The Kingdom of Pancala or Cempala


The beauty of Dewi Gandawati was famous also to other kingdoms. Many ksatrias had proposed to marry her. To be fair, as in accordance with ancient tradition, Pancala Kingdom had to organize a contest. Whoever could defeat Prince Gandamana, he should be the husband of Gandawati.

Sucitra from Atasangin Kingdom, with the help of Pandu could beat Gandamana. Gandamana agreed that his sister, Gandawati to marry Sucitra. He himself was assigned by Pandu to be Hastina’s Patih/first-Minister. Sucitra was throned as King Cempala with a court name: Prabu Drupada. Gandamana was very sakti (having strong supernatural power) ksatria, honest and polite. He hated very much unpoliteness and dishonesty.

Resi Durna, due to his unpolite behavior, by calling King Drupada with his child name, had been beaten severely until he had lost his nice looking face by Gandamana. Patih Sengkuni, in his ambitious plan to be Hastina’s Prime Minister, had slandered Gandamana with dirty report to King Pandu. Pandu who was influenced by Sengkuni, had replaced Gandamana’s position as his Prime Minister.

Gandamana strictly practised his knowledge (Kawruh) of Wungkal Bener, knowledge of truth. He respected honest people, on the contrary the dishonest ones had to be disrespected. He had also a mantra of Aji Bandung Bondowoso, which made him very strong in his fight for truth and justice. Before his death, Gandamana, had transferred the above knowledge and mantra to Bima, another fighter of justice.

Drupadi’s wedding was decided exactly the same as of her mother’s. Drupadi means the daughter of Drupada. Her other name was Dewi Kresna, she was a sweet black girl. People called her also Dewi Pancali, the princess of Pancala. Drupadi was incarnation of Dewi Sri, the wife of Wisnu. During the 13 years of Pendawa life in the jungle, there was a bitter accident occurred to Drupadi. She was kidnapped by Jayadrata, the king of Sindu Kingdom.

The attractive and sexy Princess was married to Yudistira thru a battle contest, after Gandamana was beaten by Bima. With Yudistira, she got a son, Pancawala. She was loyal to Pandawa, took care of them, always stayed with them in good and bad times. She was a woman with golden heart.

The beauty of Drupadi had tempted Jayadrata to posses her by force. Jayadrata who was almost died by Bima, was alive due to the mercy of Yudistira. Yudistira told him patiently: "You may go now, but never again tempt a wife of other man. It is a shame".

Raden Drestajumena

He was incarnation of Batara Agni, god of fire. King Drupada had solemnly requested to God the Almighty to have a good and sakti son. Drupada who was humiliated by Durna, wished to take revenge thru his son.

Drestajumena was born bringing two heirlooms, one set of arrows and a sword in his right hand. He learned martial art including the mastery of using weapon to a reliable Guru Durna and Durna taught him professionally. How did Durna agree to have a student who one day would be a danger to him?

Durna as a Begawan/Priest-believed that heaven’s wish is stronger than human, he would not fight against it. In Baratayuda, Resi Durna was beheaded by the sword of Drestajumena in a fierce battle.

Palguna – Palgunadi

There is a popular fragment in wayang stories: Palguna-Palgunadi. Drestajumena was incarnation of Palgunadi, the king of Paranggelang.

As a young handsome ksatria, Palgunadi wished to improve his skill in martial art, including the use of weapons, archery etc. he knew that Durna was a Guru with high reputation. He applied to be his student, but Durna refused, telling him that he was too occupied with the education of Pendawa and Korawa.

Palgunadi was also a clever ksatria, through meditation he created a statue of Durna. In front of Durna’s statue, imagining that he was taught directly by the great Guru, Palgunadi made self-training diligently, accompanied by his faithful and beautiful wife, Dewi Anggraini. After a certain period of time, he managed to master the skill. Showing his respect to Durna, his imaginary Guru, he told him everything. Durna, upon seeing, Palgunadi’s expertise agreed to recognize him as his student. Arjuna hesitated the skill of Palgunadi, he challenged Palgunadi to a battle contest. Palgunadi’s ability was above Arjuna’s and Arjuna was defeated. Arjuna protested Durna that as an official Guru of Pendawa and Korawa, in accordance with the ethics of ksatria, Durna was not entitled to have illegitimate student.

Durna was afraid to lose his job in Hastina. He made a tricky tactics to eliminate Palgunadi. Durna knew the power of Palgunadi was due to his ring heirloom by the name of Roning Ampal. Durna asked this ring from Palgunadi as a sign of loyalty toward a Guru.

