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  • and Serenity Late Buddhist

    Sculpture from


    Natasha Reichle


  • V iol e nc e a n d Se r e n i t y

  • Violence and Serenity

    Late Buddhist Sculpture from Indonesia

    Natasha Reichle

    U n i v e r s i t y o f H awa i ‘ i P r e s s | H o n o l u l u

  • Publication of this book has been aided by a grant from

    the Millard Meiss Publication Fund of the College Art


    © 2007 University of Hawai‘i Press

    All rights reserved

    Printed in the United States of America

    12 11 10 09 08 07 6 5 4 3 2 1

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Reichle, Natasha.

    Violence and serenity : late Buddhist sculpture from

    Indonesia / Natasha Reichle.

    p. cm.

    Includes bibliographical references and index.

    ISBN 978-0-8248-2924-7 (hardcover : alk. paper)

    1. Sculpture, Buddhist — Indonesia. 2. Sculpture

    — Indonesia. I. Title.

    NB1912.B83R44 2007

    730.9598 — dc22 2007002856

    University of Hawai‘i Press books are printed on acid-

    free paper and meet the guidelines for permanence and

    durability of the Council on Library Resources.

    Designed by April Leidig-Higgins

    Printed by Thomson-Shore, Inc.

  • vii Acknowledgments

    ix A Note on Spelling and Transliteration

    xi Rulers of the Singasari and Majapahit Dynasties

    1 Introduction

    Ch a pter One 15 The Development of Buddhism in Sumatra and Java

    Ch a pter T wo 23 Joko Dolok and the Politics of Royal Asceticism

    Ch a pter Thr ee 51 Ideas of Portraiture: Prajñāpāramitā in Java and Sumatra

    Ch a pter Four 85 The Many Roles of the Amoghapāśa Man

    ˙ d ˙


    Ch a pter Fi v e 133 A Charnel House of Images: The Padang Lawas Heruka

    Ch a pter Si x 167 The National Museum’s Monumental Bhairava

    211 Conclusion

    217 Notes

    259 Selected Bibliography

    277 Illustration Credits

    279 Index

    con ten ts

  • Ack now ledgm en ts

    It is hard to know how to begin to give thanks when thanks are due so many. I have been fortunate to study with Joanna Williams, a model of erudi- tion, kindness, and patience. She took the risk of accepting a graduate student who knew next to nothing about art history or Southeast Asia, and has con- tinued to encourage and support me over the years. I would like to thank my teachers and academic advisers at Berkeley, including Amin Sweeney, Lewis Lancaster, Patricia Berger, Jeffrey Hadler, and Ninik Lunde. I also appreciate the thoughts and comments of Nancy Tingley, Robert L. Brown, and Kristina Youso Connoy. Friends and colleagues both in and outside graduate school, as well as at the Asian Art Museum, have helped me in numerous ways.

    I am grateful to several institutions and fellowships for their support of my research in Indonesia and the Netherlands. The J. William Fulbright Fellow- ship sponsored my travel and research in Indonesia in 1997–1998. I received additional support from the University of California’s Humanities Gradu- ate Research Grant and Center for Southeast Asian Studies’ Grants-in-Aid Award. Further assistance for planning and completing my dissertation was given by an Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Writing Fellowship, a U.C. Berkeley’s Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship, and a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship. The Millard Meiss Publication Grant helped support the publication of this book.

    I am indebted to a great number of individuals and institutions in Indo- nesia. I appreciate all the efforts of my sponsor in Jakarta, Dr. Endang Sri Hardiati Soekatno, and the Pusat Penelitian Arkeologi Nasional. I also re- ceived invaluable assistance from the staffs of the Museum Nasional, Suaka Peninggalan Sejarah dan Purbakala Provinsi Sumatra Barat dan Riau, Suaka Peninggalan Sejarah dan Purbakala Provinsi Jambi, Sumatera Selatan and Bengkulu, Suaka Peninggalan Sejarah dan Purbakala Provinsi Jawa Tengah, Balai Arkeologi Medan, and Balai Arkeologi Palembang. Thanks are also due the staff of AMINEF in Jakarta, PPLH Seloliman, Bapak H. A. Sutan Madjo Indo, the Keluarga Kontra, and Ibu War and her family. Many other Indone-

  • sians helped me find my way during my time in Java and Sumatra. My thanks to all of them.

    In the Netherlands, Marijke Klokke and Pauline Lunsingh Scheurleer patiently answered my questions and assisted me in many ways. I am also grateful to the staffs of the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, Leiden; Kern Institute; Leiden University Library; and Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde.

