Kamis, 24 November 2011

Museum, Pusat Ekonomi Kreatif

Museum, Pusat Ekonomi Kreatif
Oleh Harjoko Sangganagara | Daily Investor. Sabtu, 19 November 2011 | 22:19

Penggabungan bidang kebudayaan ke dalam Kementerian Pendidikan Nasional menimbulkan keruwetan dan tumpang tindih di lapangan. Restrukturisasi organisasi tersebut di level bawah bisa menyebabkan pemborosan dan disorientasi program.

Selain itu, penggabungan bisa menyebabkan terjadinya devaluasi atau penurunan nilai ekonomi kreatif nasional. Akhir-akhir ini kebudayaan nasional mulai bergairah karena tatakelolanya mulai menyentuh aspek komersialisasi yang sistemik.

Banyak entitas kebudayaan seperti museum, taman budaya, sanggar seni tradisi dan lain-lain mulai menggeliat ketika diurus oleh Kementerian Budaya dan Pariwisata. Namun, dengan berpindahnya urusan kebudayaan ke Kementerian Pendidikan, dikhawatirkan terjadi perlambatan dalam mengurus entitas kebudayaan. Karena untuk mengurus pendidikan saja sudah kalang kabut, apalagi politik anggaran di daerah selama ini kurang berpihak terhadap entitas kebudayaan. Dengan demikian entitas kebudayaan diibaratkan seperti hidup segan mati tak mau.

Entitas kebudayaan, seperti halnya museum yang di negeri ini jumlahnya ribuan, dikawatirkan akan mengalami kesulitan dana lalu telantar. Ini benarbenar terjadi pada waktu yang lalu, ketika entitas kebudayaan membeku karena terkalahkan oleh sektor pendidikan.

Lembaga Nonprofit
Setelah terpisah dari sektor pendidikan, entitas kebudayaan mulai menggeliat, seperti terlihat dengan adanya program Gerakan Nasional Cinta Museum (GNCM) terkait dengan 90% dari jumlah museum di Indonesia pemeliharaannya masih jauh dari harapan.

Gerakan tersebut pada prinsipnya merupakan revitalisasi museum untuk mewujudkan museum Indonesia yang dinamis dan berdayaguna sesuai dengan standar ideal pengelolaan dan pemanfaatan museum. Ini karena para pengelola museum di negeri ini kebanyakan kurang kreatif dan inovatif.

Akibatnya, kesan museum tetap saja usang dan membosankan. Eksistensi museum belum mampu mencuatkan nilai-nilai unggul koleksi yang tersimpan dan tersaji kepada publik. Karena itu, betapa pentingnya mentransformasikan sistem pengelolaan museum agar lebih adaptif dengan perkembangan zaman serta kompatibel dengan ekonomi kreatif dan industri pariwisata.

Sistem pengelolaan museum harus bisa mengemas koleksi, sehingga bisa mendongkrak segmentasi pasar, promosi, serta nilai estetika dan ilmiahnya. Transformasi pengelolaan museum hendaknya jangan mengganggu fungsi dasar museum dalam konteks keilmuan, yakni museologi.

Ini berarti mencakup penelitian, konservasi atau pelestarian, serta komunikasi yang merupakan aspek mediasi dengan masyarakat. Fungsi dasar tersebut menempatkan museum sebagai lembaga nonprofit yang bertugas menyimpan, merawat, meneliti, dan memamerkan koleksi.

Pada era konvergensi teknologi informasi sekarang ini pentingnya repositioning museum sebagai pusat industri kreatif dan sebagai wahana untuk memicu daya kreativitas. Dengan demikian fungsi yang hakiki dari museum bisa terwujud, yakni museum sebagai inspirator bagi warga bangsa dalam berkreasi dan berinovasi sehingga tangguh menghadapi persaingan global.

Entitas kebudayaan mestinya bisa menjadi leverage atau daya ungkit kemajuan bangsa. Masalah kebudayaan menjadi hal yang strategis bagi perjalanan bangsa ke depan, terutama usaha untuk menumbuhkan budaya inovasi sebagai kunci persaingan bangsa ke depan. Selain itu, kebudayaan juga bisa membentuk dan memajukan korporasi dan ketatanegaraan. Oleh sebab itu pentingnya strategi kebudayaan yang fokus terhadap pertumbuhan industri kreatif dan peningkatan daya inovasi.

Menumbuhkan daya inovasi hendaknya jangan hanya bersifat seremonial dan terlalu birokratif. Kegiatan untuk menumbuhkan daya inovasi sebaiknya dilakukan oleh masyarakat luas dalam bentuk yang bervariasi. Pada prinsipnya, sumber inovasi, baik itu produk atau proses merupakan proses belajar. Dalam konteks ekonomi makro, learning itu sebagai salah satu komoditas ekonomi yang penting sementara prosesnya dapat terjadi melalui berbagai mekanisme, baik secara perorangan, kelompok, maupun kelembagaan.

Agar rakyat mampu melakukan kegiatan inovatif yang bernilai tambah maka harus ada upaya meningkatkan kemampuan ilmu dan teknologinya yaitu dengan memperkuat kapasitas learning-nya. Jadi, aliran informasi dan knowledge dari sumber-sumber ilmu dan teknologi ke masyarakat perlu terus menerus difasilitasi lewat wahana pendidikan formal maupun yang berupa pendidikan non-formal.

Tumbuhkan Daya Kreatif
Di negara-negara maju, tak bisa dimungkiri bahwa entitas kebudayaan, seperti halnya museum, merupakan wahana untuk menumbuhkan daya kreativitas dan inovasi bagi warganya. Oleh sebab itu pentingnya langkah untuk menjadikan museum sebagai kiblat kebudayaan dan ekonomi kreatif.

Ada baiknya kita melihat sistem dan tata kelola museum oleh Smithsonian. Berbagai macam kebudayaan yang pernah ada di bumi, fenomena alam, proses inovasi, semuanya ada dalam koleksi Smithsonian. Kita juga bisa menelusuri proses kreatif yang terkait tentang inventing yang berkontribusi terhadap kemajuan dunia. Hal itu sangat penting untuk merangsang daya pikir masyarakat mengenai bagaimana para penemu atau inovator kelas dunia bekerja.

Tak bisa dimungkiri lagi Smithsonian American Art Museum selama ini mampu menyuburkan kreativitas bangsa Amerika. Eksistensi museum tersebut juga sangat strategis untuk menumbuhkan ekonomi kreatif yang tengah dikembangkan oleh entitas pendidikan tinggi terkemuka di Amerika Serikat seperti contohnya Massachusetts College of Art. (*)

Penulis dosen STIA Bagasasi Bandung

Sabtu, 05 Maret 2011

PELESTARIAN BUDAYA DAERAH

Harjoko Sangganagara




Nilai-nilai Kearifan Lokal yang Dikembangkan dalam Pendidikan

Bahasa Sastra dan Aksara Daerah
Bahasa, sastra dan aksara daerah merupakan wujud kebudayaan daerah yang mengandung nilai-nilai kearifan lokal yang tidak terpermanai. Di samping itu bahasa, sastra dan aksara daerah merupakan unsur kebudayaan daerah dan bagian dari kebudayaan nasional yang berperan dalam meninggikan martabat dan peradaban bangsa. Menurut Pusat Bahasa, di Indonesia ada 749 bahasa daerah. Untuk melestarikan, membina serta mengembangkannya maka pemeliharaan bahasa, sastra dan aksara daerah yang ada di Jawa Barat diatur dalam Peraturan Daerah Nomor 5 Tahun 2003. Dinas Pendidikan diberi tanggungjawab dalam pendidikan dan pengajaran bahasa, sastra dan aksara daerah, sedangkan Dinas Kebudayaan dan Pariwisata bertanggungjawab dalam memeliharanya.
Bahasa Daerah yang digunakan oleh penduduk di Provinsi Jawa Barat sangat beragam karena Jawa Barat dihuni tidak hanya oleh suku bangsa Sunda, Betawi dan Cirebon tetapi juga oleh para pendatang dari berbagai daerah dengan bahasa daerahnya masing-masing. Dari observasi lapangan diketahui bahasa daerah yang banyak digunakan oleh penduduk adalah bahasa Sunda, Jawa, Padang, Batak, Cirebon, Melayu-Betawi, Palembang, Madura, Bugis dan lain-lain.

Bahasa daerah Sunda masih digunakan sebagai bahasa media, seperti majalah Mangle dan Koran Kujang. Di televisi dan radio masih dijumpai digunakan sebagai bahasa dalam siaran berita. Tidak dijumpai adanya majalah atau surat kabar yang sepenuhnya menggunakan Bahasa Cirebon dan Melayu-Betawi, namun ekspansi bahasa Melayu-Betawi yang memang digunakan sebagai bahasa pergaulan masyarakat Jakarta merambah di hampir semua siaran televisi maupun radio di seluruh Jawa Barat sebagai bahasa pengantar yang dibawakan oleh penyiar atau presenter.

Pada aspek pelestarian bahasa dan sastra daerah terdapat tiga bahasa daerah yang hidup dan berkembang di Jawa Barat yaitu Bahasa Sunda dengan jumlah penutur 75% dari penduduk Jawa Barat,umumnya digunakan di Wilayah Priangan, Jawa Barat bagian Tengah dan Bandung Raya; Bahasa Cirebon dengan jumlah penutur 10% penduduk Jawa Barat umumnya digunakan di Wilayah Cirebon dan Bahasa Melayu-Betawi dengan jumlah penutur 10% penduduk Jawa Barat dan berada di Wilayah Bogor, Depok, Bekasi dan sebagian Karawang.
Bahasa daerah yang diajarkan di sekolah-sekolah adalah bahasa bahasa Sunda, Cirebon dan Melayu-Betawi yang dalam prakteknya disesuaikan dengan mayoritas penduduk di wilayah di mana bahasa tersebut digunakan sebagai bahasa ibu. Bahasa Sunda diajarkan di wilayah Bogor dan Priangan , bahasa Cirebon diajarkan di wilayah Cirebon dan bahasa Melayu-Betawi diajarkan di wilayah Bogor Debek Bekasi (Bodebek).
Sastra berkait dengan bahasa. Sastra Daerah menggunakan bahasa daerah sebagai media.

Sastra daerah ada yang tradisional dan ada pula yang kontemporer.
Sastra daerah yang menggunakan bahasa Sunda paling nampak pada tembang Cianjuran, sisindiran, kakawihan, wayang golek. Wayang golek dan tembang Cianjuran masih dapat ditemukan digelar pada acara-acara yang diselenggarakan instansi pemerintah, tetapi lebih banyak dijumpai disiarkan oleh televisi dan radio. Sedangkan sastra daerah yang kontemporer dapat ditemukan pada buku-buku sastra, majalah berbahasa Sunda, dan Koran lokal dalam bentuk cerita pendek, novel maupun puisi. Koran Tribun Jabar setiap sabtu memuat cerita pendek yang berbahasa Sunda dan nampaknya masih menunjukkan banyaknya sastrawan Sunda terlihat dari pemuatan cerita pendek yang berkelanjutan dengan tema cerita yang beragam.

Sastra dalam bahasa Cirebon dalam bentuk tulisan ditemui pada puisi-puisi yang sangat terbatas jumlahnya, antara lain yang ditulis sastrawan Subhanudin Alwy. Sastra Cirebon dan Melayu-Betawi lebih banyak ditemui pada sastra lisan yang disiarkan lewat radio.

Bahasa dan sastra bisa berbentuk lisan maupun tulisan yang berkaitan dengan penggunaan aksara. Aksara Daerah di Jawa Barat setidaknya ada dua macam : Cacarakan dan Aksara Sunda Kaganga yang dikreasi dari Aksara Sunda Kuno. Cacarakan atau Hanacaraka berasal dari huruf Jawa yang dimodifikasi menjadi Aksara Sunda oleh Roorda tahun 1835 (Darsa, 2003: xix). Belakangan Aksara Sunda tidak lagi menggunakan cacarakan tetapi menggunakan Aksara Sunda Kaganga yang terdiri dari 32 huruf yang terdiri dari tujuh aksara swara (vocal mandiri) dan 25 aksara ngalagena (konsonan). Cacarakan atau hanacaraka kini tetap digunakan sebagai aksara daerah di Cirebon dan Indramayu.

Kesenian daerah
Kesenian daerah merupakan karya estetik hasil perwujudan kreativitas daya cipta, rasa, karsa dan karya yang hidup dan berakar di Daerah Jawa Barat baik tradisional maupun kontemporer. Peraturan Daerah Nomor 6 Tahun 2003 dibuat untuk memelihara kesenian tersebut. Pendidikan kesenian diserahkan pada Dinas Pendidikan sedangkan pelestarian, pengembangan pemanfaatan dan apresiasi karya seni serta penghargaan terhadap seniman diserahkan pada Dinas Kebudayaan dan Pariwisata. Pemeliharaan kesenian diarahkan pada nilai yang bermanfaat bagi teerwujudnya pembangunan manusia yang beriman dan bertaqwa serta berakhlak mulia.

Jenis kesenian tradisional yang ada di Jawa Barat 391 jenis dari 35 rumpun seni. Dari jumlah tersebut yang dapat dikategorikan sebagai seni sangat berkembang sebanyak 39 buah, berkembang 61 buah, tidak berkembang 248 buah dan yang mengalami kepunahan 43 buah.

Kesenian yang diajarkan di sekolah terbatas pada beberapa jenis saja tergantung pada ketersediaan guru dan peralatan yang ada, antara lain degung, angklung, calung dan tari jaipongan di wilayah Priangan. Sedangkan di wilayah Cirebon yang diajarkan adalah gamelan dan beberapa tarian seperti tari topeng.

Warisan budaya, sejarah, nilai tradisional
Wilayah Jawa Barat banyak menyimpan peninggalan kepurbakalaan, kesejarahan dan nilai tradisional yang beranekaragam dan mencerminkan karakter masyarakat Jawa Barat. Di samping itu banyak pula museum sebagai tempat penyimpanan peninggalan-peninggalan budaya tersebut. Perda Nomor 7 Tahun 2003 dibuat untuk mengatur pengelolaan kepurbakalaan, kesejarahan, nilai tradisional dan museum.
Jumlah situs/cagar budaya yang ada di Jawa Barat seluruhnya 1.309 buah dan jumlah tersebut baru 60% yang terpelihara dengan baik sedangkan 40% kurang terpelihara karena berada di wilayah yang sulit dijangkau moda transportasi dan atau tidak ada juru pemelihara situs.