Palgunadi, believing that he was accepted as his student, took-out the ring from his finger and gave it to Durna. He was killed easily by Durna. A blind belief which had caused him to lose his life. Palgunadi soul vowed to make a revenge in Baratayuda, his incarnation Drestajumena would kill him.

Durna silently recognized the powerful ability of Palgunadi and also his loyalty to him. In memory of Palgunadi, Durna gave a new name to Arjuna, Palguna.

In the meantime, Arjuna or Palguna, upon seeing the beauty of Anggraini, the wife of Palgunadi tempted her. But Anggraini, was not like the many ladies who fell in love easily to handsome Arjuna, she was a lady of prime character, she rejected Arjuna’s love, forever and remained faithful to her deceased husband. In the wayang stories, Anggraini was the only lady who refused Arjuna.

Dewi Srikandi

Since her childhood she was famous as a Tomboy princess. Although a girl, she was interested in martial art. The ‘naughty’ girl honored her parents, her family and the Pendawa. She was incarnation of Princess Amba, the wife of Bisma. Through her hands, the souls of Amba and Bisma should be reunited in Baratayuda.

One day, out of her consciousness, she did something which was prohibited by Taboo. She saw an attractive garland of fresh lotus hung in the palace gate. She took it and wore it around her neck. She did not know that the one who dared to wear this garland of lotus should become the victim of Bisma’s anger. Her father was worried. The only way to avoid the danger, she had to practice an ascetic life and did a lot of meditation in a remote place. A sakti Begawan (having strong supernatural power), a good friend of king Drupada, Resi Stunakarna, helped her avoiding the terrible punishment. By spelling his powerful mantras, Srikandi became a man, her name changed to Bambang Kandihawa. As a man, he married to a giant princess Durniti, the daughter of a giant king, Prabu Dike from the kingdom of Manimantaka. From this marriage, a son was born, by the name of Nirbita, who later-on, succeeded his grand-father as a king of Manimantaka. This was the famous big and strong giant king – Prabu Niwatakawaca.

He had been given a goddess wife, Dewi Prabasini, with whom he had two sons: Bumiloka and Bumisangara and a daughter Mustakaweni. But it was not enough for the giant Niwatakawaca, he wanted to marry the most beautiful goddess, Dewi Supraba. His request was turned down by the gods, at the end he was killed by Arjuna.

In the wayang performance, this story was famous as Begawan Ciptoning Mintaraga or Arjuna Wiwaha, where Arjuna was meditating solemnly, and requesting justice for Pendawa. The place of his meditation was in the cave of Witaraga means to erase all worldly desires. God guru gave him, an arrow-heirloom, Pasopati.

The contents of the story was fully loaded with Javanese philosophical teachings. The other famous stories of Srikandi in wayang shows, among other are:

  1. Srikandi Meguru Manah
    (Srikandi learns the art of archery)
    She was madly in love with Arjuna, when she was attending an extravagance court wedding ceremony in the kingdom of Dwarawati. The bride was Sembadra, the sister of Kresna and the groom was Arjuna. Drupadi, her elder sister was really mad to Srikandi’s amorous aggressive behavior toward the groom. She instructed Srikandi to leave the party immediately. But Srikandi, seeking a love affairs with the most handsome guy on earth had found a way. She became his student in archery.

  2. The Garden of Maerakaca
    The garden of the palace in Pancala was badly damage. The one who could restore the garden, was entitled to marry Srikandi and the winner was Arjuna. Srikandi made another request: she would be Arjuna’s wife if he could provide another woman archer who could beat her in archery contest. Arjuna assigned Larasati to defeat her. (Laras-means to tune-up; feeling relax, happily, Ati means heart), symbolically it probably means: two hearts should be tuned-up happily before entering a love relation in the married life.

  3. Randawidada
    Srikandi was undercover as a widow (Randa) living in the village of Widada (safe). Her name was Endang Sumarnasih. She intended to remain close to Arjuna who was doing meditation in the nearby Padepokan (abode) of Giripurna. His name was Resi Indra Jatikusuma and he was served by goddes Dewi Dresanala, the mother of Wisanggeni.

  4. Mustakaweni
    The daughter of Niwatakawaca, Mustakaweni had stolen the holy heirloom of Yudistira, Kalimasada. Srikandi with the help of Priyambada, a son of Arjuna, the grandson of Resi Sidiwaspada from the abode of Glagahwangi, could take back the heirloom and handed it over to Yudistira. The happy-ending was the wedding of Mustakaweni with Priyambada.

Suryo S. Negoro

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