Sorry, God: Penitent temple thief in India returns Lord Krishna’s jewellery after nine years

Deeply apologetic about his actions, a person who had stolen the jewellery of the presiding deities, Lord Krishna and his consort Radha, from a temple in Odisha, eastern India, has returned them after nine years, along with two “sorry” notes.

The stolen and returned jewellery. Picture courtesy: Gopinath temple

The temple priests called this a “miracle” — they had given up all hope of ever getting back the valuable jewellery, worth about INR4 lakh, and now the thief had not only returned every item but even left an extra INR401 in the jewellery bag! Of this, INR301 was the thief’s dakshina (offering) to the deity, and INR100 was a token penalty for the theft.

The theft had occurred in May 2014 at Gopinathpur, near Bhubaneshwar, the capital city of Odisha. It truly was a miracle that the thief had not, in all these years, melted the ornaments and sold the precious metal. It was revealed by the “sorry” notes that despite successfully stealing the ornaments and never being caught by the police, the thief had felt very uncomfortable with this all throughout, and that he (or she) had also faced many troubles in life. The priests interpreted this as divine retribution.

The thief left a bag filled with the jewellery, dakshina, and the apology notes at the doorstep of an influential person in the neighbourhood, whose house was very close to the temple.

Writing the notes in English, the thief said that he (or she) had stolen the ornaments when a yajna (special puja with a fire ritual) was being performed at the temple. But the loot did not bring any happiness; there were plenty of problems. “Hence, I decided to surrender before the Gods and return the ornaments. I am not mentioning my name, address, or village,” he (or she) wrote.