Dewi Ratih and Kala Rau

Folklore from Bali

WISNULOKA was a kingdom in heaven. Only the Gods or Dewa and the Goddesses or Dewi lived in the Wisnuloka kingdom. Humans did not live there. They lived on earth.

The Gods and the Goddesses were restless. They were really worried. There was a kingdom on earth named Balidwipa Kingdom. There were no humans in Balidwipa Kingdom. They were giants!

And the king of Balidwipa kingdom was Kala Rau. He was the biggest, the strongest and the meanest giant! Giants and especially humans were afraid of him!

Kala Rau fell in love with Dewi Ratih. She was the most beautiful Goddess. She was also named as the Goddess of Moon. Dewi Ratih did not love Kala Rau. She rejected his proposal. Kala Rau was angry! He wanted to attack Wisnuloka Kingdom. The king of Wisnuloka was Dewa Wisnu. He was trying to calm all the gods and the goddesses.

"Don't worry. I know how to handle Kala Rau. I have prepNed tirta amerta.It\s water o{ life. Anyone drinks the water will live forever. So you don't have to worry that Kala Rau will kill you. After you drink the water, you will not die," said pewa Wisnu. Howeve4, one of those giants heard about tirta amerta. He reported to Kala Rau. "Ha..ha.. ha... Now Iknow how to marry Dewi Ratih. I will use their secret!" said Kala Rau.

Dewa Wisnu gathered all the gods and the goddesses in the palace. He put the water in the jug. He asked all the gods and the goddesses to take turn drinking the water. One by one they drank the water. They fett very fresh. It was time for Dewa Kuwera to drink the water. Dewa Wisnu felt there was something strange withDewa Kuwera. He was bigger and talle4 and he was also smelly. Dewa Wisnu did not know that it was not the real Dewa Kuwera. He was Kala Rau disguising as Dewa Kuwera.

When the false Dewa Kuwera was about to drink the water, the real Dewa Kuwera showed up. Dewa Wisnu immediately knew the problem. He took his arrow and shot him at the neck! The shot was so powerful. It cut and separated the head and the body. Dewa Wisnu threw the body back to earth. It became a lexmg. It is a mortar that people use to pound the rice. What about the head? Unfortunately, Kala Rau had a chance to drink the rvater. His head could live forever althou gh it was already separated from the body. Dewa Wisnu immediately threw the head to the sky.

The head of Kala Rau n'as still in the sky Iooking for Dervi Ratih. And when he saw Dewi Ratih, he tried to grab her. But he did not have hands, so he used his mouth to catch Dewi Ratih. He succeeded! He sn allowed Dewi Ratih!

And because he did not have any parts of body, Dewi Ratih could escape.

And when Dewi Ratih was being swallowed by Kala Rau, the moon was dark.

After all, she was the goddess of moon right?

People on earth hated to see the dark moon. So thev pounded Kala Rau's body which already changed into lesung. When people pounded the lesung, Kala Rau felt the pain. So he escaped.

Until now, when there is a moon eclipse some people still pound lesung. They believe that Kala Rau is still chasing Dewi Ratih. ***

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