Rwa Bhineda / Dark vs. Light

Posted on: 26 October 2008

The semi-historical Calonarang, a tale of two constantly opposing factions, but are dependent upon each other as a complete universe

In the balinesse view, joy and grief cannot be separated, for when you share a joyful moment, you cannot avoid the sorrowful. The accurrence of joy and grief in this life is like anever-ending circle, where joy will surely be followed by grief, and grief soon replaced by other joys – a perpectual circle. Rwa Binedha: two eternal differences, a concept the Balinesse  believe that good and evil, right and left, gods and demons are banded into two opposing factions, constantly opposing but dependent upon each other as complete universe.

The concept of the two opposing factions is set in various tales and legends, and among the most well known is the semi-historical tale of Calonarang. Calonarang is the name of a woman who lived in the coastal village of Dirah, whitin the kingdom of kediri.l A widow, Calonarang was also called by the name of Rangda Naten Dirah or ‘Rangda 9the widow) from the village of dirah’. Calonarang was known to be a powerful queen of withes and was able to bring chaos throught gerubug or plagues over the kingdom.

So it is told that Calonarang had a lovely single daughter, Dirah Ratna Manggali, who never haf a young man approach or propose marriage  to her due to the fear of her witchcraff, based on the low of inheritance that if  the mother could ngeleyak than her children will inherit the same terrible powers.
Deep in sorrow mixed with fury, Calonarang worried about te continuation of her bloodline and was infuriated because of this reputed condition. So one dark night Calonarang called upon her students to help cast a plague upon the kingdom, causing the people to succumb to death by vomiting and diarrhea (perhaps symptoms of cholera) and strange diseases.

The king summoned the hight priest Empu Bharadah, and assigned him to resolve the plague. Empu Bharadah’s strategy was to assign his son to the mission, which was to marry Diah Ratna Manggali, and then steal the secrets of the powerful widow’s teachings. Empu Bahula succeeded, but after awhile Calonarang realized that she had been betrayed.

Calonarang challenged Empu Bharadah to batlle at night in the vast Setra Ganda Mayu grave grounds of the kingdom. The frightening and powerful batlle  commensed between the two powers of dark and light  and lasted until down. Due to the fact that black magic only has powers during night, Calonarang was burnt to ashes by her own powers after daybreak. Her demise also stopped the plague that was hanging over the kingdom.

This tale continues to be told in one of the island’s most famous and sanctified dance dramas involving the Barong and Rangda, who represent the power of light and dark, and the famed acts of unsheathed keris self-stabbings by dancers.
This Halloween, look into Bali’s own darker side, the unnerving, mysterious, and eerie…Bali has trove of them, as much as its lighter side of colorful beauty. Find the multifaceted culture that Bali is, even throught the long claws and fiery stare and fanged grin of a Rangda.

Huhhhh…akhirnya selesai juga
sumber: BALI&BEYOND | October 2008


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