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Jambvant

Other names : Jambavant, Jambavan, Jamvanta

Jambvant, the King of the bears, was the oldest of the soldiers in Rama’s army. He was also his counselor.

 

When the earth cried out for help and the Devas complained, a comforting announcement declared that God would soon appear on earth to end the atrocities of Ravana and save the people from his terror. Brahma told Indra and other Devas that God was soon to appear in human form on earth. “Hence I request all of you, to give up your deva form and appear on earth in the form of monkeys and bears to help God in his task. A part of me has appeared as Bear King Jambvant, when I sneezed.”

Brahma told Indra and other Devas that God was soon to appear in human form on earth. “Hence I request all of you, to give up your deva form and appear on earth in the form of monkeys and bears to help God in his task. A part of me has appeared as Bear King Jambvant, when I sneezed.”

Jambvant was aged and elderly. As he was the son of Brahma, Rama revered him like a father. He had amazing power and strength. When Angad led Hanuman, Jambvant, Nal Neel and other vanaras in search of Sita; they were discussing how to reach Lanka, while they sat at the other shore of the sea.

 

Jambvant narrated how strong he used to be. He told them he had attended Danava king Bali’s Yagna, and had seen Lord Vishnu appear as the Vamana avatar, and seen him measure the donation of “three paces of land” he had asked for. The Lord had covered earth with his first step, and heaven with the second. The third went on the head of Bali and pushed him down to the underworld. In two seconds, he made seven circumnavigations of that magnificent form of the Lord. He used to cross the ocean several times as if it were just water in a cow’s hoofprint. Inspired and reminded of his own strength by these stories of Jambvant’s, Hanuman decided to simply leap across the ocean to reach Lanka.

Inspired and reminded of his own strength by these stories of Jambvant’s, Hanuman decided to simply leap across the ocean to reach Lanka.

During the Rama-Ravana battle, when Lakshmana fainted, it was Jambvant who suggested bringing in Sushena, the physician. When Meghnad came back to the battlefield, he caught up and tied Rama and Lakshmana with a Nagpash (a snake noose). It was Jambvant who challenged Meghnad. When Meghnad used a Shakti weapon on him, Jambvant caught hold of it and used it to wound Meghnad instead. He caught hold of one of his legs, twirled him around and threw him high at the gate of Lanka.

 

When the youngest son of Ravana, Narantaka, came to the battlefield, he made all vanaras and bears faint, and to kill Rama-Lakshmana, he suddenly appeared before Rama, wielding a sharp dagger. It was Jambvant who bravely seized and deflected the dagger away and used it on Meghnad, making him faint. He caught hold of his foot and spun him around five times before throwing him down on the ground and slammed his head on the earth. Yet he did not die, as he was protected by his boon. At last Jambvant caught him by the foot, and flung him to fall in front of Ravana.

When the youngest son of Ravana, Narantaka, came to the battlefield, he made all vanaras and bears faint, and to kill Rama-Lakshmana, he suddenly appeared before Rama, wielding a sharp dagger. It was Jambvant who bravely seized and deflected the dagger away and used it on Meghnad, making him faint.

Sugreeva’s son Dadhibala killed Narantaka, and then Ravana himself came to the battlefield. Rama cut off his heads and arms but they only joined back together to his body at once. Then, enraged, Angad, Hanuman, Dwand, and Dwividh attacked Ravana. But in his fighting fury, Ravana made all the vanaras unconscious. Then Jambvant used his closed fist to rain a blow on Ravana and stunned him in his chariot. His charioteer quickly took him back to the palace.

 

At last Ravana was killed and Rama got Sita back. Then came the joyful prosperous Ramarajya (rule of Rama) on earth. When Shri Rama finished his Lila (play/game) on earth and decided to quit his mortal body to return to Vaikunth (the abode of Vishnu), he asked Hanuman and Vibhishana to stay on earth in their mortal forms. He told Jambvant “You must also remain here on earth till the Dwapar Yuga, and wait till I appear as Krishna.”

 

At the end of the Dvapar Yuga, when Shri Krishna was born into the Yadava dynasty, he married Jambvant’s daughter, Jambvanti, and thus made Jambvant his father-in-law. It was but natural that Jambvant got this honor, for he was a partial incarnation of Brahma.

jambvant offers his daughter in marriage to Shri Krishna

During the battle between Rama and Ravana, after the abduction of Sita, Sage Agastya went to Rama and gave him the “Aditya Hriday” (prayer for invoking the Sun God). It was this special invocation that helped Rama to overpower and kill Ravana.

When Rama was crowned King of Ayodhya, Agastya Rishi came and gave several discourses on his duty, ethics and royal decorum. For a long time Rama, Lakshman, Bharat, and Shatrughna had the benefit of his august company. Like Guru Vashishtha and Vishwamitra, Sage Agastya made a major contribution to the role Rama played out in his avatar (incarnation) on earth.

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