Volcano Eruption Myth

Volcanoes in Indonesia have numerous myths or legends handed doown from generation to generation by locals. ย This fact is related to the close relation of Indonesian culture to Hiindu Buddha culture and animism history of Indonesia.

Historical aspect of human belief is an important emelent, this has been shown in various research. Human belief is then legalized by a legend and legend is based on history. Mt Merapi legend is ‘Kyai Sapujagad’, based on Mataram Islam Kingdom. This legend strengthens the reign of Mataram kings as the story was about the harmony between the world and the invisible world. And Kasada ritual of Mt Bromo, based on Majapahit refugees who were Hindu Buddhist. As the legends were based on history, history is considered as one of elements of Javanese belief and faith towards mountain.

Hindu-Buddha dominated Java for 8 centuries and influenced Javanese belief towards mountain or volcano. People living in the vicinity of volcano believe that the mountain or volcano is the home of spirit, gods or ancestor spirit. In Hindu belief, Gunung Mahameru is the home of gods and as the bridge between human and nirvana or kahyangan. And mountain or volcano is known as meditation site in the religion history. For example Mt Semeru derives from Hindu holy mountain. while Bromo derives from one of Hindu gods, Brahma. Sea of sand that surrounds MT Bromo refers to a verse in old Javanese language prastha nikaparwa or place that should be passed by Pandawa knights and located at the horizon of Gunung Semeru. Mt Semeru and Mt Merapi locals belief in 5 elements, 4 directions and one center. According to Hindu, Siva is located in the middle, Iswara on the east, Brahma on the south, Mahadewa on the west and Wisnu on the north. According to cosmology of locals living in Merapi, there are 5 elements: Kraton Mataram (middle), Kraton Spirit on Mt Merapi (north),Kraton of Southern Sea (south), Mt Lawu (east), Kahyangan (west).