Jambavan: King of Bears
By: Emmanuel Torres

Sugriva, when he looked at the upcoming events in helping Rama find Sita, knew that he would need all the help he could get…….

Sugriva sent a messenger to request Jambavan’s aid.  Jambavan was known for his excellent leadership skills. 

Once the word was out, Jambavan quickly responded as he was always willing to help someone in need.  He gathered his troops of bears and addressed them about the
Alaskan Bear conflict….

    “I call upon all the bears under my rule to lend a helping hand.  Rama needs our help to find his wife Sita.  She was abducted by Ravana the king of the rakshasas.  Who will come and help me?” Jambavan questioned.

The bears were very loyal to Jambavan and not even one refused the challenge. 

    “I do have to warn you that this journey could lead to a bloody battle and I do not guarantee that your life will not be in danger…..”

So they made their way to Sugriva’s kingdom to meet the monkeys.  There, they assembled their armies and were twice as strong.

As they made their way, Hanuman gave Jambavan further details about Sita’s abduction.  They were overheard by Sampati who is Jatayu’s brother.  Sampati told the monkeys and the bears that he saw Ravana fly with Sita to Lanka.  They, then took him aside and respectfully told Sampati about Jatayu's great bravery against Ravana.  Simpati was very sad to hear about his brother’s death, but also very proud at the same time.

So they continued their journey toward Lanka.  They then approached the ocean and everyone lost hope.  It would be a 100 league jump to Lanka.  Then Jambavan stepped up and looked toward Hanuman.

    “You’re a strong young monkey and you have many abilities that have not even been tapped.  I have faith that you can make the jump to Lanka and bring news about Sita,” explained Jambavan.

It was Jambavan who made Hanuman aware of his abilities.  Thanks to Jambavan, Hanuman gathered the confidence to jump toward Lanka and bring the news back.

Hanuman successfully retured with good news and they then traveled toward Kishkindha to tell Rama.

Rama was glad to know Sita was alive and Rama, the monkeys, and the bears headed for battle against Ravana, where Jambavan showed how aggressive he was.  He showed his leadership with his immense strength.  He was ruthless against the demons.  He showed no mercy when he tore the demons to pieces. 

After a successful battle, it was Jambavan and Hanuman who remained on earth to tell Rama’s story…..

Author's Note:  I chose to focus on Jambavan’s leadership skills.  He was one of the main characters in the Ramayana that played a big role in the retrieval of Sita.  I chose to focus on the parts of the story that featured Jambavan.  I know that once he told Hanuman to jump toward Lanka, there were a lot of important things taking part, but they did not included Jambavan.  Jambavan was fierce in battle and defeated many rakshasa, showing them no mercy.  Just like Hanuman, Jambavan is also very devoted to Rama.  He also chose to stay on earth and tell Rama’s story.  He was quick to answer the call and rally his troops to give a lending hand….

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Buck, William. The Ramayana. University of California Press, 1976.
Image Information: Alaskan Bear