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HERITAGE: Gayatri Rajapatni - The Woman Behind the Glory of Majapahit

Majapahit Ancient Indonesian Kingdom was founded in 1293 and it is known as the greatest Kingdom in Indonesian history especially during the era of Hayam Wuruk. His success is also credited to his Prime Minister: Patih Gajah Mada who was able to expand Majapahit's territory throughout Southeast Asia from Sumatra to New Guinea, consisting of present-day Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, southern Thailand, and southwestern Philippines; and named it Nusantara.

Gayatri the Queen Consort

Source: Tropenmuseum, not the actual documentation of related topic, for illustration only

Dyah Ayu Sri Maharatu Mahadewi Gayatri, also called Gayatri Prajapatmi was the youngest daughter of the last Singhasari Kingdom's King, Kertanegara. Then she married Raden Wijaya, the first King of Majapahit, and became a Queen consort as she was known for her intelligence and wisdom.

The Woman Behind the Glory

Before Majapahit's prime era, Gayatri Rajapatni took a big part of Gajah Mada's successes as his mentor and advisor. She was Gajah Mada's sponsor, patron, and protector as she recognized Gajah Mada's potentials; then she recruited him into her daughter (Hayam Wuruk's mother), Tribhuana Wijayatunggadewi's trusted officer. Tribhuana Wijayatunggadewi became a Queen regnant who ruled Majapahit Kingdom in 1328 - 1350.

Before Tribhuana Wijayatunggadewi became a Queen regnant, Gayatri was responsible of Majapahit's throne; but as she had retired and become a Bhikkuni, she appointed her daughter on her behalf in 1329. Twenty one years later, Gayatri died and Tribuana Wijayatunggadewi abdicated her throne to her son who then become the greatest King of Majapahit, Hayam Wuruk.

Portrayed as Prajnaparamita

During the reign of Hayam Wuruk in 1365, the famous script: Negarakertagama was written by Mpu Prapanca. It is described in it that elaborate and solemn Sraddha ceremony is dedicated for the departed spirit of revered Gayatri Rajapatni. She was enshrined in serval temples and portrayed as Prajnaparamita, the Mahayana Buddhist female Boddhisattva of transcendental wisdom or knowledge.

Gayatri's name derived from Hindu Goddess of hymn and mantras that has another name Saraswati, that is also the goddess of knowledge and wisdom. Gayatri Mantra starts with the sound of Aum. In Bali, we celebrate Saraswati Holy Days every Saniscara Umanis wuku Watugunung in Balinese calendar (twice a year). This year in 2022, Saraswati Holy Days fall on March 26th and October 22nd.

What Balinese do during Saraswati Holy Day:

  • Preparing the offering (upakara/banten) in the morning

  • Before Saraswati Ceremony and before past noon, people are not allowed to read any information or processing any external knowledge. This is because Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge; so during Saraswati Day, people need to focus on the adoration and not to distract themselves with any other activities that associate with Dewi Saraswati's divine-powers (reading, learning, listen to information, teaching, preaching, etc.).

  • Some people are participating in Brata Saraswati, which means that they are not allowed to read or process any knowledge and wisdom all day (hence why we published this article two days before Saraswati Day).

From Saraswati Holy Days we can learn that: " must pursue material knowledge and spiritual wisdom simultaneously, and that a fulfilling life results from the harmonious, balanced alignment of the individual and the social interests, the personal and the organizational goals, the material and the spiritual pursuits of life.". By withdrawing from material knowledge during Saraswati Day, we're expected to balance the alignment on spiritual level by focusing on the ceremony and adoration. As written on Isha Upanishad hymn 12 - 14; "One sided pursuits lead to darkness. To be enlightened, seek both material knowledge and spiritual wisdom (उभय सह, ubhayam saha)."

Introducing The Scent of Prajnaparamita AUM - Jasmine + Lotus

This scent was inspired by the story of Gayatri Rajapatni, not only as a respected Queen Consort, but also as a mother and protector. She is strong and independent with her vision, leadership with a remarkable knowledge to lead her kingdom together with Raden Wijaya; but she's also loving and nurturing to her family. She dedicates her few last years becoming a Bikkhuni for her spiritual pursuit. AUM Scent is divine floral, sacred, and romantic.


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