Strajit spent his days in peace and comfort after Shri Krishna got him back his Symantaka jewel and married his daughter Satyabhama. But good times were not to last long for the ill-fated rich man. A rumour travelled to Dwarka that the Pandavas had been burnt to death in the Lakshagriha – a house of wax built – for them by the devious Kauravas. Although Shri Krishna knew that it was a false rumour, he decided to go to Hastinapur to offer his condolences to King Dhritrashtra and the patriarch Bhishma. His intention was to maintain the delusion about the Pandavas’ death so that Duryodhana abstained from making another attempt to finish them off.
Suman K Sharma
Shri Krishna’s absence from Dwarka encouraged Akrura to wrench away the Symantaka jewel from Strajit. Even though Akrura was Shri Krishna’s uncle from the paternal side, he was his rival too. He had wanted to marry Satyabhama before she became Shri Krishna’s wife. Because of the family ties, Akrura could not come out openly against Satrajit. Instead, he lured the rakshasa Shatdhanva to kill the man and loot the jewel from him. Shatdhanva fell an easy prey to Akrura’s cunning. Without thinking of the fatal consequences, he went straight to Shri Krishna’s father-in-law and killed him.
Satyabhama was distraught on her father’s merciless killing. On the conclusion of the mourning period, she hastened to Hastinapur and told her lord how Shatdhanva had murdered her father without any provocation. Shri Krishna took no time in returning to Dwarka and putting an end to his life.
Satrajit was gone and so was his killer, Shatdhanva. But the jewel Syamantaka was nowhere to be seen. In Hastinapur, Akrura was performing one lavish yagya after another.
His altars were made of solid gold and the priests who performed the yagya received overgenerous offerings. Soon enough Shri Krishna became aware of the goings on. He presented himself one day to Akrura and addressed him courteously. ‘Chacha-ji’, said Shri Krishna, ‘there is no one today as wise and learned in the shastras as you are. It is good to spend what one can on yagyas and make religious offerings. But one has also to see whether means justify the ends. Old Satrajit is no more and his property should legitimately go to the sons borne of Queen Satyabhama…’ Akrura was too shrewd not to ignore the Shri Krishna’s subtle meaning. He went inside his private chamber and brought back the Symantaka wrapped in a piece of cloth. Shri Krishna accepted the jewel without a word and took leave of his kinsman. Returning to Dwarka, he gave it to his elder brother Balbhadra for safe-keeping.
Shri Krishna had bigger issues to attend to than keeping guard over a jewel, howsoever precious that might have been.
…How man-like appears Shri Krishna in this tale! His divinity does not come in the way when it comes to outsmarting all those who consider him an earthling like themselves.He kills the ferocious demon Shatdhanva. Exercising his unsurpassed charm, he persuades Akrura to part with the Symantaka. His decision to entrust the custody of the jewel to Balrama is also a masterly stroke. He distances himself from its tainted possession (Satrajit had accused him once of stealing it) and ensures at the same time that it remains in the family. The moral of the story: no one can better Bhagwan in bravery, diplomacy or sheer astuteness.