Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India

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Read about Jarasandha at the Urday website.

JARASANDHA. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] Son of Brihadratha, and king of Magadha.

Brihadratha had two wives, who after being long barren brought forth two halves of a boy. These abortions were regarded with horror and thrown away. A female man-eating demon named picked them up and put them together to carry them off. On their coming in contact a boy was formed, who cried out so lustily that he brought out the king and his two queens. The Rakshasi explained what had happened, resigned the child, and retired.

The father gave the boy the name Jarasandha, because he had been put together by Jara. Future greatness was prophesied for the boy, and he became an ardent of Siva. Through the favour of this god he prevailed over many kings, and he especially fought against Krishna, who had killed Kansa, the husband of two of Jarasandha's daughters. He besieged Mathura, and attacked Krishna eighteen times, and was as often defeated; but Krishna was so weakened that he retired to Dwaranka.

Jarasandha had many kings in captivity, and when Krishna returned from Dwaranka, he, with Bhima and Arjuna, went to Jarasandha's capital for the purpose of slaying their enemy and liberating the kings. Jarasandha refused to release the kings, and accepted the alternative of a combat, in which he was killed by Bhima.

Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. The textual material made available at this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. No claims are made regarding the status of images used at this website; if you own the copyright privileges to any of these images and believe your copyright privileges have been violated, please contact the webmaster. Page last updated: October 16, 2007 12:22 PM