Monday, July 30, 2012

Timeline of the Koh-i-Nur (Koh-i-Noor) Diamond (Part 1): Oral Tradition to 1526

Koh-i-Noor Armlet
Photo Credit: Stalking the Belle Epoque
 compiled by Angela Magnotti Andrews


Many of my sources do not provide bibliographic reference, and the diamond’s history is shrouded in oral tradition and often disappeared for decades without being seen by the public, so these dates are rough and unproven, but the path these historians follow seems to be a logical one, so I will share it with you with the disclaimer that I have not been able to prove these dates unequivocally.


circa 3,000 BC            
Surya, the Sun God, gives Syamantaka mani to Satrajit near Dwarka.

Surya in his chariot
Photo Credit: Hindu God Wallpaper
Time between times    
Syamantaka mani is handed down among many legendary kings

Circa 300 BC              
Syamantaka mani is supposedly given to King Porus of Punjab.

325 BC                        
King Alexander of Macedonia, impressed with King Porus’ regal manners, allowed him to maintain rule of his land. Alexander signed a peace treaty with King Porus, allowing Porus to maintain governance of Punjab. The jewel remained in India when Alexander returned to Macedonia.

320  BC                       
King Chandragupta Maurya established the Maurya Empire and successfully unified India. The diamond became part of his treasury in Pataliputra.

298 BC                        
Bindusara inherited his father’s throne and treasury, including the famed jewel.

273 BC                        
Ashoka the Great, Bindusara’s son, received the jewel when he acceded his father on the throne of the great Mauryan Empire. After seeing much bloodshed, he turned to peace through the Buddhist religion. He is credited with the worldwide spread of Buddhism.

Photo Credit: Stravaganza
224 BC            
Samprati (Ashoka’s grandson), who earlier impressed his grandfather with his skills as an administrator and warrior, claims his rightful place upon the throne of the Mauryan dynasty. Along with the throne, he inherited the jewel and took it to Ujjain.

215 BC to 185 BC            
The gemstone remained in Ujjain throughout the next several centuries, passed down among the successive rulers of the Mauryan Empire.

185 BC to 320 AD           
The Mauryan Empire crumbled, and the city of Ujjain was ruled by the Sungas, the Satavahanas, and then the Rors. The whereabouts of the gemstone during this time remain a mystery.

320 AD           The Gupta Dynasty began, and Ujjain became a prominent port city of that dynasty.  The whereabouts of the gemstone during this time remain a mystery.

375 AD           
Vikramaditya (Chandragupta II), emperor of the Gupta dynasty (a Hindu dynasty), adopted the city of Ujjain as the capital city of his empire. It is at this time that some believe he acquired the Syamantaka mani.

415 AD to 1293 AD         
Vikramditya died in 415 AD, leaving the country in turmoil. In this season, the diamond was held in custody by the Parmar dynasty of Malwa, which remained in power until 1305 AD.

1294 AD         
It is recorded in the Baburnama that the last Rajah of Malwa (unnamed in the text) handed the diamond over to Ala-ud-din Khilji, the first ruler of Khilji Dynasty. Babur, who wrote the Babrunama in 1526 AD, did not document his sources as to the lineage of the diamond, so he may have been recording oral legends surrounding the stone. And there is some discrepancy in my documentation, as some say that Khilji did not attain the stone until 1306 AD.

Ala-ud-din Khilji
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

1294 AD        
If Babur’s account is correct, this would be the diamond’s first trip away from Malwa in a long time. Khilji ruled his dynasty from Delhi. The history of the diamond remains fuzzy up until Babur acquired it in 1526. The remainder of this timeline is not intended to be a documentation of the diamond, but rather of the tumultuous 

1517 AD         
Ibrahim Lodi ascended the throne of Delhi. At this time rebellion was incited by his younger brother, Jalal Khan, who attempted to claim the throne. After failing in his attempt, he sought refuge from the Raja of Gwalior, at which time Lodi captured Gwalior. Jalal escaped and fled to Malwa, where he was murdered by the Gonds. Lodi’s reign became a reign of suspicion and terror, as he turned every friend into a foe and brought about the end of the Delhi Sultanate.

1526 AD         
Babur invades India and defeats Ibrahim Lodi at the Battle of Panipat. One source explains that the both Lodi and Raja Vikramaditya of Gwalior were killed on the battlefield of Panipat. Captured by the Mughal army after an attempt to escape, the Raja’s family were permitted by Prince Humayan to take their leave without punishment. In an expression of gratitude, it is said that the royal family of Gwalior gave a mass of jewels, including the Koh-i-Nur diamond, to the Prince.



BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Wikipedia. "Golkonda." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golkonda#Diamonds.
2. Mughal History. "First Battle of Panipat from Baburnama." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://www.mughalhistory.com/panipatbattle1.htm.
3. Wikipedia. "Kollur Mine." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kollur_Mine.
4. Tripod. "Kohinoor Heera." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://mridul1991.tripod.com/kohinoor.html.
5. Wikipedia. "King Porus." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Porus.
6. Wikipedia. "Chandragupta Maurya." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandragupta_Maurya.
7. Wikipedia. "Maurya Empire." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauryan_empire.
8. Wikipedia. "Bindusara." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bindusara.
9. Wikipedia. "Vikramaditya." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vikramaditya.
10. Wikipedia. "Samprati." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samprati.
11. Chaurasia, R. S. History of Medieval India From 1000 A.D. to 1707 A.D. New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers and Distributors, 2002.
12. Sikh Institute. Maharaja Duleep Singh: The King in Exile. Appendix: Koh-I-Noor Diamond--Its History. Accessed July 23, 2012. http://sikhinstitute.org/duleepsingh/appendix.pdf.
13. Kaur, Harpreet. "Koh-i-noor, a Mountain of Light." Dance with Shadows. Accessed July 23, 2012. http://www.dancewithshadows.com/society/kohinoor-diamond-india.asp.
14. Tripod. "The Koh-I-Noor." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://famousdiamonds.tripod.com/koh-i-noordiamond.html.
15. Tweedie, Neil. "The Koh-i-Noor: diamond robbery?" The Telegraph Online. July 29, 2010. Accessed July 23, 2012. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/features/7917372/The-Koh-i-Noor-diamond-robbery.html.
16. Royal Exhibitions. "Crowns." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://royalexhibitions.co.uk/crown-jewels-2/royal-regalia/.
17. Kent, J. J. "The Crown Jewels of England: The Koh-i-noor." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://www.jjkent.com/articles/crown-jewels-england-kohinoor.htm.
18. Wikipedia. "Koh-i-Noor." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koh-i-Noor#The_Crown_Jewels.
19. Forevermark. "A Notorious Diamond." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://www.forevermark.com/en/The-Crown-Jewels/Diamond-Highlights/A-Notorious-Diamond/.
20. Rushby, Kevin. “Chasing the Mountain of Light: Across India on the Trail of the Koh-i-Noor Diamond.” Great Britain: Constable and Company Limited, 1999.
21. Harlow, George E., editor. “The Nature of Diamonds.” CambridgeUKCambridge University Press, 1998.
22. Wikipedia. "Alexandra of Denmark." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandra_of_Denmark.
23. Wikipedia. "Crown of Queen Alexandra." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_of_Queen_Alexandra.
24. Wikipedia. "Crown of Queen Mary." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_of_Queen_Mary.
25. ReoCities. "The Memoirs of Babur." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://www.reocities.com/SoHo/Studios/8611/babur.html.


*Clip art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Legendary History of the Koh-i-Nur (Koh-i-Noor) Diamond (Part 2)


Koh-i-Noor Diamond
Photo Credit: Interesting Diamond Facts

by Angela Magnotti Andrews

There is much conflicting information on the origins and early history of the Koh-i-Nur diamond. It seems that it drifted in and out of the records of antiquity in a misty fog. Despite its sometimes veiled history, it is possible to piece together a rough timeline for the legendary stone.

The large and rather dull diamond was purported to have been found in the mines of Golkonda (Golconda) in southern India, specifically the Kollur mine in the Gunter District. While I have not found definitive evidence to prove its origins, that would potentially put to rest any notion that the Koh-i-Nur and the Syamantaka mani are the same gemstone, since these mines were not opened until the 12th century. However, one source reports that the Koh-i-Nur was stored in a vault with the Hope diamond and other famous stones of Indian antiquity.

This does leave room for the possibility that the Koh-i-Nur was discovered far earlier, possibly in the Godavari River area, as far back as 4,000 to 5,000 years ago, as some historians believe. This would allow the possibility for the Koh-i-Nur to be one and the same as the Syamantaka. (read more)

