The Origins of the Principal Characters
The giant king of Dati Kuaca sends an ultimatum to the neighbouring king of Berma; either Berma surrenders or his country will be invaded. Berma rejects the ultimatum. In the ensuing war Dati Kuaca is killed; Berma’s son, Dewa Baha, marries Dati Kuaca’s widow and takes the dead king’s place as ruler of the land.
In the Sky country (Kayangan), Dewa Serajuk, the ruler of the West, desires Siti Andang Dewi, the beautiful wife of Dewa Berembun who rules the East. He is prepared to leave Kayangan if he can possess Siti Andang Dewi but once. By transforming himself to look exactly like Dewa Berembun, Dewa Serajuk succeeds in his mission. Promptly surrendering his kingdom, he descends to earth to enter the womb of Dewa Baha’s wife through her mouth. He is destined to be reborn on earth as Maharaja Wana.
Siti Andang Dewi, realising that she has been seduced by Dewa Serajuk and feeling disgraced, decides to reincarnate on earth to take revenge on him. She will be reborn as Siti Dewi. With that, the disheartened Dewa Berembun, decides to abdicate. Unwisely, he hands over his symbols of authority to Sang Yang Kenung. Sang Yang Kenung, using them carelessly, causes chaos in heaven. Doubly hurt, Dewa Berembun too leaves Kayangan. He enters the body of Cahaya Bulan, the wife of Sirat Maharaja, king of Siusia Mendarapura. Dewa Berembun is to be reborn as Seri Rama.The Story of Maharisi Burung Jerejit
The sage Maharisi Burung Jerejit, overhearing the conversation of a pair of birds nesting in his beard, decides that he must have children. From a piece of sandalwood he creates a wife, naming her Siti Cendana. A daughter, named Maya Angin, is born and the sage returns to his asceticism. Later, using a magical formula given to her by Maharisi Burung Jerejit to call him if she needs him, Siti Cendana manages to summon, by turn, the sun god Dewa Sinar Matahari and the moon god Dewa Sinar Bulan. With these gods, respectively, she has two sons. As a result of his daughter’s insinuations regarding the parentage of his sons, the sage decides to conduct a test to ascertain if the children are really his own. He throws all three into a pool and the two sons are transformed into monkeys. Siti Cendana curses the daughter, and she is borne by the wind to Gunung Angin where she stands frozen. Maharisi Burung Jerejit decides to retransform Siti Cendana into a piece of sandalwood. He resumes his asceticism. Dewa Sinar Bulan and Dewa Matahari come to the assistance of their sons. A forest kingdom, named Pakian, is built for them, and they are named Raja Bali and Raja Sagariwa.
The Birth of the Protagonists
In Siusia Mendarapura Sirat Maharaja has two sons, Seri Rama and Laksmana, from his first wife Cahaya Bulan. His second wife Mandudari also gives him two sons named Semardan and Chardan. Seri Rama and Laksmana become the pupils of a sage in Gunung Sahpian. In Dati Kuaca, three sons are born to Bentara Baha and his wife. They are named Maharaja Wana, Mah Babu Kenung and Mah Babu Senam. Maharaja Wana has ten heads and twenty arms. Due to unruly behaviour, he is banished to the island of Langkapuri where he practices asceticism. The prophet Adam, impressed, agrees to Maharaja Wana becoming ruler of the north, south and west, the underworld and the air, on condition that he will honour all agreements and not disturb the east, which, says Adam, is reserved for his other descendants. Maharaja Wana establishes a city and then roams his vast territories, marrying numerous wives from the various categories of creatures and making many kings his vassals.
Finding none of his wives suitable for the role of queen and having heard of the beauty of Mandudari, Maharaja Wana now demands that Sirat Maharaja surrender Mandudari to him. Sirat Maharaja and Mandudari cannot see a way out of the dilemma. Cahaya Bulan, coming to their assistance, creates a copy of Mandudari from her own body dirt. This new woman, named Mandudaki, is given to Maharaja Wana who believes that he has managed to obtain Mandudari.
