Jatayu, aka: Jaṭāyu, Jatāyū; 6 Definition(s)


Jatayu means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Itihāsa (narrative history)

Jaṭāyu (जटायु), an old eagle, is taking rest on a tree, hears her helpless cry. He realizes that she is the daughter-in-law of his old friend Daśaratha. In spite of his old age, the bird hurries to help her. A fight ensues between the old bird and the ten-headed mighty demon. The eagle is no match to the force of the demon. The latter leaves Jaṭāyu in a pool of blood by cutting its wings. Jaṭāyu in agony is waiting for Rāma. In search of Sītā, Rāma with his brother Lakṣmaṇa arrives there. They find the poor bird in a pool of blood. Jaṭāyu relates to him the whole story and breathes his last. In the Rāmāyaṇa by Vālmīki, it is mentioned that, Jaṭāyu being their family friend, Rāma performed the necessary funeral rites to the bird.

(Source): Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (rāmāyaṇa)
context information

Itihāsa (इतिहास) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Purāṇas, 2) the Mahābhārata and 3) the Rāmāyaṇa. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smṛti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to śruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).


1a) Jaṭāyu (जटायु).—A son of Aruṇa and Gṛdhri (Syeni, Vāyu-purāṇa) brought forth sons Kaka, Gṛdhra and Aśvakarṇi; king of vultures and younger brother of Sampāti;1 father of Karṇikāra and Śatagāmi;2 Dahanakriya of, done by Rāma; attained release by satsaṅga.3

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 447-48.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 6. 35-6.
  • 3) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 10. 12; XI. 12. 6; Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 326-7.

1b) Mountain a hill in Himālayas, the birth-place of Jaṭāmāli of the 19th dvāpara.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 23. 186.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purāṇa book cover
context information

The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Jatyu was the son of Syeni who was a daughter of Daksha. The sage Kashyapa was his father. He succeeded to the kingship of the birds from his elder half-brother Sampati, when Sampati's wings were burnt away by the sun while trying to shield Jatayu.

He tried to stop Ravana from kidnapping Sita the wife of Rama. (This episode is narrated in Ramayana). Ravana cut off his wing and left him close to death. He held on to his life till Rama came by, and then died. Rama accepted him as his elder brother and performed the funeral rites for this great bird.

(Source): Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

1) In the Hindu epic Ramayana, Jatayu is the son of Aruṇa and nephew of Garuda. A demi-god who has the form of a vulture, he was an old friend of Dasharatha (Rama's father). He tries to rescue Sita from Ravana when Ravana is on his way to Lanka after kidnapping Sita. Jatayu fought valiantly with Ravana, but as Jatayu was very old Ravana soon got the better of him. As Rama and Lakshmana chanced upon the stricken and dying Jatayu in their search for Sita, he informs them of the fight between him and Ravana and the direction in which Ravana had gone (i.e., south).

2) Jatāyū (जटायू): Jatāyū was king of all the eagles-tribes, the son of Aruna and nephew of Garuda. A demi-god who has the form of an (eagle), he tries to rescue Sita from Ravana, when Ravana is on his way to Lanka after kidnapping Sita. His brother was Sampatī

Etymology: Jatayu (Sanskrit: जटायुः Jatāyu, Tamil: Chatayu, Thai: Sadayu, Malay: Jentayu or Chentayu), Indonesian: Burung Jatayu which means Jatayu Bird

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

Jaṭāyu (जटायु).—A devotee of Lord Rāmacandra who was the king of the vultures, and the brother of Sampāti. He fought with the demon Rāvaṇa when the latter kidnapped Sītā, the consort of Lord Rāmacandra.

(Source): ISKCON Press: Glossary

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

jaṭāyu (जटायु).—m S A fabulous bird recorded in the rāmāyaṇa.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

Relevant definitions

Search found 10 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

1) Sampati (सम्पति).—A son of Aruṇa and Gṛdhri; father of Vijaya and Prasaha.** Brahmāṇḍa...
aruṇa (अरुण).—m The charioteer of sūrya. The dawn. a Red.
Rāma (राम) is an example of a name based on Rāma mentioned in the Gupta inscriptions. Lord Rāma...
sarasa (सरस).—m Glue. a Superior; exceeding; juicy.--- OR --- sarasā (सरसा).—ad Near. prep Nigh...
Karṇikāra (कर्णिकार) refers to a tree from the island of Uttarakuru, where trees are said to be...
1) Bheruṇḍa (भेरुण्ड).—A bird, born of Jaṭāyu.** Matsya-purāṇa 6. 36.2) Bheruṇḍā (भेरुण्ड...
Gṛdhri (गृध्रि).—A daughter of Tāmrā, wife of Aruṇa, and mother of Sampāti and Jatāyu.** ...
Jaṭāmāli (जटामालि).—The avatār of the Lord of the 19th dvāpara in the Jaṭāyu hill of the ...
Śatagāmī (शतगामी).—A son of Jaṭāyu.** Matsya-purāṇa 6. 36.
1a) Śyenī (श्येनी).—A daughter of Tāmrā and Kaśyapa; married Gautamān; and mother of kuru...

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