The Representation of Women in the Rajagopalachari’s Version of “Mahabharata” as the “Garwa” in the Javanese Culture Perspective

Nashrul Wahyu Suryawan • Vivi V. W. Damayanti

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Mahabharata was known and enjoyed by Javanese for centuries. It is an epic that was considered to have a big bond and has been affecting human life, the culture, mindset, and even various forms of value, including the value of the marriage system of Javanese. The marriage system from Javanese perspective placed woman as garwa (sigaraning nyawa/ soul mate) which should fulfil three criteria. The first characteristic of Javanese woman is faithful and able to dedicate themselves to serve their husbands. It is termed as "swarga nunut neraka katut". The second criterion of an ideal woman as the garwa is having an accepting/ worship attitude (narima). The ideal Javanese woman hs to be able to accompany her husband in all conditions, always grateful, sincered and satisfied even though life that is lived is not easy at all. The third is devoted. The devotion to the husband can be shown through attitude, speech and sincerity in serving the husband. In addition, an ideal woman must be able to maintain the honor of herself and her husband, keep herself away from all forms of infidelity or things that may bring disgrace to the family. These criteria also be found in Mahabharata.





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