In pedalangan (wayang performance) he is called Prabu Rama (Prabu-king) or Rama Wijaya. He was a real ksatria, hororing without reserve the principle of truth and ethics. (see Ramayana). He obeyed his father decision to leave the palace and had to live in the jungle for years. He did it without protest. He was quite aware, that his father-Dasarata had to follow the principle of Sabdo Pandito Ratu (words or promise by a priest or a king must be fullfilled). His father had promised to his second wife Kekayi to grant her whatever wish she had in mind, after she could cure him from his illness. His half-brother, Barata, Kekayi’s son who loved Rama sincerely protested the decision. He asked Rama to stay in the palace as he was the only legitimate and capable heir to the throne of Ayodya.

Rama was touched by his brother’s request but he could not do anything. He told Barata to take care of the country during his absent. Rama taught him the Hasta-Brata, the eight points to be a good leader. He gave these same principles to Gunawan Wibisana to govern Alengka, after the death of Rahwana.

In his fight to free his wife, Sinta from Alengka, Rama had helped Sugriwa in his fight for justice against Subali. Rama had accepted Wibisana to be in his side. Wibisana, although a brother of Rahwana, he was honest and a fighter of truth. The wise Rama, had helped the needy sincerely. As a result thereof, many people adored him. After his victorious return to Ayodya, Rama was confused when his people were suspicious of Sinta’s loyalty during her long years of stay in Alengka.

After all the wise Rama was only a normal human-being. He made a decision to expel Sinta, a decision which he regretted the whole life. Although he was an incarnation of Wisnu, sometimes he forgot and made mistake. It was a lesson to everybody especially the ones with responsible positions and rulers to never forget his duties, by doing only good and correct actions.

Rama Seleh Keprabon (resigned permanently as king)

One day, his most trustable brother, Laksamana left the court life to seek purification. His mother and step-mothers all had passed away. Rama, getting old, felt lonesome. He arranged his brothers, sons and nephews became rulers of various countries. It was the right time now for Rama himself to return to where he belong. He went to a sacred place he chose to purity his soul. But he did not go alone. A lot of people, even giants and animals who adored him, did follow him, including his brothers Barata and Satrugna and Begawan Wasista. Before leaving the palace, Rama blessed some of his faithfull followers, he said:

" Raden Wibisana, I bless you to be always a good king of Alengka, protect your country and do the darma accordingly". (obligation as king and ksatria)

"Sang Anoman, I bless you to have a good long life".

"Sang Sugriwa, I bless you to live in safety and you can attain the true eternal life".

Early in the morning, Rama took a bath, wore white clothes and prayed in Sanggar Pamujan (a place of worship). After a while, he came out from Sanggar Pamujan, his face was bright. His arrow heirlooms became a man, The Holy Book became a god and goddess Savitri, standing behind Rama. Then he walked slowly, followed by Barata, Satrugna and others. All of them wore flowers and perfume. No one was sad, they were happy and sure they would go to heaven together with Rama.

They reached the river of Serayu (in Banyumas regency, in the south-west part of Central Java). Rama meditated solemly on the river bank for three consecutive days. The weather was pleasant in the tranquil nature. The wind blew gently. The situation was mystically calm. In the third day after the sunset, Rama drank a bit the clean and fresh water of the river, it was a water offering (sesaji Tirta). River Serayu was a holy river.

Rama meditated for a while and then all of a sudden Rama was surrounded by bright light and a voice was heard: "Go on Batara Wisnu, all your dewa/god family welcome you back, please transform to your original form as Wisnu, the preserver of the world".

Rama vanished and Wisnu appeared. The gods led by Brama welcomed sincerely Wisnu by bathing him with petal of flowers. Wisnu asked Brama politely and confidently to permit all his good and faithful followers, after releasing their physical bodies to enter to heaven together with him. All Rama’s followers Begawans, Satrias, workers, giants and animals, were permitted to live in heaven in their own appropriate places.

After Rama went back to where he belong, the kingdom of Ayodya was empty. Only after five generations, Wisnu incarnated in Rama’s descendant Kresna. Laksmana incarnated to Baladewa. Previously he incarnated to Arjuna but it was not last long Laksmana was never married, he could not be in Arjuna who had many wives. Sinta incarnated to Sembadra, the sister of Kresna and the wife of Arjuna.

Suryo S. Negoro

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