Ramayana in Indonesia



The earliest known reference of Ramayana in Indonesia dates back to the 9th century AD and is in the form of bas-reliefs in Prambanan in Central Java.

The various written version of Ramayana in Indonesia are Kakawin Ramayana, The Serat Ram, The Javanese Uttarakanda, the Carit Ramayana, the Serat Kanda, and the Rama Kling.

Kakawin Ramayana is credited to Yogishvara and is considered to be the oldest version of Ramayana in Indonesia. It is believed to have been written between the 10th and 13th century AD. It sticks to the original version and is believed to be a translation of Bhattikavya, a 5th century version of Ramayana in Kashmir. The Uttarakanda and Balakanda are not found in Kakawin Ramayana.

Two of the popular modern adaptations of Kakawin Ramayana are Serat Ram and Carit Ramayana.

The Javanese Uttarakanda is an independent literary work and describes mainly the genealogy of demons and Vanar Sena (Monkeys).

The Serat Kanda and Rama Kling version of Ramayana in Indonesia has strong Islamic Influence.

Serat Kanda is incorporated with legends and tales from Islam. Several important aspects of Ramayana are missing and some new chapters are added in Serat Kanda.

Elements of Mahabharata are also added in Serat Kanda. This Ramayana says that Ravana was exiled to Lanka by his father. Mandodari, the wife of Ravana, in the original Ramayana is portrayed as wife of King Dasharath and she is later given to Ravan. There are so many other such aspects which a follower of Ramayan might consider offensive.

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