The Kingdom of Pringgandani


The Pendawa wished to build their own kingdom outside the boundary of Hastina, as a way to avoid conflicts with their Korawa cousins. The new site was the jungle of Wanamarta. Consequently they started to cut some trees.

The king/Prabu Arimba of Pringgadani disliked the Pendawa. He wanted to take revenge of his father Prabu Kala Tremboko’s death, who had been killed in a battle by Pandu, the Pendawa’s father.

He ordered his brothers to attack and kill Pendawa. Arimbi, his younger sister was against his idea, she said that Pendawa were not guilty. Arimbi, a giant-woman, she was strong and had supernatural power. She argued her other brothers not to harm the good Pendawa. Upon seeing Bratasena, the biggest man of the Pendawa, she started to fall in love with him. Arimba was very angry to her.

A fight between Pendawa and the giants was unavoidable. The big and strong giant, Arimba was involved in a direct fight against the powerful Bratasena. Arimba, the most powerful giant of Pringgadani, could not match Bratasena ability, he was killed in the duel. After his death, upon Arimbi’s instruction, the battle stopped, and all the giants helped Pendawa to accomplish the job by cleaning the site and helping to construct the palace.

Despite the loyalty of Arimbi to Pendawa, Bratasena did not want to take her as a wife. He did not want to marry a giant. In despair, Arimbi asked a help from Kunti, the mother of Pendawa. Kunti had a pity to Arimbi, although a giant but Arimbi was honest.

Kunti had a strong mantra, she requested to gods to change Arimbi to be a beautiful woman. Her request was granted. There was no reason for Bratasena to reject her anymore.

The birth of Gatotkaca

From the marriage, a boy-Gatotkaca was born. His other names are Jabang Tetuko and Purbaya. He was also called as Satria Pringgadani, the knight-warrior of Pringgadani. He had a face like a giant and the baby was very strong. It was difficult to cut his placenta/navel. It could be cut by using a heirloom of Arjuna, the case of Kuntawijaya. But the case went inside the baby’s navel permanently. The heirloom Kuntawijaya was an arrow with its case, a gift from Batara Guru for Arjuna. By mistake god/Batara Narada gave it to Karna, who resembled to Arjuna. Karna and Arjuna struggled to obtain the heirloom, Karna got the arrow while Arjuna got its case only. (In Baratayuda, Gatotkaca should be killed by Kuntawijaya arrow, a reunion of the complete heirloom, the arrow and its case. See Baratayuda).

By heaven decree, the baby Gatotkaca was thrown to Candradimuka crater. He was given supernatural power by Empu Ramadi and Empu Anggajali, the masters of heirlooms lived in the abode of gods. Gatotkaca became big and strong, he had muscles likes wires, bones likes steel and he could fly without wings. A special mask was planted to cover his giant face and he became handsome. Thus Gatotkaca, in a very short period, became a very sakti (having strong supernatural power) ksatria-warrior.

Raden Harya Gatotkaca, the King of Pringgadani

He was assigned as the new king of Pringgadani with full support of all his giant-uncles. Brajadenta and Brajamusti were assigned as Pringgadani’s chief-warriors. Brajamusti who was very loyal to Gatotkaca took care Gatotkaca with adoration together with the youngest uncle Kala Bendana who was very kind-hearted, a giant who never lie.

Once Gatotkaca became a king in Kahyangan (heaven). Kahyangan had been attacked by the forces of a giant king Pracona of Guwakrenda because Pracona’s proposal to marry the most beautiful goddess Dewi Supraba had been turned down. The gods had difficulties to defeat Guwakrenda’s troop. Gatotkaca was assigned to lead the battle. King Pracona and his powerful Patih (first-minister), Sekipu were killed by Gatotkaca. As a reward, he had been assigned as a king of Kahyangan. After a short period, he returned to Pringgadani. He had more valuable duties in the earth.

The peaceful life in Pringgadani was disturbed by Brajadenta. He had been persuaded by the tricky Sengkuni and Durna to take over the throne from Gatotkaca. They told Brajadenta that he was the legitimate heir of Pringgadani. Moreover, Durga, the evil-goddess promised to help him to defeat Gatotkaca and his forces.

Brajamusti was against this rebellion, he remained loyal to Gatotkaca. Both chief-warriors were fighting each other until both of them were dead. Brajamusti and Brajadenta’ souls stayed in the right and left palm of hands of Gatotkaca. Gatotkaca became more sakti as told in wayang that Gatotkaca had hands likes a pair of scissors, which could easily cut the necks of his enemies. He was very sad for the death of his uncles, but his mother told him that a destiny of life could not be avoided. Prabakesa and Brajalamatan replaced the positions of Brajadenta and Brajamusti. Kala Bendara remained a faithful guard to Gatotkaca. He always told the truth, he could not lie. One day Gatotkaca was mad to Kala Bendara.

Siti Sundari, the wife of Abimayu, (the son of Arjuna) was worried to locate her husband, as for a quite long time he did not return home. Kala Bendana told her the truth that Abimayu at present was marrying Dewi Utari, a Princess of Wiroto. Siti Sundari as a wife was very upset, abruptly she would find him now, no one not even Gatotkaca could stop her. Gatotkaca blamed the mistake to Bendana. He hit Kala Bendana too strong. The old good giant died.

But he loved very much his nephew. He said that he won’t go to heaven without Gatotkaca. So he would wait for him in Baratayuda. They would enter into heaven together. Gatotkaca admitted that he had made a big mistake and he was ready to pay for it. Gatotkaca always served Pendawa faithfully, he fully authorized his uncles Prabakesa and Brajalamatan to take care of Pringgadani. He himself was proud to be called as Senapati (chief-warrior) of Pendawa. In Baratayuda, his giant-soldiers of Pringgadani took the side of Pendawa. In wayang performance this episode could be seen in the stories of Babat Alas Wanamarta (the clearing of Wanamarta jungle), Lahire’ Gatotkaca (The Birth of Gatotkaca).

Suryo S. Negoro

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