Sunday, January 31, 2010

Aji Saka - From Central Java

A long time ago there was a kingdom called Medang Kamulan. The kingdom of Medang Kamulan was ruled by Prabu Dewata Cengkar. The people in the kingdom were very scared by the king. It was because the king liked to eat human flesh. Once a week, he commanded his messenger, Patih Jugul Muda, to find him a human to eat. 


Far away from the kingdom of Medang Kamulan, there was a village called Medang Kawit. A young man named Aji Saka lived there. Aji Saka was a brave young man. He loved to help people who needed help. One day, Aji Saka saw an old man lying unconscious on the ground. The old man was wounded. Some thieves just hit him and stole his money. Aji Saka then carried the old man to his hut. Soon after, the old man started to regain consciousness. “Where…am I?” he asked. “You’re in my house. You’re safe now,” said Aji Saka. It turned out that the old man was from the kingdom of Medang Kamulan. “Everybody was leaving Medang Kamulan,” the old man told Aji Saka. He also told him about Prabu Dewata Cengkar’s bad habit. “We were terrified, that’s why we left,” The old man said. 

After he heard the explanation from the old man, Aji Saka decided to go meet Prabu Dewata Cengkar and make him stop the menace. With his magical white turban on his head, Aji Saka went to the kingdom. The turban was a gift from his Guru that could be used to fight evil. On his journey to Medang Kamulan, Aji Saka passed through a very dark forest where he met an evil genie. The genie blocked his path. “If you want to get through this forest, you must be my slave for ten years,” the genie demanded. Aji Saka refused to be the genie’s slave. The two of them then fight for seven days and seven nights, until at last Aji Saka came out as winner. The genie finally allowed Aji Saka to pass through the forest. 

When Aji Saka arrived in the kingdom of Medang Kamulan, the king was angry to Patih Jugul Muda. He was not able to find the king some humans. “If you can’t find me any humans, I’ll eat you instead,” Prabu Dewata Cengkar said to Patih Jugul Muda. After Patih Jugul Muda left, Aji Saka revealed himself. Prabu Dewata Cengkar’s eyes suddenly widened upon seeing Aji Saka. He could already imagine how delicious his meat would taste. “Who are you?” asked Prabu Dewata Cengkar. “I am Aji Saka from the village of Medang Kawit,” Aji Saka answered. “Ha...ha...ha.... I’m glad you came here. You would be my meal. I'm starving,” said the king. 

“I would gladly let you eat me, but I want something in return.” Aji Saka said. “What is it that you want?” asked Prabu Dewata Cengkar. “I want a land as large as my turban,” said Aji Saka. He then took off his turban and threw it on the ground. Prabu Dewata Cengkar agreed. He himself would measure the land with Aji Saka’s turban. Suddenly the turban grew bigger and bigger. It just kept on stretching until it finally covered the whole kingdom. Prabu Dewata Cengkar was angry. He then attacked Aji Saka. But, then the turban wrapped itself around him and began to strangle him. The turban then threw the king’s body to the South Sea. The waves carried Prabu dewata Cengkar away until he finally drowned and died. 

Aji Saka then asked the people of Medang Kamulan to come back to the kingdom. They all thanked the brave Aji Saka. They also agreed to make Aji Saka to be their king. Aji Saka then ruled the kingdom wisely. Under the leadership of Aji Saka, Medang Kamulan become a peaceful and prosperous kingdom.

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