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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Katha of Syamantak Mani

How the Syamantaka Jewel Brought Krishna Jâmbavatî and Satyabhâmâ(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Satrâjit having been offensive with Lord Krishna gave for his elevation his daughter together with the jewel known as Syamantaka.' (2) The honorable king said: 'What offense committed Satrâjit against Krishna, o brahmin, from where came Syamantaka and why gave he his daughter to the Lord?(3) S'rî S'uka said: 'The sungod who was Satrâjit's best friend affectionate with him gave, to his satisfaction with his devotee, the jewel called Syamantaka. (4) He, wearing that jewel shining as brilliant as the sun around his neck, having entered Dvârakâ, o King, was because of the effulgence not recognized. (5) The people, by the glare robbed of their vision seeing him from a distance, presuming that Sûrya had arrived reported that to the Supreme Lord who was playing dice: (6) 'O Nârâyana, with obeisances unto You, o Holder of Club, Cakra and Lotus, o Dâmodara, o Lotus-eyed One, o Govinda, o beloved of the Yadus! (7) Savitâ ['the radiant one'], who with the intense radiation of his radiating disc steals the vision of men, has come to see You, o Lord of the Universe. (8) It must be so that of the most exalted of the gods of wisdom seeking out Your path, the one not born [Sûrya], knowing that You now hide among the Yadus, has come to see You.' (9) S'rî S'uka said: 'Hearing these innocent words said He with the Lotuslike Eyes smiling: 'This one's not Ravideva, it's Satrâjit glowing of his jewel.' (10) He [Satrâjit] arriving at his opulent home executed with festivity auspicious rituals in the temple room where he with the help of the learned installed the jewel. (11) Day after day would it bring him eight bhâras [of about 9.7 kg] of gold, o prabhu, and none of the inauspicious of famines, premature deaths, catastrophes, snakebites, mental and physical disorders and cheaters would take place there in the presence of the gem properly worshiped. (12) Some day asked S'auri [Krishna] on behalf of the king of the Yadus [Ugrasena] for the gem, but, he, greedy for the wealth, saw no offense in it not to hand it over. (13) One day, hanging the intensely radiating jewel around his neck, mounted Prasena [Satrâjit's brother] a horse and went he hunting in the forest. (14) Prasena along with his horse were killed and taken away by a lion who on his turn entering a cave was killed by Jâmbavân ['he from the Jambu-trees'] who wanted the jewel. (15) He then in the cave made the jewel a toy for his kid as meanwhile not seeing his brother, brother Satrâjit got deeply troubled: (16) 'My brother gone to the forest wearing the jewel around his neck is probably killed by Krishna', and what he thus said was what the people heard whispering in one another's ears. (17) The Supreme Lord who came to hear of it then, to clear Himself of the gossip to His infamy, together with the citizens followed the path taken by Prasena. (18) Seeing that he and his horse were killed by a lion in that forest, discovered they that the lion had been killed too by Riksha at a mountain side. (19) Stationing the people outside of the terrifying cave of the king of the rikshas [the bears] entered the Supreme Lord alone the place covered in pitch-dark. (20) When He saw that that most precious of jewels was used as a child's plaything, decided He to take it away and got He Himself over there close to the child. (21) Seeing the stranger cried the nurse in fear so that Jâmbavân, that best one of the strong, hearing it ran forward in rage. (22) He indeed, thinking Him a worldly person, unaware of His position fought with Him, the Supreme Lord, his own Master. (23) A very furious fight ensued between the two who each tried to win with the help of stones, trees, their arms and with weapons as if they were two hawks fighting over some meat. (24) Day and night without a pause continued for twenty-eight days the fight with blows hard as lightening of fists against fists. (25) With the muscles of his huge body pummeled by the blows of Krishna's fists, perspired he, diminished in strength, all over and addressed he Him in great amazement: (26) 'I know You, You are the life air, the physical and mental strength of all living beings, Lord Vishnu, the Primeval Personality, the All-powerful Supreme Controller. (27) You indeed are the Creator who of All Creators and the Created of the Universe art the Essence, who of the subduers art the Subduer, the Lord, the Soul Supreme to all the Souls [compare 3.25: 41-42]. (28) You are the One of whose little evidence of anger with Your glances the ocean and the crocodiles and whale-eating whales [timingilas] agitated gave way for building a bridge; You are the one famous for setting Lankâ afire; of You fell the heads of the râkshasa to the ground that You cut off with Your arrows.'