Jambavati: The 3rd Ashtabharya of Krishna and the Mother of Samba, the Destroyer of the Yadava Clan

Jambavati is the 3rd Ashtabharya of Krishna among his eight principal wives. She is the only daughter of the bear king, Jambavat. Princess Jambavati received a Syamantaka mani as a gift from her father after defeating and killing a lion. He didn’t know that the mani belonged to King Satyajit. Jambavati is described as the most charming damsel in Hindu scripture and dear to her father, Jambavat. Syamantaka is believed to have magical powers, and Jambavati, the little one, used to play with the precious mani.

Marriage of Krishna and Jambavati

Satrajit came to know that Prasena, his brother, had been killed by a lion in the forest, and the Syamantaka mani was missing in the process of sending the jewel to Ugrasna.

As per Sanatan Dharma and ancient texts, Jambavat, the bear, killed the lion and took the jewel under his protection. He gave the jewel to his daughter to play with it. However, when Satrajit found out about the death of his brother, he blamed Krishna for stealing it.

Krishna went to search for the jewel to remove the blemish from his name. He founded the Mani Syamantaka under the protection of Jamavat.

Lord Krishna fought with Jambavat to retrieve the mani for 28 days. Jamvabat came to know that Krishna is an avatar of Lord Vishnu, or Rama, the 7th incarnation. He apologized for his great mistake and pleaded to marry his daughter, Jambavati.

Thus, Sri Krishna married Jambavati and accepted her as his queen consort, the third Ashtabharya.

Jambavati: Dear Companion of Rukmini, First Wife of Krishna

Jambavati was one of the most beautiful queens of Krishna, known for her great companionship with Rukmini, the first Ashtabharya. However, she used to be involved in a cold war with Satyabhama, the second wife of Sri Krishna, whom he married before her. Satyabhama was the daughter of Satrajit, who blamed Krishna for stealing the Syamanta jewel that Jamvabati used to play.

Married Life of Jambavati with Krishna

The Devi Bhagavata Purana and the Mahabharata narrate the story of Jambavati, the third Ashtabharya, after her marriage to Krishna. After spending some great time in Dwarka as a queen, Jambavati felt incomplete as the wife of Krishna. Rukmini and Satyavati were blessed with sons with Krishna. Jamvabati was unhappy as she did not give birth to Krishna. Her womanhood and duty as a wife were incomplete. She asked Krishna to do something and find a solution so that they could be blessed with a son like Praduyman, Krishna’s firstborn.

Story of the Birth of Samba: Son of Jambavati and Krishna

Krishna felt the pain of the Jambavati and visited the hermitage of the sage Upamanyu in the Himalayas. He advised Krishna to worship and pay penance to Lord Shiva. Dwarkadish did penance in several positions for six months. He held a skull and rod in his first posture while penancing; he then stood on one leg and survived on water.

In the third month, he prayed standing on his toes without eating. Lord Shiva got pleased with the austerities and appeared before Lord Krishna as Samba, Ardhanarishvara—half male and female god. Shiva asked Krishna to ask for a boon. Krishna wanted a son from Jambavati, and thus she gave birth to Samba, an avatar of Lord Shiva that appeared before Krishna.

However, after Samba, Jambavati, the third Ashtabharya of Krishna, the principal wife gave birth to the other nine sons. They were: Sumitra, Purujit, Satyajit, Sahasrajit, Vijaya, Chitraketu, Vasuman, Dravida, and Kratu.

Sri Krishna, the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, was very affectionate to the sons of Jambavati, especially towards Samba.

Samba: Destroyer of Krishna’s Yadava Clan—His Capture and Marriage with Lakshana

Samba, the son of Krishna and Jambavati, grew up as a handsome young man yet troublesome. He desired to marry Lakshana, the daughter of Duryodhana. When Duryodhana arranged Swayamvar for Lakshana, Samba battled all the suitors and abducted his daughter. He was captured by the Duryodhanas and ended up in the Kuru clan jail.

Balaram, the elder brother of Krishna, loved his nuisance nephew a lot. He attacked Duryodhana and his army when the head of the Kuru clan didn’t listen to his request to release Samba.

The entire Kuru clan and Duryodhana got worried and accepted the proposal of releasing the son of Krishna and getting him married to Lakshana.

Sage Durvasa Cursed Samba

As per Indian mythology (Vedic story), once Samba and his friends planned to trick the sages. Thus, Samba became a pregnant woman, and his friends asked the sages who was the father of the pregnant Samba.

In the process, they also asked Sage Durvasa, who was famous for his tantrums and curses. Durvasa Rishi was offended. He was a celibate and a follower of Brahmacharya. It was a huge tint on his celibacy. Thus, Durvasa cursed Samba to give birth to an iron pestle and destroy the Yadava clan.

After years, Durvasa’s curse came into action, leading Krishna to be killed by a prey in the forest while he was resting.

Wailing of Krishna’s Queens

According to the Bhagavata Purana, the Ashtabharya of Krishna, the principal wives came to know about the death of Krishna by the hand of a hunter with the same iron arrow that Samba gave birth to and wailed a lot. The Ashtabharya, queens of Krishna and Jambavati, the third Ashtabharya, and the principal wife of Sri Hari felt the sting of separation from their beloved husband and jumped on the funeral pyre of Krishna and got Sati.

Krishna and Ashtabharya Marriages: Inclusion of Kingdom and Reign

As per the research, it is believed that Krishna married Ashtabharya, the eight principal wives from different dynasties, to rule and establish righteousness in Bharatvarsha.

According to their regal status, the Ashtabharya can be categorized into three groups that represent different hierarchies.

Rukmini: The First Ashtabharya of Krishna and Her Journey from a Princess to a Passionate Lover.

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First Group of Ashtabharya: Wives of Krishna

Rukmini, an incarnation of goddess Lakshmi, the first Astabharya of Krishna, represents material Prakriti, or majesty and wealth.

Satyabhama, an incarnation of the goddess Earth, or Bhumi Devi, represents the elemental Prakriti, or Krishna’s kingdom.

Jambavati, the princess of forests and daughter of Jambavan, represents Krishna’s victory.

Second Group of Ashtabharya: Wives of Krishna

The second group of the principal wives of Krishna represents the entire reign of Krishna in the Aryavarta: the nobility.

Kalindi, the daughter of the Sun god, represents Krishna’s central kingdoms and his rule.

Nagnajiti, the princess of the Kosala region, is the daughter of Nagnajita. She is an incarnation of Nila Devi, known as Satya and Nappinnai. Nagnajiti represents the rule of Krishna in eastern kingdoms, including the Solar dynasty.

Lakshmana represents the rules in the western kingdom of Krishna. She has an uncertain Ashtabharya background.

Third Group of Ashtabharya: Wives of Krishna

The third group of Ashtabharya, wives of Krishna—Mitravinda, daughter of King Jayasena of Avanti—and Bhadra, daughter of Drishtaketu and Shrutakirti—represent Krishna’s rule in the Yadava clan called Satvata.

These groups of Ashtabharyas of Krishna are the eight forms of Ashta Lakshmi, and Krishna married them in dramatic situations.

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