Jatayus, aka: Jaṭāyus; 2 Definition(s)


Jatayus means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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

Katha (narrative stories)

Jatayus in Katha glossary... « previous · [J] · next »

Jaṭāyus (जटायुस्) or Jaṭāyu was slain by Rāvaṇa, according to in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 51. Accordingly, “... there Rāvaṇa carried off his beloved Sītā by magic, and took her to the city of Laṅkā, having slain Jaṭāyus on the way”.

The story of Jaṭāyus was narrated by the Vidyādharī Kāñcanaprabhā to Naravāhanadatta while in a Svayambhū temple of Śiva, in order to demonstrate that “people who possess firmness endure for a long time mutual separation to which no termination is assigned”, in other words, that “heroic souls endure separation for so long a time”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Jaṭāyus, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
Katha book cover
context information

Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Jaṭāyus (जटायुस्).—m. A son of Śyeni and Aruṇa, a semi divine bird [ He was a great friend of Daśaratha. He once saved his life while he was thrown down along with his car by Saturn against whom he had proceeded when a drought, said to be caused by the planet, well-nigh devastated the earth. While Rāvaṇa was carrying away Sītā, Jaṭāyu heard her cries in the chariot and fought most desperately with the formidable giant to rescue her from his grasp. But he was mortally wounded, and remained in that state till Rāma passed by that place in the course of his search after Sītā. The kind-hearted bird told Rāma that his wife had been carried away by Rāvaṇa and then breathed his last. His funeral rites were duly performed by Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa.]

See also (synonyms): jaṭāyu.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Relevant definitions

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