Media untuk untuk memeliharan dan mengembangkan kearifan lokal yang diatur oleh Peraturan Daerah adalah sekolah dan museum. Museum yang ada di Jawa Barat sebanyak 27 buah museum terdiri dari sebuah museum umum yaitu Museum Sri Baduga di Bandung dan 27 buah museum khusus yang menyebar di wilayah Jawa Barat. Tingkat kunjungan ke museum bisa dikatakan masih rendah. Museum Sri Baduga hanya dikunjungi 170 orang dari mancanagara dan 156.314 orang dari Nusantara pada tahun 2009.
Fakta menunjukkan bahwa media massa seperti media cetak dan media audio-visual (televisi) memainkan peran yang sangat penting dalam memelihara dan mengembangkan budaya daerah di Jawa Barat, namun belum terakomodasi dalam peraturan daerah dan konsekuensinya belum memiliki akses terhadap alokasi anggaran daerah. Sejauh yang ini hanya TVRI Jawa Barat yang memperoleh alokasi anggaran itupun melalui program yang dibuat pemerintah provinsi, sementara bantuan langsung tidak dapat dilakukan karena aturan yang melarang pemberian bantuan pada instansi-instansi vertical. TVRI Jawa Barat sebagai LPP (Lembaga Penyiaran Publik) dianggap sebagai instansi vertikal.


Program Pembangunan Bidang Kebudayaan

Program pada bidang kebudayaan terdiri dari satu program dengan Sembilan kegiatan dan 54 hasil kegiata

Pembangunan kebudayaan tidak hanya dalam bentuk program tetapi juga dalam bentuk perhatian dan bantuan Gubernur. Periode 2009, Gubernur Jawa Barat telah membentikan bantuan keuangan ke-15 sanggar seni di Jawa Barat. Salah satunya diberikan pada AWI (Angklung Web Institute) sehingga dapat mementaskan angklung dan musik bambu di teater terbuka Esplenade Singapura akhir tahun 2009, yang merupakan ajang bagi siswa untuk menunjukkan kreasi dan apresiasinya terhadap kebudayaan daerah.
Beberapa permasalahan yang muncul dari hasil pengamatan adalah kecenderungan makin melemahnya penggunaan bahasa daerah; semakin menurunnya tingkat apresiasi budaya daerah; menurunnya riset-riset nilai-nilai budaya daerah oleh akademisi dan praktisi kebudayaan; kurang terpeliharanya beberapa dokumen sejarah, artefak-artefak dan petilasan masa lampau; kurangnya pemahaman dan penghayaran sebagian besar masyarakat khususnya para pelajar terhadap makna filosofi dan nilai yang terkandung dalam budaya local serta kurangnya respond an apresiasi masyarakat terhadap kegiatan yang bernuansa budaya lokal.

Untuk mengatasi persoalan tersebut Gubernur berpandangan diperlukan upaya peningkatan frekuensi kegiatan apresiasi bahasa dan sastra daerah pada generasi muda; peningkatan pembinaan terhadap budaya daerah dalam rangka menetralisir nilai-nilai yang kurang relevan dengan kepribagian masyarakat Jawa Barat melalui pembinaan budaya yang berkelanjutan; peningkatan upaya inventarisasi dan dokumentasi terhadap naskah kuna, dokumen sejarah dan benda-benda tinggalan sejarah dan budaya; peningkatan apresiasi terhadap koleksi dan benda-benda museum kepada generasi muda melalui pameran permuseuman; peningkatan kegiatan /event kesenian dan kebudayaan di sekolah-sekolah, kurikulum yang berbasis budaya lokal harus diaplikasikan dalam kegiatan-kegiatan sekolah; perlu adanya peraturan perundang-undangan yang dapat menyinergikan pemerintah dengan stakeholder kebudayaan dalam menjaga dan melestarikan kebudayaan daerah.



Strategi Peningkatan Mutu Pendidikan Berbasis Kearifan Lokal

Untuk penjaminan mutu pendidikan berbasis kearifan lokal, Pemprov Jawa Barat berupaya meningkatkan kualitas dari proses dan output pendidikan dengan menggunakan strategi: menetapkan tolok ukur peningkatan mutu pendidikan; dan pembagian peran OPD.


Tolok ukur peningkatan mutu pendidikan
Peningkatan mutu dilihat dari hal-hal sebagai berikut : (1) meningkatnya mutu dan relevansi pendidikan formal, non formal dan infornal; (2) meningkatnya kualitas tata kelola pendidikan yang efektif dan berbasis kompetensi serta berorientasi pada kualitas lulusan; (3) meningkatnya penguasaan dan pemanfaatan ilmu pengetahuan dan teknologi; (4) terwujudnya jati diri masyarakat yang berperilaku cerdas dan berbudi pekerti luhur, yang dicirikan dengan meningkatnya pemahaman dan implementasi nilai-nilai agama dan nilai luhur budaya daerah dalam kehidupan bermasyarakat.

Untuk dilakukan upaya-upaya prioritas sebagai berikut :
1. Pendidikan gratis bagi masyarakat melalui program wajib belajar pendidikan dasar 9 tahun dengan sasaran meningkatnya APM SD/MI, APM SMP/MI, meningkatnya angka melanjutkan SD ke SMP, terpenuhinya kebutuhan ruang kelas dan bantuan bea siswa bagi siswa SMP/MTs.
2. Peningkatan kualitas sarana dan prasarana pendidikan dengan sasaran : meningkatnya daya tampung SMP SD berstandar nasional, SMP SBI, tersedianya pedoman pembinaan dan pengembangan budi pekerti, tersedianya buku teks pelajaran KTSP.
3. Manajemen pelayanan pendidikan dengan sasaran : kesejahteraan guru, kompetensi pendidik, jumlah sekolah terakreditasi, jumlah guru berkualifikasi S1, guru mengikuti sertifikasi, buku laporan pendidikan, pemahaman penyelenggaraan pendidikan tentang MBS, wawasan pendidik tentang kurikulum, pelayanan terhadap data/informasi, meningkatnya mutu UN/UASBN, peran perpustakaan.
4. Mencanangkan wajib belajar 12 tahun.
5. Meningkatkan kemampuan dan budaya baca dan meningkatkan kualitas pelayanan perpustakaan berbasis teknologi informasi (RPJMD Provinsi Jawa Barat 2008-2013, IV-8 – IV-13).
6. Meningkatkan upaya revitalisasi nilai-nilai kebudayaan dan kearifan lokal yang selaras dengan perkembangan zaman melalui program pengembangan nilai budaya dengan sasaran termanfaatkannya nilai-nilai tradisional, peninggalan kesejarahan, kepurbakalaan dan museum bagi pengembangan budaya daerah serta meningkatnya apresiasi masyarakat terhadap bahasa, sastra dan aksara daerah.
7. Mengembangkan jenis dan bentuk kegiatan pembangunan kebudayaan yang mampu secara nyata berkontribusi terhadap penignkatan apresiasi dan kesejahteraan masyarakat melalui program pengelolaan kekayaan dan keragaman budaya dengan sasaran meningkatknya pengelolaan keragaman dan kekayaan budaya daerah. Meningkatnya pengelolaan dan pengakuan atas hak Kekayaan Intelektual (HAKI) dalam bidang seni dan budaya; meningkatnya apresiasi seni dan budaya daerah di kalangan pemerintah, masyarakat dan swasta.


Pembagian peran Organisasi Perangkat Daerah (OPD)
Untuk mencapai mutu yang telah ditetapkan maka dibuatlah pembagian peran OPD. Pembagian peran OPD dibuat berdasarkan sasaran pada misi yang ingin dicapai. Pendidikan berbasis kearifan local berada pada Misi 1 yaitu “mewujudkan sumber daya manusia Jawa Barat yang produktif dan berdaya saing” dengan sasaran penuntasan wajar dikdas Sembilan tahun dan rintisan wajar 12 tahun, penuntasan bebas buta aksara, peningkatan kualitas hidup beragama dan revitalisasi nilai-nilai budaya dan kearifan local. Untuk mencapai sasaran itu ada OPD Utama, OPD Mitra Utama, OPD Pendukung Penjaminan Mutu dan Akuntabilitas dan OPD Pendukung Umum.


Dari gambaran di atas nampaklah bahwa peningkatan mutu diupayakan dengan meningkatkan kualitas proses pendidikan dan output pendidikan. Proses pendidikan ditingkatkan kualitasnya dengan meningkatkan kompetensi guru dan siswa, memperbaiki sarana dan prasarana termasuk TIK, serta meningkatkan koordinasi supervisi monitoring dan evaluasi. Tujuannya agar siswa memiliki jati diri masyarakat yang berperilaku cerdas dan berbudi pekerti luhur, yang dicirikan dengan meningkatnya pemahaman dan implementasi nilai-nilai agama dan nilai luhur budaya daerah dalam kehidupan bermasyarakat.

Untuk mewujudkan proses pendidikan yang berkualitas Dinas Pendidikan serta Dinas Pariwisata dan Kebudayaan kemudian berkoordinasi dengan Pemerintah Kota dan Kabupaten karena sekolah-sekolah berada dalam kewenangan pemerintah kota dan kabupaten. Selanjutnya Dinas melibatkan masyarakat seperti seniman dan budayawan serta masyarakat umum.

Untuk menjamin akuntabilitas dan peningkatan mutu maka ada OPD seperti Inspektorat, Bappeda, Asissten dan Biro-biro yang melakukan pengarahan, pembinaan, dan pengawasan. Untuk memastikan semua dapat berjalan ada OPD pendukung dalam penyediaan pegawai yang kompeten, pendidikan dan pelatihan, keuangan, hukum serta humas.
Koordinasi dengan pemerintah Kota dan Kabupaten merupakan hal yang tidak mudah di era otonomi daerah, karena ada pandangan bahwa dengan otonomi daerah tersebut Kota dan Kabupaten tidak lagi memiliki keterikatan hirarkhis dengan Provinsi. Karena itu dibuatlah kesepakatan antara Gubernur dengan Walikota dan Bupati se-Jawa Barat untuk menyinergikan penyelenggaraan pemerintahan dan pembangunan termasuk di bidang pendidikan. Kesepakatan dibuat tahun 2008 yang isinya antara lain bahwa Pemerintah Provinsi dan Pemerintah Kota/Kabupaten memberikan prioritas untuk membiayai pembangunan bidang pendidikan dengan APBD Provinsi dan APBD Kabupaten/Kota atau sumber dana lainnya. Besarnya kontribusi Pemerintah Provinsi dan Pemerintah Kabupaten/Kota dalam pembiayaan dan pencapaian target disesuaikan secara proporsional berdasarkan karakteristik dan masalah yang dihadapi.


Perhatian Sekolah terhadap Kearifan Lokal
Strategi yang dibuat Pemerintah Provinsi maupun peraturan perundang-undangan mengenai budaya daerah yang telah ditetapkan tidak akan bisa dijalankan jika sekolah sebagai pelaksana pendidikan tidak memiliki komitmen untuk mendukung kebijakan pendidikan berbasis kearifan lokal tersebut. Oleh karena itu maka perhatian sekolah menjadi sangat penting untuk diteliti. Perhatian sekolah terhadap pendidikan berbasis kearifan lokal nampak dari dari hal-hal berikut ini :

Kurikulum
Kurikulum pengajaran Bahasa Sunda di sekolah telah menggunakan Kurikulum Berbasis Kompetensi (KBK) dan Kurikulum Tingkat Satuan Pendidikan (KTSP) yang mulai diterapkan di sekolah-sekolah tahun 2006. Dengan kurikulum ini siswa diarahkan untuk lebih aktif dalam proses pembelajaran di kelas. (“Dina kurikulum ayeuna siswa diperedih langkung aktif dina proses pembelajaran di kelas. Jalaran kitu, buku pengajaran kedah tiasa ngahudang para siswa langkung motekar diajar sorangan”).

Guru
Guru yang mengajarkan bahasa dan kesenian daerah di Kelas I sampai IV adalah guru kelas, yang kompetensi pada mata pelajaran yang yang diajarkan belum memadai. Baru di Kelas V hingga kelas IX diajar oleh Guru Mata Pelajaran, meskipun belum seluruhnya merupakan guru yang memiliki latar belakang pendidikan yang relevan terutama pada sekolah-sekolah swasta.
Dengan segala keterbatasannya para guru melakukan upaya untuk mengefektifkan pembelajaran. Di beberapa sekolah ada guru yang membimbing siswa mementaskan drama dengan bahasa daerah. Pementasan mereka ada yang disponsori Dinas Pariwisata dan dipertunjukkan dalam program tahunan yang sudah dirancang. Beberapa orang guru mengajak siswa untuk menyaksikan pertunjukan dengan membeli tiket pertunjukan baik di Rumentang Siang atau Taman Budaya Jawa Barat maupun di tempat-tempat lain.

Di Cirebon teater semacam ini acapkali dipentaskan di Gua Sunyaragi, sebuah situs cagar budaya peninggalan kesultanan Cirebon. Di Bandung sering dilakukan lomba teater berbahasa Sunda di kampus-kampus seperti STSI, Unpad, Unpas dan UPI yang biasanya diikuti sekolah-sekolah yang ada di Jawa Barat.

Sarana dan prasarana
Buku yang digunakan di beberapa sekolah terdiri dari dua buah: “Nyangkem Basa Pangajaran Basa Sunda Pikeun SMP Kelas VIII” dan “Lancar Basa Sunda Pangajaran Basa Sunda Pikeun Murid SMP/MTS (Materi sareng LKS)” . Buku tersebut sudah disesuaikan dengan Standar Kompetensi dan Kompetensi Dasar (SKKD) 2006 Pengajaran Bahasa dan Sastra Sunda. Isinya berpusat pada empat aspek ketrampilan bahasa : “ngaregepkeun, nyarita, maca jeung nulis” (memperhatikan, bercerita, membaca dan menulis).
Buku pelajaran dan LKS (lembar kerja siswa) serta alat-alat kesenian seperti gamelan masih merupakan kendala dalam pengajaran. Buku-buku masiah relatif mahal dan alat-alat kesenian tidak dapat dimiliki oleh semua sekolah. Dengan demikian guru harus melakukan upaya untuk mengatasi hal tersebut misalnya dengan meminta siswa membawa alat musik tradisional seperti seruling yang terbuat dari bambu atau alat-alat musik lainnya.

Standar Ketuntasan Belajar Minimal (SKBM)
Nilai minimal untuk Bahasa Daerah pada SMP ditetapkan dalam standar ketuntasan belahar minimal yang ditetapkan sekolah yaitu 6,50 sama dengan nilai untuk mata pelajaran Bahasa Inggris . Itu berarti jika siswa memperoleh nilai di bawah 6,50 maka dikategorikan belum tuntas belajar (nilai di bawah SKBM). Sedangkan SKBM untuk Bahasa Daerah pada jenjang SD adalah 6,3. Bahasa Daerah pada umumnya dimasukkan ke dalam Muatan Lokal bersama pelajaran lainnya seperti Bahasa Inggris dan Pendidikan Lingkungan Hidup.

Peran Kepala Sekolah
Dalam implementasi pendidikan berbasis kearifan lokal di sekolah maka peran Kepala Sekolah sangat penting karena posisinya sebagai administrator dan manajer yang mengarahkan kebijakan dan mengalokasikan sumber daya yang ada di sekolah untuk efektifitas pembelajaran.

