One day, the nosy sage Narada appeared at Satyabhama’s chamber, looking very weary and tired. Satyabhama was one of Krishna’s wives.
She asked Narada, “O Sage, whatever is the matter? Why do you look so tired?” Satyabhama handed him a glass of water. Sipping the water, Narada told her, “You see, the generous chief queen, Rukmini has donated a large sum of money and a lot of food for the welfare of her subjects. I’m having a lot of difficulty carrying it.” Narada was sure that this would bring out Satyabhama’s ego and jealousy.
She looked sort of annoyed. “I may not be a princess, but that doesn’t mean I’m not rich. Ask for anything, and I shall grant it,” she said haughtily. “In that case,” said Narada, “I want your husband, Krishna.”
“A promise is a promise,” she said without thinking twice. With that, Satyabhama completed the custom with tulsi and water, thus giving Krishna away as charity or dana.
Soon, Satyabhama informed Krishna about this. He smiled mysteriously and said, “I do not exist in my own right. I shall do as I’m told.” Then Narada instructed Krishna, “O Gopala, carry this bag and follow me”.
Satyabhama was alarmed, “How dare you talk to my husband like this? Krishna is not your slave, you know.” Narada smiled at her and said, “Well, now he is as you have given him to me as charity.”
Hearing all this commotion, Krishna’s other wives rushed out. Some were panic-stricken while others were livid. They all spoke to Satyabhama sharply, “How can you give our husband away? He doesn’t only belong to you, but to us, his parents, and his devotees too. Oh, what have you done?”
That was the moment Satyabhama realized what a terrible mistake she made in a fit of anger and jealousy. She begged Narada, “O sage, please give me another chance.” Narada told her gently, “Sure, I’ll give you another chance. You should give me the gold equal to Krishna’s weight.”
Satyabhama agreed readily. She was willing to do anything to get her husband back. She ordered for the largest weighing pan to be brought. Then Satyabhama started loading all her jewellery, heavy gold vessels and other gold items. The astonishing thing was that Krishna’s side of the pan still touched the ground! Soon, Satyabhama was left with nothing. She looked at Krishna helplessly.
Krishna told her gently, “Why don’t you call Rukmini for assistance?” With no other choice left, she turned to Rukmini, “Sister, will you help me?” Rukmini nodded. She smiled and removed all the gold from the pan. Then she placed her thin gold bangle, and to everyone’s surprise the two pans equalled. Thus, everybody had Krishna back.
When everyone had gone after this happy turn of events, Satyabhama asked Narada, “How did all of that happen?” He smiled and replied “You may love Krishna very much, but Rukmini worships him without expecting anything in return. This virtue attracts Krishna more.”
Satyabhama bowed her head and promised never to repeat this folly ever again.