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Jambavati – The Story How Jambavati Became the Wife of Sri Krishna

Jambavati is one among the Ashta Bharyas or eight principal wives of Sri Krishna. The story of Jambavati becoming the wife of Krishna is associated with the Jewel Syamantaka Mani, or Shamanthakamani. The story of Jambavati is mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana. She was the only daughter of Jambavan – the bear king who assisted Lord Ram in the battle against Ravana. Jambavan is a Chiranjeevi – one bless with eternal life – and was also present when Vishnu took the incarnation of Krishna.

As per Hindu tradition, Satrajit, a vassal king of Dwaraka, received the Syamantaka Mani – a precious stone which ushers in prosperity. Satrajit did not share the wealth received from the precious stone with his people. So Krishna asked Satrajit to allow him to make proper use of the precious as the king of Dwarka. Satrajit declined.

One day, Prasena, brother of Satrajit, went hunting wearing the Syamantaka Mani. A lion killed Prasena. Jambavan who saw this incident killed the lion and retrieved the Syamantaka mani. He then gifted the precious stone to his only daughter, Jambavati.

Now Satrajit and other people accused Krishna of killing Prasena for the Syamantaka Mani.

Balram, the eldest brother of Krishna, happened to hear about the scandal. He immediately asked Krishna to find the Syamantaka Mani and clear his name.

Krishna then set out in search of the Mani and tracks it to the cave of Jambavan. But Jambavan refused to return the precious stone. A fight took place between the two and it continued for 21-days. Jambavan used all his magical powers to outwit Sri Krishna but he failed in all his attempts.

Finally, Jambavan realized that Sri Krishna was none other than Lord Ram. He agreed to return the Shamanthakamani and also offered his daughter Jambavati in marriage to Sri Krishna.

This story is read by people who watches moon on Ganesh Chaturthi day.