Jambavan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Jambavan
Ramayana character
Jambavan
Painting of Jambavan
In-universe information
SpeciesBear (Asian species)
FamilyBrahma (father)

Himavat (Elder Brother)

Jambavati (daughter)

Jambavana also known as Jambavanta is a character originating in Ramayan. The King of Bears, he is an Asian black bear or sloth bear in Indian epic tradition (though he is also described as a monkey in other scriptures), immortal to all but his father Brahma.[1] Several times he is mentioned as Kapishreshtha (Foremost among the monkeys) and other epithets generally given to the Vanaras. He is known as Riksharaj (King of the Rikshas). Rikshas are earlier described as similar to Vanaras but in later versions of Ramayana Rikshas are described as bears. He was created by Brahma, to assist Rama in his struggle against Ravana.[1]

Jambavana was present at the churning of the ocean, and is supposed to have circled Vamana seven times when he was acquiring the three worlds from Mahabali.

Jambavan, together with Parasuram and Hanuman, is considered to be one of the few to have been present for both Ram and Krishna avatars. His daughter Jambavati was married to Krishna. He was also presented for the churning of the ocean and thus witness to the Kurma avatar, and further the Vaman avatar, Jambavan may well be the longest lived of the chiranjivis and have been witness to nine avatars.[2]

Names[edit]

Jambavana as depicted in Yakshagana (a dance drama)

Jambavan is also known as

Mythology[edit]

Ramayana[edit]

In the epic Ramayana, Jambavantha helped Rama find his wife Sita and fight her abductor, Ravana. It is he who makes Hanuman realize his immense capabilities and encourages him to fly across the ocean to search for Sita in Lanka.[4]

The Syamantaka gem[edit]

In the Mahabharata, Jambavantha had killed a lion, who had acquired a gem called Syamantaka from Prasena after killing him. Krishna was suspected of killing Prasena for the jewel, so he tracked Prasena's steps until he learned that he had been killed by a lion, who had been killed by a bear. Krishna tracked Jambavantha to his cave and a fight ensued. The combat between Krishna and Jambavan ensued for 27/28 days (per Bhagavata Purana) and 21 days (per Vishnu Purana) after which Jambavan began to grow tired. Then realizing who Krishna was, Jambavantha submitted. He gave Krishna the gem and also presented him his daughter Jambavati, who became one of Krishna's wives.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Patricia Turner, Charles Russell Coulter. Dictionary of ancient deities. 2001, page 248
  2. ^ "Jambavan: The only one who saw Lord Rama and Krishna".
  3. ^ Magnotti, Angela; rews. "Jambavan Fights Krishna (Syamantaka Mani Legend, Part 5)".
  4. ^ Mani, Vettam (1 January 2015). Puranic Encyclopedia: A Comprehensive Work with Special Reference to the Epic and Puranic Literature. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-81-208-0597-2.
  5. ^ Mani, Vettam (1 January 2015). Puranic Encyclopedia: A Comprehensive Work with Special Reference to the Epic and Puranic Literature. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-81-208-0597-2.

External links[edit]