About this book
In the fifteenth century the ritual called the Night af siwa was well-known in South India, more specifically in the Empire of Vijayanagara, which was flourishing at that time. A Javanese poet of those days, Mpu Tanakun by name, who had become acquainted with the ritual, wrote a didactic poem which aimed to make it known and have it accepted in his own country. For this religious message he employed the form of the kakawin, the court poem or kävya of Java, and in imitation of Indian nxxlels he clad his message in the tale of the hunter, Lubdhaka, who despite his sinful existence was able to share the bliss af heaven through the simple fact that - by accident and unawares- he fulfilled the essential elements af the ritual. It is not known whether the poet's efforts met with success in Java itself; his poem did, however, remain known in Bali, the preserver of so many items af medieval Javanese culture. Not only have Balinese priests laid down and elaborated in religions works the ritual which he proclaimed, but the poem has also inspired Balinese artists to make paintings, in former centuries as well as this. And so the story with its religious message from India, by way of the inspiration of a Java nese poet, has beoome part af the Indonesian cultural heritage. Five centuries after Ta.
Java artist museum time