The Competition for Siti Dewi’s Hand
Siti Andang Dewi enters the body of Mandudaki and she becomes pregnant. When the child’s birth is imminent there are ominous signs. Mah Babu Senam predicts that the child will cause great disaster in Langkapuri. Aborted on the beach, she is placed in a jar which is then set adrift. The jar eventually reaches Wat Tujuh Kedi Bermas where the child is discovered and adopted by a sage, Maharisi Mata Api. She is named Siti Dewi.
Siti Dewi grows up into an extremely beautiful young woman. Maharisi Mata Api sets about arranging a marriage competition (swayamwara) for her hand. With the assistance of the gods he creates in an open field a serpent with forty bends in its body, on each bend planting a palm tree (pokok lontar). He further creates a mighty bow and arrows as well as plants a sejati jawa tree near his palace. The announcement is made that whosoever succeeds in lifting the bow and shooting a single arrow through the forty palm trees will be given the hand of Siti Dewi in marriage. At the appointed time, a great gathering of all manner of creatures and well-known kings including Maharaja Wana takes place at Wat Tujuh Kedi Bermas. Maharaja Wana, who insists on being the first one to make the attempt at shooting through the palm trees, is unable to lift the bow. All other competitors similarly fail the test. Angry at the turn of events, Maharaja Wana does not return home but awaits in Wat Tujuh Kedi Bermas to see who wins the competition.
Maharisi Mata Api now visits Siusia Mendarapura to invite Sirat Maharaja’s sons to participate in the competition. He tells the king that any potential competitor would have to take one of three roads to Wat Tujuh Kedi Bermas. All three are guarded by different kinds of monsters. Semardan and Chardan, who are sent, fail to overcome the monsters.
Disgusted, Maharisi Mata Api then specifically asks for Seri Rama, who is immediately recalled from Gunung Sahpian together with Laksmana. Destroying not one but all three monsters guarding the roads, the two brothers arrive at Wat Tujuh Kedi Bermas.
The unsuccessful competitors are convinced that Seri Rama too will fail in his attempt to lift the bow. Compared to them he appears to be a mere weakling. Seri Rama manages to lift the bow. Laksmana, realising that the palm trees are planted on the back of a serpent, straightens it by pulling its tail, thus enabling his brother to shoot through them with a single arrow. Seri Rama wins the marriage competition. All at once numerous kings including Maharaja Wana claim to be winners. As a further test Maharisi Mata Api requires that they uproot the sejati jawa tree. Once again it is Seri Rama who succeeds and Maharisi Mata Api drives the pretenders away. Maharaja Wana immediately decides to kidnap Siti Dewi.
Maharisi Mata Api plans to celebrate the wedding with due pomp and circumstance. Asking Seri Rama to await his return the sage goes to invite a mighty host of the greatest and wisest, gods and kings included, to attend the feast. Seri Rama however is impatient. He decides to return home to Siusia Mendarapura with Siti Dewi and Laksmana even before Maharisi returns. The marriage feast is cancelled much to Maharisi Mata Api’s embarrassment. The sage predicts trouble for Seri Rama and Siti Dewi.
The Origins of Pak Dogol and Wak Long
In the highest level of Kayangan, Dewa Sang Yang Tunggal installs Dewa Betara Guru as ruler. He descends to earth to investigate the state of things there. For this purpose he decides, upon reaching earth, to assume the form of an extremely misshapen and ugly person, and takes the name Pak Dogol. At the pool of Taman Banjaran Sari he creates another equally misshapen being from his body dirt. This is Wak Long. Pak Dogol and Wak Long go to Langkapuri where they are appointed servants to Maharaja Wana.
