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Jara is called the god of oldness. Who is he? Where does he live? Any story about him? Anyone who has defeated him?

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Jara, in fact, is a goddess- a female. Information about her is hard to come by, so I'll present it anectdotally, in bullets.

  • She is the Goddess of Old Age, and The Daughter of Death.
  • From her name comes j=Jaramarana, an Indo-Buddhist name for the belief that the moment one is born, their life is a march towards death. (That living and dying are one and the same.)
  • She is found only in the Bhagavad Gita (List of References)

There's one examination, which you can find here, which came to the conclusion that

Jara, the effect of old age, does not harass a devotee. This is because a devotee follows the instructions and the determination of Narada Muni

Unfortunately, that's rather difficult to parse through, but what I take it to mean is that one shouldn't fear old age, nor death, for the enlightened (devotees), understand that, per Narada Muni's declarations, it is no punishment.


I found one other reference to Jara, in the book Sacred Places of The Goddess. It is included in an entry for the goddess Nirriti, who represents death and decay:

Nirriti (Indian): One of the earliest Hindu deities, she may have been associated with the pre-Aryan Jara who has been described as youthful and monstress, a discrepancy which may be related to the reconciliation between pre-Aryan and Vedic traditions. Nirrti later becomes associated with Kali, Yami, and Earth itself.

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  • I think this Jara was who brought Jarasandha to life after his birth.
    – Boovanaes
    Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 9:19
  • Dhumavati is a Mahavidya which I believe also signifies old age.
    – Haridasa
    Commented Dec 1, 2023 at 2:54

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