The Dating of the Arjunawijaya

  • S. Supomo
Part of the Bibliotheca Indonesica book series (BIBI, volume 1)


Although the Arj. has enjoyed a certain degree of popularity among the Javanese and Balinese since the day it was composed, a popularity evident from the considerable number of manuscripts of this kakawin that have come down to us (see Section 7.1) and repeated renderings into New Javanese (see Appendix), the details of the author’s life, and even his name have long been forgotten.


Sixteenth Century Fifteenth Century Twelfth Century Child Marriage Principal Character 
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  1. 1.
    The component Boda in Tantular-Boda seems to indicate that the Balinese tradition remembers him as a Buddhist. This question is dealt with in Chapter 6.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See however Berg (1969: 66), who rejects Pigeaud’s contention that Prapafica is a ‘nom-de-plume’.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Such as ‘very stupid’ (atimédha, Arj. 74,2b), ‘impudent’ (tan wruh in iran, 74,4a), ‘ignorant of poetics’ (tan wruh ingita niri aksara guru-laghu canda, 74,4b), or even that he is ‘incessantly censured, reproved and even laughed at by the great poets’ (titir winada cinecad ginuyu-guyu t¨¦kap kawtiswara), 74,5b. For the significance of this ‘traditional captatio benevolentiae’, see Pigeaud (JFC 4: 120) and especially Berg (1969:68 sqq).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    According to Ingalls (1965: 25), for instance, ‘¡­ the Brahmins and scribes transmitted the knowledge of the past through learned families rather than merely through individuals¡­’Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Yasadipura I, who rendered the Arj. and some other kakawin into New Javanese, was followed in his profession by his son, and later by his great-grandson, Ranggawarsita, who was known as the last pujanga (see Poerbatjaraka 1964: 129; 151).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    See Sut. 44,3b. In the Sumanasantaka (see Z), a kakawin of the twelfth century, however, there is also a reference to this hero, even to the whole epsiode of the capture of Dasamukha by Arjuna (Sum. 84,1).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    See Sut. 22,4. This is a reference to the Puspaka, Dhaneiwara’s chariot. In Arj. 8,2d we read that Dhaneswara also received a mace from Rudra.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    K anci-yamaka is characterised by having the last syllable(s) of one line repeated in the first one(s) of the following line; wrnta-yamaka is characterised by having each of the four lines of the verse beginning with the same syllable(s) (Hooykaas 1958b: 135–6; 129–30.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    What Tantular means by ‘two different dhâtu’ here probably are the Garbhadhdtu, which is ‘essential to the salvation of others’ and Wajradhatu, which is ‘essential to individual salvation’. In the San Hyan Kamahéyanikan (Skam.) they are called Ratnatraya and Pan“ca-tathâgata,both groups being the embodiment of the all-encompassing Buddha (see Pott 1966: 110–3; see also Notes 27,2c).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    The whole inscription, which consist of two parts, has been edited and most of it translated by Kern (VG7: 17–53); Brandes (1896: 137) has quoted and translated the part of the inscription presented here to identify Râjasanagara, and Krom (1910) has used this passage to identify Ranamangala.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    A suggestion is made in the Notes 73,1d that Tantular is the parab of this dyah Parih.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    An excerpt of the Warinin-pitu inscription was published by Stutterheim in 1938; de Casparis made a full transcription of it, and Yamin translated it into Indonesian (Yamin 1962: 181–182). The Pamintihan inscription was published by Bosch in 1922; it was translated into Indonesian and republished by Yamin (1962: 215–23).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    What position Ranamangala in fact had in the priestly picture of the kapancatathagatan kingdom as reconstructed by Berg (which is not necessarily in conformity with the reality of Javanese history; cf. Berg 1962: 312; Zoetmulder 1965a: 341), is still not very clear, and to me, I have to admit, is somewhat confusing. Thus, according to Berg, Ranamangala occupies the position of the substitute king of Rdjasanagara, and therefore he is functionally identical with Wijaya, Tribhuwanottungadewi and Sinhawikramawardhana (Berg 1962: 91 sqq). However, either by mistake on the part of the copyist of the Pararaton or by virtue of the doctrine of the functional identity, Ranamangala is (also?) identified with bhre Wirabhümi, and (therefore?) he is a babatanan. As a babatanan he is, then, functionally identical with Wirarâja and Nambi (Berg 1969: 650). But in the framework of this priestly picture as it is reconstructed by Berg — if I am not mistaken — one surely cannot be both substitute king and babatanan at the same time, for Wijaya and Tribhuwanottungadewi on the one hand and Wiraréja and Nambi on the other are functionally antithetical vis-é-vis the ruling Tathâgata king. See also Section 1.5, note 19.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Scholars have written many papers dealing with the dynasty of Majapahit; of importance for the identification of Ranamangala and his wife are, for instance, Krom (1910; 1914b), van Stein Callenfels (1913) and Berg (1962; 1969).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Watiasalan, i.e. a play on words by synonym and assonance, very popular with the later Javanese poets. It was already known as early as the fourteenth century, which is evident from the use of watsari in Nag. 82,2 referring to Matahun (see Krom 1919: 301; Pigeaud, JFC 2: 94; Berg 1962: 299), and buddhadhisthéna which, perhaps, refers to Paguhan. Concerning the latter, Pigeaud suggests an emendation to rri nâthe sthâne. Such emendation is, in my opinion, probably not necessary. The first element of the compound, buddha, may well refer to guhya,because tldibuddha is also called Guhyapati (Pott 1966: 112), and adhisthâna (see SED: 22) has the same meaning as the Old Javanese affix pa-an (see Zoetmulder 1950: 68), namely ‘place of, residence of, abode of’. It would not be too difficult for the Javanese of those days to see Paguhan in pa-guhyapati-an. Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Pigeaud (JFC 2: 28) maintains that the text here is corrupt.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    For a serious attempt to uncover the hidden meaning in the chronograms of the Nag. and the Par., see Berg (1969: 631–78).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    One may even be justified to suspect that the chronogram of the Hariiraya B (sad san anjala candra) is influenced by that of the Bhar. (saṅ akuda suddha candrama). For the discussions by various scholars on the Bhar. chronogram, see Berg (1969: 41–2).Google Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1977

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  • S. Supomo

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