The Kingdom of Dwarawati


Prabu Kresna was one of the most famous figure in the world of wayang. Since his childhood he had to live in a small village and carried a simple life after the kingdom of Mandura was occupied by a giant Kangsa.

It was not too heavy for him to accomplish his tasks as he was an incarnation of Wisnu. He learned seriously the traditional spiritual knowledge from some prominent Gurus, among other, his mentor-Demang Antagopa of Widarakandang and Resi Kapi Jembawan a monkey-hermit from Padepokan (retreat) Gadamadana.

Meditation (samadi) was his regular schedule. His diligent spiritual exercises, which he had been done with full confidence, step by step bore a positive result. He had more clear vision and wiser. With his two most important heirlooms – Kembang Wijayakusuma (The flower or Shine of True Life – Urip Sejati) and Cakra (the mighty arrow – destroyer of greediness, dishonesty and unjustice which guarantee the holy rotation of true life, Cakra Manggilingan, Kresna was assigned as the Preserver of the World for the welfare of mankind by the Creator of Life.

He did the job perfectly. In time of neccesity, if he was not so sure what was the wish of God, he would ask directly to the Power Holder of the world. (Manages Kersaning Jawata, in traditional Javanese teaching) (maneges-to ask clearly; kersaning-the wish of; Jawata-the holy God). Kresna had several names with great meanings, as a recognation of his noble character:


A just and prosperous country

The kingdom of Dwarawati under Kresna was considered as the best reflection of Javanese ideals of ideal ruler and exemplary state.

A great ruler could preserve the harmony between the country and the universe as well as a good relation between the ruler, the state with the people. A ruler should be powerful but also honest, humble and wise. He had to take good care for the secured life of the people. The clothes, the food and the housing should be adequate so the people were healthy. The nature should be protected to guarantee the fertility of the land. The trade was done by the merchants by day and night. The art and culture flourished. The people could enjoy peaceful and prosperous life physically and spiritualy. Thus, there was no "GORO_GORO" (universal disorder) occurred in the country. The cause of Goro-goro could be from a meditation by a powerful person, a death of a great king or an improper reign of a ruler.

The signal of Goro-Goro among other were:

  1. Natural calamity: earth-quake, volcano’s eruption, storm, flood, horrible ocean waves, bad crops, animal starving etc.
  2. Uncomfortable life of the people: The kings had no power, violence etc.

To protect the kingdom’s glory and prosperity Kresna managed to form a strong legitimate reign, supported by honest, wise and skillful officials, respected by the people.

Prime Minister/Patih was entrusted to Udawa, a honest, humble and wise man. Loyal to the king and dedicated his life for the welfare of the kingdom.

Chief-warrior/Maha Senapati was assigned to Raden Setyaki. A sakti (having strong supernatural power) Ksatria-knight/warrior, a fighter of justice who was always ready to defend the glory and prosperity of the country. Setyaki was the son of Prabu Setyajid with goddess Wresni, so his other name was Wresniwira. He was also called Bima Kunting (kunting means small) as he was as sakti as Bima, only he had a smaller build. His other name was Singa Mulangjaya, the lion of the battle. He had a powerful heirloom Gada Wesi Kuning (yellow iron bludgeon) with his weapon, he had defeated a lot of enemies.

Family Life

According to Javanese Pedalangan (shadow-puppet story), Kresna had four wives.

Dewi Jembawati

The daughter of Kapi Resi Jembawan, a respectable monkey guru with Trijata, the daughter of Wibisana. Jembawan was a human-being turned to be a monkey/Kapi when he tried to rescue Subali and Sugriwa.

Disappointed by king Sugriwa, he chose to live as a hermit in Gadamana. He was helped by Laksamana to marry Trijata. He heard heaven’s voice to be patient and one day his daughter should be the wife of Wisnu incarnation.

Narayana, the young Kresna, became his student and married Dewi Jembawati. Narayana’s marriage with his own guru’s daughter, in Javanese teaching, reflected that Narayana had been successfully absorbed the knowledge from his guru.