I offer in the next post a rough timeline of the Koh-i-Nur diamond’s early years. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Wikipedia. "Golkonda." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golkonda#Diamonds.
2. Mughal History. "First Battle of Panipat from Baburnama." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://www.mughalhistory.com/panipatbattle1.htm.
3. Wikipedia. "Kollur Mine." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kollur_Mine.
4. Tripod. "Kohinoor Heera." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://mridul1991.tripod.com/kohinoor.html.
5. Wikipedia. "King Porus." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Porus.
6. Wikipedia. "Chandragupta Maurya." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandragupta_Maurya.
7. Wikipedia. "Maurya Empire." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauryan_empire.
8. Wikipedia. "Bindusara." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bindusara.
9. Wikipedia. "Vikramaditya." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vikramaditya.
10. Wikipedia. "Samprati." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samprati.
11. Chaurasia, R. S. History of Medieval India From 1000 A.D. to 1707 A.D. New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers and Distributors, 2002.
12. Sikh Institute. Maharaja Duleep Singh: The King in Exile. Appendix: Koh-I-Noor Diamond--Its History. Accessed July 23, 2012. http://sikhinstitute.org/duleepsingh/appendix.pdf.
13. Kaur, Harpreet. "Koh-i-noor, a Mountain of Light." Dance with Shadows. Accessed July 23, 2012. http://www.dancewithshadows.com/society/kohinoor-diamond-india.asp.
14. Tripod. "The Koh-I-Noor." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://famousdiamonds.tripod.com/koh-i-noordiamond.html.
15. Tweedie, Neil. "The Koh-i-Noor: diamond robbery?" The Telegraph Online. July 29, 2010. Accessed July 23, 2012. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/features/7917372/The-Koh-i-Noor-diamond-robbery.html.
16. Royal Exhibitions. "Crowns." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://royalexhibitions.co.uk/crown-jewels-2/royal-regalia/.
17. Kent, J. J. "The Crown Jewels of England: The Koh-i-noor." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://www.jjkent.com/articles/crown-jewels-england-kohinoor.htm.
18. Wikipedia. "Koh-i-Noor." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koh-i-Noor#The_Crown_Jewels.
19. Forevermark. "A Notorious Diamond." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://www.forevermark.com/en/The-Crown-Jewels/Diamond-Highlights/A-Notorious-Diamond/.
20. Rushby, Kevin. “Chasing the Mountain of Light: Across India on the Trail of the Koh-i-Noor Diamond.” Great Britain: Constable and Company Limited, 1999.
21. Harlow, George E., editor. “The Nature of Diamonds.” CambridgeUKCambridge University Press, 1998.
22. Wikipedia. "Alexandra of Denmark." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandra_of_Denmark.
23. Wikipedia. "Crown of Queen Alexandra." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_of_Queen_Alexandra.
24. Wikipedia. "Crown of Queen Mary." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_of_Queen_Mary.
25. ReoCities. "The Memoirs of Babur." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://www.reocities.com/SoHo/Studios/8611/babur.html.


*Clip art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Legendary History of the Koh-i-Nur (Koh-i-Noor) Diamond (part 1)

Koh-i-Noor Diamond
Mounted in Upper Maltese Cross
Queen Mother's Crown
Photo Credit: Royal Exhibitions
by Angela Magnotti Andrews


In the Tower of London, nestled in the Maltese cross atop the elegant and beautiful crown belonging to Elizabeth I, the Queen Mother, the Koh-i-Nur diamond rests comfortably and beautifully.

After a long and tumultuous history, the large but somewhat unattractive diamond deserves this quiet repose. The Koh-i-Nur boasts the longest documented history of all the famous diamonds, and its history is filled with brutal battles, intense bloodshed, and monumental struggles for power, likely resulting in the superstitious curse it carries. It is said that any man who wore the diamond would lose his kingdom, and it is said that it will bring bad luck to any man who wears it now. However this same diamond is purported to hold a blessing of fortune for the woman who wears it.

Since being handed over to the British Empire by the East India Company in 1846, the legendary diamond has served as a crowning jewel for only the women of the wise empire of Great Britian. Queens Victoria, Mary, and Elizabeth I have all worn it in their coronation crowns during its 166-year respite in the United Kingdom. Likely for fear of the curse, no man has ever worn the jewel in the land.

