Jambavati was unhappy when she realized that only she had not borne any children to Krishna while all other wives were blessed with many children. She approached Krishna to find a solution and to be blessed with a son like the handsome Pradyumna, Krishna’s first-born son from his chief wife Rukmini. Then Krishna went to the hermitage of the sage Upamanyu in the Himalayas and as advised by the sage, he started to pray to the god Shiva. He did penance for six months in various postures; once holding a skull and a rod, then standing on one leg only in the next month and surviving on water only, during the third month he did penance standing on his toes and living on air only. Pleased with the austerities, Shiva finally appeared before Krishna as Samba (Ardhanarishvara), the half-female, half-male form of the god, asked him to ask a boon. Krishna then sought a son from Jambavati, which was granted. A son was born soon thereafter who was named as Samba, the form Shiva had appeared before Krishna.
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The marriage of Satyabhama and Jambavati to Krishna is closely linked to the story of Syamantaka, the precious diamond given by the Sun-god Surya to his devotee Satyajit, father of Satyabhama. Krishna requests Satyajit to present the gem to the Yadava elder Ugrasena, which the latter refuses and instead presents it to his brother Prasena. Prasena wears it on a hunting expedition, where he is killed by a lion, who is in turn killed by Jambavan, the bear-king. When accused by Satyajit of stealing the jewel, Krishna goes in its search and finally following trials of the corpses of Prasena and the lion, confronts Jambavan. After 27/28 day duel, Jambavan – the devotee of Rama surrenders to Krishna, who he realizes is none other than Vishnu. He returns the gem and gives Jambavati to Krishna. When the presumed dead Krishna returns to Dwarka, a humiliated Satyajit begs his forgiveness and offers Satyabhama’s hand in marriage along with the jewel.