Jambavana also known as Jambavanta is a character originating in Indian epic poetry, popularly found in Ramyana (story of Lord Rama, Bhagwan Vishnu's avatar as a human on Earth). 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. 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.
Jambavana as depicted in Yakshagana (a dance drama)
|Species||Bear (Asian species)|
Himavat (Elder Brother)Jambavati (daughter)
Jambavan is also known as
Jambavan, together with Parasuram and Hanuman, is considered to be one of the few to have been present for both Ram and Krishna avatars. Said to have been present 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.
- Patricia Turner, Charles Russell Coulter. Dictionary of ancient deities. 2001, page 248
- Magnotti, Angela; rews. "Jambavan Fights Krishna (Syamantaka Mani Legend, Part 5)".
- "Jambavan: The only one who saw Lord Rama and Krishna".
- Jambavantha motivating Hanuman for the task of leaping the ocean. in Valmiki Ramayana - Kishkindha Kanda in Prose Sarga 65 - Accessed August 14, 2006.
- Jambavantha - A Rksha Warrior