The Story Behind Syamantaka (Ruby)

Krishna Weds Sathyabhāmā

Ruby in the roughThe sun god Āditya had Syamantaka jewel with him. He had a treasure of the most blinding and beautiful jewels with him. Satrājita his friend received it as a gift. His brother Prasena went on a hunting trip and was killed by a lion, dazzled by the jewel. As the lion took possession of the Ruby, it came across an aboriginal chieftain Jāmbavat, who killed the lion and took the jewel. Jāmbavat gave the jewel to his child Sukumāra.  Krishna tracked down the chieftain and fought with him for 21 days. Jāmbavat realized that only an avatar of Narayana could defeat him. Conceding defeat, he gave the jewel to Krishna.

The reason Krishna went to fight with the chieftain was that Satrājita was spreading rumors that Krishna killed his brother Prasena and took the jewel. To atone his indiscretion, Jāmbavat offered his daughter Jāmbavatī. The Yādavas who accompanied Krishna after waiting a week, could not locate Krishna and went back to Dvārakā and reported Krishna was killed by the chieftain. Krishna at the end of the war returned to Dvārakā with the jewel and a new bride Jāmbavatī. Krishna surrendered the jewel to Satrājita and exonerated himself.  Below is the diagram depicting the passage of Syamataka Jewel from Sun God to Akrura.




Satrājita feeling contrite, offered his daughter Satyabhama as Krishna’s bride. Multiple suitors were vying to wed Sathyabhāmā. They killed Satrājita in his sleep and stole the jewel, which passed through many hands eventually landing in the hands of Akrūra, one of the suitors. The culprits agreed that the jewel would stay with Akrūra, who held it on behalf of the Yādava clan.

Krishna weds Satyabhama

Painting: Rajasthan. C1590-1600. It depicts wedding of Krishna to Satyabhama, officiated by a Brahmin priest. Source: intimate Worlds.