Untuk menjalankan perannya itu kepala sekolah memerlukan ketrampilan memimpin sekolah yang meliputi seluruh aspek dalam pengelolaan sekolah seperti : dasar-dasar manajemen, kepemimpian kepala sekolah, manajemen komunikasi, manajemen waktu, system informasi manajemen, asesmen sekolah, menyusun rencana pengembangan sekolah, manajemen kurikulum, manajemen personalia, manajemen kesiswaan, manajemen keuangan, manajemen perawatan preventif sarana dan prasarana sekolah, manajemen laboratorium, manajemen perpustakaan, manajemen bimbingan dan konseling, supervisi akademik, membentuk disiplin sekolah, meningkatkan motivasi belajar siswa, mendorong orang tua berperan aktif dalam program sekolah, mengaktifkan Dewan Sekolah, membangun hubungan baik dengan masyarakat, kewiraswastaan dalam pendidikan, mengelola perubahan di sekolah, manajemen mutu terpadu, manajemen peningkatan mutu dan manajemen konflik. Dasar-dasar manajmenen tersebut dipandu dengan buku pegangan yang diterbitkan oleh Ditmenum Ditjen Dikdasmen Depdikbud (1999).

Seorang kepala sekolah yang diwawancarai mengungkapkan kegalauan mengenai perilaku siswa yang disinyalir kurang menghargai budaya daerah maupun budi pekerti. Pengajaran bahasa, sastra serta kesenian daerah diharapkan dapat memberikan kearifan lokal bagi siswa dan dapat mempengaruhi perilaku maupun karakter sebagaimana yang diharapkan. Bahasa daerah diyakininya memiliki kemampuan menghaluskan pekerti dan rasa sehingga melahirkan perilaku halus, hormat dan santun dalam pergaulan baik sesama teman maupun dengan orang tua.

Pemenuhan Keinginan Masyarakat Lokal
Pendidikan nilai kedaerahan merupakan kebutuhan nyata dalam masyarakat sebagai akibat dari adanya krisis (Setia, Beni, Pikiran Rakyat, November 2009), yakni “fakta makin tidak berfungsinya bahasa Sunda sebagai alat untuk mengekspresikan intelektualitas orang Sunda” di samping “fakta yang merujuk pada banyak orang Sunda masa kini yang tak lagi merasa bahasa dan budaya Sunda itu medium untuk mengaktualisasikan jatidiri Sunda”. Lebih jauh Setia mengatakan bahwa kelas menengah kota mutakhir di tengah konteks Indonesia baru sama sekali tidak punya kesadaran budaya – baik itu yang lokal Sunda, nasional Indonesia, atau internasional Barat. Generasi yang hanya tahu bersenang-senang di tengah budaya pop yang melulu menjanjikan keterhiburan dan pergantian trend yang cepat, sambil saling sikut atau berkomplot untuk memperoleh legalitas untuk memuaskan insting mereguk nikmat kuasa dan power secara instan. Generasi dekaden yang tidak sadar mengabaikan bahasa Sunda – karena tren di televisi merujuk ke bahasa non-Sunda—yang menyebabkan bahasa Sunda terlantar.

Persoalan kegamangan yang berkaitan dengan jatidiri diungkap pula oleh Paskarina, Carolina seorang akademisi yang mengatakan bahwa Ki Sunda “termajinalisasi di rumahnya sendiri”. Sebagai etnis kedua terbesar di Indonesia, ternyata tidak banyak orang Sunda yang menduduki posisi penting dalam pemerintahan Republik Indonesia. Jawa Barat merupakan daerah yang memiliki perguruan tinggi terbanyak di Indonesia, tapi rata-rata lama sekolah warganya hanya 7,82 tahun, artinya kesempatan bersekolah ternyata lebih banyak dinikmati oleh orang-orang luar Jawa Barat. Di tengah kondisi seperti itu, kekecewaan terhadap kondisi eksisting menjadi sangat kuat di kalangan masyarakat Jawa Barat, yang kemudian mengarah pada ketidakpercayaan terhadap otoritas pemerintah. Pemerintah dinilai gagal mewujudkan kehidupan yang lebih baik bagi masyarakat. Di sisi lain, institusi-institusi yang dianggap merepresentasikan pemerintah justru memperlihatkan perilaku menyimpang, seperti melakukan korupsi, kolusi, nepotisme. Para elit saling berebut kekuasaan dan sebagainya. Makin carut marutnya penyelenggaraan politik dan pemerintahan, perubahan sosial dan budaya, lalu melahairkan reaksi kencang berupa ketidakpercayaan (distrust) masyarakat pada arus perubahan yang terselenggara dalam skema “seolah-olah demokrasi”. Jika krisis kepercayaan politik yang berimbas pada keretakan sosial ini dibiarkan berlatur-larut, maka kita sedang mengalami maslah serius yakni ancaman kebangkrutan.

Di sisi lain, kolumnis Kusnandar, Dadang (Kompas Edisi Jawa Barat , 17 Juli 2009) mempertanyakan masalah keadilan dalam pembinaan budaya daerah terkait dengan adanya subkultur budaya Cirebon. Tulisan tersebut kemudian ditanggapi oleh di surat kabar yang sama oleh Setiawan, Hawe dan kemudian ditanggapi pula oleh penulis Kasim, Supali dari Indramayu (Kompas Edisi Jawa Barat, 4 Agustus 2009). Masih ada tanggapan dari penulis lainnya seperti dari wartawan Bainur, Dadang, penulis S.M., Edeng , dan budayawan Cirebon Alwy, Subhanudin. Polemik tersebut menandai adanya masalah mengenai implementasi dari sebuah kebijakan pendidikan nilai kedaerahan di Jawa Barat.

Dengan demikian nampaklah bahwa implementasi pendidikan berbasis kearifan lokal berisi nilai kedaerahan dirasakan sebagai suatu kebutuhan yang mendasar tetapi di sisi lain masih belum dapat memuaskan kebutuhan masyarakat khususnya di wilayah subkultur tertentu. Sejumlah kendala dalam pelaksanaanya antara lain disebabkan karena budaya daerah Jawa Barat terdiri dari pelbagai subkultur budaya : Sunda, Cirebon, dan Melayu-Betawi sehingga menimbulkan konsekuensi pada nilai-nilai kedaerahan yang berbeda pula. Masalah implementasi pendidikan nilai tersebut secara operasional menampakkan adanya rasa ketidakadilan dari suatu subkultur budaya terhadap subkultur budaya lainnya.

Untuk mewujudkan jati diri masyarakat yang berperilaku cerdas dan berbudi pekerti luhur, yang dicirikan dengan meningkatnya pemahaman dan implementasi nilai-nilai agama dan nilai luhur budaya daerah dalam kehidupan bermasyarakat, Dinas Pendidikan dan Dinas Kebudayaan dan Pariwisata melaksanakan kegiatan-kegiatan sebagai berikut :
Rangkaian Peringatan Hari Bahasa Ibu International; Pemuatan karya sastra terbaik di media massa berbahasa daerah; Peta varian bahasa daerah di Jawa Barat; Susunan cerita rakyat berupa nasakah toponimi (asal-usul daerah); Keikutsertaan sastrawan Jawa Barat pada Temu Sastra IV anggota Mitra Praja Utama; Festival Budaya pesisir dan agraris Jawa Barat; Master plan kawasan percandian situs Batujaya; Naskah peta budaya Jawa Barat (Tahap III) bidang nilai tradisi; Penataan Ruang Pamer dan Koleksi Museum Ibu Inggit Garnasih; Dialog budaya tentang Perang Bubat; dokumentasi arsitektur bangunan tradisional di Jawa Barat; Workshop pelestarian dan pengembangan Situs Gua Pawon ; relokasi lima buah situs di Waduk Jatigede; Ekspedisi ke empat situs di wilayah Pantura; Katalogisasi situs-situs (BCB) Tahap III; Pembinaan Tenaga Teknis Konservasi dan Juru Pelihara Situs; Lomba busana tradisional Jawa Barat; 2.600 eksemplar buku penunjang bidang kesejarahan untuk disebarkan pada siswa sekolah menengah umum ; 3. 1000 eksemplar buku mengungkap nilai tradisi yang terkandung dalam seni pertunjukaan ; Pameran Nasional tenun tradisional di Museum Sri Baduga diikuti 25 museum se-Indonesia; keikut sertaan Museum Sri Baduga pada Pameran Permuseuman tingkat Nasional dan Pameran Sejarah Perjuangan Bangasa ; Pameran Keliling Permuseuman; Hasil konservasi dan reproduksi berupa satu buah replika Kawali III dan 5 buah artefak Gua Pawon; Susunan 20 naskah hasil transliterasi, terjemahan dan kajian naskah kuno dan digitalisasi 20 naskah koleksi Museum Sri Baduga; Visualisasi dan dokumentasi khazanah budaya Museum Sri Baduga; Cetakah bahan informasi dan promosi Museum Sri Baduga (1000 buku Kujang), 5000 leaflet, 200 foto, 1000 kalender, 10 media, 2 baligo); Renovasi rumah adat Kampung Pulo ; Musholla di lokasi situs Gua Pawon; Site Plan Gua Pawon; Rapat Koordinasi persiapan; Workshop pembelajaran teater tradisional; Fasilitasi sastrawan “nganjang ka sakola”; Fasilitasi lomba cabaret; Pasanggiri dan Apresiasi Sastra dan Seni Daerah di empat wilayah; Pasanggiri dan Apresiasi Sastra dan Seni Daerah tingkat Provinsi; Monitoring dan Evaluasi; Peningkatan minat siswa terhadap bahasa, sastra dan seni daerah ; Workshop penyusunan rencana pembelajaran bahasa, sastra dan aksara daerah; pelatihan bahasa dan sastra daerah untuk guru SD; Pelatihan bahasa dan sastra daerah untuk guru SD; Pelatihan bahasa dan sastra daerah untuk Kepala TK, SD, SMP dan SMA; Pelatihan Bahasa dan sastra daerah untuk Guru TK, SD/MI, SMP/MTs, SMA/SMK.

Bahasa dan sastra daerah yang dilestarikan adalah tiga bahasa daerah yang hidup dan berkembang di Jawa Barat yaitu Bahasa Sunda dengan jumlah penutur 75% dari penduduk Jawa Barat,umumnya digunakan di Wilayah Priangan, Jawa Barat bagian Tengah dan Bandung Raya; Bahasa Cirebon dengan jumlah penutur 10% penduduk Jawa Barat umumnya digunakan di Wilayah Cirebon dan Bahasa Melayu-Betawi dengan jumlah penutur 10% penduduk Jawa Barat dan berada di Wilayah Bogor, Depok, Bekasi dan sebagian Karawang.
Sedangkan museum yang ada di Jawa Barat sebanyak 27 buah museum terdiri dari sebuah museum umum yaitu Museum Sri Baduga di Bandung dan 27 buah museum khusus yang menyebar di wilayah Jawa Barat. Tingkat kunjungan ke Museum Sri Baduga 170 orang dari mancanagara dan 156.314 orang dari Nusantara.
Jumlah situs/cagar budaya yang ada di Jawa Barat seluruhnya 1.309 buah dan jumlah tersebut baru 60% yang terpelihara dengan baik sedangkan 40% kurang terpelihara karena berada di wilayah yang sulit dijangkau moda transportasi dan atau tidak ada juru pemelihara situs.

Pentas seni dan budaya daerah yang bertaraf nasional dan internasional sebanyak 38 kali di dalam dan luar negri.

Apresiasi Masyarakat dan Pemerintah Daerah
Apresiasi masyarakat terhadap nilai-nilai kearifan lokal telah nampak bermunculan di masyarakat. Banyak anak-anak muda dengan upaya kreatif melestarikan budaya daerah melalui berbagai cara dan media. Lili Suparli terpanggil mendirikan Komunitas Lawung Budaya beranggotakan 60 orang karena pemerintah dianggap belum mampu menjaga dan mengayomi serta menampilkan seni budaya daerah sebagai seni budaya nasional. KLB menampilkan kolaborasi tarian topeng Cirebon diiringi gamelan dan musik jazz Dwiki Darmawan di West Java Night di Bali Art Center Denpasar (Pikiran Rakyat, 11 April 2010).

Ada pula Fajar Persada Supandi, yang mendirikan Lentera Studio dengan bendera aBiGdev (Anak Bandung Inti Game Developer) yang membuat dua game online : Nusachallenge untuk mengenalkan budaya dan pakaian adat Indonesia dan Angklung Heroes Game, dengan mengemas kekhasan budaya daerah dari aspek music sound dan tampilan visualnya (Galamedia, 31 April 2010).

Angklung Web Institute setiap tiga bulan sekali menyelenggarakan pagelaran angklung, bahkan pada bulan Juni 2010 mengikutertakan peserta dari luar negeri seperti Madrasah Aljunied Al Islamiyah Singapura, Sari-sari Kulintang Phillipine Group dari Filipina dan pertunjukan angklung dari Thailand. Saung Udjo sebagai sebuah sanggar angklung juga menyelenggarakan seminar bamboo internasional di samping pendidikan dan pertunjukan rutin di sanggar.

Koran Kompas edisi Jawa Barat dan Pikiran Rakyat banyak memuat rubrik dan opini mengenai budaya daerah, sesekali Pikiran Rakyat memuat puisi-puisi dalam bahasa Sunda dan Cirebon, secara rutin Tribun Jabar memuat carpon (carita pondok), televise TVRI Jabar dan semua televisi lokal menyiarkan berita dalam bahasa Sunda dan Cirebon sekali dalam sehari.

Beberapa instansi pemerintah “mewajibkan” penggunaan bahasa daerah di tempat kerja sekali dalam seminggu. Budaya daerah juga muncul setahun sekali dalam peringatan-peringatan lahirnya daerah. HUT Kota Bogor 528 diperingati dalam rapat paripurna DPRD dengan menggunakan bahasa Sunda. Tapi banyak pula kegiatan itu bersifat seremonial dan tanpa perencanaan yang baik, sehingga dalam waktu beberapa bulan saja kewajiban menggunakan bahasa daerah di tempat kerja pun hilang dengan sendirinya.
Program-program di bidang pendidikan khususnya pendidikan dasar adalah : menuntaskan Jawa Barat bebas buta aksara; mewujudkan Jawa Barat bebas biaya pendidikan dasar dalam rangka penuntasan wajar dikdas Sembilan tahun; mewujudkan Jawa Barat bebas putus jenjang sekolah dalam rangka pelaksanaan wajar dua bela tahun di seluruh Kabupaten/Kota; meningkatkan pengelolaan penjaminan mutu pendidikan dasar dan menengah; meningkatkan kualitas sarana dan prasarana pendidikan dasar dan menengah; meningkatkan kompetensi dan kesejahteraan Guru serta tenaga kependidikan. Semua itu dikaitkan dengan program di bidang kebudayaan untuk meningkatkan upaya revitalisasi nilai-nilai kebudayaan dan kearifan lokal yang relevan bagi peningkatan kemajuan Jawa Barat yang mengacu pada Perda-perda Nomor 5 Tahun 2003 tentang pemeliharaan bahasa, sastra dan aksara daerah; Nomor 6 Tahun 2003 tantang Pemeliharaan Kesenian, dan Nomor 7 Tahun 2003 tentang Pengelolaan Kepurbakalaan, Kesejarahan, Nilai Tradisional dan Museum.

