Category: Hindu Heritage

5 causes of the collapse of the Majapahit – Hindu Kingdom in Indonesia

The Majapahit kingdom was the last Indianization kingdom in Indonesia; based in East Java, it was established between the 13th and 16th centuries. The founder of the Majapahit empire was Wijaya, a prince of Singhasari, who fled when Jayakatwang, ruler of Kediri, took over the palace. In 1292 the Mongol army came to Java to answer the insult to the Chinese emperor, Kublai Khan, by Kertanegara, king Singhasari, who had been replaced by Jayakatwang.

Wijaya collaborated with the Mongol army to surpass Jayakatwang; Wijaya then turned against the Mongols and removed them from Java. Factors causing the collapse of Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms in general are as follows.

The absence of the formation of new leaders (regeneration), like those who were involved in the Majapahit Kingdom. Gajah Mada as Patih Amangkubhumi held all important positions, he did not give the next generation the opportunity to appear, to the extent that Gajah Mada died there was no capable and experienced successor.

The weakness of the central government as a result of the ongoing civil war such as the Paregreg War which weakened the domination of the kingdom like Bre Wirabhumi with the Wardhana Wikrama. The urgency of the kingdom as a result of the emergence of more and more powerful kingdoms. For example, the Majapahit kingdom was attacked by the Demak kingdom. The ongoing civil war was like the Paregreg War which actually weakened the dominance of the kingdom like Bre Wirabumi with the Wardhana Wikrama.

The large number of regions that have gouged out the impact of weak monitoring of the central government and its lower kingdoms created an independent kingdom and were no longer bound by the central government.

Economic and Trade Setbacks.
The public began to be interested in Islam which was spread from Malacca, Gresik and Tuban. The Majapahit kingdom collapsed in 1500 AD. The factors that resulted in the collapse of the Majapahit Kingdom were as follows:

1. There is no formation of new leaders (there is no regeneration).
2. Gajah Mada as Patih Amangkubumi holds all important positions. He did not give the next generation the opportunity to appear, to the point that after the death of Gajah Mada there was no capable and experienced successor.
3. Civil war weakens strength. The Paregreg War brought havoc to the people and the nobility, to the point that it weakened strength and there was no unity. The regions gouged out themselves, because the administration of the center of the weak and chaotic Majapahit Kingdom, all the dukes of Java and the kingdoms outside Java gouged out
4. The weakness of the central government in the impact of civil war resulted in the economic decadence of Majapahit. Trade in the Archipelago is levied by Malay and Islamic traders.
5. Entry and publication of Islam. The dukes and coastal areas of the inland areas that are Muslims feel they are not bound by the rule of the Majapahit Kingdom, to the extent that they are disobedient and loyal to the Hindu authorities.

The Majapahit kingdom collapsed slowly but certainly after the departure of the leader who brought it to victory, Hayam Wuruk.

After Hayam Wuruk’s death, many times Majapahit’s domination changed. The kingdom’s internal conflict stimulated war, accelerating the destruction of the kingdom which almost controlled the archipelago and even a number of Southeast Asian regions. It is still unclear what events mark the end of this kingdom, as many sources say that Majapahit collapsed due to an attack from the Islamic kingdom of Demak.

There were also those who recited the internal conflict between Bhre Kertabumi as the last king of Majapahit, attacked by Bhatara Wijaya who was also a member of the kingdom, which then felt the internal conflict ended the establishment of Majapahit.

But, of course the collapsed Majapahit was followed by the end of Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms in the archipelago. Because after the collapse of Majapahit, not a few emerging Islamic kingdoms were victorious. In Java Island itself was once the center of the Majapahit government, began to be replaced by the Demak Sultanate which was located on the northern coast of Java, this empire was also occupied by the Majapahit territory.

Not the first sultanate in the archipelago, before Demak had stood as much as the kingdom in the archipelago, for example Samudra Pasai which had existed since the 13th century. But arguably the dominant Demak is more powerful than as many sultanates that have already existed. The Demak Sultanate also helped accelerate the spread of Islam to all the archipelago, not only in Java. Islam also began to shift Hinduism and Buddhism which were previously dominant.

A number of dominant sultanates are also getting stronger, not just Demak. Like the Aceh Sultanate in Aceh, then Gowa – Tallo in Sulawesi, the Ternate and Tidore Sultanates in Maluku, and other sultanates. The collapse of Majapahit can be said to be the turning point of Indonesian history, because it ended the existence of the influence of the powerful Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms in the archipelago. Islam is also the most dominant religion in Indonesia and it has survived until now.

