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Sunday, June 21, 2009

King Jayabhaya’s Role in Vaishnavism

The second important rise of Vaishnavism in Nusantara was under the patronage of the great king Jayabhaya (Maharaja Sri Varmesvara Jayabhaya Madhusudana-avatara-anindita Sri Singhaparakramottungadeva). Sri Jayabhaya unified the divided kingdom by subdued his own relatives of Jangala. This happened to shocked him greatly, similar with the Ashokavardhana after the war of Kalinga. Sri Jayabhaya devoted himself to the most advanced Vaishnavite practices, while also protecting his kingdom. Although a king involved mostly in mundane business, Sri Jayabhaya famous for his accomplishment in spiritual life and the Javanese believed he has trikalajna-shakti, the power to know the past, present, and future. The prophecies of Jayabhaya were very famous in legendary tales and oral tradition of Java. But we have no original version of the prophecies, may be because it was continued to next generation orally. Some Javanese still believed in them and called them Jangka Jayabhaya. Sri Jayabhaya was believed to say something such as, “Besuk yen wis ana kreta tanpa jaran. One day there will be a cart without a horse. Tanah Jawa kalungan wesi. The island of Java will wear a necklace of iron (railway). Prahu mlaku ing dhuwur awang-awang. There will be a boat flying in the sky.”

Historically, Sri Jayabhaya patronized sacred literary works and promoted Vaishnavism by glorified Lord Krishna. mPu Sedah (The Elder) and mPu Panuluh (The Illuminator) were two Brahmins who compiled the Javanese Bharatayuddha-carita, focused on the great war of Bharata in Kuruksetra. mPu Sedah called such, may be because he was the first translator and royal poet, but couldn’t finish his work on Bharatayuddha. The mPu Panuluh then continued his work and finally could illumine the people with the shining wisdom of Vyasadeva, contained in Javanese Bharatayuddha.

Among great armies of the two families and great world-war, battle till the end...

The Supreme Lord revealed the most confidential teachings of the Gita

This work ended with the divine departure of Lord Krishna and the beginning of Kaliyuga. mPu Panuluh further said that after The Lord returned to His Divine Abode, He send His shakti (energy) to Java and empowered Sri Jayabhaya to reformed chaotic kingdom and established peace in Java. Thus Sri Jayabhaya as a Vaishnava, as a noble king, and empowered representative of The Lord Himself, was considered as an amsha (partial descent) of Lord Vishnu. This sastra remind us with Sri Jayabhaya’s own dilemma, when he has to made war with his own relatives for unity of the country. Some scholars took this project as an effort of purification (prayascittam) to atone the king’s “sin” in the battle with his own relatives of Jangala.

But the battle has to go on till the end of the whole armies

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