Nampaknya dalam pengalokasian anggaran di Provinsi Jawa Barat harus memperhatikan keseimbangan antar wilayah, apalagi wilayah dengan kondisi khusus daerah seperti wilayah Cirebon yang merupakan pusat keraton di Jawa Barat saat ini. Jika tidak maka kasus Sultan Kanoman XII Raja Muhammad Emiruddin mendemo Wali Kota Cirebon Subardi (Tribun Jabar 4 Juni 2010) menuntut anggaran perbaikan keraton yang telah rusak parah bisa terulang lagi di waktu mendatang. Padahal dukungan keraton terhadap pendidikan berbasis kearifan lokal merupakan intangible benefits yang harus diperhitungkan. Belum lagi jika dikaitkan dengan apa yang disebut sebagai variable konteks sosial (Avory et al.: 2008: ) sebagai sumber variasi dalam pencapaian pembelajaran bahasa.

Demonstrasi Keraton Kanoman mestinya tidak perlu terjadi jika dilakukan kebijakan yang sama seperti terhadap peninggalan budaya Sunda di Sumedang. Renovasi museum Prabu Geusan Ulun Sumedang menghabiskan dana Rp 1,9 milyar yang dikucurkan dari Dinas Pemukiman dan Perumahan Jawa Barat dan Disparbud Jawa Barat dan APBN (Radar 7 Juni 2010). Perhatian itu berkaitan dengan posisi Sumedang sebagai pusat budaya sunda atau Sumedang Puseur Budaya Sunda (SPBS) seperti dinyatakan Edi Ruhimant Kepala Bidang Objek Data Turis Wisata (ODTW) Disbudparpora Sumedang.

Paradoks juga muncul pada saat Kota/Kabupaten kekurangan anggaran, peningkatan anggaran di tingkat Provinsi nampaknya belum disertai kemampuan untuk menggunakannya, sebagai contoh 12% APBD Provinsi Jawa Barat tahun 2009 tidak terserap. Hal itu menunjukkan bahwa pada aspek perencanaan masih terjadi kelemahan. Dari jumlah APBD Rp 9,2 trilyun hanya terserap 8,06 trilyun (87,66%), Gubernur beralasan hal itu karena efisiensi dan akan digunakan membiayai pos-pos yang menyentuh langsung kebutuhan masyarakat. “Efisiensi dan efektifitas sebagai indikator penggunaan APBD”, sehingga Gubernur menginstruksikan untuk mengefisienkan belanja yang tidak langsung menyentuh kepentingan masyarakat banyak seperti anggaran rapat-rapat di hotel-hotel harus dibatasi. Pada sisi lain Bansos (bantuan sosial) harus berdasarkan prinsip kehati-hatian, harus memenuhi syarat administrative, bermanfaat bagi masyarakat dan akuntabel (Galamedia, 31 Mei 2010). Anggota DPRD yang lain, Supriadin mengeluhkan kurangnya pemerataan alokasi anggaran pendidikan, di Kota Bandung banyak sekolah kekurangan murid sementara di Tasikmalaya kekurangan sekolah. Di samping itu iapun mengeluhkan kurangnya transparansi eksekutif karena hanya melaporkan total anggaran tanpa memberikan rinciannya.

Ditinjau dari tipe-tipe analisis kebijakan yang dikemukakan Fowler (2009) maka pengalokasian anggaran pendidikan berbasis kearifan daerah di Provinsi Jawa Barat merupakan gabungan dari pelbagai kebijakan yang bisa dikategorikan distributive, regulatori (Lowi), rangsangan, membangun kapasitas (McDoneell & Elmore). Di lihat dari analisis biaya dan keefektifan biaya (Levin) pengalokasian anggaran pendidikan sebesar 20% baru merupakan belanja (expenditure) yang belum mencerminkan biaya (cost) karena belum adanya unit cost pendidikan yang baku, di samping itu lebih banyak indirect cost (belanja tidak langsung) dibandung direct cost (belanja langsung).

Dari sisi benefit, sudah memperlihatkan tangible benefits dalam bentuk angka-angka APK, RLS dan AMH namun belum mengukur intangible benefits seperti dukungan komunitas terhadap program-program pendidikan. Penelusuran terhadap intangible benefits menunjukkan fenomena apresiasi generasi muda pada budaya daerah dan nilai-nilai yang terkandung di dalamnya. Sebagai contoh Lili Suparli terpanggil mendirikan Komunitas Lawung Budaya beranggotakan 60 orang karena pemerintah dianggap belum mampu menjaga dan mengayomi serta menampilkan seni budaya daerah sebagai seni budaya nasional. KLB menampilkan kolaborasi tarian topeng Cirebon diiringi gamelan dan music jazz Dwiki Darmawan di West Java Night di Bali Art Center Denpasar.(Pikiran Rakyat, 11 April 2010). Ada pula Fajar Persada Supandi, yang mendirikan Lentera Studio dengan bendera aBiGdev ( Anak Bandung Inti Game Developer) yang membuat dua game online : Nusachallenge untuk mengenalkan budaya dan pakaian adat Indonesia dan Angklung Heroes Game, dengan mengemas kekhasan budaya daerah dari aspek music sound dan tampilan visualnya (Galamedia, 31 April 2010).

Intangible benefits tersebut selaras dengan pandangan Surakhmad mengenai “kebijakan pendidikan yang meng-Indonesiakan” yang mengarah pada tiga tujuan, yaitu : pertama, pendidikan sebagai proses yang mewujudkan nilai-nilai kehidupan seperti yang diamanatkan dalam UUD 1945 dan Pancasila, dalam arti merupakan kebijakan hidup yang berarti kebijakan berbangsa setiap warga Negara. Kedua, pendidikan sebagai proses dan sumber pembudayaan yang mengutamakan tidak semata-mata kebudayaan kognitif, tetapi juga kebudayaan yang membudayakan. Dengan demikian pendidikan sekaligus berarti kebijakan pembudayaan yang diperlukan oleh setiap warga Negara. Ketiga, pendidikan yang mengutamakan semangat keindonesiaan dalam memastikan satunya Indonesia melalui desentralisasi dan otonomisasi, yang berarti mengembangkan kekuatan dalam keberagaman.

Di sisi lain pendidikan berbasis kearifan lokal tidaklah menimbulkan ethno-sentrisme karena ada nilai-nilai menghargai tamu seperti “someah hade ka semah”. Nilai ini menjadi tema diskusi “Tepang sono Inohong Jawa Barat” di Savoy Homan 30 April 2010 yang dihadiri budayawan dan seniman. Mereka mendiskusikan mengenai keramahan yang harus tetap dipertahankan, falsafahnya tamu harus diambut baik (Galamedia 1 Mei 2010).

Nilai-nilai lain juga nampak dari sastra lisan yang popular di Cirebon adalah pesan/ wasiat Sinuhun Sunan Gunungjati Syekh Syarif Hidayatullah : ingsun titip tajug lan fakir miskin. Menurut Kusnandar seorang pengamat budaya dari Cirebon, pesan ini juga mesti didekati bukan hanya semata yang bersifat materi, melainkan juga miskin dalam pemahaman (pengetahuan). Artinya titik tekan miskin juga pada soal immateri. Tajug artinya kehormatan, tidak hanya sebentuk mushalla atau tempat melaksanakan shalat. Menghidupkan Sastra lisan, berarti menghidupkan kembali kekayaan lama warisan budaya bangsa. 58 bahasa daerah di Indonesia setidaknya menjadi sistem tanda betapa banyaknya sastra lisan yang pernah berlangsung dalam Peningkatan kemampuan dan budaya baca dan peningkatan kualitas pelayanan perpustakaan berbasis teknologi informasi dengan demikian berhadapan dengan kenyataan indeks minat baca masyarakat yang sangat rendah yakni 0,0001 yang berarti 1000 orang membaca satu buku, sedangkan minat baca surat kabar hanya 5,3 juta atau 15,4 % penduduk Jawa Barat, sedangkan indeks minat baca orang Singapura adalah 0,550 yang berarti 1000 orang membaca 550 buku.

Taufik Faturohman dari Penerbit Geger Sunten mengatakan lima tahun terakhir buku fiksi bahasa Sunda yang diterbitkan semakin berkurang dari 20 buku menjadi lima buku per tahun itupun dicetak hanya 2000 lembar dengan upah hanya Rp 1 juta- 2 juta dalam tiga tahun. Rahmat Hidayat dari Penerbit Kiblat mencetak yang semula mencetak 3000 eksemplar kini hanya mencetak 1000 eksemplar saja karena penjualannya sangat lambat, rata-rata hanya dapat menjual 500 eksemplar per tahun. Para penerbit mengatakan bahwa keterlibatan Disdik Jabar sangat kurang (Kompas 7 Januari 2008 dan 17 Maret 2009). Kegiatan yang dilakukan pemerintah daerah baru berupa workshop bagi 130 kepala sekolah dan pelatihan tenaga perpustakaan bagi 208 orang.

Peningkatan upaya revitalisasi nilai-nilai kebudayaan dan kearifan lokal yang selaras dengan perkembangan zaman harus memperhatikan keluhan dan harapan masyarakat. Ade Hidayat, Guru PKn SMK Bhakti Kencana, Limbangan Garut mengatakan Pendidikan Indonesia yang dikenal kental dengan nilai budaya, moral dan religiusitasnya ternyata tidak mampu membuktikan keunggulan karakter dibandingkan negara liberal yang ateis tapi patuh pada hukum (Tribun Jabar 13 April 2010).
Iwan Setiawan, dosen dan sekretaris Puslit Dinamika Pembangunan LPPM Unpad, menyatakan bahwa secara historis-empiris kreativitas dan keinovatifan masyarakat Jawa Barat tidak diragukan. Dalam berkarya dan berkarsa masyarakat Jabar sangat berprinsip (tidak tuturut munding), mengusung keunggulan lokal (comparative advantage), menjunjung tinggi keberagaman (diversification) dan berorientasi nilai daya saing (competitive advantage) sehingga dihasilkan kekayaan yang tidak saja beragam, tetapi juga bernilai artistik, futuristik, dan sosio-ekonomik. Kekayaan Jawa Barat berbasis sumber daya alam, berbentuk sosial ekonomik dan budaya. Kekayaan budaya bisa dilihat pada kampong adat seperti Kampung Naga, kampung Kuta, kampung Dukuh, kampung Baduy, Kampung Cigugur; pada artefak dan situs sejarah Banten, Sumedang Larang, Cirebon, Galuh, Pakuan, Pajajaran; pada kesenian angklung, topeng Pantura, tembang sunda Cianjuran, wayang golek, tarling, benjang, pencak silat, dan jaipongan. “Pemerintah kota/kabupaten dan pemprov harus berbuat lebih cepat, konsisten dan tertib (jangan rumit dan mahal) melindungi, menata administrasi, menglengkapi dokumentasi (paten, sertifikasi) dan memberdayakan kekayaan masyarakat” (Tribun Jabar, 22 Mei 2010).

Opini-opini tersebut nampaknya mengarah pada perlunya peninjauan muatan lokal di sekolah-sekolah terutama yang berkaitan dengan kearifan lokal agar lebih fungsional terhadap kondisi dan tantangan lokal.

Contextualization of finding is frequently the main element lacking in educational research evidence and resultant policymaking (Carnoy, 1999; Zayda 2005). This means that evidence for educational policymaking often consists of unsubstantiated findings or one-shot fenomena that may take precedence over long-term trends and cultural characteristics (Ball, 1998). Indeed, making educational policy exclusively on the basis of empirical research evidence is neither possible nor preferred in many cases because of the importance of considering the evidence within context (Whitty, 2006).

Dinas Pendidikan (Disdik) Sumedang tengah menyusun standarisasi kinerja Kepala Sekolah, Guru dan Siswa yang akan diwarnai oleh konsep dan nilai-nilai strategis pembangunan Sumedang sebagai Puseur Budaya Pasundan. Akan disusun sebuah tata tertib sekolah sebagai acuan norma berperilaku di sekolah yang bermuatan nilai-nilai budaya Sunda. Budaya tersebut dibentuk melalui proses pembiasaan di sekolah misalnya dilarang berbicara kasar.

UNESCO memiliki resep bahwa untuk meningkatkan kualitas pendidikan diperlukan berbagai kebijakan, yang mencakup antara lain:
1) Sekolah harus siap dan terbuka dengan mengembangkan a reactive mindset, menanggalkan “problem solving” yang menekankan pada orientasi masa lalu, berubah menuju “change anticipating” yang berorientasi pada “how can we do things differently”
2) Pilar kualitas sekolah adalah Learning how to learn, learning to do, learning to be, dan learning to live together.
3) Menetapkan standard pendidikan dengan indikator yang jelas.
4) Memperbaharui dan kurikulum sehingga relevan dengan kebutuhan masyarakat dan peserta didik.
5) Meningkatkan pemanfaatan information and communication technology (ICT) dalam pembelajaran dan pengelolaan sekolah.
6) Menekankan pada pengembangan sistem peningkatan kemampuan profesional guru.
7) Mengembangkan kultur sekolah yang kondusif pada peningkatan mutu.
8) Meningkatkan partisipasi orang tua masyakat dan kolaborasi sekolah dan fihak-fihak lain.
9) Melaksanakan Quality Assurance (UNESCO, 2001).


Pemerintah Provinsi Jawa Barat nampaknya harus memulai menyesuaikan diri dengan standarisasi Unesco tersebut dalam meningkatkan kualitas pendidikannya agar dapat berkompetisi dalam kehidupan global.


*Harjoko Sangganagara, peserta Program S3 Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI) Bandung

Blog : www.harsablog.blogspot.com

Kamis, 02 Desember 2010

Potensi komik sebagai media pengantar komunikasi belum dikembangkan

Bandung, Kompas - Potensi komik sebagai media pengantar komunikasi belum dikembangkan sepenuhnya di Indonesia. Padahal, komik telah dilirik untuk berbagai kepentingan di beberapa negara maju.

”Komik telah dianggap media baru yang memiliki kekuatan unik. Komik bisa dengan ringan dan santai menyampaikan suatu maksud dan tujuan,” kata komikus sekaligus Dosen Desain Komunikasi dan Visual Institut Teknologi Harapan Bangsa Okky Tri Baskoro di sela-sela lokakarya Bandung Indie Comic Now di Institut Teknologi Bandung, Rabu (1/12).

Okky memberi contoh tentang buku sejarah berbalut komik karya komikus Amerika Serikat Larry Gonick. Buku sejarah yang telah terbit hingga jilid kelima itu sangat laris dan telah diterjemahkan ke banyak bahasa.

