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Calon Arang

Calon Arang >> Edisi Bahasa Indonesia

Folklore from Java and Bali

Long ago in the village of Girah in the Kediri Kingdom lived Calon Arang, a widow who had the power of black magic who often damaged farmers' crops and caused disease. She had a daughter, named Dyah Ayu Ratna Manggali, who, though beautiful, could not get a husband because people were afraid of her mother. 

Because of the difficulties faced by her daughter, Calon Arang was angry, and she intended to take revenge by kidnapping a young girl. He brought the girl to a temple to be sacrificed to Goddess Durga. The next day, a great flood hit the village, and many people died. Illness appeared.

King Airlangga knew about this and then asked for the help of his adviser, Empu Baradah, to solve this problem. Empu Baradah then sent a student named Empu Bahula to marry Dyah Ratna Manggali. The two got married in a big way with a party that lasted seven days and seven nights, and things returned to normal.

Calon Arang has a scroll that contains witchcraft. One day, this scroll was found by Bahula, who handed it over to Empu Baradah. When Calon Arang found out that her scroll had been stolen, she became angry and decided to fight Empu Baradah. Without the help of Goddess Durga, Calon Arang lost the fight. Since she was defeated, the village has been safe from Calon Arang's black magic threat.

Calon Arang Painting

Dewi Sri (Goddess of Rice)

Dewi Sri >> Edisi Bahasa Indonesia

Folklore from West Java

Once upon a time in heaven, Batara Guru, who was the supreme ruler of the kingdom of heaven, ordered all the gods and goddesses to work together and donate their energy to build a new palace in heaven. Anyone who disobeyed this order was considered lazy, and would have their hands and feet cut off.

Hearing Batara Guru's order, Antaboga or Anta, the snake god, was very worried. Imagine that he did not have the hands and feet to work. If he had to be punished, only his neck could be cut, and that meant death. Anta was very scared, so he asked Batara Narada, Batara Guru's brother, for advice regarding the problem he was facing. But unfortunately, Batara Narada was confused and could not find a way to help the snake god. Desperate, Dewa Anta cried bitterly and mourned how bad his fate was.

However, when Anta's tears fell to the ground, miraculously, three drops of tears turned into granules that sparkled like gems. The granules are actually eggs that have beautiful shells. Barata Narada suggested that the eegs be offered to Batara Guru as a form of request so that he would understand and forgive Anta's shortcomings in not being able to work on building the palace.

Carrying three eggs in his mouth, Anta left for Batara Guru's palace. On the way, Anta met an eagle (there are several versions that say a crow), who then greeted him and asked him where he was going. Because his mouth was full of eggs, Anta was just silent, unable to answer the bird's question. The eagle thought that Anta was arrogant, so he was very offended and angry.

The bird also attacked Anta, who was panicked, scared, and confused. As a result, one of the eegs broke. Anta immediately hid behind the bushes, waiting for the eagle to leave. But the eagle kept waiting until Anta came out of the grass and attacked him again. The second egg was broken, and Anta immediately slithered and ran in fear to save himself. Now there is only one pearl egg that is safe, intact, and unbroken.

The two broken eggs that fell to the ground transformed into two wild boars, Kalabuat and Budug Basu. And then, Kalabuat and Budug Basu are kept by Gumarang cow. This cow is a miraculous incarnation as a result of a female cow accidentally drinking the urine of the demon Idajil so that she becomes pregnant and gives birth to the Gumarang cow.

Finally, Anta arrived at Batara Guru's palace and immediately presented the egg to the ruler of heaven. Batara Guru happily accepted the gem offering. However, after knowing that it was a magic egg, Batara Guru ordered Anta to incubate the egg until it hatched.

After a long time, Anta incubated the egg, and the egg hatched. But miraculously, what came out of the egg was a very beautiful, cute, and adorable baby girl. The baby girl was immediately adopted by Batara Guru and his queen.

Nyi Pohaci Sanghyang Sri is the name given to the princess. As time passed, Nyi Pohaci grew into an extraordinarily beautiful girl. A princess who is kind, gentle, smooth in speech, and virtuous in language captivates all beings. Every eye that looked at her, god and human alike, immediately fell in love with the goddess.

As a result of her beauty, which beats all the angels and heavenly goddesses, Batara Guru himself was captivated by his adopted daughter. Batara Guru secretly had a desire to marry Nyi Pohaci. Seeing Batara Guru's behavior, the gods became worried that, if left unchecked, this scandal would destroy the harmony in heaven. So the gods negotiated a strategy to separate Batara Guru and Nyi Pohaci Sanghyang Sri.

To protect the purity of Nyi Pohaci as well as to maintain harmony in the household of the ruler of heaven, the gods agreed that there was no other way but to kill Nyi Pohaci.

The gods collected all kinds of the most deadly venomous poison and immediately put it in the drink of the princess. Nyi Pohaci soon died of poisoning, the gods panicked and feared because they had committed the grave sin of killing an innocent holy girl. Soon, the body of the goddess was brought down to earth and buried in a remote and hidden place.

The disappearance of Dewi Sri from heaven made Batara Guru, Anta, and all the gods grieve. However, something miraculous happened because of the purity and kindness of the goddess: various plants emerged from inside her grave that were very useful for mankind.

From her head emerged a coconut tree. From her nose, lips, and ears sprang various fragrant herbs and vegetables. From her hair grew grass and various beautiful and fragrant flowers. From her breasts grew ripe and sweet fruits. From her arms and hands grew teak, sandalwood, and various useful wood trees; from her reproductive organs appeared palm trees or sugar palms. From his thighs grew various types of bamboo plants. From her feet spring various tubers and cassava; finally from the tomb came the rice plant, the most useful food for humans.

Rice plant

Another version says white rice appears from his right eye, while red rice appears from his left eye. In short, all plants useful for humans come from the body of Dewi Sri Pohaci. Since then, people on the island of Java have revered, glorified, and loved the kind-hearted goddess, who with her noble sacrifice has given the blessings of nature's goodness, fertility, and food availability for humans in the belief system of the ancient Sunda Kingdom.


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