Our final destination in Bali, called "Tanah Lot". Timing was impecable, sun was near its lowest point.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
He is Samiaji the king of Amartapura and the oldest of five brothers "Pendawa Lima". He was a very patient king and was never angry; he never told a lie. Having these characteristics, in the word of the wayang hi is said to have "white blood". Samiaji is a symbol of honesty and patience.
And Shinta. In the original Ramayana story she was the wife of Rama. She was kidnapped, and locked up by Rahwana. She was released by her husband and helped bythe white monkey and Lesmana her brother in-law. To prove that she was still a virgin, she was burned by her husband but the fire didn't harm her, hence proving her innocence. She is the symbol of faithfulness and honour.
In this 4th excerpt from the Ramayana, Anoman finally finds Shinta in the kingdom of Alengka. He gives Rama's ring to Shinta as instructed and in return, Shinta gives Anoman an ornament to give to Rama. There is also a bit of flirtation between Anoman and Trijhata (Rahwana's niece) who happens to be protecting Shinta. This hints of their eventual marriage later on.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Sometimes the lines of reality cross those of our dreams.
Tanah Lot means 'Land in the Middle of the Sea' in Balinese language. Located about 20 km from Denpasar, the temple sits on a huge offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide.
Tanah Lot is said to be the work of the 16th century priest Niratha.The story goes that during his travels along the south coast he saw the rock-island's beautiful setting and rested there. Some fishermen saw him, and bought him gifts. Niratha then spent the night on the little island. Later he spoke to the fishermen and told them to build a shrine on the rock for he felt it to be a holy place to worship the Balinese sea gods.
The Tanah Lot temple was then built and has been an important part of Balinese mythological history for centuries. The temple is one of seven sea temples around the Balinese coast. It was said that each of the sea temples was to be within eyesight of the next so that they formed a chain along the south-western coast.
At the base of the rocky island, poisonous sea snakes are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders. There is said to be one giant snake which also protects the temple. It is believed that this snake was created from Niratha’s scarf when he established the island.
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Handmade Javanese shadow puppet, known as wayang kulit (literally "skin puppet"), similar to this earlier post. In this case, I've created a silhouette, instead of a shadow, to illustrate the complexity and fine detail of the craftsmanship.
Traditionally, the puppets were used as characters during marathon puppet shows recounting the Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. This figure represents Arjuna, the warrior prince. by: timekin
It is asserted by some sources that the legend of "Ārash, the Parthian Archer" in Persian mythology bears some resemblance to that of Arjuna; this is cited by some as being reminiscent of a shared Indo-Iranian heritage. However, Arjun is an integral part of the Mahabharata and one of its lead characters. The other central characters in the story are not mentioned in the story of Arash. Lastly, Indian scientists have discovered what they claim to be Dwaraka, or Krishna's city, indicating that the Mahabharata may indeed have a link to actual events in Indian history, as opposed to being a mythological tale. 
He bears a total of ten names: Arjun, Phalgun, Jishnu, Keeriti, Shewetvaahan, Vibhatsu, Vijaya, Pārth, Savyasachinn (also referred as Sabyasachi), and Dhananjaya. When he is asked to say his ten names as a proof of his identity:
"My ten names are - Arjun, Phalgun, Jishnu, Keeriti, Shwetvaahan, Vibhatsu, Vijaya, Parth, Savyashachee and Dhananjaya. I was called Dhanajaya when I conquered all the kings at the time of Rājsooya Yajna and collected wealth from all of them. I always fight till end and I always win, that is why I am called Vijaya. My horses which were given to me by Agni Dev are white, that is why I am called Shwetavāhana. My father Indra gave me a beautiful crown when I was with Him, that is why I am called Kiriti. I have never fought by unfair means in any battle that is why I am called Vibhatsu. I never frighten my enemies by meanness, I can use my both hands when I shoot my arrows, that is why I am called Savyashachee. My complexion is unique like Arjun tree, and my name is stainless, that is why I am named Arjun. I was born on the slopes of Himvaan in a place called Satsring on a day when the Nakshatra Uttara Phalgunī was in ascent, that is why my name is Phaalgun. I am called Jishnu because I am terrible when I am angry. My mother's name is Prithaa, so I am also called Paarth. I have taken an oath that I will destroy that person and his kinsmen who hurts my brother Yudhishthira and spills his blood on Earth. I cannot be defeated by anyone." (Mahabharat)