Hal sama terjadi di Korea Selatan. Komikus Kim I Rang bekerja sama dengan Yim Sook Young menerbitkan buku pengetahuan sedunia. Okky menambahkan, komik juga digunakan sebagai media promosi di banyak negara, baik dalam bentuk profil perusahaan maupun untuk promosi produk.

”Di Indonesia, beberapa perusahaan swasta juga tertarik berpromosi lewat komik meski jumlahnya belum banyak. Hasilnya ternyata positif karena dengan dana sama dengan beriklan menggunakan selebaran, produk yang mereka jual lebih dikenal masyarakat,” katanya.

Okky berharap banyak kalangan mulai peduli mendukung potensi komik Indonesia. Belum banyak perguruan tinggi yang mengajarkan mata kuliah tentang komik. Pemerintah juga belum tertarik melirik komik sebagai karya kreatif yang menjanjikan. Hal ini sangat disayangkan karena banyak komikus justru berjuang dan bergerilya sendiri mempromosikan karyanya.

Komikus Azisa Noor (23) mengatakan, masa depan komik Indonesia mulai menunjukkan arah positif. Mulai banyak kalangan menggunakan komik sebagai pengenalan sesuatu hal.

Komikus dari Koloni ini mengatakan, komik telah digunakan dalam buku panduan Kota Tua Jakarta, sosialisasi koperasi salah satu bank swasta, hingga promosi produk makanan dan minuman nasional. Azisa mengharapkan agar minat itu bisa terus dipertahankan. (CHE)

Sumber : KOMPAS Jabar, 2 Desember 2010

Kamis, 07 Oktober 2010

Ramayana

Ramayana
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Ramayana (disambiguation).


The Rāmāyaṇa (Sanskrit: रामायण, IPA: [rɑːˈmɑːjəɳə]) is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon (smṛti). The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India, the other being the Mahabharata.[1] It depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal wife and the ideal king.

The name Ramayana is a tatpurusha compound of Rāma and ayana ("going, advancing"), translating to "Rama's Journey". The Ramayana consists of 24,000 verses in seven books (kāṇḍas) and 500 cantos (sargas),[2] and tells the story of Rama (an incarnation of the Hindu preserver-God Vishnu), whose wife Sita is abducted by the demon king of Lanka, Ravana. Thematically, the epic explores the tenets of human existence and the concept of dharma.[3]

Verses in the Ramayana are written in a 32-syllable meter called anustubh. The epic was an important influence on later Sanskrit poetry and Indian life and culture, particularly through its establishment of the shloka meter. Like its epic cousin the Mahābhārata, the Ramayana is not just an ordinary story: it contains the teachings of ancient Hindu sages and presents them in narrative allegory with philosophical and the devotional elements interspersed. The characters Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Bharata, Hanuman and Ravana are all fundamental to the cultural consciousness of India.

There are other versions of the Ramayana, notably Buddhist (Dasaratha Jataka No. 461) and Jain in India, and also Indonesian, Thai, Lao, Burmese and Malay versions of the tale.

[edit] Textuality
Traditionally, the Ramayana is ascribed to Valmiki, regarded as India's first poet.[4] The Indian tradition is unanimous in its agreement that the poem is the work of a single poet, the sage Valmiki, a contemporary of Rama and a peripheral actor in the epic drama.[5] The story's original version in Sanskrit is known as Valmiki Ramayana, dating to approximately the 4th century B.C.[6][7] While it is often viewed as a primarily devotional text, the Vaishnava elements appear to be later accretions possibly dating to between the 2nd and 4th centuries CE. The main body of the narrative lacks statements of Rama's divinity, and identifications of Rama with Vishnu are rare and subdued even in the later parts of the text.[8]

According to Hindu tradition, the Ramayana takes place during a period of time known as Treta Yuga.[9]

In its extant form, Valmiki's Ramayana is an epic poem of some 50,000 lines. The text survives in several thousand partial and complete manuscripts, the oldest of which appears to date from the 11th century A.D.[10] The text has several regional renderings,[6] recensions and subrecensions. Textual scholar Robert P. Goldman differentiates two major regional recensions: the northern (N) and the southern (S).[10] Scholar Romesh Chunder Dutt writes that "the Ramayana, like the Mahabharata, is a growth of centuries, but the main story is more distinctly the creation of one mind."[11]

There has been speculation as to whether the first and the last chapters of Valmiki's Ramayana were written by the original author. Raghunathan writes that many experts believe they are integral parts of the book in spite of some style differences and narrative contradictions between these two chapters and the rest of the book.[12][13]

Famous retellings include the Ramayanam of Kamban in Tamil (ca. 11th-12th century), Shri Rama Panchali or Krittivasi Ramayan by Krittibas Ojha in Bengali (ca. 15th Century), and Ramacharitamanas by Tulasidas in Awadhi which is a dialect of Hindi (c. 16th century).[6]

[edit] Period
Some cultural evidence (the presence of sati in the Mahabharata but not in the main body of the Ramayana) suggests that the Ramayana predates the Mahabharata.[14] However, the general cultural background of the Ramayana is one of the post-urbanization period of the eastern part of North India (c. 450 BCE), while the Mahabharata reflects the Kuru areas west of this, from the Rigvedic to the late Vedic period.[15]

By tradition, the epic belongs to the Treta Yuga, second of the four eons (yuga) of Hindu chronology. Rama is said to have been born in the Treta Yuga to King Daśaratha in the Ikshvaku vamsa (clan).[16]

The names of the characters (Rama, Sita, Dasharatha, Janaka, Vasishta, Vishwamitra) are all known in Vedic literature such as the Brahmanas which are older than the Valmiki Ramayana.[17] However, nowhere in the surviving Vedic poetry is a story similar to the Ramayana of Valmiki.[18] According to the modern academic view, Brahma, one of the main characters of Ramayana, and Vishnu, who according to Bala Kanda was incarnated as Rama, are not Vedic deities, and come first into prominence with the epics themselves and further during the 'Puranic' period of the later 1st millennium CE. There is also a version of Ramayana, known as Ramopakhyana, found in the epic Mahabharata. This version, depicted as a narration to Yudhishtira, does not accord divine characteristics to Rama.[19]

There is general consensus that books two to six form the oldest portion of the epic while the first book Bala Kanda and the last the Uttara Kanda are later additions.[20] The author or authors of Bala Kanda and Ayodhya Kanda appear to be familiar with the eastern Gangetic basin region of northern India and the Kosala and Magadha region during the period of the sixteen janapadas as the geographical and geopolitical data is in keeping with what is known about the region. However, when the story moves to the Aranya Kanda and beyond, it seems to turn abruptly into fantasy with its demon-slaying hero and fantastic creatures. The geography of central and South India is increasingly vaguely described. The knowledge of the location of the island of Sri Lanka also lacks detail.[21] Basing his assumption on these features, the historian H.D. Sankalia has proposed a date of the 4th century BC for the composition of the text.[22] A. L. Basham, however, is of the opinion that Rama may have been a minor chief who lived in the 8th or the 7th century BC.[23]

[edit] Characters

Rama seated with Sita, fanned by Lakshmana, while Hanuman pays his respects.Rama is the hero of the tale. Portrayed as the seventh incarnation of the God Vishnu, he is the eldest and favorite son of the King of Ayodhya, Dasharatha, and his wife Kousalya. He is portrayed as the epitome of virtue. Dasharatha is forced by Kaikeyi, one of his wives, to command Rama to relinquish his right to the throne for fourteen years and go into exile.

Sita is the beloved wife of Rama and the daughter of king Janaka. She is the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu. Sita is portrayed as the epitome of female purity and virtue. She follows her husband into exile and is abducted by Ravana. She is imprisoned on the island of Lanka until Rama rescues her by defeating the demon king Ravana. Later, she gives birth to Lava and Kusha, the heirs of Rama.

Hanuman is a vanara belonging to the kingdom of Kishkindha. He is portrayed as an incarnation of the God Shiva (the Eleventh Rudra) and an ideal bhakta of Rama. He is born as the son of Kesari, a vanara king, and the Goddess Anjana. He plays an important part in locating Sita and in the ensuing battle.
Lakshmana, the younger brother of Rama, who chose to go into exile with him. He is portrayed as an incarnation of the Shesha, the nāga associated with the God Vishnu. He spends his time protecting Sita and Rama. He is forced to leave Sita, who was deceived by the demon Maricha into believing that Rama was in trouble. Sita is abducted by Ravana upon him leaving her.

Ravana, a rakshasa, is the king of Lanka. After performing severe penance for ten thousand years he received a boon from the creator-God Brahma that he could not be killed by Gods, demons or spirits. He is portrayed as a powerful demon king, who disturbs the penances of Rishis. Vishnu incarnates as the human Rama to defeat him, thus circumventing the boon given by Brahma.

Dasharatha is the king of Ayodhya and the father of Rama. He has three queens, Kousalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi, and three other sons: Bharata, Lakshmana and Shatrughna. Kaikeyi, Dasharatha's favourite queen, forces him to make his son Bharata crown prince and send Rama into exile. Dasharatha dies heartbroken after Rama goes into exile.

Bharata is the son of Dasharatha. When he learns that his mother Kaikeyi had forced Rama into exile and caused Dasharatha to die brokenhearted, he storms out of the palace and goes in search of Rama in the forest. When Rama refuses to return from his exile to assume the throne, Bharata obtains Rama's sandals and places them on the throne as a gesture that Rama is the true king. Bharata then rules Ayodhya as the regent of Rama for the next fourteen years.
Shatrughna is the son of Dasharatha and his third wife Queen Sumitra. He is the youngest brother of Rama and also the twin brother of Lakshmana.

[edit] Synopsis
The poem is traditionally divided into several major kandas or books, that deal chronologically with the major events in the life of Rama—Bala kanda, Ayodhya Kanda, Aranya Kanda, Kishkinda Kanda, Sundara Kanda, Yuddha Kanda, and Uttara Kanda.[6] The Bala Kanda describes the birth of Rama, his childhood and marriage to Sita.[24] The Ayodhya Kanda describes the preparations for Rama's coronation and his exile into the forest.[24] The third part, Aranya Kanda, describes the forest life of Rama and the kidnapping of Sita by the demon king Ravana.[24] The fourth book, Kishkinda Kanda, describes the meeting of Hanuman with Rama, the destruction of the vanara king Vali and the coronation of his younger brother Sugriva to the throne of the kingdom of Kishkindha.[24] The fifth book is Sundara Kanda, which narrates the heroism of Hanuman, his flight to Lanka and meeting with Sita.[24] The sixth book, Yuddha Kanda, describes the battle between Rama's and Ravana's armies.[24] The last book, Uttara Kanda, describes the birth of Lava and Kusha to Sita, their coronation to the throne of Ayodhya, and Rama's final departure from the world.[24]

[edit] Bala Kanda
Main article: Balakanda

The birth of the four sons of DasharathaDasharatha was the king of Kosala, the capital of which was the city of Ayodhya. He had three queens: Kausalya, Kaikeyi and Sumithra. He was childless for a long time and, anxious to produce an heir, he performs a fire sacrifice known as Putra-Kameshti Yagna.[25] As a consequence, Rama is first born to Kausalya, Bharata is born to Kaikeyi, and Sumitra gives birth to twins named Lakshmana and Shatrughna.[26][27] These sons are endowed, to various degrees, with the essence of the God Vishnu; Vishnu had opted to be born into mortality in order to combat the demon Ravana, who was oppressing the Gods, and who could only be destroyed by a mortal.[28] The boys are reared as the princes of the realm, receiving instructions from the scriptures and in warfare. When Rama is 16 years old, the sage Vishwamitra comes to the court of Dasharatha in search of help against demons, who were disturbing sacrificial rites. He chooses Rama, who is followed by Lakshmana, his constant companion throughout the story. Rama and Lakshmana receive instructions and supernatural weapons from Vishwamitra, and proceed to destroy the demons.[29]

Janaka was the king of Mithila. One day, a female child was found in the field by the king in the deep furrow dug by this plough. Overwhelmed with joy, the king regarded the child as a "miraculous gift of God". The child was named Sita, the Sanskrit word for furrow.[30] Sita grew up to be a girl of unparalleled beauty and charm. When Sita was of marriageable age, the king decided to have a swayamvara which included a contest. The king was in possession of an immensely heavy bow, presented to him by the God Shiva: whoever could wield the bow could marry Sita. The sage Vishwamitra attends the swayamvara with Rama and Lakshmana. Only Rama wields the bow and breaks it. Marriages are arranged between the sons of Dasharatha and daughters, nieces of Janaka. The weddings are celebrated with great festivity at Mithila and the marriage party returns to Ayodhya.[29]

[edit] Ayodhya Kanda

Bharata Asks for Rama's paduka-footwearAfter Rama and Sita have been married for twelve years, Dasharatha who had grown old expresses his desire to crown Rama, to which the Kosala assembly and his subjects express their support.[31][32] On the eve of the great event, Kaikeyi—her jealousy aroused by Manthara, a wicked maidservant—claims two boons that Dasharatha had long ago granted her. Kaikeyi demands Rama to be exiled into wilderness for fourteen years, while the succession passes to her son Bharata. The heartbroken king, constrained by his rigid devotion to his given word, accedes to Kaikeyi's demands.[33] Rama accepts his father's reluctant decree with absolute submission and calm self-control which characterizes him throughout the story.[34] He is joined by Sita and Lakshmana. When he asks Sita not to follow him, she says, "the forest where you dwell is Ayodhya for me and Ayodhya without you is a veritable hell for me."[35] After Rama's departure, king Dasharatha, unable to bear the grief, passes away.[36] Meanwhile, Bharata who was on a visit to his maternal uncle, learns about the events in Ayodhya. Bharata refuses to profit from his mother's wicked scheming and visits Rama in the forest. He requests Rama to return and rule. But Rama, determined to carry out his father's orders to the letter, refuses to return before the period of exile. However, Bharata carries Rama's sandals, and keeps them on the throne, while he rules as Rama's regent.[33][36]

[edit] Aranya Kanda
Rama, Sita and Lakshmana journeyed southward along the banks of river Godavari, where they built cottages and lived off the land. At the Panchavati forest they are visited by a rakshasa woman, Surpanakha, the sister of Ravana. She attempts to seduce the brothers and, failing in this, attempts to kill Sita. Lakshmana stops her by cutting off her nose and ears. Hearing of this, her demon brother, Khara, organizes an attack against the princes. Rama annihilates Khara and his demons.[37]

When news of these events reaches Ravana, he resolves to destroy Rama by capturing Sita with the aid of the rakshasa Maricha. Maricha, assuming the form of a golden deer, captivates Sita's attention. Entranced by the beauty of the deer, Sita pleads with Rama to capture it. Rama, aware that this is the play of the demons, is unable to dissuade Sita from her desire and chases the deer into the forest, leaving Sita under Lakshmana's guard. After some time Sita hears Rama calling out to her; afraid for his life she insists that Lakshmana rush to his aid. Lakshmana tries to assure her that Rama is invincible, and that it is best if he continues to follow Rama's orders to protect her. On the verge of hysterics Sita insists that it is not she but Rama who needs Lakshmana's help. He obeys her wish but stipulates that she is not to leave the cottage or entertain any strangers. Finally with the coast clear, Ravana appears in the guise of an ascetic requesting Sita's hospitality. Unaware of the devious plan of her guest, Sita is then forcibly carried away by the evil Ravana.[37][38]

Jatayu, a vulture, tries to rescue Sita, but is mortally wounded. At Lanka, Sita is kept under the heavy guard of rakshasis. Ravana demands Sita marry him, but Sita, eternally devoted to Rama, refuses.[36] Rama and Lakshmana learn about Sita's abduction from Jatayu, and immediately set out to save her.[39] During their search, they meet the demon Kabandha and the ascetic Shabari, who direct them towards Sugriva and Hanuman.[40][41]

[edit] Kishkindha Kanda

A stone bas relief at Banteay Srei in Cambodia depicts the combat between Vali and Sugriva (middle). To the right, Rama fires his bow. To the left, Vali lies dying.The Kishkindha Kanda is set in the monkey citadel Kishkindha. Rama and Lakshmana meet Hanuman, the greatest of monkey heroes and an adherent of Sugriva, the banished pretender to the throne of Kishkindha.[42] Rama befriends Sugriva and helps him by killing his elder brother Vali thus regaining the kingdom of Kiskindha, in exchange for helping Rama to recover Sita.[43] However Sugriva soon forgets his promise and spends his time in debauchery. The clever monkey Queen, Tara, calmly intervenes to prevent an enraged Lakshmana from destroying the monkey citadel. She then eloquently convinces Sugriva to honor his pledge. Sugriva then sends search parties to the four corners of the earth, only to return without success from north, east and west.[44] The southern search party under the leadership of Angad and Hanuman learns from a vulture named Sampati that Sita was taken to Lanka.[44][45]

[edit] Sundara Kanda
Main article: Sundara Kanda

Ravana is meeting Sita at Ashokavana. Hanuman is seen on the tree.The Sundara Kanda forms the heart of Valmiki's Ramayana[46] and consists of a detailed, vivid account of Hanuman's adventures.[42] After learning about Sita, Hanuman assumes a gargantuan form and makes a colossal leap across the ocean to Lanka. Here, Hanuman explores the demon's city and spies on Ravana. He locates Sita in Ashoka grove, who is wooed and threatened by Ravana and his rakshasis to marry Ravana. He reassures her, giving Rama's signet ring as a sign of good faith. He offers to carry Sita back to Rama, however she refuses, reluctant to allow herself to be touched by a male other than her husband. She says that Rama himself must come and avenge the insult of her abduction.[42]

Hanuman then wreaks havoc in Lanka by destroying trees and buildings, and killing Ravana's warriors. He allows himself to be captured and produced before Ravana. He gives a bold lecture to Ravana to release Sita. He is condemned and his tail is set on fire, but he escapes his bonds and, leaping from roof to roof, sets fire to Ravana's citadel and makes the giant leap back from the island. The joyous search party returns to Kishkindha with the news.[42][47]

[edit] Yuddha Kanda

The War of Lanka by Sahibdin.It depicts monkey army of the protagonist Rama (top left, blue figure) fighting the demon-king of the king of Lanka, Ravana in order to save Rama's kidnapped wife Sita. The painting depicts multiple events in the battle against the three-headed demon general Trisiras, in bottom left - Trisiras is beheaded by the monkey-companion of Rama - Hanuman.This book describes the battle between the forces of Rama and Ravana. Having received Hanuman's report on Sita, Rama and Lakshmana proceed with their allies towards the shore of the southern sea. There they are joined by Ravana's renegade brother Vibhishana. The monkeys named "Naal" and "Neel" construct a floating bridge (known as Rama Setu) across the ocean, and the princes and their army cross over to Lanka. A lengthy battle ensues and Rama kills Ravana. Rama then installs Vibhishana on the throne of Lanka.[48]

On meeting Sita, Rama asks her to undergo agni Pariksha (test of fire) to prove her purity, since she had stayed at the demon's palace. When Sita plunges into the sacrificial fire, Agni the lord of fire raises Sita, unharmed, to the throne, attesting to her purity.[49] The episode of agni pariksha varies in the versions of Ramayana by Valmiki and Tulsidas.[50] The above version is from Valmiki Ramayana. In Tulsidas's Ramacharitamanas Sita was under the protection of Agni so it was necessary to bring her out before reuniting with Rama. At the expiration of his term of exile, Rama returns to Ayodhya with Sita and Lakshmana, where the coronation is performed.[48]

[edit] Uttara Kanda

Sita in the Hermitage of ValmikiThe Uttara Kanda concerns the final years of Rama, Sita, and Rama's brothers. After being crowned king, many years passed pleasantly with Sita. However, despite the agni pariksha (fire ordeal) of Sita, rumors about her purity are spreading among the populace of Ayodhya.[51] Rama yields to public opinion and banishes Sita to the forest, where the sage Valmiki provides shelter in his ashrama (hermitage). Here she gives birth to twin boys, Lava and Kusha, who became pupils of Valmiki and are brought up in ignorance of their identity.

Valmiki composes the Ramayana and teaches Lava and Kusha to sing it. Later, Rama holds a ceremony during Ashwamedha yagna, which the sage Valmiki, with Lava and Kusha, attends. Lava and Kusha sing the Ramayana in the presence of Rama and his vast audience. When Lava and Kusha recite about Sita's exile, Rama becomes grievous, and Valmiki produces Sita. Sita calls upon the Earth, her mother, to receive her and as the ground opens, she vanishes into it.[51][52] Rama then learns that Lava and Kusha are his children. Later a messenger from the Gods appears and informs Rama that the mission of his incarnation was over. Rama returns to his celestial abode.[49] The Uttara Kanda is regarded to be a later addition to the original story by Valmiki.[6]

[edit] Influence on culture and art

A Ramlila actor wears the traditional attire of RavanaOne of the most important literary works of ancient India, the Ramayana has had a profound impact on art and culture in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. The story ushered in the tradition of the next thousand years of massive-scale works in the rich diction of regal courts and Brahminical temples. It has also inspired much secondary literature in various languages, notably the Kambaramayanam by the Tamil poet Kambar of the 13th century, the Telugu-language Molla Ramayana, 14th century Kannada poet Narahari's Torave Ramayan, and 15th century Bengali poet Krittibas Ojha's Krittivasi Ramayan, as well as the 16th century Awadhi version, Ramacharitamanas, written by Tulsidas.

The Ramayana became popular in Southeast Asia during the 8th century and was represented in literature, temple architecture, dance and theatre. Today, dramatic enactments of the story of Ramayana, known as Ramlila, take place all across India and in many places across the globe within the Indian diaspora. The Ramayana has inspired works of film as well, most prominently the North American Sita Sings the Blues, which tells the story supporting Sita through song.

[edit] Variant versions

The epic story of Ramayana was adopted by several cultures across Asia. Shown here is a Thai historic artwork depicting the battle which took place between Rama and Ravana.See also Versions of Ramayana.
As in many oral epics, multiple versions of the Ramayana survive. In particular, the Ramayana related in North India differs in important respects from that preserved in South India and the rest of South-East Asia. There is an extensive tradition of oral storytelling based on the Ramayana in Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam, and Maldives.[citation needed] Father Kamil Bulke, author of Ramakatha, has identified over 300 variants of Ramayana.[53]

[edit] Within India
The 7th century CE "Bhatti's Poem" Bhaṭṭikāvya of Bhaṭṭi is a Sanskrit retelling of the epic that simultaneously illustrates the grammatical examples for Pāṇini's Aṣṭādhyāyī as well as the major figures of speech and the Prakrit language.[54]

There are diverse regional versions of the Ramayana written by various authors in India. Some of them differ significantly from each other. During the 12th century AD, Kamban wrote Ramavataram, known popularly as Kambaramayanam in Tamil. Valmiki's Ramayana inspired the Sri Ramacharit Manas by Tulasidas in 1576, an epic Awadhi (a dialect of Hindi) version with a slant more grounded in a different realm of Hindu literature, that of bhakti. It is an acknowledged masterpiece of India, popularly known as Tulsi-krita Ramayana. Gujarati poet Premanand wrote a version of Ramayana in the 17th century. Other versions include a Bengali version by Krittivas in the 14th century, in Oriya by Balarama Das in the 16th century, in Marathi by Sridhara in the 18th century, a Telugu version by Ranganatha in the 15th century, a Torave Ramayana in Kannada by the 16th century poet Narahari and in the 20th century Rashtrakavi Kuvempu's Sri Ramayana Darshnam, Kotha Ramayana in Assamese by the 14th century poet Madhava Kandali and Adhyathma Ramayanam Kilippattu, a Malayalam version by Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan in the 16th century.

There is a sub-plot to Ramayana, prevalent in some parts of India, relating the adventures of Ahi Ravana and Mahi Ravana, the evil brother of Ravana, which enhances the role of Hanuman in the story. Hanuman rescues Rama and Lakshmana after they are kidnapped by the Ahi-mahi Ravana at the behest of Ravana and held prisoner in a subterranean cave, to be sacrificed to the Goddess Kali.

Mappillapattu—a genre of song popular among the Muslims belonging to Kerala and Lakshadweep—has incorporated some episodes from the Ramayana into its songs. These songs, known as Mappila Ramayana, have been handed down from one generation to the next orally.[53] In Mappila Ramayana, the story of the Ramayana has been changed into that of a sultan, and there are no major changes in the names of characters except for that of Rama which is `Laman' in many places. The language and the imagery projected in the Mappilapattu are in accordance with the social fabric of the earlier Muslim community.[53]

[edit] Jain version
Jain version of Ramayana can be found in the various Jain texts like Padmapurana (story of Padma or Rama), Hemacandra’s Trisastisalakapurusa Caritra (hagiography of 63 illustrious persons), Sanghadasa’s Vasudevahindi and Uttarapurana by Gunabhadara.[55] According to Jain cosmology, every half time cycle has nine sets of Baladeva (balabhadra), Vasudeva (narayana) and Partivasudeva (anti vasudeva or anti hero). Rama, Lakshmana and Ravana are the eighth Baladeva, Vasudeva, and Partivasudeva respectively. Padmanabh Jaini notes that, unlike in the Hindu Puranas, the names Baladeva and Vasudeva are not restricted to Balarama and Krishna in Jain puranas. Instead they serve as names of two distinct class of mighty brothers, who appear nine times in each half of time cycles of the Jain cosmology and jointly rule the half the earth as half-chakravartins. Jaini traces the origin of this list of brothers to the Jinacharitra (lives of the Jinas) by Bhadrabahu swami (3-4th century BCE).[56]

In the Jain epic of Ramayana, it is Lakshmana who ultimately kills Ravana and not Rama as told in the Hindu version.[57] In the end, Rama who lead an upright life renounces his kingdom, becomes a Jain monk and attains moksha. On the other hand, Lakshmana and Ravana go to hell.[58] However, it is predicted that ultimately they both will be reborn as upright persons and attain liberation in their future births. According to Jain texts, Ravana will be the future Tirthankara (omniscient teacher) of Jainism.[59]

The Jain versions has some variations from Valmiki's Ramayana. Dasharatha, the king of Saketa had four queens: Aparajita, Sumitra, Suprabha ad Kaikeyi. These four queens had four sons. Aparajita's son was Padma, and he became known by the name of Rama. Sumitra's son was Narayana: he became to be known by another name, Lakshmana. Kaikeyi's son was Bharata and Suprabha's son was Shatrughna.[60] Furthermore, not much was thought of Rama's fidelity to Sita. According to Jain version, Rama had four chief-queens: Maithili, Prabhavati, Ratinibha, and Sridama. Furthermore, Sita takes renunciation as a Jain ascetic after Rama abandons her and is reborn in Heaven. Rama, after Lakshmana's death, also renounces his kingdom and becomes a Jain monk. Ultimately, he attains Kevala Jnana omniscience and finally liberation. Rama predicts that Ravana and Lakshmana, who were in fourth hell, will attain liberation in their future births. Accordingly, Ravana is the future Tirthankara of next half ascending time cycle and Sita will be his Gandhara (chief disciple).[61]

[edit] In Nepal
Two versions of Ramayana are present in Nepal. One is written by Mahakabhi Siddhidas Mahaju in Nepal Bhasa. The other one is written by Aadikavi Bhanubhakta Acharya. The Nepal Bhasa version by Siddhidas Mahaju marks a great point in the renaissance of Nepal Bhasa whereas the one of Bhanubhakta Acharya is the first epic of Nepali.[citation needed]

[edit] Southeast Asian versions

Lakshmana, Rama and Shinta during their exile in Dandaka Forest depicted in Javanese dance.
Rama (Yama) and Sita (Me Thida) in the Burmese version of the Ramayana, Yama ZatdawMany other Asian cultures have adapted the Ramayana, resulting in other national epics. In Indonesia, Kakawin Ramayana is an old Javanese rendering; Yogesvara Ramayana is attributed to the scribe Yogesvara circa 9th century CE, who was employed in the court of the Medang in Central Java. It has 2774 stanzas in manipravala style, a mixture of Sanskrit and Archaic prose Javanese language. The most influential version of the Ramayana is the Ravanavadham of Bhatti, popularly known as Bhattikavya. The Javanese Ramayana differs markedly from the original Hindu prototype. The 9th century Javanese Kakawin Ramayana has become the reference of Ramayana in the neighboring island of Bali. In Indonesia, Ramayana has been integrated into local culture especially those of Javanese, Balinese and Sundanese, and has become the source of moral and spiritual guidance as well as aesthetic expression and also entertainment. Cultural performances such as Wayang shadow puppet and traditional dances often took their story from Ramayana. In Bali as well as in Java, The dances based on the episode of Ramayana often performed in temples such as Prambanan in Java and many Pura in Bali.

Phra Lak Phra Lam is a Lao language version, whose title comes from Lakshmana and Rama. The story of Lakshmana and Rama is told as the previous life of the Buddha. In Hikayat Seri Rama of Malaysia, Dasharatha is the great-grandson of the Prophet Adam. Ravana receives boons from Allah instead of Brahma.[62] In many Malay language versions, Lakshmana is given greater importance than Rama, whose character is considered somewhat weak.[citation needed]

The Khmer retelling of the tale, the Reamker, is popularly expressed in traditional regional dance theatre.The Cambodian version of Ramayana, the Reamker, is the most famous story of Khmer Literature since the Funan era. It adapts the Hindu concepts to Buddhist themes and shows the balance of good and evil in the world. The Reamker has several differences from the original Ramayana, including scenes not included in the original and emphasis on Hanuman and Sovanna Maccha, a retelling which influences the Thai and Lao versions. Reamker in Cambodia is not confined to the realm of literature but extends to all Cambodian art forms, such as sculpture, Khmer classical dance, theatre known as Lakhorn Luang (the foundation of the royal ballet), poetry and the mural and bas reliefs seen at the Silver Pagoda and Angkor wat.

