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David Konstantinov
David Konstantinov

Arjuna, Sang Palguna dalam Wayang Jawa: Sejarah dan Makna

Cerita Wayang Arjuna Boso Jowo

Wayang is one of the forms of traditional Javanese performance art that uses leather or wood puppets to tell stories from ancient Indian epics. Wayang is very important in Javanese culture because it contains moral and spiritual values that can inspire and entertain the audience. One of the most famous and beloved wayang characters is Arjuna, a knight who became one of the main heroes in the Mahabharata epic. There are many interesting stories about Arjuna in wayang. In this article, we will discuss one of them that tells about his birth and marriage to Sumbadra.

Cerita wayang arjuna boso jowo


The Birth of Arjuna

Arjuna was born from Prabu Pandu and Dewi Kunti. Prabu Pandu was the king of Hastinapura who had five sons known as Pandawa Lima. However, Prabu Pandu could not rule his kingdom because he was cursed by a sage who made him unable to have intimate relations with his wife without killing himself. Therefore, he had to leave his kingdom and live in the forest with his two wives, Dewi Kunti and Dewi Madri.

Dewi Kunti had a boon from the gods that allowed her to invoke any deity and have a child by him. With this boon, she had given birth to two sons before, namely Yudistira from Dewa Dharma and Bima from Dewa Bayu. When Prabu Pandu was in the forest, he asked Dewi Kunti to use her boon again to give birth to a third son from Dewa Indra, the king of gods. Dewi Kunti obeyed her husband's request and prayed to Dewa Indra to give her a son. Soon after, she gave birth to a handsome and strong baby boy. The baby was named Parmadi by Prabu Pandu, Palguna by Begawan Abyasa (the teacher of Pandawa), and Jlamprong by Bima (his brother). The baby then became known as Arjuna.

When Arjuna was born, Prabu Pandu was staying in Mandura kingdom to visit his brother Basudewa who also had a newborn daughter named Sumbadra. Bima carried his brother to Mandura with escort from Begawan Abyasa. There they were welcomed with joy by Prabu Basudewa and his family. Prabu Basudewa was fascinated by Sumbadra's beauty and intelligence as well as Arjuna's courage and skill. He decided to marry them off since they were babies with hope that they would become a happy couple and produce offspring who would become kings.

The Marriage of Arjuna and Sumbadra

Arjuna and Sumbadra grew up together in Mandura as fiancés who loved each other. They often played and learned together about martial arts and Javanese culture. They also helped and protected each other from danger. They became a perfect pair and admired by many people.

However, not everyone was happy with their relationship. Some princes from other kingdoms also wanted Sumbadra as their wife because she was the daughter of Basudewa who had close relations with Krishna (the incarnation of Dewa Wisnu) and Baladewa (Basudewa's brother). One of them was Karna, a powerful knight who was half-brother of Pandawa but sided with Korawa (cousins and enemies of Pandawa). Another one was Duryodana, the leader of Korawa who hated Pandawa very much because he was jealous of their wealth and power.

When Sumbadra grew up, Prabu Basudewa held a swayamvara (contest for choosing a husband) for his daughter. He invited many princes from various kingdoms to come and compete for Sumbadra's heart. However, he also gave an opportunity for brahmanas (priestly caste) to participate in the contest because he respected them as bearers of knowledge and truth.

Arjuna disguised himself as a young brahmana named Brahmana Wiku to join the swayamvara without being known by anyone except Krishna who helped him. He managed to defeat all other princes in various tests of courage, and skill. He also won Sumbadra's heart with romantic and clever ways.

After Arjuna was chosen as the winner of the swayamvara, he revealed his disguise and announced his identity as one of Pandawa Lima. This surprised everyone who was present there including Prabu Basudewa who felt happy but also worried about Baladewa's reaction. Baladewa was Sumbadra's brother and Arjuna's friend who was very protective of his sister and did not approve of her marriage to Arjuna.

Arjuna then eloped with Sumbadra and faced the wrath of Baladewa who chased them with his army. Arjuna had to fight against Baladewa and his soldiers while protecting Sumbadra. The situation became tense and dangerous until Krishna intervened and pacified Baladewa. Krishna explained to Baladewa that Arjuna and Sumbadra were destined to be together and that their marriage would bring peace and prosperity to both kingdoms. Baladewa finally relented and gave his blessing to the couple.


This is one of the stories of Arjuna in wayang that tells about his birth and marriage to Sumbadra. It shows how Arjuna was a brave, loyal, and virtuous hero who was loved by his family and friends. He overcame many challenges and obstacles to fulfill his destiny and win his true love. He also respected and honored his elders and teachers who guided him along the way.

The story also teaches us some moral lessons such as the importance of faith, courage, and love in life. It also reminds us to appreciate and preserve our culture and heritage that are rich in wisdom and beauty. Wayang is a treasure of Javanese culture that we can learn from and enjoy.

If you are interested in learning more about wayang and Javanese culture, you can visit some websites or blogs that provide information and resources about them. You can also watch some videos or listen to some podcasts that feature wayang performances or stories. You can also read some books or articles that explain the history and meaning of wayang. You will be amazed by the diversity and depth of wayang and Javanese culture.


  • What is wayang?

Wayang is a form of traditional Javanese performance art that uses leather or wood puppets to tell stories from ancient Indian epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata.

  • Who is Arjuna?

Arjuna is one of the main characters in the Mahabharata epic who is also one of the Pandawa Lima brothers. He is a skilled archer and warrior who is loyal to his family and friends. He is married to Sumbadra, Draupadi, Ulupi, Chitrangada, and Subhadra.

  • Who is Sumbadra?

Sumbadra is the daughter of Prabu Basudewa, the king of Mandura, who is also the sister of Baladewa and the cousin of Krishna. She is a beautiful and intelligent princess who loves Arjuna since they were babies. She is married to Arjuna and gives birth to Abimanyu.

  • Who are Korawa?

Korawa are the cousins and enemies of Pandawa who are led by Duryodana. They are greedy and evil who want to take over Hastinapura from Pandawa. They are involved in a great war with Pandawa called Kurukshetra war.

  • Who is Krishna?

Krishna is the incarnation of Dewa Wisnu, the supreme god in Hinduism. He is the cousin and friend of Pandawa who helps them in their struggles against Korawa. He is also the teacher of Arjuna who gives him the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred scripture that contains spiritual teachings.


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