I leave it to you to decide if it has truly brought good fortune to the Empire. Although the crown has been secure in the hands of the monarchy throughout these past generations, it is not nearly fair to say that the Koh-i-Nur brought any other kind of good fortune to a Queen whose life before and after the diamond was pocked with loss and grief. Perhaps certain talismans lose their power when pitted against other powers of evil.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Wikipedia. "Golkonda." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golkonda#Diamonds.
2. Mughal History. "First Battle of Panipat from Baburnama." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://www.mughalhistory.com/panipatbattle1.htm.
3. Wikipedia. "Kollur Mine." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kollur_Mine.
4. Tripod. "Kohinoor Heera." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://mridul1991.tripod.com/kohinoor.html.
5. Wikipedia. "King Porus." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Porus.
6. Wikipedia. "Chandragupta Maurya." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandragupta_Maurya.
7. Wikipedia. "Maurya Empire." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauryan_empire.
8. Wikipedia. "Bindusara." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bindusara.
9. Wikipedia. "Vikramaditya." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vikramaditya.
10. Wikipedia. "Samprati." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samprati.
11. Chaurasia, R. S. History of Medieval India From 1000 A.D. to 1707 A.D. New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers and Distributors, 2002.
12. Sikh Institute. Maharaja Duleep Singh: The King in Exile. Appendix: Koh-I-Noor Diamond--Its History. Accessed July 23, 2012. http://sikhinstitute.org/duleepsingh/appendix.pdf.
13. Kaur, Harpreet. "Koh-i-noor, a Mountain of Light." Dance with Shadows. Accessed July 23, 2012. http://www.dancewithshadows.com/society/kohinoor-diamond-india.asp.
14. Tripod. "The Koh-I-Noor." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://famousdiamonds.tripod.com/koh-i-noordiamond.html.
15. Tweedie, Neil. "The Koh-i-Noor: diamond robbery?" The Telegraph Online. July 29, 2010. Accessed July 23, 2012. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/features/7917372/The-Koh-i-Noor-diamond-robbery.html.
16. Royal Exhibitions. "Crowns." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://royalexhibitions.co.uk/crown-jewels-2/royal-regalia/.
17. Kent, J. J. "The Crown Jewels of England: The Koh-i-noor." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://www.jjkent.com/articles/crown-jewels-england-kohinoor.htm.
18. Wikipedia. "Koh-i-Noor." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koh-i-Noor#The_Crown_Jewels.
19. Forevermark. "A Notorious Diamond." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://www.forevermark.com/en/The-Crown-Jewels/Diamond-Highlights/A-Notorious-Diamond/.
20. Rushby, Kevin. “Chasing the Mountain of Light: Across India on the Trail of the Koh-i-Noor Diamond.” Great Britain: Constable and Company Limited, 1999.
21. Harlow, George E., editor. “The Nature of Diamonds.” Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
22. Wikipedia. "Alexandra of Denmark." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandra_of_Denmark.
23. Wikipedia. "Crown of Queen Alexandra." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_of_Queen_Alexandra.
24. Wikipedia. "Crown of Queen Mary." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_of_Queen_Mary.
25. ReoCities. "The Memoirs of Babur." Accessed July 23, 2012. http://www.reocities.com/SoHo/Studios/8611/babur.html.


*Clip art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Monday, July 23, 2012

Syamantaka Mani (part 9): Peace Restored

Peace Restored
Image Credit: ISKCON Desire Tree
by Angela Magnotti Andrews

Peace Restored
Akrura, concerned for his people, complied with the summons and stood face to face with Krishna in front of their family to hear his appeal. Krishna began with a noble address of Akrura’s majesty. Then he expressed his belief that Shatadhanwa had left the jewel in his possession. He went on to explain that although the jewel was the rightful possession of the baby boy Satyabhama was carrying, neither he nor his wife were eager to possess it. Krishna once again hailed Akrura’s righteousness and expressed that he felt completely comfortable allowing him to maintain possession of the gem.

He took pause, though, and explained one problem: that his brother, Balarama believed that Krishna had killed Shatadhanwa and lied about not finding the gemstone so that he could keep it for himself. He asked Akrura to demonstrate in front of their whole family that he indeed had the Syamantaka in his possession.

Recognizing that it would do no good to attempt to hide anything from Krishna, Akrura presented the jewel to Krishna, who displayed it before the assembly. Krishna’s name was once again cleared. Akrura, no longer needing to hide, agreed to remain in Dwarka and keep the jewel, restoring peace and safety to the city’s inhabitants.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
1. Prabhupada, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. Krsna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead. Juhu, Mumbai: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1974.
2. Hudli, Anand. "Ganesha chaturthi, legends, and prayers." Hindu-Net. September 16, 1996. Accessed July 2012. http://www.hindunet.org/srh_home/1996_9/msg00099.html.
3. History and Mythology Blog. "ACK-119: Syamantaka Mani." Posted April 27, 2009. Accessed July 2012. http://hmindia.blogspot.com/2009/04/ack-119-syamantaka-mani.html.
4. Srhi2424. "Syamantaka Mani." HubPages. Last modified July 16, 2011. Accessed July 2012. http://shri2424.hubpages.com/hub/Syamantaka-Mani.

*Clip art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy


Friday, July 20, 2012

Syamantaka Mani (part 8): Krishna Cursed

Possibly Narada, the Wisdom Giver
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
by Angela Magnotti Andrews


Krishna Cursed

Krishna sat alone in the city square wondering what to do when Narada, the wisdom giver, approached.

“Why are you so sad, Krishna?” Narada asked.

“Respected Narada, people cast aspersions on me. Can I ever steal? Can I ever tell a lie? Am I a man subject to suspicion? I do not know what curse has befallen me. Kindly help and guide me.”

Narada replied, “Lord Krishna, you have seen the moon on the fourth day of the bright half of the lunar month, Bhadrapada. Looking at the moon on that day is forbidden.”

“How is it? People see, appreciate, and bow before the moon on the second day of the bright half of the lunar month. Why are they forbidden to look upon it on the fourth day?” Krishna inquired.

