The Envoy of Rama

A white monkey was seen inside the palace of Alengka, moving adroitly on the roof and on the trees and sometimes just sitting in park. He began to bother some courtiers, ransacking something: the palace was in alarm.

Several guards who tried to catch him, had been, attacked and ran away. The news of the infiltration was heard by Rahwana or Dasamuka, the king of Alengkadiraja. He was feeling insulted. How could a strong kingdom of Alengkadiraja, ‘respected’ or more precisely ‘feared" by other countries, giants and warriors, could be put in an uproar by a monkey?

His son Indrajit or Megananda, upon Dasamuka’s instruction led his troop to catch the monkey. Indrajit’s arrow heirloom – Nagapasa was shot. Once the arrow left its bow, it became thousands of snakes, wound around its target.

The capture of the white monkey was shaking, it was known that the white monkey was Anoman – the Senapati – warrior of king Ramawijaya. There was no excuse for Anoman, by burning him alive. But it was not Anoman if is not Sakti (having strong magical power).

With his body’s hairs burnt in flame, he could escape. He spread the burning flame everywhere, in an instant the palace was caught in fire, even many parts of the town. He tried to make Rahwana understood, release Dewi Sinta, Rama’s wife peacefully. Otherwise a catastrophe should hit Alengka. The stubborn Rahwana chose to fight. Anoman reported back to Rama. This episode in Wayang Performance is called Amonan Obong (The burning Anoman) or Anoman Duta (Anoman, the Envoy of Rama).

The Son of a Dewa (god)

A young princess, by the name of Anjani, due to the mistake done by her mother, was cursed and punished by God. In her beautiful face and arms grew black thick hair. In her effort to become a normal lady again, she was doing what in Javanese was called "Pasa-Ngodok" – to live a frog style. Like a frog with naked body, remains in the water, only drinks from rain-drops and eats only things which come to her mouth and deeply praying to God the Almighty.

Betara (God) Guru or Sang Hyang Jagad Nata, the head of all gods and the ruler of universe, was taking a walk leisurely amidst the clear blue sky, accompanied by other gods. The green earth exposed peacefully and clearly under the light of sunshine. Suddenly, he saw something terrific, shining beautifully, a sexy naked body of a young woman in the lake of Nirmala. Everything went on so naturally. A drop of love, uncontrolably was released from him.

The secret of nature has decided that Princess Anjani became pregnant. Before the Anoman’s birth, there was a terrifying and typhoon on earth, thunderous volcanoes eruption, heavy rain with lightning and frightening ocean waves. It was a mark, someone with a great name should be born.

Upon Betara Guru’s instruction, Anjani should deliver her baby in Kahyangan (Heaven) a white monkey was born, he was Anoman. The mother was allowed to live in Kahyangan together with other goddesses and she returned to be a beautiful lady.

The kid, Anoman lived also in the abode of gods, he was taken care by god Bayu. It explained why Anoman’s other names were:

  1. Bayu Suta - the son of Bayu
  2. Bayutanaya - the son of Bayu
  3. Maruti - the son of Maruta (Maruta is other name of Bayu)
  4. Maruta Seta - the white Maruta.

A Great Warrior

As an adult, upon Betara guru’s instruction, he had to live in earth to serve Rama, the incarnation of god Wisnu.

Rama was searching a way to free Sinta from Rahwana’s abduction. Anoman advised Rama to help Sugriwa, the king of Gua Kiskenda in his dispute with Subali. After helping Sugriwa and he became a king of the monkey kingdom, Sugriwa and his whole army attacked Alengka under Rama’s command.

Anoman has served Prabu (king) Rama without reserve. He became one of the most trusted Rama’s advisors, beside Laksmana, Rama’s brother, Sugriwa, Wibisana, Rahwana’s brother, who disagreed with his dirty attitude become Rama’s aide. Dasamuka’s camp, had tried to prevent Anoman’s journey as an envoy to Alangka.

He was involved in a dead or live battle against an Alengka’ Senopati-warrior, a strong giant-Kala Anoman. Kala Anoman was killed and since then the name of Anoman was used by him. His name given by his mother was Anjali Kencana-the son of Anjani or Anjani Putra. His name given by Prabu Rama was Ramadayapati-in remembrance of his devoted service to Rama.