The Birth of Hanuman, the White Ape
Seri Rama, Laksamana and Siti Dewi come across a pond in the forest on their way home from Wat Tujuh Kedi Bermas. One side of the pond has clear water while the water on the other side is muddy. Despite Laksmana’s warnings, Seri Rama and Siti Dewi drink the clear water from the pond as well as bathe in it. They are immediately transformed into monkeys, and chasing each other head for the trees. The pond, a magical one, has in fact been created by Maharaja Wana. Laksmana restores their original forms by throwing them in the muddy water. Siti Dewi is pregnant; fearing that she would give birth to a monkey, Laksmana removes her foetus and throws it into the air. It enters the open mouth of Maya Angin. Seri Rama, Laksmana and Siti Dewi arrive at a shelter and Laksmana, realising that the shelter too has been built by Maharaja Wana as a trap, dissuades Seri Rama and Siti Dewi from staying in it. He builds another hut for them.
Puteri Maya Angin gives birth to a monkey, named Kera Beleh, who is burnt to ashes trying to grasp the rising sun thinking that it is a red fruit. The sun god Dewa Sinar Matahari resuscitates him. Kera Beleh informs the sun god that his mother is Maya Angin while the identity of his father is not known. Dewa Sinar Matahari reveals that his father is Dewa Berembun, now reincarnated as Seri Rama and that his real mother is Siti Andang Dewi, now reincarnated as Siti Dewi. Kera Beleh stays with the sun god to acquire spiritual and magical knowledge.
The Kidnapping of Siti Dewi
Disgusted at the constant failure of his schemes, Maharaja Wana returns to Langkapuri. He orders his sister, Siti Mayang, to seduce Seri Rama, so that he himself can kidnap Siti Dewi. Seri Rama first hires Siti Mayang as a servant but then decides to set up house with her in the forest shelter built by Maharaja Wana.
Maharaja Wana assumes the form of a golden deer which attracts Siti Dewi’s attention. Upon her insistence, Seri Rama tries to capture it but fails. On one occasion, while Seri Rama is absent, Siti Dewi and Siti Mayang quarrel; a fight ensues and Siti Mayang assumes her demon form. When he learns of the incident, Seri Rama beats up Siti Mayang and orders Laksmana to mutilate her by shaving her head and cutting off her nose. The golden deer returns and Seri Rama follows it in pursuit, leaving Laksmana to take care of Siti Dewi ; under no circumstances is she to be left alone. Suddenly Laksmana and Siti Dewi hear Rama’s voice calling for help. Laksmana is reluctant to leave her unprotected; he also knows that Seri Rama is not really in trouble. But Siti Dewi insists that he goes to investigate. He departs after creating a protective magic circle around the shelter. Maharaja Wana, now coming to the hut in the guise of an old man, asks Siti Dewi for some water. He manages to pull Siti Dewi out of the magic circle and to fly off with her. Seri Rama and Laksmana, discovering that Siti Dewi is missing, set out in search of her.
The Jentayu bird tries to rescue Siti Dewi, but Rawana manages to smash one of its wings; Siti Dewi places a ring in its beak to keep it alive until it meets her husband. From Jentayu Seri Rama and Laksmana learn the identity of Siti Dewi’s kidnapper. Taking the ring from Jentayu’s beak, Seri Rama allows it’s soul to escape. The two princes proceed on their journey after burying the bird.
Hanuman’s Search for His Father
Kera Beleh wishes to find his father. Dewa Sinar Matahari bestows tremendous strength on him and also changes his name to Hanuman Kera Putih. On the advise of the sun god he heads for Pakian where he meets his uncles, Raja Bali and Raja Sagariwa. Dewa Sinar Matahari creates Tuan Puteri Geweng to be Raja Bali’s wife. Raja Bali also manages to keep for himself Tuan Puteri Kaca who has been created by Dewa Sinar Bulan for Sagariwa. Through the efforts of the sage Raja Bali obtains a third wife, Tuan Puteri Pandan Wangi. Later a son , named Anila, is born to her.