“Lord Ganesh declared that anyone who sees the moon on that day will be cursed with rumors and lies.”

“What must I do to free myself from this curse?”

“Observe fast, worship and make offerings to Lord Ganesh, and you will be free of this curse.” {1}

Krishna followed Narada’s advice and shortly after summoned Akrura, whom he suspected had taken the diamond far away to Kasi, to return to alleviate the fears of the people of Dwarka, who believed that Akrura’s absence left them vulnerable to pestilence, famine, and natural disturbances.

{1} History and Mythology, ACK #81.

Click here for part 7                                                                       Click here for part 9
BIBLIOGRAPHY
1. Prabhupada, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. Krsna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead. Juhu, Mumbai: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1974.
2. Hudli, Anand. "Ganesha chaturthi, legends, and prayers." Hindu-Net. September 16, 1996. Accessed July 2012. http://www.hindunet.org/srh_home/1996_9/msg00099.html.
3. History and Mythology Blog. "ACK-119: Syamantaka Mani." Posted April 27, 2009. Accessed July 2012. http://hmindia.blogspot.com/2009/04/ack-119-syamantaka-mani.html.
4. Srhi2424. "Syamantaka Mani." HubPages. Last modified July 16, 2011. Accessed July 2012. http://shri2424.hubpages.com/hub/Syamantaka-Mani.

*Clip art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Syamantaka Mani (part 7): Shatadhanwa Takes Revenge

Syamantaka Gem Story
Photo Credit: 4 to 40 Stories
by Angela Magnotti Andrews


Shatadhanwa Takes Revenge

The jewel was returned to its resting place upon the altar in Satrajit’s home, and Krishna and Satyabhama were married. This infuriated her three suitors, Akrura, Kritavarma, and Shatadhanwa. Now, Shatadhanwa was angered beyond the others. Waiting for an opportune time, he plotted how he would take revenge on Satrajit for his betrayal.

Shatadhanwa saw his opportunity to seek his revenge when Krishna journeyed with his brother, Balarama, to Hastinapura to take part in a family bereavement ceremony. After the Supreme Being left the village, Shatadhanwa, emboldened by the fury that still raged within his heart, barged into Satrajit’s home, oblivious to the cries of the women, and murdered Satrajit in cold blood in his sleep. He grabbed the jewel from its altar and fled the scene.

His rage subsided by the time he walked through his door. Realizing what he had done, he attempted to flee. Finding no refuge in the places he sought, he returned to his brother, Akrura. Refusing to cross Lord Krishna, Akrura reminded his brother of Krishna’s great strength and encouraged him to surrender or flee. Shatadhanwa, perhaps hoping that returning the jewel would ease Krishna’s wrath, gave the Syamantaka to Akrura and fled on horseback away from the city.

In the meantime, Krishna’s wife, Satyabhama, who had been among the women to who witnessed the crime, journeyed to Hastinapura to inform Krishna of her father’s vicious murder. Krishna and Balarama immediately set out to find and punish Satdhanwa. They eventually caught him, and Krishna promptly killed him and began searching his possessions for the jewel. He told Balarama that the jewel was nowhere to be found, but Balarama grew suspicious that perhaps Krishna was not being forthright. Thinking he had concealed it within his robes for his own gain, Balarama took leave of Krishna and returned to Hastinapura.

Krishna, certain now that Shatadhanwa had given the jewel to Akrura (who happened also to be Krishna’s uncle), returned to Dwarka to inquire of its whereabouts. Dismay overtook him when he discovered that the people of Dwarka had also grown suspicious of his motives when they learned that Balarama had left Krishna to return to Hastinapura.

Click here for part 6                                                                       Click here for part 8
BIBLIOGRAPHY
1. Prabhupada, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. Krsna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead. Juhu, Mumbai: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1974.
2. Hudli, Anand. "Ganesha chaturthi, legends, and prayers." Hindu-Net. September 16, 1996. Accessed July 2012. http://www.hindunet.org/srh_home/1996_9/msg00099.html.
3. History and Mythology Blog. "ACK-119: Syamantaka Mani." Posted April 27, 2009. Accessed July 2012. http://hmindia.blogspot.com/2009/04/ack-119-syamantaka-mani.html.
4. Srhi2424. "Syamantaka Mani." HubPages. Last modified July 16, 2011. Accessed July 2012. http://shri2424.hubpages.com/hub/Syamantaka-Mani.

*Clip art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Monday, July 16, 2012

Syamantaka Mani (part 6): Krishna Presents the Jewel

Krishna with Satyabhama
Photo Credit: India Netzone
by Angela Magnotti Andrews


Krishna Presents the Jewel

Exiting the cave, Krishna noted that his faithful men had given up and gone home. In fact, they had left sixteen days prior, losing hope but not willing to risk their lives to go in after him. Upon their return to the city, Krishna’s family and friends were greatly distressed. They shunned Satrajit, calling him foul names, and then turned to worship Durga, the invincible warrior goddess, requesting his safe return. So hopeless had they became that when Krishna finally arrived, the city celebrated as if he had risen from the dead.