(29-30) O King, Acyuta, the lotus-eyed Supreme Lord, the son of Devakî, then in great compassion for His devotee with a voice as deep as the [rumbling] clouds spoke to the king of the bears who thus had understood the truth, touching him with the hand that bestows all blessings: (31) 'O lord of the bears, we came here to the cave because of the jewel, in order to dispel the false accusation with this jewel held against Me.' (32) Thus addressed presented he along with the jewel happily as a respectful offering his maiden daughter named Jâmbvatî to Krishna. (33) Not seeing S'auri who had entered the cave coming out, went the people after waiting for twelve days unhappy back to their city. (34) Devakî, Rukminî devî, Vasudeva and all His friends and relatives lamented over Krishna not coming out of the cave. (35) They, the residents of Dvârakâ sorrowfully cursing Satrâjit then worshiped Durgâ, the fortune of the moon [the deity called Candrabhâgâ] in order to retrieve Krishna. (36) After the worship of the goddess granted she in response to them the benediction after which, creating joy, the Lord having achieved His purpose appeared with His [new] wife. (37) Greatly aroused on finding out that Hrishikes'a had come with a wife and the jewel around His neck, they all rejoiced as if someone had risen from the dead. (38) Satrâjit, summoned by the Supreme Lord to the royal assembly, was in the presence of the king informed of the recovery of the jewel which then was presented to him. (39) And he took extremely ashamed, head down, the gem and went home from there full of remorse about his sinful behavior. (40-42) Pondering over that evident offense and fearing a conflict with the ones in power thought he: 'How will I cleanse myself of the contamination and how can I satisfy Acyuta? What good should I do so that the people won't curse me for being narrow-minded, petty, befooled and avaricious after the wealth? I'll give the [Syamantaka-]jewel to Him as well as my daughter, a jewel among women; that's the way to make it up with Him and nothing else!'Satrâjit Murdered, the Jewel Stolen and Returned Again(1) The son of Vyâsa said: 'Though aware of what factually had transpired went Krishna, hearing [of the rumor] that the sons of Pându and queen Kuntî had burned to death [in the house of lac], in order to answer to His family obligations together with Balarâma to the Kuru kingdom. (2) Meeting with Bhîshma, Kripa, Vidura, Gândhârî and Drona They equally sorrowful said: 'Ah how painful this is!' (3) Getting the chance, o King, said Akrûra and [the Bhoja] Kritavarmâ [meanwhile in Krishna's absence in Dvârakâ] to S'atadhanvâ ['hundredbow', a bad character]: 'Why not take the jewel? (4) He who promised each of us his gem of a daughter, gave her, ignoring us, to Krishna; why then should Satrâjit not follow his brother ? (5) Thus influenced by the two killed that most wicked man, in his sinfulness shortening his lifespan, out of greed Satrâjit as he was sleeping. (6) While the women helplessly cried calling for help took he, after having killed like a butcher does animals, the jewel and took he off. (7) Satyabhâmâ after seeing her father killed, thrown in grief lamented: 'O father, alas o father, with you being killed I am killed!' and then fainted. (8) Putting the corpse in a large vessel of oil she went to Hastinâpura to Krishna who [already] was aware of the situation, and related sorrowfully the murder of her father. (9) The Lords hearing that, o King, imitating the human ways both lamented, eyes full of tears: 'Oh what a tragedy fell upon us!' (10) The Supreme Lord returned from there to His capital with his His wife and elder brother, prepared to kill S'atadhanvâ and take the jewel from him. (11) He, learning that, in fear also readied himself to save his life and entreated for assistance Kritavarmâ who told him: (12-13) 'I cannot be of any offense with the Lords Râma and Krishna; how can he who causes Them trouble indeed be of good fortune? Kamsa and his followers in their hatred of waging against lost their wealth and lives and Jarâsandha from seventeen battles became bereft [even] of his chariot!' (14) He, turned down, next begged Akrûra for help but he also said: 'Who, knowing the strength of the Lordships, can can oppose? (15-17) He who maintains, creates and destroys this universe as a play; He whose purpose is not even known to the secondary creators [headed by Brahmâ] being bewildered by His invincible potency [of mâyâ]; He who playing as a child of seven years of age uprooted a mountain that He held up with a single hand like a boy does a mushroom [see 10.25]; Him, Krishna the Supreme Lord to whose wondrous acts