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1 S. Supomo
Bharatayuddha: An Old Javanese Poem and its Indian Sources
Aditya Prakashan; New Delhi, India; 1993; 8185689431 / 9788185689432; First Edition; Hardcover; New; New; 
Oriental Research he Bharatayuddha provides an extensive introduction, a Romanized text, an English translation, detailed annotations and indexes, of the Old Javanese poem or kakawin, uniquely written by two poets, mpu Sedah and Panuluh, in 1057 AD. The number of its manuscripts available today is an indication of the high esteem accorded to it throughout the centuries. With the ninety odd manuscripts that are now listed in the catalogues of public libraries in various countries, this kakawin of just over 730 stanzas is by far the most often copied Old Javanese work that has come down to us. The great war between the Pandawas and their cousins the Korawas is still the best known story among the Javanese people. The Mahabharata grew, developed and flourished in the island of Java, in -various forms of artistic expression, such as literary genres, sculpture, Painting and performing arts. More than half of the kakawin Poems discussed by Zoetmulder in his survey of Old Javanese belles-lettres have heros and heroines from the Mahabharata. Among them the Bharatayuddha is the most outstanding poetical work. The present edition of the Bharatayuddha is preceded by a detailed introduction on the relationship of the Sanskrit Mahabharata and the Parwas in prose, composition of the Bharatayuddha in the twelfth century, its comparison with the Mahabharata and the OJ Parwas, all its available manuscripts, their selection and arrangement. The Bharatayuddha is one the few OJ works that can be dated with certainty and thus provides a milestone in the literary chronology of Indonesia. The commencement of its composition can be determined to the day: 6 September 1157. It was written under the patronage of king Jayabhaya, who appears in the poem five times and is also known from three inscriptions. Sedah's work "faultless in its poetic qualities" was completed by poet Panuluh. By the order of king Jayabhaya himself, Panuluh undertook the task of completing the unfinished poem, commencing from the episode of Salya becoming commander of the Korawa army. This dual authorship is unique in Indonesian kakawin writing. The entire poem consists of 52 cantos with 731 verses : it is a saptasati or setticento. Panuluh has left to posterity two other major kakawins : Hariwamsa and Ghatotkacasraya, which makes him one of the most prolific kawi writers from ancient Indonesia. The editor Dr. S. Supomo draws comparison between the Bharatayuddha (BY) and the Sanskrit Mahabharata, and not with the Parwas : since only two parwas, Udyoga and Bhisma, are available in Old Javanese. Every verse of the BY is concorded with the Sanskrit text in the Critical Edition of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, with a summary of every Sanskrit passage. References to the corresponding passages of two parwas are also given. The BY follows the episodes of the war as recounted in the Sanskrit Mahabharata and its dependence on the Sanskrit Epic is clear. Certain parts of the narrative are derived from the OJ prose Parwas, and not directly from the Sanskrit itself. The prose Parwas had been in existence for more than a century and a half before poet Sedah began his composition of the BY. The ultimate source of the third part of the BY is the Dronaparvan in the Northern recension. Though the BY is less than four percent of the six corresponding Sanskrit parvans, it has passages with no comparable parts in Sanskrit. Additions and variations adapt the Epic to the Indonesian genius : for instance aji or battle scenes are one of the important requirements of a kakawin. New female characters like Ksitisundari and Sugandhika seem to have been widely known through oral tradition or wayang performances. The editor Dr. Supomo opines that OJ Dronaparwa, Kamaparwa, Salyaparwa and Sauptikaparwa existed before the composition of the Bharatayuddha in AD 1057. Then ten manuscripts, whose variant readings constitute the critical apparatus, have been described at length. This work is an in-depth study of the processes of acculturation with innovation. It is A Rich contribution to the History of the classical literature of Indonesia. It makes a delightful reading of the poem in its simple English rendering that echoes the charm of the original. The translation conveys the deft thrust of Indonesia's golden voice, the shapes of her heart, the spilling over of her Classical sparkle, as subtle as incense, the breath of her own heaven, whom the gods watch over. Printed Pages: 328. 100040

Price: 38.00 USD
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