As the festivities came to a close, Krishna wasted no time in meeting with King Ugrasena, who called the nobles together, including Satrajit, for a special assembly. Krishna was ready to tell the story of the lost jewel and return it to Satrajit. Ashamed by his quick assumptions and public accusations, Satrajit received the jewel from Krishna in silence, head hanging down.

Alone in his rooms, he pondered a way to atone for his actions and once again earn the favor of the Supreme Being. Krishna, same said Supreme Being, knowing of Satrajit’s turmoil, gifted him with wisdom and insight.

Satrajit’s conscience moved him to offer Krishna the stone and his daughter’s hand in marriage, despite promises he had made to the other suitors pursuing Satyabhama’s hand.

Krishna noted Satyabhama’s gracefulness and received her as his wife, but the stone he refused to accept. “I am pleased with your offering, Noble Satrajit. However, it is better to allow the Syamantaka to remain in the temple as you have kept it. Because of the jewel’s presence in the city of Dwarka, there will be no more famine or disturbances created by pestilence or excessive heat or cold.” {1}

NOTE {1}: Quotation abbreviated from an excerpt from Prabhupada, ch. 56.


Click here for part 5                                                                       Click here for part 7
BIBLIOGRAPHY
1. Prabhupada, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. Krsna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead. Juhu, Mumbai: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1974.
2. Hudli, Anand. "Ganesha chaturthi, legends, and prayers." Hindu-Net. September 16, 1996. Accessed July 2012. http://www.hindunet.org/srh_home/1996_9/msg00099.html.
3. History and Mythology Blog. "ACK-119: Syamantaka Mani." Posted April 27, 2009. Accessed July 2012. http://hmindia.blogspot.com/2009/04/ack-119-syamantaka-mani.html.
4. Srhi2424. "Syamantaka Mani." HubPages. Last modified July 16, 2011. Accessed July 2012. http://shri2424.hubpages.com/hub/Syamantaka-Mani.
5. Wikipedia. "Durga." Accessed July 13, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durga.

*Clip art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy


Friday, July 13, 2012

Syamantaka Mani (part 5): Jambavan Fights Krishna

Jambavan Fights Krishna
Photo Credit: History and Mythology
by Angela Magnotti Andrews


Jambavan Fights Krishna

After making his way to the end of the dark tunnel, Krishna saw the small bear playing with the shiny gemstone. He stood before the boy and his nurse, preparing to ask after Jambavana’s whereabouts, when the boy and his nurse let out bloodcurdling screams. Jambavana, from somewhere deep in the cave, came rushing toward the sound, fury in his veins at the threat of an intruder.

Under normal circumstances, Jambavan would have recognized his Lord, Sri Krishna. However, he was blinded by fear and the powers of the Syamantaka, and he rushed toward Krishna with a steel sword. After sparring for many days, Jambavan began hurling stones at Krishna. Krishna hurled back, and again this went on for many days. Soon enough, Jambavan turned to the trees for weapons. He began to swing their mighty trunks at Krishna, who blocked them with the trunks of other trees. After many days, they went hand to hand, Krishna firing blow after blow. After almost twenty-eight days of fighting, Jambavan began to tire, and as he grew faint he began to wonder at who this mortal might be who could outlast him in a fight.

He called for a truce at day twenty-eight and took a good look at his opponent. As his vision cleared, his senses returned. “My dear Lord, I now see who you are. You are the same Supreme Personality of Godhead whom I worship as Lord Ramacandra, the source of my strength, wealth, reputation, and wisdom. No one else has such immeasurable strength; no one else could defeat me in this way.” {1}

Immediately, Krishna began applying salve from his lotus hand to Jambavana’s wounds. “You have been blinded by the stone. You are a faithful servant, and I release you from all harm.”

“Lord Krishna, please, take this stone from me. In repayment for my trespasses, I want to offer you my daughter Jambavati, who is of marriageable age. Will you accept these gifts as a token of my devotion to you?”

“I will gladly take your daughter to be my wife, but the stone I will return to its rightful owner, that I might clear my name from accusation in Dwarka. I will take my leave now. You have honored me well.”

NOTE {1}: Prabhupada, ch. 56.