Hindu Civilization is Very Feeling in Bali

Not long ago I just finished listening to a book written by Prof. Dr. Nengah Bawa Atmadja, M.A. under the title “Genealogy of Majapahit Collapse – Islamization, Tolerance, and Defense of Hinduism in Bali”. I am interested in the title that I did not understand at first. What is the relationship Majapahit Collapse and Islamization? (this is of course we have been able to learn history at the school level but the background, motivation, and what actually happened still can not be revealed if only rely on the practice in school) What tolerance happened during the Islamization process? How can Hinduism survive amidst the onslaught of religious work (invitation has another religious character)?

Certainly as a wise reader we must be able to get rid of those views that have egocentric, ethnocentric, and even religious attitudes that want to shut down. Because the author wrote this book with not a bit of background and point of view as a historical researcher and cultural observer. There is no individual motive of either ethnicity and belief (religion) in this book. The author does not fight for Hindu readers at all. This book is purely a historical review of the collapse of Majapahit as the largest Hindu kingdom and the importance of the existence of Bali as perhaps the sole heir of the Majapahit Kingdom. Bali as a cultural center Hindu religion in Indonesia needs to re-establish its existence and as a tourism envoy Indonesia Bali island needs to regulate itself again.

This book discusses what actually happened to Majapahit Kingdom. Majapahit kingdom is a great kingdom and almost all of Southeast Asia has been conquered and all its colonies are subservient and obedient to the banner of the honor of Majapahit Kingdom. Very unlikely if the kingdom of Majapahit collapsed just like that. The rebellion of small kingdoms who have struggled to defect has certainly become very easy to break. So what exactly happened? To borrow a quote from William Durrant from his book entitled The Story of Civilization that “whatever great culture is undermined from within” will be collapsed as well. We can also assume a community of strong cultural roots will not be disturbed by the invasion of other cultural formats. The following things to be reached by the people of Bali. What happened to the Majapahit Empire is the waning of the authority of Majapahit leaders, there is no more authoritative substitute after Patih Gajah Mada, we have secretly agreed on this matter, corrupt government, the loss of cultural existence because of the Islamization process carried by the merchants, Muslim traders as well as the cause of Christianization carried out by European colonists who raised 3G (Gold, Glory, Gospel) on each invasion work. All these affairs are strung together into one and slowly destroy the identity of Majapahit Kingdom.

What happened to Bali today is almost close to what has happened to Majapahit. As a tourism axis of Indonesia is certainly that Bali will welcome the presence of many types and models of society that lift their respective cultures. Not even close can be the community groups will “create” the process of assimilation and acculturation. The following is felt by Majapahit. As a kingdom dependent on maritime and commerce of Majapahit is the paradise of all traders, all religious preachers (Indonesian society at that time still did not embrace animism and dynamism to the point of becoming the target of all preachers and religious broadcasters) and all seekers of hedonist satisfaction. Indonesia’s waters, which are the main routes of shipping and commerce, are certainly the main attraction for people outside Indonesia. Entrance through the end of Sumatra will all be docked towards Java and stop and settle in Majapahit. Referring back to Bali, Bali as a small island surrounded by archipelago with so many kinds of custom must endure. Even in the inner environment also Bali has started to “invansi” with the cultures that are transported by tourists both local and international.

If Bali as a cultural axis of Hinduism in Indonesia dragged in the current globalization as it is guaranteed the collapse of Majapahit will be repeated for the second time. The difference this time collapse of the collapse of customs and cultural identity is not the collapse of power.

How can Bali survive so far? How does Hindu customs in Balinese society not disappear amidst the “war” of religion that often happens in Indonesia? The answers to these questions are only one, namely tolerance. Among the oldest religious centers, Bali chose to be neutral and give the widest tolerance to immigrants and their culture. Widest but still have limits that have been set in the customary law of the Balinese people. As a tourist destination Bali should choose to survive and neutral. This has happened since the Majapahit nobles turned to Bali. They chose to be neutral amid the onslaught of Islamization and Christianization. There is no point in resisting the expansion and invasion of Islamic kingdoms like the Demak Kingdom, Samudera Pasai, and not a bit more. There is no use against the VOC that in fact has a fleet power far superior. They chose to retreat, remain silent, and survive but there is no intention to strike at any time. Because they have a clear goal, namely to keep Bali as the heir of the Majapahit Kingdom and as a model and format of Hindu society that is still in synergy until now. Hinduism for Balinese society has become not only a religious identity but has transformed into a lifestyle and a cornerstone of habit that needs to be maintained and preserved. Hinduism Has become the oldest inheritance for the Indonesian nation. As a resident of the Indonesian state who participates in having Bali let us help the efforts of all your ancestors in preserving the culture. Not in religion but in the name of culture. If Bali lost anything we can be proud of?

