8 Jan 2013

Indonesian Story - Roro Jonggrang

Inside the northern chamber Shiva temple in Prambanan temple in Central Java, Indonesia, there is a stone statue of a beautiful woman.  She stands on a bull.  She wears a crown and jewelry.  Her body is slim.  Who is she?  There is no doubt that she is Durga Mahisasuramardini, a Hindu goddess.  But the Javanese people have their own story about her. Here is the story.

A long long time ago in central Java lived a wise king.  His name was Prabu Boko.  He had a beautiful daughter whose name was Roro Jonggrang.  They lived in a palace on top of a hill.  At present we can visit the ruins of the palace that is located about two miles south of Prambanan temple.  The palace is called kraton Boko. His country was so prosperous that another king was jealous. 

There was a neighboring kingdom under king Bandung Bondowoso.  One day king Bandung attacked Prabu Boko.  In a fierce fight King Boko was killed and his kingdom was conquered.  The young Bandung Bondowoso fell in love with Roro Jonggrang when he saw her beauty.  He wanted to marry her so he proposed her.  But Roro Jonggrang definitely did not want to marry someone who had murdered her father.  So she gave a difficult condition.

She told Bandung that she would marry him if he could build one thousand temples in one night.  Bandung was surprised but he was optimistic he could meet the condition.  He was a powerful king and he had many friends among the genie and spirits.  So he asked them for help.  With the help of those invisible beings Bandung built the temples.

Meanwhile Roro Jonggrang and her people kept an eye on Bandung.  When it was almost dawn Bandung and the genie had built nine hundred ninety nine temples.  Roro Jonggrang was very worried.   If Bandung could meet her condition, she had to marry him.  Then she had a bright idea.  She ordered her people to make noise and lights.  Women were ordered to cook and make noise by hitting kitchen utensils.  Men were also ordered to make noise around the temples.  Then the genie thought that daylight had come.  They were afraid of the sunlight so they left immediately.  Without their help Bandung was unable to finish the temple.

Bandung was very angry.  He knew that it was a dirty trick from Roro Jonggrang.  Then he cursed Roro Jonggrang into a statue.  The statue of Roro Jonggrang is now inside the northern chamber of the main temple which was dedicated to Shiva in Prambanan temple.
written by: Bbudoyono