Click here for part 4                                                                       Click here for part 6
BIBLIOGRAPHY
1. Prabhupada, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. Krsna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead. Juhu, Mumbai: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1974.
2. Hudli, Anand. "Ganesha chaturthi, legends, and prayers." Hindu-Net. September 16, 1996. Accessed July 2012. http://www.hindunet.org/srh_home/1996_9/msg00099.html.
3. History and Mythology Blog. "ACK-119: Syamantaka Mani." Posted April 27, 2009. Accessed July 2012. http://hmindia.blogspot.com/2009/04/ack-119-syamantaka-mani.html.
4. Srhi2424. "Syamantaka Mani." HubPages. Last modified July 16, 2011. Accessed July 2012. http://shri2424.hubpages.com/hub/Syamantaka-Mani.

*Clip art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Syamantaka Mani (part 4): Satrajit Accuses Krishna


Krishna Seeks the Syamantaka
Photo Credit: Rkista

by Angela Magnotti Andrews

Satrajit Accuses Krishna
Krishna! What have you done to my brother? Where is Syamantaka?”

“Satrajit, I see you are distressed. I have heard that your brother has not returned from the hunt. He must have met with trouble. I have neither seen him nor the stone.”

“I know you took it, Krishna. You lusted after it and decided you must steal it, since I would not let you have it.”

“No, Satrajit. I did not do that. I will get some of my best men together, and we will go and find your brother for you. I will show you that I did not steal it.”

Krishna set out with a search party and soon came upon the tree where Prasena and his horse lay mangled upon the hard earth. Though the stone was nowhere to be found, Krishna did take note of the lion tracks leading away from the tree. They took pursuit and soon found the lion’s maimed body.

The lion’s body was slashed through by bear claws. Krishna set out for Jambavan’s cave, which was very near. Outside the entrance, Krishna warned his men of the danger. “I’ll go in alone. You wait here for me. No matter what, remain outside the cave. Jambavan knows me. I will be safe. But he does not know you. You will not be safe in there.”

Click here for part 3                                                                       Click here for part 5
BIBLIOGRAPHY
1. Prabhupada, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. Krsna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead. Juhu, Mumbai: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1974.
2. Hudli, Anand. "Ganesha chaturthi, legends, and prayers." Hindu-Net. September 16, 1996. Accessed July 2012. http://www.hindunet.org/srh_home/1996_9/msg00099.html.
3. History and Mythology Blog. "ACK-119: Syamantaka Mani." Posted April 27, 2009. Accessed July 2012. http://hmindia.blogspot.com/2009/04/ack-119-syamantaka-mani.html.
4. Srhi2424. "Syamantaka Mani." HubPages. Last modified July 16, 2011. Accessed July 2012. http://shri2424.hubpages.com/hub/Syamantaka-Mani.

*Clip art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy


Monday, July 9, 2012

Syamantaka Mani (part 3): Prasena Perishes

Jambavan kills the lion and takes Syamantaka mani
Photo Credit: The Jewel of Auspiciousness
by Angela Magnotti Andrews
Prasena Perishes

Soon after, Satrajit’s brother, Prasena, borrowed the gem to bring him favor and protection on a hunt in the wilderness. Wearing the stone around his collar, he set out on his noble steed in search of game.

Prasena left his horse to graze beneath a tree, which he climbed for a better view. He saw a lion approaching and took aim, only to suddenly find himself suddenly hanging from his neck by the necklace. A snake had fallen from an upper branch, surprising him and knocking him off balance, killing him in minutes.

The lion devoured Prasena and his horse, and captivated by the brilliance of light emanating from the gemstone, the lion clutched it between his teeth and carried it back toward his lair.

As the lion ambled down the path, Jambavan, King of the Bears, spotted the shiny treasure he carried in his mouth. Mesmerized by the stone, Jambavan ambushed the lion and killed him. Jambavan picked up the stone and carried it back to his den, where he gave it to his son for a toy.

The day closed and night set in, and the townspeople began to wonder after Prasena. “Where could he have gone? Something awful is sure to have happened.”

Word got back to Satrajit that his brother had not returned from the hunt, and Satrajit was suddenly overcome with suspicion. “He must have been cornered by Krishna for the stone. I shouldn’t have allowed him to go out with it so soon after Krishna’s lustful inquiry.”

Click here for part 2                                                                       Click here for part 4
BIBLIOGRAPHY
1. Prabhupada, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. Krsna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead. Juhu, Mumbai: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1974.
2. Hudli, Anand. "Ganesha chaturthi, legends, and prayers." Hindu-Net. September 16, 1996. Accessed July 2012. http://www.hindunet.org/srh_home/1996_9/msg00099.html.
3. History and Mythology Blog. "ACK-119: Syamantaka Mani." Posted April 27, 2009. Accessed July 2012. http://hmindia.blogspot.com/2009/04/ack-119-syamantaka-mani.html.
4. Srhi2424. "Syamantaka Mani." HubPages. Last modified July 16, 2011. Accessed July 2012. http://shri2424.hubpages.com/hub/Syamantaka-Mani.

