Advertisement

Journal of Indian Philosophy

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 341–360 | Cite as

Processions, Seductions, Divine Battles: Aśvaghoṣa at the Foundations of Old Javanese Literature

  • Thomas M. HunterEmail author
Article
  • 51 Downloads

Abstract

The influence of Aśvaghoṣa on the later tradition of kāvya was largely passed over in the South Asian tradition, even though the debt to his influence is clear in processional scenes developed by Kālidāsa and the attempted seduction of Arjuna developed by Bhāravi in his Kirātārjunīyam. We know from the testimony of the Chinese pilgrim Yijing that the Buddhacarita was a revered object of study in the Sumatran capital Śrībhoga near the close of the seventh century CE. It thus perhaps comes as no surprise that three tropes or themes developed by Aśvaghoṣa were developed by several important composers of kakawin, the Old Javanese literary genre comparable to the kāvya of South Asia. This paper looks at the development of the themes of processions, divine battles and attempted seductions in a long history beginning with Aśvaghoṣa and closing with the work of the Javanese author Mpu Tantular, who completed the Buddhist kakawin Sutasoma c. 1365–1389 CE. This paper is partly based on a revised perspective on the history of the Shailendra and Sañjaya dynasties of central Java developed by examining the role of the “Shailendra royal preceptors” in bringing Sanskrit learning to Central Java in the period 778–847 CE.

Keywords

Śrīvijaya Shailendra kakawin Aśvaghoṣa Mpu Kaṇwa 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Andaya, L. Y. (2008). Leaves of the same tree: Trade and ethnicity in the straits of Melaka. Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aoyama, T. (1994). A study of the Sutasoma kakawin: A Buddhist narrative in the fourteenth century Java (Doctoral Dissertation, The University of Sydney).Google Scholar
  3. Aoyama, T. (1998). Prince and priest: Mpu Tantular’s two works in the fourteenth century Majapahit. Seminar paper for the international workshop on Southeast Asian Studies, No. 13, Royal Institute of Linguistics and Anthropology, Leiden.Google Scholar
  4. Bosch, F. D. K. (Ed.) (1961). Buddhist data from balinese texts. In Selected studies in Indonesian archaeology. Leiden: Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde.Google Scholar
  5. Bronson, B. (1977). Exchange at the upstream and downstream ends: Notes toward a functional model of the coastal state in Southeast Asia. In Hutterer, K. (Ed.). Economic exchange and social interaction in Southeast Asia. Papers on South and Southeast Asian No. 13 (pp. 39–54). Ann Arbor: Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of Michigan.Google Scholar
  6. Brown, R. (1996). The Dvaravati wheels of the law and the Indianization of South East Asia. Köln: E. J. Brill.Google Scholar
  7. de Casparis, J. G. (1950). Incripties uit de Çailendra-Tijd/Prasasti-prasati dari Zaman Çailendra. Bandung: A.C. Nix & Co.Google Scholar
  8. de Casparis, J. G. (1956). Selected Inscriptions from the 7th to the 9th century ad. Bandung: Masa Baru.Google Scholar
  9. de Casparis J. G. (1975). Indonesian palaeography, a history of writing in Indonesia from the beginnings to c. AD 1500. [Handbuch der Orientalistik, Dritte Abteilung, Vierter Band, Erste Lieferung]. Leiden: E.J. Brill.Google Scholar
  10. Hall, K. R. (1985). Maritime trade and state development in early Southeast Asia. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.Google Scholar
  11. Hunter, T. M. (2011). Echoes of the Ecumene: the Wrestling Match in the Kirātārjunīya of Bhāravi and the Arjunawiwāha of Mpu Kaṇwa. In M. Shree (Ed.), From beyond the Eastern Horizon (pp. 89–104). Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.Google Scholar
  12. Hunter, T. M. (2014). A constant flow of pilgrims: Kāvya and the early history of the Kakawin. In Y. Bronner, D. Shulman, & G. Tubb (Eds.), Innovations and turning points, toward a history of Kāvya literature (pp. 195–231). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Klokke, M. I. (2008). The Buddhist temples of the Śailendra dynasty in Central Java. Arts Asiatiques, 63, 154–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Mahdi, W. (2008). Yāvadvipa and the merapi volcano in west Sumatra. Archipel 75 (pp. 111–143).Google Scholar
  15. O’Brien, K. (2007). Sutasoma, the ancient tale of a Buddha-Prince, as retold in 14th century Java by the poet Mpu Tantular. Hong Kong: Orchid Press.Google Scholar
  16. Peterson, I. (2003). The Kirātārjunīya of Bhāravi, Design and Rhetoric in a Sanskrit Court Epic. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Sarkar, H. B. (1971). Corpus of the Inscriptions of Java up to 928 AD. Calcutta: Firma K. L. Mukhopadhyay.Google Scholar
  18. Supomo, S. (1972). ‘Lord of the Mountain’ in the Fourteenth Century Kakawin. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 128, 281–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Supomo, S. (1977). Arjunawijaya, a Kakawin of Mpu Tantular. The Hague: M. Nijhoff.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Takakusu, J. (1896/2006). A record of the Buddhist religion: As practised in India and the malay Archipelago (pp. 671–695). Delhi: Cosmo Publishers.Google Scholar
  21. Worsley, P. (1986). Mpu Tantular’s Kekawin Arjunawijaya and conceptions of kingship in fourteenth century Java. In C. M. S. Hellwig & S. Robson (Eds.), A man of Indonesian letters: Essays in honour of Prof. A. Teeuw (pp. 163–190). Dordrecht: Foris.Google Scholar
  22. Zoetmulder, P. J. (1974). Kalangwan: A survey of old Javanese literature. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Asian Studies, Asian CentreThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations