Journal : An Inspiring Story

Chapter IV — The Story of Satyakama

1. Once upon a time, Satyakama the son of Jabala addressed his mother and said: “Revered Mother, I wish to become a brahmacharin. Of what ancestry am I?”

2. She said to him: “I do not know, my child, of what ancestry you are. In my youth I was preoccupied with many household duties and with attending on guests when I conceived you. I do not know of what ancestry you are. I am Jabala by name and you are Satyakama. So you may speak of yourself as Satyakama Jabala (the son of Jabala).

3. He came to Gautama the son of Haridrumata and said: “Revered Sir, I wish to live with you as a brahmacharin. May I approach you, as a pupil?”

4. Gautama said to him: “Of what ancestry are you, dear friend?”

Satyakama said: “I do not know, Sir, of what ancestry I am. I asked my mother about it and she replied: ‘In my youth I was preoccupied with many household duties and with attending on guests when I conceived you. I do not know of what ancestry you are. I am Jabala by name and you are Satyakama.’ I am therefore, Sir, Satyakama Jabala.”

5. Gautama said: “None but a true brahmin would thus speak out. Fetch the fuel, dear friend; I shall initiate you. You have not departed from truth.” He initiated Satyakama.

Having separated out four hundred lean and weak cows from his herd, he said: “Dear friend, go with these.”

Driving them away toward the forest, Satyakama said: “I shall not return until they become a thousand.”

He lived a number of years in the forest [until the cows had become a thousand].

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