*Clip art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Friday, July 6, 2012

Syamantaka Mani (part 2): Krishna's Request


Krishna's Dwarka
Photo Credit: NTR Fanz-DB

by Angela Magnotti Andrews

Krishna's Request

Satrajit worshipped the gem faithfully, and he became a very wealthy man. Seeing the power of the stone, Krishna pondered the benefit that all of Dwarka might enjoy if Satrajit could be convinced to entrust the stone to him in the name of King Ugrasena. Krishna set a meeting with Satrajit and inquired of the stone.

“Would you consider allowing me to safeguard the gemstone so that the entire city might benefit from its powers?”

Krishna, you know I am a fair man and that I love Dwarka and all of its residents. But I couldn’t possibly give you the stone. It was entrusted to me by Surya, and how would I be sure that it would be worshiped properly? In the wrong hands, the stone could cause misfortune.”

“Satrajit, you are a wise man. But you know that it would be safe in my care. I would see to it that it was worshiped properly in the king’s palace.”

“But I would not be able to worship it myself there.”

“No, that is true. You do not have access to the palace. But you would still benefit, as would the entire city. And I can ensure that the king would see to it that you were properly paid for your generous gift.”

“I just cannot part with the stone. It belongs to me and to my family.”

“Very well,” Krishna responded.

Click here for part 1                                                                       Click here for part 3
BIBLIOGRAPHY
1. Prabhupada, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. Krsna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead. Juhu, Mumbai: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1974.
2. Hudli, Anand. "Ganesha chaturthi, legends, and prayers." Hindu-Net. September 16, 1996. Accessed July 2012. http://www.hindunet.org/srh_home/1996_9/msg00099.html.
3. History and Mythology Blog. "ACK-119: Syamantaka Mani." Posted April 27, 2009. Accessed July 2012. http://hmindia.blogspot.com/2009/04/ack-119-syamantaka-mani.html.
4. Srhi2424. "Syamantaka Mani." HubPages. Last modified July 16, 2011. Accessed July 2012. http://shri2424.hubpages.com/hub/Syamantaka-Mani.

*Clip art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Syamantaka Mani (part 1): Surya's Gift

Koh-i-Nur (Koh-i-Noor) Diamond
Photo Source: FreeClassiAds
by Angela Magnotti Andrews
I have studied at length the Koh-i-Nur (Koh-i-Noor) diamond, hoping to illuminate its mysterious path to some degree for your enjoyment. I recently discovered that there is some speculation that the Mountain of Light is indeed the ancient Indian gemstone, the Syamantaka mani. While I will examine the origins of the Koh-i-Nur in a near-future post, I would first like to start out by telling you of this legendary first among the diamonds of Vedic legend. This will take several posts, so be sure to check back every other day for the entire story. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have.


Surya, Sun God
Photo Credit: Sree Surya Bhagawan on Facebook
Surya's Gift
Satrajit went to the beach to meet with Surya, the sun god. His faithful service had gained him a special place of affection in the demi-god’s heart. On this particularly sunny day, Surya decided to reward Satrajit with a brilliant gemstone, the Syamantaka mani.

Overjoyed, Satrajit strung the gemstone around his neck, celebrated his good fortune, and set off for home. So brilliant were the ruby rays of the gemstone that they hid Satrajit’s face from view. When he returned to Dwarka, the townspeople believed Surya himself had decided to visit them. Thrilled at the honor of the demi-god’s visit, Satrajit’s neighbors called out to Krishna, the Supreme One, who lived among them, “Shri Krishna! Noble Surya has come to call upon you. He wishes to meet with you.”

Krishna, wise beyond his human years, was not thrown off by the dazzling light shining from the gemstone pendant. “Fair men, that is not Surya. Rather, it is his faithful servant, Satrajit.”

Once home, Satrajit built an altar on which to worship the Syamantaka. Surya had instructed Satrajit: “This gemstone will bring you great fortune. Where there is need, it will produce eight times its weight in gold per day. As long as you properly honor this gift, it will bring you wealth and good health. No tragedy shall befall you.”


BIBLIOGRAPHY
1. Prabhupada, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. Krsna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead. Juhu, Mumbai: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1974.
2. Hudli, Anand. "Ganesha chaturthi, legends, and prayers." Hindu-Net. September 16, 1996. Accessed July 2012. http://www.hindunet.org/srh_home/1996_9/msg00099.html.
3. History and Mythology Blog. "ACK-119: Syamantaka Mani." Posted April 27, 2009. Accessed July 2012. http://hmindia.blogspot.com/2009/04/ack-119-syamantaka-mani.html.
4. Srhi2424. "Syamantaka Mani." HubPages. Last modified July 16, 2011. Accessed July 2012. http://shri2424.hubpages.com/hub/Syamantaka-Mani.

*Clip art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy