone. There was no cause for anxiety about it. Krishna also told them that Satrajit was bringing the gem for him to see.

Satrajit went to see Krishna and showed him Surya's wonderful gift. "It is bright and wonderful," Krishna told Satrajit. "It shines like the sun. It can produce gold every day. People will come to know about this gold you get every day. Be aware of robbers."

Krishna added: "Perhaps it is risky for you to keep this precious stone. If you like, you can leave it here with me. I shall take care of it. You can come here every day and collect the gold it produces."

Satrajit was unwilling to part with 'Syamantakam'. He thought Krishna was trying to steal it.

"My lord," he said, "I received this gift after worshipping Surya for many years. I would like to keep it myself. I think even Surya would not like me to give it away. I beg you not to ask for it."

Krishna said: "I do not want the stone. I only wanted to help you to keep it safe. It is your property and you may take it home. You are free to do whatever you want with it."

Satrajit was happy. He went home. He took very good care 'Syamantakam'. Every day the bright gem produced a good quantity of gold and Satrajit became richer and richer.

Satrajit had a brother named Prasenan. This young man was very fond of rich clothes and costly jewels. One day, Prasenan was going to hunt in the jungle with a large number of people. He had put on his best clothes and costly jewels. But he thought he would look better if he wore 'Syamantakam' also.

Prasenan went to Satrajit and asked for the precious stone. Satrajit was fond of his brother. He loved him so much that he could not say 'no' to Prasenan's request. Satrajit therefore gave 'Syamantakam' to Prasenan and asked him to take good care of it.

Prasenan went hunting, wearing the bright 'Syamantakam'. The hunt was exciting. Prasenan chased a wild boar. The chase was long and Prasenan went far away his companions.

Suddenly a lion jumped at Prasenan.

Prasenan fought the lion single-handed. In fight Prasenan was killed.

The lion was attracted by the brightness of 'Syamantakam' and carried away the gem.

A huge monkey, passing that way, saw the lion. The monkey was attracted by the glow of 'Syamantakam'.

The monkey, who was very strong, chased the lion. The lion was killed in the fight with the monkey.

The monkey took 'Syamantakam', went to his home in a huge cave, and gave the gem to his children to play with.

Satrajit waited for his brother's return from the hunt. The people who had gone on the hunt with Prasenan had all come back. They were unable to tell Satrajit what had happened to Prasenan-how and where he had disappeared.

Satrajit hoped that Prasenan would soon return. He waited for many days. But there was no news of Prasenan.

Satrajit was sad. He began to suspect lord Krishna. He remembered that Krishna had wanted 'Syamantakam' and that he had not given it to him. Was it possible that Krishna had killed Prasenan and stolen the precious stone?

Satrajit thought hard. His suspicion of Krishna grew strong. But he was helpless. Krishna was the King. Satrajit could not accuse him of murder or robbery.

Satrajit, however, could not keep his thoughts to himself. He told some of his very close friends what he thought of the disappearance of Prasenan and 'Syamantakam'. He asked these friends to keep it a secret.

But each of these friends of Satrajit had his own very close friends. Each of them told a few people what Satrajit had said? They said Krishna had killed Prasenan and grabbed 'Syamantakam'.

These friends told their friends and the story spread far and wide.

In a few days, everybody in the country was talking about Prasenan and 'Syamantakam'- and Krishna's cruel hand in his or her disappearance.

Women could talk of nothing else. They wanted their children to be careful.

"Take good care of your ornaments," they told the children. "Krishna may steal them, if he gets a chance."

The children were frightened. They began to run away from Krishna-though they had always loved him.

One day, Krishna saw some children playing at the roadside. They ran away when they saw him. But Krishna heard what they were saying as they ran away.

One child cried: "Run, run! Run away from Krishna. He is a thief. He will even kill Children, to grab their ornaments. That is what my mother said."

The other children said that was what their mothers had told them, too.

Krishna was shocked. He wanted to know the cause of such ugly rumors against him.

Krishna went about in disguise. He moved among the people. The people did not know who he was. He heard the ugly rumors about him that had spread all over the country. Everybody seemed to believe that Krishna had killed Prasenan and grabbed 'Syamantakam'.

Krishna and his companions went to the jungle where Prasenan had gone for the hunt. After a long search, they found the dead body of Prasenan. But they could not find the precious 'Syamantakam'.

They continued the search. Soon, they discovered the body of a dead lion. They also noticed some footprints leading from the lion.
Krishna and his party trailed these footprints to the mouth of an enormous cave. The footprints led into the cave.

Krishna asked his companions to wait while he went inside.

It was a wonderful place. There was a long passage. On the walls on both sides, were beautiful painting-scenes from the 'Ramayana'. Krishna was surprised. He followed the story in pictures as he walked along the passage. The story ended when he entered a big hall.
Some children were playing in the big hall. They were playing with a brilliant gem. Krishna knew at once that it was 'Syamantakam'.

The children were frightened at the sight of a stranger. They cried out for help.

Suddenly, Krishna heard a thunderous roar. He saw a huge monkey rushing to attack him. There was no time to explain why he was there. The huge monkey jumped at Krishna. There was nothing Krishna could do except defend himself.

It was a terrible fight. The monkey lashed at Krishna, and Krishna fought back. The fight lasted a long time.

Now, this huge monkey was Jambavan, one of the heroes of 'Ramayana'. He had grown very old and had retired. With his many children and grandchildren, Jambavan was living happily in that beautiful cave.

Nobody had disturbed him there. Now, a stranger had come and frightened his children. Jambavan did not like it. He wanted to turn out the stranger.

Jambavan fought Krishna, and Krishna fought back. Neither of them would yield to the other. The terrific force of the battle shook the entire jungle.

Krishna had not gone there to fight. He did not wish to fight Jambavan, the veteran 'Ramayana' hero. Krishna wanted to stop the fighting somehow. So he rushed forward, caught hold of Jambavan, and threw him aside with great force.

Jambavan was surprised. Nobody had ever defeated him. He looked at the man who had thrown him down. Then he saw Krishna in form of Lord Vishnu. And within that form he saw the image of his old master. Rama.

Jambavan was sad that he had fought his own master. He fell at the feet of Krishna and asked for forgiveness. Krishna embraced Jambavan and said: "It was our bad luck that we had to fight each other. But I am happy to meet you, and to see you as strong as ever."

Jambavan shed tears of joy.

Then they sat down to talk. Krishna told Jambavan why he had come to the jungle and how he had come to the cave.

"My Lord," said Jambavan, "the precious stone you are looking for is here; I saw a lion with it and I took it from him. I gave it to the children to play with."

Jamabavan went in and brought 'Syamantakam'. He gave it to Krishna. Everybody was happy. Jambavan's children and grandchildren came out and asked Krishna for his blessings.

After sometime, Krishna took leave of Jambavan. Outside the cave, he joined his companions and went straight to Satrajit's home.

Satrajit was happy when he got back the precious 'Syamantakam'. He fell at Krishna's feet. He told Krishna how sorry he was for his evil thoughts and the ugly rumors. Satrajit begged for Krishna's forgiveness. He offered 'Syamantakam' to Krishna as a gift.

But Krishna did not want the precious stone. He was glad that he had proved his innocence. He was happy that he had won back the love and trust of the people, young and old.

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