    My thanks also go to Pamela Kelley at the University of Hawai‘i Press and to Joanne Sandstrom and Sheila Huth for their work on the preparation of this manuscript. Douglas Reichle put in countless hours making maps and digitalizing photographs.

    This project would never have begun without the help and support of my immediate and extended family. I would like to thank my brother for initially inspiring my interest in Indonesia, and my sister and her husband for their support, especially while I was abroad. My father had a quiet wisdom and avid intellectual curiosity that I can only seek to emulate. I miss him deeply and wish he could have seen the completion of this project. My mother’s cre- ativity kindled my interest in the arts; her love and generosity sustain me. Tai has already seen the sun set from the top of Borobudur, and I hope some day soon Sarinah will also. I look forward to returning to Indonesia and sharing its beauty with them both. No words can express my debt to Stephen Knight, my sopir, research assistant, editor, friend, and partner in life. Without his help this book would remain incomplete, as would my life.

    viii | ac k now l e d g m e n t s

  • A Note on Spelli ng a n d Tr a nsliter ation

    This book draws upon many sources, which in turn have used differ- ing ways of transliterating Sanskrit and Old Javanese or Malay words. To try to maintain some kind of coherence throughout the text, I have used Sanskrit spellings for most words and names. In an Indonesian context, the letter v would be replaced by a w; for instance Śiwa instead of Śiva. I have maintained the Javanese spelling only for the names of rulers, or in quota- tions from other sources.

  • Si ngasa r i dy nast y

    Ranggah Rājasa (Ken Angrok) (1222–1227) marries Ken Dedes and founds Singasari dynasty

    Anūs ˙ apati (Anūs

    ˙ anātha) (1227–1248), son of Ken Dedes and her first

    husband, Tungal Ametung

    Tohjaya (1248), son of Ken Angrok and a concubine

    Wis ˙ n ˙

    uwardhana (1248–1268), son of Anūs ˙ apati

    Kr ˙

    tanagara (1268–1292), son of Wis ˙ n ˙


    Jayakatwang (1292–1293), married to a cousin of Kr ˙


    M aja pa hit dy nast y

    Kr ˙

    tarājasa (Raden Wijaya) (1293–1309), son-in-law of Kr ˙

    tanagara, married to Gāyatrī Rājapatnī (daughter of Kr

    ˙ tanagara)

    Jayanāgara (1309–1328), son of Kr ˙


    Tribhuwanā (1328–1350), daughter of Kr ˙


    Rājasanagara (Hayam Wuruk) (1350–1389), son of Tribhuwanā

    Wikramawardhana (1389–1429), nephew and son-in-law of Rājasanagara

    Suhitā (1429–1447), daughter of Wikramawardhana

    ru ler s of th e si ngasa r i a n d m aja pa hit dy nasti es

  • I n troduction

    At the heart of the Museum Nasional in Jakarta lies a re- markable collection of ancient sculpture. One after another, dozens of Hindu and Buddhist statues line the walls of the courtyard at the core of the build- ing, giving the visitor a glimpse of the long artistic history of the region. Al- though many of the images are spectacular, when I first visited the museum, I found myself drawn again and again to the same two: an exquisite seated image of Prajñāpāramitā, the goddess of transcendental wisdom, and a colos- sal standing demonic figure known as a bhairava.

    The bhairava sculpture is impossible to miss and difficult to forget (fig. i.1). It stands at the back of the first gallery of ancient sculpture, looking out at the museum’s courtyard. At almost four and a half meters high, it towers over the rest of the museum’s collection. Standing on a base of oversized human skulls, the bhairava holds a dagger and skull cup against his hairy chest. A small Aks

    ˙ obhya Buddha depicted in his headdress is the only clue to the im-

    age’s Buddhist nature. The statue is described as a portrait of the fourteenth- century Sumatran king Ādityawarman.

    The Prajñāpāramitā statue is equally riveting, but in a very different way (fig. i.2). While the bhairava image boldly faces the viewer, the Prajñāpāramitā looks down in meditation, serenely focused inward. The seated figure is on the second floor of the museum, guarding the entranceway of the Treasure Room. It is a jewel-like image, cool, hard, exquisite. Despite its clearly Buddhist ico- nography, the statue has long been associated with a historical figure known as Ken Dedes, the first queen of the Singasari dynasty.

    What initially drew me to these two images was their remarkable crafts- manship. But soon other questions arose. What role did these sharply con- trasting images play in Buddhist practices in Indonesia? What were the