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Rangda Page 2

Marakata, Anak Wungsu, and a beautiful daughter called Ratna Menggali who was much loved by her mother. Gunapriya’s influence on the kingdom was profound and this is how the language and etiquette of Java was introduced to Bali.


When he was older Erlangga went to Kediri and married the daughter of King Dharmawangsa and became as a trusted son to the king. When Erlangga was sixteen years old Dharmawangsa was assassinated and Erlangga fled from the court in fear of his life. He took refuge deep in the forest and his only companions were two holy men who were brothers. Their names were Mpu Bharada and Mpu Kuturan.


These brothers were gifted with great spiritual and magical powers. Erlangga remained in the forest with them for many years. Finally, with the help and advice of these holy men Erlangga gradually regained his father-in-law’s kingdom, and ruled it for thirty difficult years. When King Dharmodayana of Bali took another wife, he banished his faithful first wife, the ageing Queen Gunapriya, in favour of the younger more beautiful girl.


Gunapriya was incensed at her husband’s heartless behaviour toward her and appealed to her powerful son Erlangga for assistance. Erlangga ignored his mother’s impassioned pleas for help for it was widely known that his father had banished Queen Gunapriya to the forest because she was a witch.


Because of this terrible accusation no man in all the nobility was brave enough to seek the hand of Ratna Menggali and this made Queen Gunapriya especially sad. Quite unexpectedly King Dharmodayana died and Gunapriya became a widow, a Rangda.


Rangda was furious with her son Erlangga and blamed him for all her misfortune. She made an oath to destroy her ungrateful son and his kingdom Kediri. But who would help her? Immediately the image of Begawati appeared before Rangda: “Fear not, Gunapriya. I will grant your heart’s desire . . . If you will follow my words exactly.”

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