If Hindu mythology interests you, you will love to know about these characters who appear in both Ramayana and Mahabharata. Though they both belong to different eras, there are characters that are common in both of them.
In Ramayana, Jambavantha is part of Ram’s Vanar Sena, he made Hanuman realise his strength and power which Hanuman has forgotten due to the curse. He encourages Hanuman to fly and find Sita.
In Mahabharata, he is Lord Krishna’s father-in-law. So the story goes like, there was a fight going on between Jambavantha and Krishna for 3-4 weeks, when Jambavantha got tired he realised who Krishna was. He gave the gem to Krishna and also his daughter Jambavati, who is one of Lord Krishna‘s wife.
2. Maharishi Durvasa
In Ramayana, Durvasa is known for his anger. He went to Ayodhya to meet Lord Rama, while Lord Rama was having a discussion with the Lord of Death-Yama. Since, Rama has promised Yama that whoever interrupts the meeting will be executed, Lakshman who was guarding the door had to go inside because Durvasa got angry for denial and said that he will curse the entire Ayodhya. To save the Ayodhya, Lakshman went inside and Rama said to leave him which would be considered his death.
In Mahabharata, he is described as the sage, who easily grants a boon if pleased by someone. Once he visited Kuntibhoja, the father of Kunti and asked for his hospitality. Kunti was able to please him and in return, he taught her the Atharvaveda mantra, which enabled Kunti to have 3 Pandavas.
3. Narad Muni
Narad Muni is well known for his gossiping traits in both epics. In Ramayana, he is the one who encouraged Valmiki to write Ramayana.
In Mahabharata, he was one of the Rishi’s who attended Krishna’s peace talks in Hastinapur.
4. Vayu Dev
Vayu Deva also known as the Lord of Air, is the father of both Hanuman and Bhima. Hanuman known as Pavanputra and Bhima known as Vayuputra. They are known as half brothers.
5. Shakti Maharishi
In Ramayana Lord Rama and Lakshmana’s teacher was Guru Vasistha. He was married to Arundhati and had a son Shakti.
Mahabharata mentions Shakti as the father of Parasara, who is also the author of Vishnu Puran.
In Ramayana, he appears as father of Mandodari which means Father in law to Ravan.
Mayasura appears in Mahabharata too, he used to stay in Khandavprastha. When the partition of Hastinaput took place, Pandavas came and Arjun burnt the entire Khandavprastha. Mayasura was the only one to survive this complete incident, when Krishna came to know about this, he lifted his Sudarshan chakra to kill him. But somehow he managed to rush to Arjun and swore by to protect him. Since Arjuna kept his promise, Mayasura became his loyal follower.
7. Maharshi Bharadwaja
In Ramayana, Lord Ram and Sita met him at his ashram at the start of their journey of exile. Maharshi requested Rama to stay with him but very politely Rama refused and decided to go to the forests.
In Mahabharata, he is the father of Drona, teacher of Kauravas and Pandavas.
In Ramayana, Kubera is known as the Lord of wealth. He is the half brother of Ravana. He once ruled Lanka but Ravana took over it and removed his half brother from the throne and himself became the king.
In Mahabharata, Kubera is described as son of Prajapati Pulastya. He is said to be born from a cow.
In Ramayana, Parshuram is one of the 10 avatars of Lord Vishnu. He appears in the swayamvar of Sita, where Rama breaks his bow. He gets quite angry and calms down only when Rama apologises to him.
In Mahabharata, he has appeared in many chapters. He was a mentor to Bhishma Pitamah, Dronacharya and Karna and he has taught them the art of weapons.
10. Lord Hanuman
In Ramayana, Lord Hanuman is one of the main characters. He is a worshiper of Lord Rama. He met them on their way to exile and helped the searching for Sita when she was abducted to Lanka.
In Mahabharata, he is the half brother of Bhima since they share the same spiritual father.
In Ramayana, Vibhishana is the younger brother of Ravana and was a true devotee of Lord Rama, so he helped Rama against his brother.
In Mahabharata it is mentioned that Vibhishana sent jewels and gems to Yudhisthira’s Rajasuya yagna.
12. Agastya Rishi
In Ramayana, Agastya Rishi meets Rama before the war with Ravana, and hands him the divine bow and arrow and explains to him the evil nature of Ravana.
In Mahabharata also his role is present, he stops /Vindhya mountains to grow tall so that it could allow the Sun, Moon and all living beings to pass over easily.