Flashback to Sri Rama's Advice on Kekawin Wirama Swandewi

About the history and life messages entrusted by Sri Rama to the next generation about the importance of virtue in Wirama Swandewi, knowledge packaged in various interesting ways in Itihasa so that the next generation remains enthusiastic in studying the teachings of dharma.

Sep 13, 2023 - 14:00
Sep 10, 2023 - 18:06
Flashback to Sri Rama's Advice on Kekawin Wirama Swandewi
Kekawin Wirama Swandewi (Photo Source: Editorial Collection)

Bali Island is an island that is famous for its strong culture, custom, arts, and stories. From the west to the east, north to south, the island of Bali has its own story. The dominant population adheres to Hinduism, making Balinese culture identical with Hindu background.

The Hindu religion which is the taksu of the island of Bali has a scripture called the Veda. Etymologically, the word Veda has its roots in the word "Vid", which in Sanskrit means to know, in the Indo-European language family it has its roots in the word “Weid”, which means to see or know. The Vedas were written based on God's revelations received by the Maha Rsi and then compiled by Maha Rsi Vyasa. The Vedas are divided into two large groups, namely the Veda Sruti and the Veda Smriti. In the Veda Smriti group which is a dharmasastra, there is a division called Upaweda. Upaweda comes from Sanskrit, which consists of two words, namely "Upa" which means close and "Veda" which means sacred knowledge or scripture. Upaweda means close to sacred knowledge. The Upaweda group consists of two types of books, one of which is Itihasa which discusses the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata along with the values ​​that can be learned from these stories.

Of course, we are familiar with the story of the Ramayana which tells the story of the heroism of Rama, the famous king from India, who ruled in the Kingdom of Kosala, north of the Gangga River, with the capital in Ayodhya. The Ramayana epic was composed by Mpu Valmiki around 400 BC. From his life's journey, many life lessons have been expressed in various works of art, both through stories and songs or spiritual songs. One of the life advice given by Sri Rama is contained in a kekawin (spiritual song) called Wirama Swandewi.

Kekawin (Kakawin) is Kawi language literature presented in the spiritual songs of the Dharma Gita or presented in the form of Itihasa with interesting stories as a means of education. The following are the lyrics from Kekawin Wirama Swandewi:

Wirama Swandewi's Kekawin Lyrics (Photo Source: Editorial Collection)

Wirama Swandewi's Kekawin Lyrics (Photo Source: Editorial Collection)

“prihantemen dharma dumeranang sarat

saraga sang sadhu sireka tutana

tan artha tan kama pidonya tan yasa

ya sakti sang sajana dharma raksasa”

Which mean: 

"strive for virtue for the country's resilience

the perseverance of those who strive for salvation is exemplary

it is not wealth, not kama, and not fame that is important

because the main goal for people who seek salvation is to hold fast to virtue."

Such a beautiful legacy of knowledge has been passed down to the latest generations. In this kekawin, Rama advised that we should not only prioritize worldly interests. We must also balance efforts to achieve worldly success and success in practicing dharma or virtue.

Explanation of Wirama Swandewi by Tu Aji Mangku Sudana (Photo Source: Editorial Collection)

The advices of Rama have now been disseminated by teachers so that future generations can become acquainted with this legacy of knowledge. One of the mangku at the Candi Narmada Temple also helped interpret the meaning of Wirama Swandewi. “It's good that there are still young people who want to learn this. From childhood to adulthood, pursue knowledge and provision (in terms of money) so that when you are old you can enjoy the results of your hard work and can focus more on studying religion and spirituality. But even so, when you seek knowledge and wealth, remain based on dharma. If you are based on dharma, your path will be more guided in the future." That is what he said, patiently explaining the meaning of that kekawin.

The knowledge that has been packaged in an interesting form in Itihasa should not only be known to us. However, we also need to apply it to everyday life. Wealth and fame are important but not everything. We must remain balanced with virtue because in the end, virtue is what guides and helps us then, now, until we die.