Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India

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Read about Jambavan at the Urday website.

JAMBAVAT. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] King of the bears.

A celebrated gem called Syamantaka had been given by the Sun to Satrajit. He, fearing that Krishna would take it from him, gave it to his brother, Prasena. One property of this jewel was to protect its wearer when good, to ruin him when bad. Prasena was wicked and was killed by a lion, which was carrying off the gem in its mouth, when he was encountered and slain by Jambavat. After Prasena's disappearance, Krishna was suspected of having killed him for the sake of the jewel. Krishna with a large party tracked the steps of Prasena, till it was ascertained that he had been killed by a lion, and the lion had been killed by a bear. Krishna then tracked the bear, Jambavat, into his cavern, and a great fight ensued between them. After waiting outside seven or eight days, Krishna 's followers went home and performed his funeral ceremonies. On the twenty-first day of the fight, Jambavat submitted to his adversary, gave up the gem, and presented to him his daughter, Jambavati, as an offering suitable to a guest.

Jambavat with his army of bears aided Rama in his invasion of Lanka, and always acted the part of a sage counselor.

Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. The textual material made available at this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. No claims are made regarding the status of images used at this website; if you own the copyright privileges to any of these images and believe your copyright privileges have been violated, please contact the webmaster. Page last updated: October 16, 2007 12:22 PM