Satyabhama wanted her husband Lord Krishna, to be completely under her control. One day she talked to Sage Narada about her desire and asked him to tell her a way to gain complete control over Krishna. Sage Narada, understood that this lady was very selfish, so he decided to teach her a lesson. He said, “I shall instruct you to keep a fast (a kind of prayer and penance). Thereafter you shall have to give away your husband as a gift to someone. Subsequently, you may purchase him back from the person, after paying to him, a sum equivalent to the weight of your husband. Once you are able to do this, Krishna shall be totally under your control.”
Satyabhama happily agreed. She kept the fast and then decided to give away Krishna as a gift to Sage Narada himself. Naturally, Sage Narada accepted.
Next was the task of buying him back. Narada said, “Now Satyabhama, you have to give me gold or money to buy Krishna back. Give me gold coins or ornaments, equal in weight to that of Krishna. So, Satyabhama called for a big weighing scale. On one side of it, she asked Krishna to sit. On the other side, she put a lot of gold coins. But the weight of Krishna was much more. Krishna looked on in amusement as Satyabhama brought more and more jewellery from her collection to add to the mounting heap of gold. But the scale was absolutely down on Krishna’s side. Satyabhama put all her jewellery, but the scales would not tip. Satyabhama was confused. What should she do?
Narada said, “Well Satyabhama, it seems you can not buy Krishna back. So, I will take Him away. He now, belongs to me.” Satyabhama pleaded, “No! Please do not take Him away. I shall seek help from Rukmini (Krishna’s other wife).” So saying, Satyabhama ran to Rukmini’s chamber to seek help from her. Rukmini at that time was engaged in Tulsi Puja.
Satyabhama narrated her tale of woe to her and begged her for help. Rukmini accompanied her to the site of the drama. There, she saw Krishna smiling mischievously. She understood that this problem could not be solved merely by gold. She said, “Oh Narada! It is said that the name of the Lord is greater than the Lord Himself. So, I utter His name ‘Krishna’, and that should be enough for you to give Him back to us.”
Narada replied, “How can the intangible name of the Lord be a payment for the Lord in this tangible, physical form. I do not agree to this bargain.”
Rukmini then stepped forward and put a single Tulsi leaf on the other side of the scale, blowing softly, the name “Krishna” on the leaf!
It is said that, the weight of the name of Krishna, was equal to the weight of the physical form of Krishna. The extra weight of the Tulsi leaf on this side, tipped the scale! And Krishna was bought….. He was bought for a price of love and devotion. The Lord can be bought only for one price and that is Love and Love alone.