Srimad bhagavata by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyāsa

Chapter Fifty-Seven Satrajit Murdered, the Jewel Returned


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Chapter Fifty-Seven Satrajit Murdered, the Jewel Returned

1. Sri Badarayani said: Although Lord Govinda was fully aware of what had actually occurred, when He heard reports that the Pandavas and Queen Kunti had burned to death, He went with Lord Balarama to the kingdom of the Kurus to fulfill the family obligations expected of Him.

2. The two Lords met with Bhisma, Krpa, Vidura, Gandhari and Drona. Showing sorrow equal to theirs, They cried out, “Alas, how painful this is!”

3. Taking advantage of this opportunity, O King, Akrura and Krtavarma went to Satadhanva and said, “Why not take the Syamantaka jewel?

4. “Satrajit promised his jewellike daughter to us but then gave her to Krsna instead, contemptuously neglecting us. So why should Satrajit not follow his brother’s path?”

5. His mind thus influenced by their advice, wicked Satadhanva murdered Satrajit in his sleep simply out of greed. In this way the sinful Satadhanva shortened his own life span.

6. As the women of Satrajit’s palace screamed and helplessly wept, Satadhanva took the jewel and left, like a butcher after he has killed some animals.

7. When Satyabhama saw her dead father, she was plunged into grief. Lamenting “My father, my father! Oh, I am killed!” she fell unconscious.

8. Queen Satyabhama put her father’s corpse in a large vat of oil and went to Hastinapura, where she sorrowfully told Lord Krsna, who was already aware of the situation, about her father’s murder.

9. When Lord Krsna and Lord Balarama heard this news, O King, They exclaimed, “Alas! This is the greatest tragedy for Us! “Thus imitating the ways of human society, They lamented, Their eyes brimming with tears.

10. The Supreme Lord returned to His capital with His wife and elder brother. After arriving in Dvaraka, He readied Himself to kill Satadhanva and retrieve the jewel from him.

11. Upon learning that Lord Krsna was preparing to kill him, Satadhanva was struck with fear. To save his life he approached Krtavarma and begged him for help, but Krtavarma replied as follows.

12-13. [Krtavarma said:] I dare not offend the Supreme Lords, Krsna and Balarama. Indeed, how can one who troubles Them expect any good fortune? Kamsa and all his followers lost both their wealth and their lives because of enmity toward Them, and after battling Them seventeen times Jarasandha was left without even a chariot.

14. His appeal refused, Satadhanva went to Akrura and begged him for protection. But Akrura similarly told him, “Who would oppose the two Personalities of Godhead if he knew Their strength?

15. “It is the Supreme Lord who creates, maintains and destroys this universe simply as His pastime. The cosmic creators cannot even understand His purpose, bewildered as they are by His illusory Maya.

16. “As a child of seven, Krsna uprooted an entire mountain and held it aloft as easily as a young boy picks up a mushroom.

17. “I offer my obeisances to that Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, whose every deed is amazing. He is the Supreme Soul, the unlimited source and fixed center of all existence.”

18. His appeal thus rejected by Akrura also, Satadhanva placed the precious jewel in Akrura’s care and fled on a horse that could travel one hundred yojanas [eight hundred miles].

19. My dear King, Krsna and Balarama mounted Krsna’s chariot, which flew the flag of Garuda and was yoked with tremendously swift horses, and pursued Their elder’s murderer.

20. In a garden on the outskirts of Mithila, the horse Satadhanva was riding collapsed. Terrified, he abandoned the horse and began to flee on foot, with Krsna in angry pursuit.

21. As Satadhanva fled on foot, the Supreme Lord, also going on foot, cut off his head with His sharp-edged disc. The Lord then searched Satadhanva’s upper and lower garments for the Syamantaka jewel.

22. Not finding the jewel, Lord Krsna went to His elder brother and said, “We have killed Satadhanva uselessly. The jewel isn’t here.”

23. To this Lord Balarama replied, “Indeed, Satadhanva must have placed the jewel in the care of someone. You should return to Our city and find that person.

24. “I wish to visit King Videha, who is most dear to Me.” O King, having said this, Lord Balarama, the beloved descendant of Yadu, entered the city of Mithila.

25. The King of Mithila immediately rose from his seat when he saw Lord Balarama approaching. With great love the King honored the supremely worshipable Lord by offering Him elaborate worship, as stipulated by scriptural injunctions.

26. The almighty Lord Balarama stayed in Mithila for several years, honored by His affectionate devotee Janaka Maharaja. During that time Dhrtarastra’s son Duryodhana learned from Balarama the art of fighting with a club.

27. Lord Kesava arrived in Dvaraka and described the demise of Satadhanva and His own failure to find the Syamantaka jewel. He spoke in a way that would please His beloved, Satyabhama.

28. Lord Krsna then had the various funeral rites performed for His deceased relative, Satrajit. The Lord attended the funeral along with well-wishers of the family.

29. When Akrura and Krtavarma, who had originally incited Satadhanva to commit his crime, heard that he had been killed, they fled Dvaraka in terror and took up residence elsewhere.

30. In Akrura’s absence ill omens arose in Dvaraka, and the citizens began to suffer continually from physical and mental distresses, as well as from disturbances caused by higher powers and by creatures of the earth.

31. Some men proposed [that the troubles were due to Akrura’s absence], but they had forgotten the glories of the Supreme Lord, which they themselves had so often described. Indeed, how can calamities occur in a place where the Personality of Godhead, the residence of all the sages, resides?

32. [The elders said:] Previously, when Lord Indra had withheld rain from Kasi [Benares], the king of that city gave his daughter Gandini to Svaphalka, who was then visiting him. It soon rained in the kingdom of Kasi.

33. Wherever his equally powerful son Akrura stays, Lord Indra will provide sufficient rain. Indeed, that place will be free of miseries and untimely deaths.

34. Hearing these words from the elders, Lord Janardana, though aware that the absence of Akrura was not the only cause of the evil omens, had him summoned back to Dvaraka and spoke to him.

35-36. Lord Krsna honored Akrura, greeted him confidentially and spoke pleasant words with him. Then the Lord, who was fully aware of Akrura’s heart by virtue of His being the knower of everything, smiled and addressed him: “O master of charity, surely the opulent Syamantaka jewel was left in your care by Satadhanva and is still with you. Indeed, We have known this all along.

37. “Since Satrajit had no sons, his daughter’s sons should receive his inheritance. They should pay for memorial offerings of waler and pinda, clear their grandfather’s outstanding debts and keep the remainder of the inheritance for themselves.

38-39. “Nevertheless, the jewel should remain in your care, O trustworthy Akrura, because no one else can keep it safely. But please show the jewel just once, since My elder brother does not fully believe what I have told Him about it. In this way, O most fortunate one, you will pacify My relatives. [Everyone knows you have the jewel, for] you are now continually performing sacrifices on altars of gold.”

40. Thus shamed by Lord Krsna’s conciliatory words, the son of Svaphalka brought out the jewel from where he had concealed it in his clothing and gave it to the Lord. The brilliant gem shone like the sun.

41. After the almighty Lord had shown the Syamantaka jewel to His relatives, thus dispelling the false accusations against Him, He returned it to Akrura.

42. This narration, rich with descriptions of the prowess of Lord Sri Visnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, removes sinful reactions and bestows all auspiciousness. Anyone who recites, hears or remembers it will drive away his own infamy and sins and attain peace.

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