Article By Ms Shashi.
In my last article, we read that Rotund Ganesha, after a heavy meal, was moving on his rat (Mooshika) vehicle, stumbles and falls down. Ganesha starts filling all the modaks offered by his devotees back into his ruptured belly. Chandra Bhagwan looking at this, bursts into laughter.
Embarrassed Lord Ganesha, looks up at the sky and sees Chandra just about to laugh. In a fit of anger he breaks his tusk flings a curse at Chandra, that whosoever looks up at you on this night will undergo a year long suffering of false allegations.
Syamantaka mani story:
Ganesha later repents for the sake of his devotees, who, even by mistake, happen to look up at Chandra will be cursed for no fault of theirs. So he came up with a method to lessen the effect of the curse. He proclaimed,
The person who unfortunately happens to see the moon on this day, can partially get redemption of the curse by reading the story of the Syamnthaka Jewel (syamantaka mani) during the month of Bhadrapada, that is the time when we celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi.
Syamantak Mani is a lustrous and brilliant red precious stone. It is a Divine Ruby, was adorned by Surya bhagwan. As Lord Surya (Sun god) rode across the skies in His Divine chariot, driven by Seven White Horses resplendent in His Divinity and the Shamantak Jewel around His neck, placed prominently on His chest.
On the earth plane, it was the period when Lord Vishnu was born as Krishna. Krishna is born as Yadava, belonging to the same clan lived a nobleman by name Shatrajit,with his parents and younger brother named Prasena.
Shatrajit was a great devotee of Lord Surya. His devotion was so immaculate that Lord Surya Himself came to give him. Lord Surya came near to Shatrajit.
The brightness of Syamantaka mani (on the chest of Lord Surya) nearly blinded Shatrajit, and he implored upon the Lord to lessen His dazzling, blinding form to which the Lord Surya agreed.
Shatrajit was awestruck and bewildered by the fact that sincere, selfless Devotion bounded with Mantra Shakti can actually bring down our Ishta Devatas to Bless us
Sun God was so happy with his devotee, he asked Shatrajit to ask for a boon. Shatrajit asked for the Gem around his neck. Sun God immediately gave to His ardent devotee and vanished.
Shatrajit now has the Shyamantak Jewel which means ” destroyer of all dangers”.
This Jewel was blessed with magical powers. It produced 170 pounds of gold each and every day.
Shatrajit was now a very rich man.
Krishna got to know about this and felt this much wealth for one person is uncalled for. So he went and requested Shatrajit to offer the Jewel to the king of Dwaraka ,Ugrasena so everyone could be benefitted. Shatrajit refused.
One day, his younger brother, Prasena wore the Jewel around his neck and went hunting deep into the forest, climbed a tree to get a better view to hunt. A lion ambled by to the waterhole. Prasena lifted his bow to strike the lion,when a snake on the upper branch fell on him. Prasena lost his balance, fell down and died.
Hearing the cries, the lion came to where the dead Prasena lay, tore him apart, had his fill and walked away with the Syamantaka Mani, stuck between his teeth dangling from his jaws.
Jambavan, the King of the bears perched on the cliff, saw the lion with dazzling jaws. Being curious, he went down, fought with the lion, killed him, took the dazzling Jewel off the dead lion’ s jaws to his cave and dropped the Jewel on the cave floor.
His little son found the new toy….the Jewel and played with it rolling and chasing it.
In Dwaraka, Prasena ‘s absence created chaos. Krishna was implicated as having killed him for the Jewel, since He had suggested Satyajit to hand the gem over to the king.
Krishna went out in search of Prasena, found him mauled by a lion, pug marks took him to the place where the lion was killed. Bear pug marks traced Krishna to his cave. Baby bear cub was frolicking with the Jewel. On seeing the stranger he screamed, father bear came rushing hearing the cries of his son.
Krishna and the bear (Jambavanta) fought for the gem for 28 days, At last, Lord Krishna showed his Sri Rama Avatar to Jambavanta. Sri Rama was the master of Jambavanta. Realizing that Sri Krishna is none other than his master Lord Rama, Jambavant begged forgiveness with Lord Krishna. As appeasement to the misadventure offered his daughter Jambavati in marriage to krishna and also offered Him the Shamantak gem to Him as well.
Back in Dwaraka, Krishna returned the Shamantak Jewel to Shatrajit, who was so overwhelmed with sorrow for wrongly implicating Krishna with theft, he offered his daughter Satyabhama in marriage to krishna.
Satyabhama was very pretty and many suitor’s were trying to marry her. Shatadanwa and Akrura were one among them.
Being agitated for losing Satyabhama to Lord Krishna, Shatadanwa plotted to kill Shatrajit and was successful. he killed him and also stole the Jewel.
Now, Satadhanwa knew Krishna would come to avenge his fatherin law’s murder, so left Dwaraka, handed the Jewel to Akrura and asked him to go on a pilgrimage.
Krishna hearing Shatrajit’ s murder followed Satadhanwa along with his brother Balarama. They found him and killed him and Krishna searched for the Jewel on Shatadhanwa’ s dead body. This act of Krishna disgusted Balarama. He left his brother and went on a pilgrimage.
Krishna returned to Dwaraka completely devastated.
In Dwaraka, people started talking about the deaths and Krishna’s attachment for the Jewel. He was implicated for having murdered his father in-law Shatrajit and also Shatadanwan for the Mani (gem).
Krishna was so disturbed by all these false accusations, he went to the forest, sitting under a mango tree playing the flute pouring his sorrows.
Narad Muni happened to pass by and heard the soulful music of the Divine Flute. Narada sat next to krishna and asked him what was it that disturbed him so much. Krishna narrated the story of Shamantak Jewel.
Narad replied – “You are under a curse by Ganesha for seeing the fourth day Bhadrapad moon. But since you have related the Shamantak Jewel story, you are pardoned. Since that is the antidote for lessening the impact of the curse
You are now released from the curse. So go back to Dwaraka and the Truth will be revealed.”
Krishna returns to Dwaraka.
Later Lord Krishna finds out about Akrura, kills him and wins the gem back.
Probably the direct rays of the moon on this day are very bad for human eyes so this story helps us to avoid gazing at moonlight on the day of Sri Ganesha Chaturthi.