Two sons were born from his marriage, Raden Samba and Raden Gunadewa. Samba lived with his father in Dwarawati palace, Gunadewa lived in Gadamana hermit. Samba although a son of Kresna he had not any spiritual power. He was the incarnation of god Drema. In his earth life, he always sought the incarnation of his wife, goddess Dremi. Unfortunately Dremi had incarnated to a wrong woman, Dewi Hagnyawati the wife of Suteja or Boma Narakasura, another son of Kresna with Dewi Pratiwi, the daughter of Hyang Antoboga, a very powerful god living in the 7th layer inside the earth.

Samba and Hagnyawati, knowing that in fact they were Drema and Dremi, made a backstreet love affairs. Suteja, a very powerful man knew the affaires. He punished Samba cruelly. Samba died and cut into pieces (In wayang fragment, this story is called Samba Juwing, cut to pieces). Samba and Hagnyawati had a son, Harya Dwara, who later became a wise patih of Parikesit in new Hastina.

Dewi Rukmini

The daughter of Prabu Bismaka. Rukmini admired very much the macho-Kresna. Kresna also enjoyed her as a special woman. She asked to be treated differently from other wives in the love making. Once, she wanted to make love with Kresna while he was in the state of Triwikrama. (a very big horrible giant), of course, it was out of question, but she dreamed of it, resulting a birth of a son in the form of a giant. His name was Saronodewo, he was not allowed to live in the palace.

Dewi Setyaboma

She was the daughter of Prabu Setyajid, the elder sister of Setyaki.

Dewi Pratiwi

The daughter of Hyang Antoboga, a powerful, sakti god who lived in the 7th layer of the earth (Sapta Pratala). In his state of Triwikrama, he would became a gigantic scary snake. When he was angry, the world would be shaken. This sakti god had helped a lot Pendawa and their families. He had two lovely daughters;

  1. Dewi Pratiwi who married Kresna. They had a son-tall, strong and sakti Suteja.
  2. Dewi Nagagini, who married Bratasena/Bima. A strong and sakti son was born: Raden Antareja.

The young Kresna wishing to seek more valuable knowledge, had received also more power from Antoboga. Before the birth of his son he returned to Dwarawati. Raden Suteja or Bima Narakasura, the grandson of Antoboga and the son of Kresna by nature inherited the power of his father and grand-father. He became extremely sakti. No man nor spirit could beat him.

The spirit of Rahwana, Prabu Godayitma of Tawang Gantungan misled the power of Suteja. The bad spirit of Rahwana always tried to tempt human-beings. A mentally weak person should be an easy prey of the bad spirit. He/she should be tempted to cheat, steal and kill somebody else. Godayitma and Suteja became good friends, both of them had the same powerful mantra Pancasona, so they could not die when their bodies touched the earth. The other figure who had this mantra was Subali.

Suteja became the king of Trajutrisna. With his power, Samba who seduced his wife, Hagnyawati was nothing to him, so he could kill Samba easily. Before the Baratayuda, the Pendawa family had assigned several chief-warriors, the last choice was Raden Gatotkaca. At that moment, Boma Narakasura arrived in the meeting. He protested the decision as he was confident that he was much stronger than Gatotkaca. He challenged Gatotkaca to settle the dispute in duel. In a fair battle, witnessed by the Pendawa, Kresna, other family and friends, both warriors were equally powerful. It was clear that Gatotkaca was not able to defeat Boma. Every time he died, fell in the ground, he revived. By the time passed, Gatotkaca became exhausted. It was only a matter of time to defeat Gatotkaca. Boma who was aware that he should be a winner, insulted and cursed Kresna, his own father. Kresna, a wise man, could not tolerate his low behavior, although he was his own son. Boma had to be punished, but how? Kresna asked the secret of Boma to his wife Pratiwi, who was also the mother of Boma. It was not easy to convince Pratiwi, as the last effort Kresna told his wife that it was god Wisnu, The preserver of the world, who asked the secret of Boma. Tearfully, Pratiwi told the secret. She knew that her son should die in the hand of Wisnu. Boma Narakasura, arrogantly sat on the back of his flying Garuda/Eagle, was shot by the heirloom Cakra. Before his body fell to the ground, it was grabbed by Gatotkaca and hung it in the air. Boma could not revive.

Suryo S. Negoro

Copyright© PT Sangga Sarana Persada, 1999
Designed by Sangga Web Team
Any comment and question related to this page, please contact