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Home » Tale

A Balinese Folktale: Dewi Sri (the Rice Goddess)  

by on Sunday, 8 April 2007No Comment | 5,706 views

Once upon a time, Bhatara Guru (the head of Gods) who resides in heaven held a great ceremony. It is a tradition that each god should help in the preparation of the ceremony. But the great dragon Ananta Boga looked so sad since he could not help anything because did not have a hand or foot. It made him sad, he cried alone, but a miracle occurred, his tears that touch land turn into three eggs. He took those eggs on his mouth; he planned to give Bhatara Guru the eggs as a consolation for his inability in helping the preparation of ceremony.

On the way, he met another god, the god greeted him, when he answered two of his eggs fell into earth and hatched. One produced a rat and the other a boar. Realizing his mistake, Ananta Boga kept silence on the rest of the way, until he arrived in front of Bhatara Guru. He told Bhatara Guru what happened on him, and presented the remaining egg. Bhatara Guru accepted the egg.

After couple days, a beautiful girl came out from the egg. Bhatara Guru named her Dewi Sri and loved her so much. It made several goddess jealous on her. They tried to make Dewi Sri ‘disappear’ from heaven. One day they manage to poison Dewi Sri. she died and the wicked goddess buried the body of Dewi Sri deep in the earth. After a couple of days a plant (rice) grew from the place where Dewi Sri was buried.

Bhatara Guru realized that plant was Dewi Sri. He came to the earth and told humans to keep that plant especially from rat and jungle pig disturbance since the plant was a goddess and it could give a welfare for human being. But if they did not keep it, they would get a disaster.

Balinese believe that Dewi Sri is the goddess of rice and she stays as a protector of the rice field.

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