Upon seeing that Anoman was perfect in battle, the giant set another tactics. A goddess, by the name of Dewi Sayempraba, a wife of Dasamuka, had tried to lure Anoman. She asked him to stay with her, enjoyed the life, instead of going to Alengka, looking for trouble. Anoman refused her proposal and then he was poisoned by food. He collapsed and almost blind, fortunately garuda bird Sempati helped him.

His "game" with goddess Sayembraba, made her pregnant. A monkey boy, Trigangga was born. His wife was Dewi Purwati, with whom he got a child – Purwaganti.

He was fighting in the side of Rama until the end of the war. It was Anoman, who was assigned by God, to lay a huge mountain over the body of Dasamuka. Dasamuka having Mantram (spell) Pancasona could not die until doomsday. With his burial under the huge mountain, his body could not move or go anywhere. It is still believed by some, that his bad spirit always bothers people to do a bad thing.

Resi/Priest – Mayangkara

As a Son of God Guru, Anoman has also dedicated his life to a devout spiritual life and ascetism. He was wearing a "Poleng" cloth design, same as God Bayu, Bima, Wil Gajahwreksa, Begawan Maenaka, Liman Situbanda, Dewa Ruci, Garuda Mahambira and Naga Kuwara.

They were 9 figures, called the ‘Bayu brothers’. The ‘Poleng" design depicting the essentials of human lust, the exercise and ability to restrain lust is a basic attitude to achieve a good and correct life. All the Bayu’s brother (Tunggal Bayu) had Kuku Pancanaka – strong and longer thumb-nails, if necessary, to execute bad people.

Anoman was also a spiritual guru, his name was Mayangkara, lived as a hermit in his abode Kendalisada. Resi Mayangkara had a very long life. He lived in the era of Rama, Mahabarata, after the Baratayuda, and even in ancient Java, in the kingdom of Mamenang (Kediri/Daha) under the king Jayabaya.

Bima was his spiritual student. During 12 years of Pandawa’s exile in the jungle, one day Resi Mayangkara laid down on narrow path, on the edge of a ravine, preventing Bima to walk further. Bima asked the monkey to move aside, so that Bima can go with his walk. The monkey replied: "ok you might jump over me". Bima refused, it was not a polite way. Bima did not want also to move aside the monkey, as he said that he did not want to do by force.

Mayangkara said: " ok then, lift a bit my tail, if you can, I’ll move". Bima smiled, thought it was the easiest way to do. He tried to raise the tail, despite his hard efforts, he could not do it". Bima knew at once, that Resi Mayangkara, is a spiritual Guru, whom he had to learn from. From Mayangkara, Bima learned the division of periods/Ages in the world, which were:

  1. The Age of Kreta/Kretayuga
    It was a perfect period, no crime, no trade, there was just to give and to receive. There was only one religion. All men were doing their duties at their best, respect each other, no envy. They were equal.

  2. The Age of Tirta/Tirtayuga
    The beginning of the existance of bad people. One forth of the people were bad tempered. The beginning of sajen/offering. The beginning of the division of four caste in society.

  3. The Age of Dupara/Duparayuga
    Half of the people were having bad character, the other half were OK. There were many religions, but many did not adhere to the good religious teaching. More and more people were looking for magical power but with bad intention. Those who wished to do good things, should find more resistance and obstacles.

  4. The Age of Kali/Kaliyuga
    This was the time when ‘badness’ defeated "goodness’. Only 25% of human-being had good conduct. More religions existed, but less and less people took care. Many people were lazy, but they were envy to the success of hard-working people. Most of the people were afraid to be poor. The world was getting old. In other time, Bima became Anoman’s guru in Mount Argakelasa. Anoma’s name at that time was Kapiwara.

Anoman returned to where he belonged

After an extraordinary long life in the earth, Anoman made an appeal to God the Almighty. He said: " I’m very grateful to be given a long life in earth. But considering my long dedication to mankind, my efforts to preserve the universe, I sincerely request to return to where I was coming from, from holiness back to holiness.

His request was approved, it was decided that Anoman as heroic warrior should not die in bed. He should die in the battlefield. It was arranged that Anoman had to fight against the enemies of king Jayabaya of East Java. Anoman was killed in the battle. He knew very well the way he had to return to his origin, to die as it is said at present’s language.

(Bambang Harsrinuksmo)
Translated and edited by Suryo S. Negoro

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