Hindu Heritage Historical Heritage in Indonesia


The entry of Hinduism into Indonesia is transported by all traders from India. Among the merchants there are those who live in Indonesia and carry their religious and cultural influences. Hindu culture in the past inherited a variety of historical relics. Hindu cultural history relics between different temples, inscriptions, statues, literary works (books), and traditions.

The following are historical relics of Hindu culture:

1. Temple

Temple is a building that often consists of three parts, namely the foot, body, and roof. In Hindu temples there are often statues of the three major deities in Hindu doctrine. The three gods are Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Brahma is the creator god, Vishnu the god of the rearing, and the Shia god of the fuser. On the wall of the temple there is relief, the embossed images are often made with sculpting techniques. Relief tells a story.

The famous Hindu temple is Prambanan Temple or Loro Jonggrang Temple. Prambanan Temple was built in the 9th century on the border of Yogyakarta and Surakarta. Inside this temple there is a statue of Trimurti and relief that tells the story of Ramayana. People in the Ramayana story are Rama, Shinta, and Jatayu Bird.

Hindu temple relics: 

  • Prambanan
  • Dieng
  • Badut
  • Canggal
  • Gedong Sanga
  • Penataran
  • Sawentar
  • Candi Kidal
  • Singasari
  • Sukuh

2. Inscription

The inscription is a relic of history which contains articles from the past. It was copied on stone, metal, clay, and animal horns. Hindu relics inscription written in Pallawa and Sanskrit. The oldest inscription is Yupa Inscription, created around the year 350-400 AD Yupa inscriptions derived from the Kingdom of Kutai. Yupa is a stone pole used during the sacrifice. The sacrificial animal is moored on this pole. Yupa inscription consists of seven inscribed stones. The contents of Yupa Inscription is a poem that tells the King Mulawarman. Here is the composition of inscriptions Hindu cultural heritage.

Hindu royal heritage inscriptions : 

  • Kutai
  • Ciaruteun
  • Tugu
  • Jambu
  • Kebon Kopi
  • Cidanghiang
  • Pasir Awi
  • Muara Cianten
  • Canggal
  • Kalasan
  • Dinoyo
  • Kedu
  • Sanur

3. Statue

Hindu sculptural features include fauna and humans. Sculpture in the form of animals created because the fauna is perceived to have supernatural powers. The human statue was created to perpetuate certain figures and to reflect the goddess god. Example of the famous Hindu monument statue is Airlangga Statue is riding an eagle. In the statue, Airlangga is reflected as the incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Statues of Hindu royal heritage : 

  • Trimurti
  • Dwarapala
  • Wisnu Cibuaya I
  • Wisnu Cibuaya II
  • Rajasari
  • Airlangga
  • Ken Dedes
  • Kertanegara
  • Kertarajasa

4. Literary works (book)

Literary works of Hindu royal heritage shaped kakawin or book. The relics contain a history list. Generally the literary works of Hindu history are written with Pallawa letters in Sanskrit on palm leaves. A familiar literary work between the different Books of Westayuda and the Book of Arjunawiwaha. The Book of the Westayuda is composed of the Lacking Professor and the Empress Pan. The Book of Westayuda contains the success story of King Jayabaya in unifying the Kingdom of Kediri and Kingdom of Jenggala. The Book of Arjunawiwaha contains the empirical life and success of King Airlangga. Here is the composition of Hindu history books in Indonesia.

Hindu historical books : 

  • Carita Parahayangan
  • Kresnayana
  • Arjunawiwaha
  • Lubdaka
  • Baratayuda

5. Tradition

Tradition is the habit of ancestors that are still run by society today. Hindu religious traditions are not found in the Balinese area because the majority of Bali’s population is Hindu. The tradition of Hindu religion that developed in Bali, among others:

  • Ceremony nelubulanin when baby 3 month old.
  • Cutting ceremony (mapandes).
  • The cremation ceremony called Ngaben. In the Ngaben tradition, the corpse was burned along with as many valuable items as the people burned.
  • Pilgrimage, which is to visit the tomb of a saint and the ancestral location of the ancestor is like a temple.