Thailand's popular national epic Ramakien ("Glory of Rama") is derived from the Hindu epic. In Ramakien, Sita is the daughter of Ravana and Mandodari (T'os'akanth (=Dasakanth) and Mont'o). Vibhisana (P'ip'ek), the astrologer brother of Ravana, predicts calamity from the horoscope of Sita. So Ravana has her thrown into the waters, who, later, is picked by Janaka (Janok). While the main story is identical to that of the Ramayana, many other aspects were transposed into a Thai context, such as the clothes, weapons, topography, and elements of nature, which are described as being Thai in style. It has an expanded role for Hanuman and he is portrayed as a lascivious character. Ramakien can be seen in an elaborate illustration at the Wat Phra Kaew temple in Bangkok.

Other Southeast Asian adaptations include Ramakavaca of Bali (Indonesia), Maharadya Lawana and Darangen of Mindanao (Philippines), and the Yama Zatdaw of Myanmar. Aspects of the Chinese novel Journey to the West were also inspired by the Ramayana, particularly the character Sun Wukong, who is believed to have been based on Hanuman.[citation needed]

[edit] Theological significance

Deities Sita (far right), Rama (center), Lakshmana (far left) and Hanuman (below seated) at Bhaktivedanta Manor, Watford, England.Rama, the hero of the Ramayana, is a popular deity worshipped in the Hindu religion. Each year, many devout pilgrims trace his journey through India, halting at each of the holy sites along the way. The poem is not seen as just a literary monument, but serves as an integral part of Hinduism, and is held in such reverence that the mere reading or hearing of it, or certain passages of it, is believed by Hindus to free them from sin and bless the reader or listener.

According to Hindu (particularly the Vaishnava) tradition, Rama is an incarnation (Avatar) of the God Vishnu. The main purpose of this incarnation is to demonstrate the righteous path (dharma) for all living creatures on earth.

Arshia Sattar states that the central theme of the Ramayana, as well as the Mahabharata, is respectively Ram's and Krishna's hidden divinity and its progressive revelation.[63]


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Minggu, 01 Agustus 2010

Komik Wayang

WAYANG ITU KOMIK

Tuesday, 25 August 2009
oleh: Arswendo Atmowiloto
Dipublikasikan pertama kali di Majalah Tempo, edisi 24-31 Agustus 2009

SEBENARNYA periode komik wayang tak pernah dikenang karena penerbit komik waktu itu menamainya ”komik klasik”. Periode ini ditandai setelah era jenis Sri Asih (tentu bersama Nina, Garuda Putih, Kapten Kilat), superhero yang dianggap kurang nasionalis, mengumbar khayal, dan tuduhan paling aneh: membuat anak-anak malas membaca. Dr Marcel Boneff, pakar komik Indonesia yang selalu jadi rujukan, menggambarkannya sebagai du fruit defendu, buah terlarang. Lebih buruk dari buah simalakama—masih bisa dimakan.

Para penerbit, terutama Melodie dan Cosmos, keduanya di Bandung, sama-sama di Jalan ABC, menghentikan manusia sekaligus dewa itu. Tokoh pahlawan beralih ke cerita rakyat, Ganesha Bangun, Loetoeng Kasaroeng, oleh komikus yang sama, R.A. Kosasih, yang kemudian menserialkan Ramayana dan Mahabharata. Juga nama sejajar sebelumnya, John Lo, serta yang melegenda, S. Ardisoma, Oerip. Pada S. Ardisoma, sapuan kuas menimbulkan suasana puitis untuk adegan keraton, adegan pohon beringin, adegan long shot, bahkan perang sekalipun. Bedanya lagi, R.A. Kosasih setia dengan ”kisah India”, sehingga tokoh punakawan tidak muncul.

Sejak 1958 itu, periode yang kita namai komik wayang memberikan warna di antara jenis-jenis yang lain, walau sebenarnya penerbit Keng Po sudah menerbitkan Lahirnya Gatutkaca pada 1954. Sedemikian populernya jenis wayang, sehingga Bahsjar S.J., pelukis dan ilustrator di Medan—kota lain yang memelopori komik Indonesia—juga membuat komik wayang. Komik dari komikus Medan sedikit berbeda dengan perkembangan di Jawa karena biasanya lebih dulu dimuat di harian setempat. Tak mengherankan jika komikus jawara seperti Taguan Hardjo dalam suatu saat mengisi tiga atau empat media setiap harinya.

Komik wayang, juga komik berdasarkan cerita daerah atau legenda, dinilai lebih aman, lebih mendidik, dan yang jelas lebih mengakar. Sehingga tak dikritik, juga tak kena ”bredel”, periode yang terulang keras pada 1966. Karya-karya R.A. Kosasih merajai dalam jumlah dan jilid yang dikeluarkan. Sambung-menyambung menjunjung kisah pewayangan yang tak banyak dikenal masyarakat non-Jawa.

Menurut saya (yang tak usah diturut), ini yang menyebabkan popularitas Mahabharata panjang usia. Generasi nonpribumi—kalau istilah ini boleh dipakai—atau mereka yang hidup di kota besar pada saat itu baru ”melek wayang”. Jumlahnya cukup banyak, satu jilid bisa mencapai 30 ribu eksemplar. Dan bahan baku ceritanya juga bisa diperpanjang. Sebab, setelah kisah Astina, masih berlanjut ke Prabu Parikesit, kemudian ke Prabu Udrayana. Untuk judul terakhir ini, R.A. Kosasih, 30 tahun lalu ketika saya bertemu, membuatnya di atas kertas minyak sebagai pengganti klise, dan dengan demikian ukuran komik nanti setelah terbit berbanding satu-satu. Artinya, garis dan goresannya terlihat sangat tebal.

Namun sebenarnya bukan hanya itu. Kota-kota lain, seperti Solo, Semarang, Bogor, bahkan Tasikmalaya, juga melahirkan penerbit dan komikus. Yang menarik sekali adalah tidak adanya keseragaman dalam komik wayang. Gaya masing-masing komikus bisa terbedakan. Bahkan juga konsepnya. Ada beberapa komik wayang yang benar-benar memindahkan wayang kulit, dengan segala keruwetan ornamennya. Ada yang mengambil babon—induk cerita—dari yang selama ini dikenali, ada yang membuat varian dari itu atau bahkan banjaran, yang bersifat biografis dari satu tokoh, ada yang menitikberatkan humor punakawan.

Sesungguhnya inilah keunggulan kreatif bentuk komik, tidak ada matinya. Dinamika kreatif membuktikan bahkan sejak awalnya, tanpa patron, tanpa fasilitas tertentu, bisa lahir berkembang membanjiri pasar atau kamar. Ketika jenis Sri Asih tersisih, jenis wayang melenggang. Ketika wayang menghilang, ganti rupa kisah cinta. Yang mengalami pembredelan dan pengawasan yang sama berubah menjadi komik agama, atau bahkan ”komik Pancasila”, dan/atau kisah perjuangan. Dan masyarakat tetap menerima, menunggu, melalui taman bacaan atau yang dikenal dengan ”persewaan buku”. Mata rantai itu telah tercerai-berai, bahkan dari sumber awalnya, dari komikus. Komik luar negeri lebih murah harga satuannya, lebih berlimpah jumlah judulnya, lebih terarah penyebaran dan promosinya.

Namun komik Indonesia sendiri tak pernah kehilangan gairah, walau galau dan lesu darah. Masih selalu ada komik wayang yang diterbitkan dengan desain yang berbeda, dengan berwarna, dengan ”cahaya” dan ”sudut pengambilan” layaknya sebuah film, atau adegan pertarungan ala game.

Komik dan wayang agaknya memang satu. Merupakan bayang-bayang yang diekspresikan kembali dari keberadaan kita. Selama kita masih ada, selama itu pula masih ada bayangan. Dan itu adalah wayang atau komik, atau dua-duanya.

Rabu, 30 Juni 2010

Mahabharata



Mahabharata

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This article is about the Sanskrit epic. For other uses, see Mahabharata (disambiguation).
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Manuscript illustration of the Battle of Kurukshetra
Krishna, Arjuna at Kurukshetra, 18-19th century painting.

The Mahabharata (Sanskrit Mahābhārata महाभारत) is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Rāmāyaṇa. The epic is part of the Hindu itihāsa (or "history").

Besides its epic narrative of the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kauravas and the Pandavas, the Mahabharata contains much philosophical and devotional material, such as a discussion of the four "goals of life" or purusharthas (12.161). The latter are enumerated as dharma (right action), artha (purpose), kama (pleasure), and moksha (liberation). Among the principal works and stories that are a part of the Mahabharata are the Bhagavad Gita, the story of Damayanti, an abbreviated version of the Ramayana, and the Rishyasringa, often considered as works in their own right.

Traditionally, the authorship of the Mahabharata is attributed to Vyasa. There have been many attempts to unravel its historical growth and compositional layers. The earliest parts of the text are not appreciably older than around 400 BCE.[1] The text probably reached its final form by the early Gupta period (ca. 4th c. CE).[2] The title may be translated as "the great tale of the Bhārata dynasty". According to the Mahabharata itself, the tale is extended from a shorter version of 24,000 verses called simply Bhārata.[3].

With about one hundred thousand verses, long prose passages, or about 1.8 million words in total, the Mahabharata is roughly ten times the length of the Iliad and Odyssey combined, or about four times the length of the Rāmāyaṇa.[4][5]
Contents
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Textual history and structure
Vyasa narrating the Mahabharata to Ganesha, his scribe, Angkor Wat.

The epic is traditionally ascribed to Vyasa, who is also a major character in the epic. The first section of the Mahabharata states that it was Ganesha who, at the request of Vyasa, wrote down the text to Vyasa's dictation. Ganesha is said to have agreed to write it only on condition that Vyasa never pause in his recitation. Vyasa agreed, provided Ganesha took the time to understand what was said before writing it down.

The epic employs the story within a story structure, otherwise known as frametales, popular in many Indian religious and secular works. It is recited to the King Janamejaya who is the great-grandson of Arjuna, by Vaisampayana, a disciple of Vyasa. The recitation of Vaisampayana to Janamejaya is then recited again by a professional storyteller named Ugrasrava Sauti, many years later, to an assemblage of sages performing the 12 year long sacrifice for King Saunaka Kulapati in the Naimisha forest.
Accretion and redaction

Research on the Mahabharata has put an enormous effort into recognizing and dating various layers within the text. The background to the Mahabharata suggests a time "after the very early Vedic period" and before "the first Indian 'empire' was to rise in the third century B.C.," so "a date not too far removed from the eighth or ninth century B.C."[6] It is generally agreed, however, that "Unlike the Vedas, which have to be preserved letter-perfect, the epic was a popular work whose reciters would inevitably conform to changes in language and style."[6] The earliest surviving components of this dynamic text are believed to be no older than the earliest external references we have to the epic, which may include an allusion in Panini's fourth century grammar (Ashtādhyāyī 4:2:56).[1][6] It is estimated that the Sanskrit text probably reached something of a "final form" by the early Gupta period (about the 4th century CE).[6] Vishnu Sukthankar, editor of the first great critical edition of the Mahabharata, commented: "It is useless to think of reconstructing a fluid text in a literally original shape, on the basis of an archetype and a stemma codicum. What then is possible? Our objective can only be to reconstruct the oldest form of the text which it is possible to reach on the basis of the manuscript material available."[7] That manuscript evidence is somewhat late, given its material composition and the climate of India, but it is very extensive.

The Mahabharata itself (1.1.61) distinguishes a core portion of 24,000 verses, the Bharata proper, as opposed to additional secondary material, while the Ashvalayana Grhyasutra (3.4.4) makes a similar distinction. At least three redactions of the text are commonly recognized: Jaya (Victory) with 8,800 verses attributed to Vyasa, Bharata with 24,000 verses as recited by Vaisampayana, and finally the Mahabharata as recited by Ugrasrava Sauti with over 100,000 verses.[8][9] However, some scholars such as John Brockington, argue that Jaya and Bharata refer to the same text, and ascribe the theory of Jaya with 8,800 verses to a misreading of a verse in Adiparvan (1.1.81).[10] The redaction of this large body of text was carried out after formal principles, emphasizing the numbers 18[11] and 12. The addition of the latest parts may be dated by the absence of the Anushasana-parva and "Virat-parva" from MS Spitzer, the oldest surviving Sanskrit philosophical manuscript dated to Kushan Period (200 CE)[12], that contains among other things a list of the books in the Mahabharata. From this evidence, it is likely that the redaction into 18 books took place in the first century. An alternative division into 20 parvas appears to have co-existed for some time. The division into 100 sub-parvas (mentioned in Mbh. 1.2.70) is older, and most parvas are named after one of their constituent sub-parvas. The Harivamsa consists of the final two of the 100 sub-parvas, and was considered an appendix (khila) to the Mahabharata proper by the redactors of the 18 parvas.[citation needed]

According to what one character says at Mbh. 1.1.50, there were three versions of the epic, beginning with Manu (1.1.27), Astika (1.3, sub-parva 5) or Vasu (1.57), respectively. These versions would correspond to the addition of one and then another 'frame' settings of dialogues. The Vasu version would omit the frame settings and begin with the account of the birth of Vyasa. The astika version would add the sarpasattra and ashvamedha material from Brahmanical literature, introduce the name Mahabharata, and identify Vyasa as the work's author. The redactors of these additions were probably Pancharatrin scholars who according to Oberlies (1998) likely retained control over the text until its final redaction. Mention of the Huna in the Bhishma-parva however appears to imply that this parva may have been edited around the 4th century[citation needed].
The snake sacrifice of Janamejaya

The Adi-parva includes the snake sacrifice (sarpasattra) of Janamejaya, explaining its motivation, detailing why all snakes in existence were intended to be destroyed, and why in spite of this, there are still snakes in existence. This sarpasattra material was often considered an independent tale added to a version of the Mahabharata by "thematic attraction" (Minkowski 1991), and considered to have a particularly close connection to Vedic (Brahmana) literature. The Panchavimsha Brahmana (at 25.15.3) enumerates the officiant priests of a sarpasattra among whom the names Dhrtarashtra and Janamejaya, two main characters of the Mahabharata's sarpasattra, as well as Takshaka, the name of a snake in the Mahabharata, occur.[13]

The state of the text has been described by some early 20th century Indologists as unstructured and chaotic. Hermann Oldenberg supposed that the original poem must once have carried an immense "tragic force", but dismissed the full text as a "horrible chaos."[14] The judgement of other early 20th century Indologists was even less favourable. Moritz Winternitz (Geschichte der indischen Literatur 1909) considered that "only unpoetical theologists and clumsy scribes" could have lumped the various parts of disparate origin into an unordered whole.
Historical references
See also: Bhagavad gita#Date_and_text

The earliest known references to the Mahabharata and its core Bharata date back to the Ashtadhyayi (sutra 6.2.38) of Pāṇini (fl. 4th century BCE), and in the Ashvalayana Grhyasutra (3.4.4). This may suggest that the core 24,000 verses, known as the Bharata, as well as an early version of the extended Mahabharata, were composed by the 4th century BCE.