Hanuman Kera Putih finds Seri Rama and Laksamana under a tamarind tree. He relates the story of his origins to them and declares that if Seri Rama acknowledges him as his son, he will assume full responsibility for rescuing Siti Dewi. The relationship is confirmed by Seri Rama agreeing to eat from the same banana leaf as Hanuman.
The Story of the Wild Buffalo
Anak Amok, a white buffalo, creates havoc in Pakian. After several failed attempt to catch it, Raja Bali invites the buffalo to fight him in a cave, instructing Raja Sagariwa, Anila and Anggada to watch outside. In the event that white blood issues from the cave this means that Raja Bali is dead and the cave must be sealed lest the buffalo escape to create further disaster. On the other hand if red blood flows from the cave, Anak Amok is dead and the cave must not be sealed. In view of Anak Amok’s unusual strength Raja Bali asks the buffalo if it is receiving help from others. Anak Amok denies receiving any assistance and the four gods, Dewa Empat, who are in fact lodged in the buffalo, leave its body. Raja Bali then succeeds in killing Anak Amok by twisting its neck, thereby causing foam to flow forth from its mouth and out of the cave. Believing this to be Raja Bali’s blood, Sagariwa and his nephews seal the cave entrance. Sagariwa becomes the ruler of Pakian, taking as his own Raja Bali’s three wives. Taking pity on Raja Bali, the Dewa Empat instruct him to behead the dead buffalo and hurl its head at the cave door to break it open. Escaping in this manner Raja Bali returns to the palace where he punishes the three women, banishes Anila and Anggada and hurls Sagariwa into a forest.
Hanuman Kera Putih discovers the unconscious Raja Sagariwa. Restored with an antidote, he pays obeisance to Seri Rama and declares that he will become the hero’s servant in exchange for Seri Rama’s help against Raja Bali. Seri Rama orders Raja Sagariwa to enter into battle with his adversary. Raja Bali and Sagariwa fight, and Seri Rama kills Raja Bali with an arrow. Sagariwa is appointed Chief Minister of Pakian.
Preparations to Enter Langkapuri
Anggada and Anila become Seri Rama’s servants. Maharaja Saburanung, Tilam Tiga Pujangga as well as numerous other monkey kings also declare allegiance to Seri Rama, pledging their support in his mission to recover Siti Dewi.
Saburanung advises Seri Rama on the necessity of building a causeway to Langkapuri. Hanuman Kera Putih completes the causeway with the assistance of Dewa Sinar Matahari. In a dream an old man informs Maharaja Wana that a human king has built a causeway to Langkapuri. Mah Babu Senam confirms this; upset , Maharaja Wana sets Mah Babu Senam afloat on the sea on a raft.
Descending into the ocean, Maharaja Wana seeks the assistance of Sepit Bentala Sang Naga Maha Gangga for his assistance to pull down the causeway. But the serpent king wishes to remain neutral. Maharaja Wana then secures the assistance of the Fish Princess Puteri Ikan, Raja Labi the Turtle King and other sea rulers. These denizens of the ocean, discovering that the causeway blocks their passage from one side to the other, pull it down. During an inspection Raja Sagariwa discovers that the middle section of the causeway has collapsed into the sea. Hanuman rebuilds it, but once again it is attacked by fish. Capturing Raja Labi, Hanuman learns from him that it is Maharaja Wana who is responsible for the destruction of the causeway. This is confirmed by Tuan Puteri Ikan. Hanuman Kera Putih seeks her co-operation against Maharaja Wana; she agrees on condition that Hanuman marries her.
Maharaja Wana now appoints demon guards to protect the completed bridge. He builds shelters for them at appropriate points, and orders that Seri Rama be eaten alive if he manages to reach any of the shelters . Hanuman Kera Putih rescues Mah Babu Senam and the astrologer enters Seri Rama’s service. He assures Seri Rama that Maharaja Wana is unable to touch Siti Dewi. Seri Rama’s army moves across the causeway and when the hero wishes to rest at one of the shelters built by Maharaja Wana, Mah Babu Senam advises him against doing so. A new shelter is built for Seri Rama.