there is no end I do worship; Him who as the source of all existence is the Supreme Soul, the immovable center, I offer my obeisances.' (18) He, S'atadhanvâ also by him refused, left the precious jewel with him, mounted a horse that could cover a hundred yojanas and departed. (19) Krishna and Râma mounting the chariot with the emblem of Garuda followed with the swiftest horses, o King, the murderer of Their guru [Their father-in-law as a teacher]. (20) In a Mithilâ suburban park abandoning his horse that had fallen, ran he on foot terrified with a furious Krishna speeding after him likewise. (21) With him on the run severed the Lord on foot with the sharp edged disc his head, and searched He his upper and lower garments for the stone. (22) Not finding the gem said Krishna approaching His elder brother getting near: 'S'atadhanvâ was killed uselessly, the jewel is not with him.' (23) Balarâma then said: 'S'atadhanvâ must have left the rock with some person, so go [back] to the city [of Dvârakâ] and search him out. (24) l wish to see the king of Videha most dear to Me', and thus having spoken entered the descendant of Yadu, o King, Mithilâ [the capital of Videha]. (25) Seeing Him the king of Mithilâ immediately rose with a mind full of love and honored Him being worshipable, as was prescribed with all there was to it. (26) There in Mithilâ did He, the Mighty One, honored by the affectionate Janaka, the great soul, live for several years for the time teaching Duryodhana to wield the club.(27) Kes'ava the All-powerful getting to Dvârakâ, told to the comfort of His beloved [the grieving Satyabhâmâ] of the demise of S'atadhanvâ and the failure to get hold of the jewel. (28) He, the Supreme Lord together with all the well-wishers one may so have at the end of one's life, then made sure to have the obsequies performed for the deceased relative [Satrâjit]. (29) The ones responsible, Akrûra and Kritavarmâ, hearing of the killing of S'atadhanava, seized by fear went into exile from Dvârakâ. (30) With Akrûra in exile ill omens arose indeed for the residents of Dvârakâ that gave them by higher powers [natural disasters included] and other living beings, constantly trouble in body and mind. (31) Thus, my dear, were some in conjecture forgetting what of old had been described by the sages as following His residence; how could with His presence any calamity arise? (32) [They said:] 'When Indra withheld the rains gave the king of Benares his daughter Gândinî to S'vaphalka who came to him, after which it then indeed did rain in Kâs'î. (33) Wherever indeed he, Akrûra, his son, having his [fathers] powers stays, will lord Indra shower rains and will there be no painful disturbances or untimely deaths.'(34) Hearing of the elders these words ordered Janârdana, with the thought that this was not the only cause of the matters at hand , that Akrûra should be brought back. (35-36) Greeting him with respect and honor and pleasantly discussing topics, smiled He, fully aware of everything that went on in his heart, and said: 'We of course, o master of charity, arealready known with the fact that you indeed at present hold the opulent syamantaka-jewel that S'atadhanvâ put under your care. (37) Since Satrâjit had no sons is it his daughter's sons [she and her sons] who after presenting water, offerings and having cleared his remaining debts, should receive his inheritance. (38-39) Nevertheless should the jewel, as it is impossible to hold by others, remain with you, o trustworthy keeper of the vows. However, My brother does not completely believe Me concerning the gem. Please, to bring peace to My relatives, show it Us now, o most fortunate soul who with your altars of gold uninterrupted continues with your sacrifices. (40) Thus won over by the conciliatory words took the son of S'vaphalka the gem hidden in his garment and gave he it, shining as brilliant as the sun. (41) After showing Syamantaka to His relatives, [and thus] doing away with the emotions [of the accusations held] with Him, offered the Master it back to him again. (42) Whoever recites, hears or remembers this narration which indeed, rich with the prowess of the Supreme Controller Vishnu, most auspiciously removes the reactions to sin, will attain peace and drive away his badness and bad reputation.(43) Thus intelligently deciding set Satrâjit himself to it and presented he his fair daughter and the jewel to Krishna. (44) She, Satyabhâmâ, sought by many men for being endowed with the qualities of a fine character, beauty and magnanimity, married the Lord according the customs. (45) The Supreme Lord said: 'We do not desire back the jewel, o King, let it remain with you being of devotion with the godhead [Sûrya] so that We may also be the enjoyers of its fruits.

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