Arjuna : Male of The World

In wayang story, Arjuna is famous for his handsome appearance, his power and wisdom. He is the knight who loves to meditate. This third son of Pandu is invincible. His master is Resi Dorna for martial arts and war science. Arjuna is the Adipati (Regent) of Madukara. He has two wives, Sumbadra and Srikandi. He is an example of a knight who always loyal, modest, and who never gives up. He is very helpful to others, and sees people equally. Kurawa family likes to make him suffer but he is always receive those without resentment. His mesmerizing appearance makes beautiful princess adore him, but he never uses that. He is very faithful to hold on moral values. If he does mistake he would surrender to be punished and even punish himself. But there is difference between Arjuna as good example also Ajuna who is a playboy, has many wives and kids. He is not only considered as a macho man in character and behavior that he is entitled as Lelananging Jagat or Male of the World or maybe Mr World, but also as he is macho biologically that usually a man who is nice looking and is playboy is mocked as Arjuna. In wayang story Arjuna has other figures, one of them is Damar Wulan, a story that already recognized by Indonesian before Hindu came, according to Amir Hamzah.  In other word, Mahabharata characters were already recognized in Indonesia. IN Mahabharata version, Arjuna is different than the Javanese version. Though he has many wives, he only falls in love with Sumbadra. And other wives were awarded to him for his services. Indonesia has its own version of story which exist since thousand of years before the advent of Hindu.

There was a believe related to fertility of farmland which was main matter in life. When Hindu arrived in Indonesia, Indonesian Hindu worship Lingga and Yoni. Lingga is the symbol of male genital and Yoni is the symbol of female’s. Lingga and Yoni are believed to bring fertility in farming. In wayang Lingga is symbilized as Arjuna character and Yoni is symbolizes as princess, and according to old literature princess or putri is the symbol of True Taste.

That makes Arjuna known as playboy. But there is a prove that Arjuna is not a playboy, in Duryudana Rabi (the Marriage of Duryudana), Duryudana marries Banowati, daughter of Salya from Mandaraka. When Duryudana proposes Banowati, she asks a sensitive request that is impossible to be fulfilled. The request are :

1. She wants to be showered by a handsome man, who is more handsome than men in Mandaraka and Astina.

2. She wants to be put make up by the handsome man.

3. On the first night she should sleep with the handsome man.

If those requests are rejected then Duryudana’s proposal will be rejected as well. So who is the handsome man that she means? He is Arjuna as Banowati has fallen in love with him. The request is like a difficult decision for Duryudana. If he fulfill her requests, this would be a nightmare as her beloved girl will sleep with other man first, but he he does not fulfill, marrying her will be just a dream. Finally Duryudana makes a decision that He lets her does as her requests only she should keep her virginity. Arjuna showered her and slept with her, but before that Arjuna has prepared himself to be strong. When he sleeps with Banowati, he uses sirep magic (sleeping magic) that makes Banowati sleeps. Arjuna left the room and call Duryudana to replace him to sleep next to her.