Jambavan The Mighty
There lumbered through the woods a bear that was larger than any bear before. He walked to a stream that lay running down the hill. Jambavan the mighty bear was getting closer to a village of men and steered alongside the river down the hill. As he turned to go the opposite way of the village, he smelled a thick smell of blood that filled the air. “I wonder where that could be coming from”, said Jambavan. This was not the blood of an animal for its scent resembled that of a man. Jambavan turned and crossed the small stream following the scent of the blood deeper and deeper into the woods. He entered a clearing where he was met by the sight of a body of a man. The man was torn to pieces and blood coated the grass. Jambavan knew that he wasn’t alone for he felt a chill run up his spine. He turned to see a pair of yellow eyes staring at him through the clearing.
“Well, well what have we here? If it isn’t a nosy bear,” exclaimed a lion walking out into the clearing.
“What is it you want lion? Speak plainly for I am Jambavan the mighty.”
“Oh, I want nothing from you for I have already obtained it. The gem of Syamantaka is now mine,” said the lion as he gave an evil smirk.
Jambavan was done hearing this arrogant lion and charged at him. He swung his paw at the lion aiming for his face, but fell short as the lion jumped back. The lion thought to himself, “As long as I have this gem I am protected from all harm.” The lion believed the gem would make him immortal. Jambavan swung once more connecting with the lion’s head, which flew across the clearing. The lion's body fell over still. Jambavan did not see the gem anywhere on the body and figured it must be inside the lion. He shoved his paw into the stomach of the lion retrieving the gem. Jambavan knew that this gem was able to control the prosperity of the village, by ensuring crop growth . He did not understand why the lion coveted it so, for it did not grant him the immortality he desired. He then decided to head to the village to return this gem.
Upon reaching the road back to the village he was met with a man standing in the middle of the road. The man searched Jambavan with his eyes almost seeing through him. Jambavan stopped and looked at him wondering what he would do next. It appeared the man found what he was looking for and without warning attacked Jambavan. Jambavan reared back on his back feet and met the man in combat. For every blow that was dealt to him he dealt one equal if not more powerful back. He clawed the man which seemed to do no damage. “I am taking no damage, but neither is this man," thought Jambavan. He roared and gave it all he had. He fought and fought never slowing, never tiring. The sun rose on them and set on them. The fighting lasted what felt like eternity to Jambavan. After twenty-eight days Jambavan knew something was not right. He decided this could be no mortal man. This man was someone of great power. The answer came to him and he stopped fighting and kneeled. The man looked at him and Jambavan said, “You are Lord Krishna. I am deeply sorry for not recognizing you.”
Krishna then looked at him and said, “You are correct I came for the jewel for I was accused of killing Prasena and taking it.” “I have this Jewel only because I killed a lion who killed the man who was in possession of it," said Jambavan. Jambavan then gave Krishna the Jewel and they both entered the village to return the jewel and to clear Krishna’s name.
Author’s Note: I decided to write an embellished version of the events leading up to Krishna and Jambavan fighting. The original story had a lion kill Prasena who was the brother of Satrajit. Satrajit is the one who was looking after the jewel. One day Krishna comes to her and asks her for the jewel because he can better protect it. She turns him down and hands the jewel off to Prasena. While Prasena was hunting he was killed by a lion. After Jambavan gave Krishna he then gave his daughter Jambavati to marry. In my story I decided to add the lion being able to talk. I also embellished the battle seen between the lion and Jambavan. I also added the bit about Krishna meeting Jambavan on the road back to the village as he returned the jewel. I thought it would be more interesting if he was stopped while returning it. I also added the end where they both went to the village to clear Krishna’s name.
Photo Creds: Jambavan Giving Suamantaka to Krishna by The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc
Sources: Jambavan Wikipedia, Daily Hunt Jambavan, Universal Teacher, Syamantaka Wikipeida