Satyakam was the son of a woman named Jabal. He had a strong wish to study and so he left home in search of a guru. He went to the ashram of sage Gautam and requested him to make him his pupil. Gautam questioned him, "Before I make you my pupil, I need to know about your family." This puzzled Satyakam, as he had no idea about his family except his mother. But to join the ashram he would not lie. He told the sage that he would ask his mother. So he went to Jabal.
His mother told him, " Go to the sage and tell him 'I am the son of Jabal and my name is Satyakam Jabali'." Satyakam went to Gautam and told him what he knew. The sage was pleased with his love for truth and accepted him as his pupil.
One day Gautam told him that before he could teach him, Satyakam should take the herd of 400 weak cows of the ashram and return only when it had multiplied to 1000. After that Gautam would impart him knowledge. Without uttering a single word Satyakam left with the cows. He took them to the forest and looked after them with loving care.
After many years the herd grew to 1000. Every cow was strong and healthy. It was time for Satyakam to return to Gautam's ashram. All the gods and deities were happy with Satyakam's obedience and dedication to his guru. Along the way he was blessed with knowledge by fire, a bull, a swan and a waterfowl. Now enlightened, Satyakam reached the ashram. Gautam saw the glow of enlightenment on his face. He was also very happy that Satyakam had looked after the cows very well. He then accepted Satyakam as his pupil and blessed him with Brahmavidya .
Satyakam is an ideal of truth, obedience and true service to the guru