Hanuman in Langkapuri
At Laksmana’s suggestion Seri Rama agrees to send Hanuman off to Langkapuri to confirm if Siti Dewi is indeed on that island. The White Ape flies off from atop the shoulders of Seri Rama and Laksmana, since the ground cannot bear his weight. Upon finding Siti Dewi he introduces himself and Siti Dewi acknowledges him her son. He ransacks Maharaja Wana’s garden, causing considerable damage. The demon king’s forces, composed of diverse kinds of creatures, are sent after him. Following many battles Hanuman allows himself to be caught. Maharaja Wana condemns him to death but he cannot be killed, Eventually he declares that the only way to destroy him is to set his tail on fire. When this is done, leaping onto the roofs of Langkapuri houses he burns the whole city, including Maharaja Wana’s palace, before returning to the mainland. Seri Rama is upset at the destruction of Langkapuri and the hardship Hanuman has caused to the city’s innocent people. Seri Rama wishes to imprison Hanuman Kera Putih but Laksmana dissuades his brother from doing so.
The Final Battle
Noticing Seri Rama’s approaching army, Maharaja Wana summons his friends and allies from all corners of the world as well as his numerous progeny to assist him. As each one of the many kings arrive, they engage in battle with Seri Rama’s warriors. Many strange and fearsome events transpire during these battles and most of Maharaja Wana’s allies are killed, especially by Hanuman Kera Putih. Maharaja Wana’s son Nerajit is killed by Laksmana and Seri Rama himself kills Maula Tani of a hundred heads.
Meanwhile Tuan Puteri Ikan has given birth to Hanuman’s son; she names him Hanuman Ikan. He immediately goes in search of his father. At one point in the battle, Seri Rama and Laksmana are missing, having been taken captive to the underworld. During his search for them Hanuman Kera Putih meets Hanuman Ikan and their relationship is established. Hanuman, obtaining directions from his son, manages to locate Seri Rama and Laksmana, and following many complications, takes them back to the battle field where they are revived by Mah Babu Senam. During one of the final battles before Seri Rama comes face to face with Maharaja Wana, Raja Sagariwa overcomes Mah Babu Kenung.
With most of his allies, friends and relatives dead Maharaja Wana now fears for his own life. He deposits his soul in Wat Tujuh Kedi Bermas and builds an iron wall around his city. Mah Babu Senam is aware of all these events; on his advise, Hanuman Kera Putih and Sagariwa go to Wat Tujuh Kedi Bermas. They manage to steal Maharaja Wana’s soul from Maharisi Mata Api. Meanwhile Maharaja Wana decides he will not leave his stronghold. A ruse is then used by Hanuman Kera Putih who meets Maharaja Wana and declares to the demon king that he is no longer in Seri Rama’s service. Hanuman Kera Putih manages to win the demon king’s confidence. He is appointed commander of Maharaja Wana’s army, so much so that Seri Rama now has suspicions over Hanuman’s loyalty to him. On the battlefield, both Laksmana and Seri Rama face Hanuman Kera Putih. Hanuman calls Maharaja Wana to enter the fray, promising his assistance if he is in danger. As soon as the battle begins, however, Hanuman Kera Putih jumps on Maharaja Wana, holds him down and signals to Raja Sagariwa to smash the bottle containing the demon king’s soul while Seri Rama finally kills his powerful adversary with a single arrow. Entering triumphant into Langkapuri, Seri Rama is reunited with Siti Dewi.
Seri Rama’s Coronation
Mah Babu Senam is appointed ruler of Langkapuri, and Seri Rama’s entourage returns home to Siusia Mendarapura where Sirat Maharaja decides to abdicate in favour of his eldest son. Following three months of celebrations marking both the hero’s return and his coronation, Seri Rama overcomes the remaining allies of Maharaja Wana or their successors, appointing his own representatives as rulers in their place.