Sampati
Sampati
Sampati (left) meets the vanaras.
TextsRamayana
Personal information
ParentsAruna (father), Shyeni (mother)
ChildrenBabhru, Sighraga (sons)[1]

Sampati (Sanskrit: सम्पाति; IAST: Sampāti) is a demigod in Hinduism. He is the elder son of Aruṇa and Shyeni. He is the elder brother of Jatayu.[2] He has the form of either a vulture or an eagle. According to the Brahma Purana, Sampati is said to have a son named Babhru, who is swift and very well-known. Sampati loses his wings when he is a child.

Legend

Flight towards the sun

During their youth, Samapati and his younger brother, Jatayu, in order to test their powers, flew towards Surya, the solar deity. Jatayu, careless due to his youthfulness, outflew his brother, and entered the Sūryamaṇḍala, the orbit of the sun, during noon. Due to the blazing heat of Surya, his wings started to get scorched. In a desperate bid to rescue his brother, Sampati flew ahead of him, spreading his wings wide open to shield him. As a consequence, it was Sampati who had his wings burnt, descending towards the Vindhya mountains. Incapacitated, he spent the rest of his life under the protection of a sage named Nishakara, who performed a penance in the mountains. Sampati is said to have been enlightened with spiritual knowledge in these mountains by sages, who told him to cease lamenting about his broken body, and wait patiently until he is able to serve Rama.[3] He never met his brother alive again.[4][5]

Assisting Rama

Sampati meets Hanuman and Jambavan.
Sampati meets Hanuman and Jambavan.

Eight millennia after his descent upon the earth,[6] Sampati proves instrumental in the search for Sita in the Ramayana. The search party sent to the south, led by Hanuman with Angada, Jambavan, Nala, and Nila, exhausted and thirsty, happened to come across the cave of Sampati. The demigod exclaimed his fortune, deciding to consume the vanaras one after the other after they starved to death. Angada heard Sampati, and dejected, proclaimed that death itself had appeared before them in the form of a vulture. He grieved that they had been unable to find Sita, but considered their party to be blessed, just like Jatayu, to die for Rama's cause. Sampati grew anxious hearing his brother's name, enquiring as to whether he was truly dead, and the circumstances of his death.[7]

Angada, Hanuman, and Jambavan recounted the events of Rama's exile, the abduction of Sita, and the heroic death of Jatayu in his attempt to rescue her. Sampati reveals his identity, and tells them that he would have gladly accompanied them to Lanka if he still had his wings, and was not ancient in age. When enquired, he promised them that he had heard Sita shout Rama's name as she was abducted by Ravana towards Lanka, and his supernatural vision, with which he could see that she was located 1000 yojanas (100 miles) away, in the island.[8] He revealed that his son had come across Ravana, and had gleaned that Sita was at the Ashoka Vatika, a park that was guarded by rakshasis. After this revelation, Sampati's wings grew back, an event that was predicted by Nishakara. He performed the funeral rites of Jatayu.[9]

In popular culture

The Griddhraj Parvat, situated in Satna district in Madhya Pradesh, is believed to be the birthplace of Sampati.[10]

References

  1. ^ "Sampati, Sampāti, Saṃpāti: 14 definitions". 24 June 2012.
  2. ^ Dalal, Roshen (2010). Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide. Penguin Books India. ISBN 978-0-14-341421-6.
  3. ^ Dharma, Krishna (18 August 2020). Ramayana: India's Immortal Tale of Adventure, Love, and Wisdom. Simon and Schuster. p. 266. ISBN 978-1-68383-919-4.
  4. ^ www.wisdomlib.org (28 January 2019). "Story of Jaṭāyu". www.wisdomlib.org. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  5. ^ www.wisdomlib.org (26 September 2020). "Sampati tells his Story to the Sage Nishakara [Chapter 61]". www.wisdomlib.org. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  6. ^ Buck, William (8 June 2021). Ramayana. Univ of California Press. p. 186. ISBN 978-0-520-38338-8.
  7. ^ Kishore, Dr B. R. Ramayana. Diamond Pocket Books Pvt Ltd. pp. 65–70. ISBN 978-93-5083-746-7.
  8. ^ Pāṇḍuraṅgārāva, Āi (1994). Valmiki. Sahitya Akademi. p. 60. ISBN 978-81-7201-680-7.
  9. ^ Chopra, Capt Praveen (18 December 2017). Vishnu's Mount: Birds In Indian Mythology And Folklore. Notion Press. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-948352-69-7.
  10. ^ Skanda Purana