Some reports from the Greek writer Dio Chrysostom (ca. 40-ca. 120 CE) regarding the translation of Iliad into Sanskrit is taken as an alternative evidence for the existence of the Mahabharata at this date. Christian Lassen, in his Indische Alterthumskunde, supposed that references in the Iliad can be syncrestically identified to that of Dhritarashtra's sorrows, the laments of Gandhari and Draupadi, and the valor of Arjuna and Duryodhana or Karna.[15] This interpretation, endorsed in such standard references as Albrecht Weber's History of Indian Literature, has often been repeated[16]

Mahabharata has enjoyed references on a continuous basis both in literary and popular culture of India, since ancient times. Several stories within the Mahabharata have been debated so intensely that they have taken separate identities of their own. For instance, Abhijñānashākuntala by the renowned Sanskrit poet Kālidāsa (ca. 400 CE), believed to have lived in the era of the Gupta dynasty, is based on a story that is the precursor to the Mahabharata. Urubhanga, a Sanskrit play written by Bhāsa who is believed to have lived before Kālidāsa, is based on the slaying of Duryodhana by the splitting of his thighs by Arjuna.

Later, the copper-plate inscription of the Maharaja Sharvanatha (533-534 CE) from Khoh (Satna District, Madhya Pradesh) describes the Mahabharata as a "collection of 100,000 verses" (shatasahasri samhita).
The 18 parvas

The division into 18 parvas is as follows:
Parva title sub-parvas contents
1 Adi Parva (The Book of the Beginning) 1-19 How the Mahabharata came to be narrated by Sauti to the assembled rishis at Naimisharanya. The recital of the Mahabharata at the sarpasattra of Janamejaya by Vaishampayana at Takṣaśilā. The history of the Bharata race is told in detail and the parva also traces history of the Bhrigu race. The birth and early life of the Kuru princes. (adi means first)
2 Sabha Parva (The Book of the Assembly Hall) 20-28 Maya Danava erects the palace and court (sabha), at Indraprastha. Life at the court, Yudhishthira's Rajasuya Yajna, the game of dice, and the eventual exile of the Pandavas.
3 Vana Parva also Aranyaka-parva, Aranya-parva (The Book of the Forest) 29-44 The twelve years of exile in the forest (aranya).
4 Virata Parva (The Book of Virata) 45-48 The year in incognito spent at the court of Virata.
5 Udyoga Parva (The Book of the Effort) 49-59 Preparations for war and efforts to bring about peace between the Kurus and the Pandavas which eventually fail (udyoga means effort or work).
6 Bhishma Parva (The Book of Bhishma) 60-64 The first part of the great battle, with Bhishma as commander for the Kauravas and his fall on the bed of arrows.
7 Drona Parva (The Book of Drona) 65-72 The battle continues, with Drona as commander. This is the major book of the war. Most of the great warriors on both sides are dead by the end of this book.
8 Karna Parva (The Book of Karna) 73 The battle again, with Karna as commander.
9 Shalya Parva (The Book of Shalya) 74-77 The last day of the battle, with Shalya as commander. Also told in detail is the pilgrimage of Balarama to the fords of the river Saraswati and the mace fight between Bhima and Duryodhana which ends the war, since Bhima kills Duryodhana by smashing him on the thighs with a mace.
10 Sauptika Parva (The Book of the Sleeping Warriors) 78-80 Ashvattama, Kripa and Kritavarma kill the remaining Pandava army in their sleep. Only 7 warriors remain on the Pandava side and 3 on the Kaurava side.
11 Stri Parva (The Book of the Women) 81-85 Gandhari, Kunti and the women (stri) of the Kurus and Pandavas lament the dead.
12 Shanti Parva (The Book of Peace) 86-88 The crowning of Yudhisthira as king of Hastinapura, and instructions from Bhishma for the newly anointed king on society, economics and politics. This is the longest book of the Mahabharata (shanti means peace).
13 Anushasana Parva (The Book of the Instructions) 89-90 The final instructions (anushasana) from Bhishma.
14 Ashvamedhika Parva (The Book of the Horse Sacrifice)[17] 91-92 The royal ceremony of the Ashvamedha (Horse sacrifice) conducted by Yudhisthira. The world conquest by Arjuna. The Anugita is told by Krishna to Arjuna.
15 Ashramavasika Parva (The Book of the Hermitage) 93-95 The eventual deaths of Dhritarashtra, Gandhari and Kunti in a forest fire when they are living in a hermitage in the Himalayas. Vidura predeceases them and Sanjaya on Dhritarashtra's bidding goes to live in the higher Himalayas.
16 Mausala Parva (The Book of the Clubs) 96 The infighting between the Yadavas with maces (mausala) and the eventual destruction of the Yadavas.
17 Mahaprasthanika Parva (The Book of the Great Journey) 97 The great journey of Yudhisthira and his brothers across the whole country and finally their ascent of the great Himalayas where each Pandava falls except for Yudhisthira.
18 Svargarohana Parva (The Book of the Ascent to Heaven) 98 Yudhisthira's final test and the return of the Pandavas to the spiritual world (svarga).
khila Harivamsa Parva (The Book of the Genealogy of Hari) 99-100 Life of Krishna which is not covered in the 18 parvas of the Mahabharata.

Historical context
Further information: Epic India
English language map of "Bharatvarsha" (Kingdom of India) during the era of the Mahabharata and Ramayana.

The historicity of the Kurukshetra War is unclear. Some historians like A L Basham estimate the date of the Kurukshetra war to Iron Age India of the 10th century BCE.[18]

Other historians like M Witzel have corroborated that the general setting of the epic has a historical precedent in Iron Age (Vedic) India, where the Kuru kingdom was the center of political power during roughly 1200 to 800 BCE.[19] A dynastic conflict of the period could have been the inspiration for the Jaya, the foundation on which the Mahabharata corpus was built, with a climactic battle eventually coming to be viewed as an epochal event.

Puranic literature presents genealogical lists associated with the Mahabharata narrative. The evidence of the Puranas is of two kinds. Of the first kind, there is the direct statement that there were 1015 (or 1050) years between the birth of Parikshit (Arjuna's grandson) and the accession of Mahapadma Nanda, commonly dated to 382 BCE, which would yield an estimate of about 1400 BCE for the Bharata battle.[20] However, this would imply improbably long reigns on average for the kings listed in the genealogies.[21] Of the second kind are analyses of parallel genealogies in the Puranas between the times of Adhisimakrishna (Parikshit's great-grandson) and Mahapadma Nanda. Pargiter accordingly estimated 26 generations by averaging 10 different dynastic lists and, assuming 18 years for the average duration of a reign, arrived at an estimate of 850 BCE for Adhisimakrishna, and thus approximately 950 BCE for the Bharata battle.[22]

B. B. Lal used the same approach with a more conservative assumption of the average reign to estimate a date of 836 BCE, and correlated this with archaeological evidence from Painted Grey Ware sites, the association being strong between PGW artifacts and places mentioned in the epic.[23]

Attempts to date the events using methods of archaeoastronomy have produced, depending on which passages are chosen and how they are interpreted, estimates ranging from the late 4th to the mid 2nd millennium BCE.[24] The late 4th millennium date has a precedent in the calculation of the Kaliyuga epoch, based on planetary conjunctions, by Aryabhata (6th century). His date of February 18 3102 BCE has become widespread in Indian tradition (for example, the Aihole inscription of Pulikeshi II, dated to Saka 556 = 634 CE, claims that 3735 years have elapsed since the Bharata battle.[25]) Another traditional school of astronomers and historians, represented by Vriddha-Garga, Varahamihira (author of the Brhatsamhita) and Kalhana (author of the Rajatarangini), place the Bharata war 653 years after the Kaliyuga epoch, corresponding to 2449 BCE.[26]
Synopsis

The core story of the work is that of a dynastic struggle for the throne of Hastinapura, the kingdom ruled by the Kuru clan. The two collateral branches of the family that participate in the struggle are the Kaurava and the Pandava. Although the Kaurava is the senior branch of the family, Duryodhana, the eldest Kaurava, is younger than Yudhisthira, the eldest Pandava. Both Duryodhana and Yudhisthira claim to be first in line to inherit the throne.

The struggle culminates in the great battle of Kurukshetra, in which the Pandavas are ultimately victorious. The battle produces complex conflicts of kinship and friendship, instances of family loyalty and duty taking precedence over what is right, as well as the converse.

The Mahabharata itself ends with the death of Krishna, and the subsequent end of his dynasty and ascent of the Pandava brothers to heaven. It also marks the beginning of the Hindu age of Kali (Kali Yuga), the fourth and final age of mankind, in which great values and noble ideas have crumbled, and man is heading toward the complete dissolution of right action, morality and virtue.

Arshia Sattar states that the central theme of the Mahabharata, as well as the Ramayana, is respectively Krishna's and Rama's hidden divinity and its progressive revelation.[27]
The older generations
Shantanu woos Satyavati, the fisherwoman. Painting by Raja Ravi Varma.
Bhishma's Oath, a painting
by Raja Ravi Varma

Janamejaya's ancestor Shantanu, the king of Hastinapura, has a short-lived marriage with the goddess Ganga and has a son, Devavrata (later to be called Bhishma), who becomes the heir apparent. Many years later, when King Shantanu goes hunting, he sees Satyavati, the daughter of a fisherman, and asks her father for her hand. Her father refuses to consent to the marriage unless Shantanu promises to make any future son of Satyavati the king upon his death. To resolve his father's dilemma, Devavrata agrees to relinquish his right to the throne. As the fisherman is not sure about the prince's children honouring the promise, Devavrata also takes a vow of lifelong celibacy to guarantee his father's promise.

Shantanu has two sons by Satyavati, Chitrangada and Vichitravirya. Upon Shantanu's death, Chitrangada becomes king. He lives a very short uneventful life and dies. Vichitravirya, the younger son, rules Hastinapura. Meanwhile, the King of Kāśī arranges a swayamvara for his three daughters, neglecting to invite the royal family of Hastinapur. In order to arrange the marriage of young Vichitravirya, Bhishma attends the swayamvara of the three princesses Amba, Ambika and Ambalika, uninvited, and proceeds to abduct them. Ambika and Ambalika consent to be married to Vichtravirya.

The oldest princess Amba, however, informs Bhishma that she wishes to marry Shalvaraj (king of Shalva) whom Bhishma defeated at their swayamvar. Bhishma lets her leave to marry Shalvaraj, but Shalvaraj refuses to marry her, still smarting at his humiliation at the hands of Bhishma. Amba then returns to marry Bhishma but he refuses due to his vow of celibacy. Amba becomes enraged and becomes Bhishma's bitter enemy, holding him responsible for her plight. Later she is reborn to King Drupada as Shikhandi (or Shikhandini) and causes Bhishma's fall, with the help of Arjuna, in the battle of Kurukshetra.
The Pandava and Kaurava princes

When Vichitravirya dies young without any heirs, Satyavati asks her first son Vyasa to father children with the widows. The eldest, Ambika, shuts her eyes when she sees him, and so her son Dhritarashtra is born blind. Ambalika turns pale and bloodless upon seeing him, and thus her son Pandu is born pale and unhealthy (the term Pandu may also mean 'jaundiced'[28]). Due to the physical challenges of the first two children, Satyavati asks Vyasa to try once again. However, Ambika and Ambalika send their maid instead, to Vyasa's room. Vyasa fathers a third son, Vidura, by the maid. He is born healthy and grows up to be one of the wisest characters in the Mahabharata. He serves as Prime Minister (Mahamantri or Mahatma) to King Pandu and King Dhritarashtra.

When the princes grow up, Dhritarashtra is about to be crowned king by Bhishma when Vidura intervenes and uses his knowledge of politics to assert that a blind person cannot be king. This is because a blind man cannot control and protect his subjects. The throne is then given to Pandu because of Dhritarashtra's blindness. Pandu marries twice, to Kunti and Madri. Dhritarashtra marries Gandhari, a princess from Gandhara, who blindfolds herself so that she may feel the pain that her husband feels. Her brother Shakuni is enraged by this and vows to take revenge on the Kuru family. One day, when Pandu is relaxing in the forest, he hears the sound of a wild animal. He shoots an arrow in the direction of the sound. However the arrow hits the sage Kindama, who curses him that if he engages in a sexual act, he will die. Pandu then retires to the forest along with his two wives, and his brother Dhritarashtra rules thereafter, despite his blindness.
The central figure is Yudhishthira; the two to his left are Bhima and Arjuna. Nakula and Sahadeva, the twins, are to his right. Their wife, at far right, is Draupadi. Deogarh, Dasavatar temple.

Pandu's older queen Kunti, however, had been given a boon by Sage Durvasa that she could invoke any god using a special mantra. Kunti uses this boon to ask Dharma the god of justice, Vayu the god of the wind, and Indra the lord of the heavens for sons. She gives birth to three sons, Yudhisthira, Bhima, and Arjuna, through these gods. Kunti shares her mantra with the younger queen Madri, who bears the twins Nakula and Sahadeva through the Ashwini twins. However, Pandu and Madri indulge in sex, and Pandu dies. Madri dies on his funeral pyre out of remorse. Kunti raises the five brothers, who are from then on usually referred to as the Pandava brothers.

Dhritarashtra has a hundred sons through Gandhari, all born after the birth of Yudhishtira. These are the Kaurava brothers, the eldest being Duryodhana, and the second Dushasana. Other Kaurava brothers were Vikarna and Sukarna. The rivalry and enmity between them and the Pandava brothers, from their youth and into manhood, leads to the Kurukshetra war.
Lākṣagṛha (The House of Lac)

After the deaths of their mother (Madri) and father (Pandu), the Pandavas and their mother Kunti return to the palace of Hastinapur. Yudhisthira is made Crown Prince by Dhritarashtra, under considerable pressure from his kingdom. Dhritarashtra wanted his own son Duryodhana to become king and lets his ambition get in the way of preserving justice.

Shakuni, Duryodhana and Dusasana plot to get rid of the Pandavas. Shakuni calls the architect Purvanchan to build a palace out of flammable materials like lac and ghee. He then arranges for the Pandavas and the Queen Mother Kunti to stay there, with the intention of setting it alight. However, the Pandavas are warned by their wise uncle, Vidura, who sends them a miner to dig a tunnel. They are able to escape to safety and go into hiding. Back at Hastinapur, the Pandavas and Kunti are presumed dead.[29]
Marriage to Draupadi
Arjuna piercing the eye of the fish

During the course of their hiding the Pandavas learn of a swayamvara which is taking place for the hand of the Pāñcāla princess Draupadī. The Pandavas enter the competition in disguise as Brahmins. The task is to string a mighty steel bow and shoot a target on the ceiling, which is the eye of a moving artificial fish, while looking at its reflection in oil below. Most of the princes fail, many being unable to lift the bow. Arjuna succeeds however. The Pandavas return home and inform their mother that Arjuna has won a competition and to look at what they have brought back. Without looking, Kunti asks them to share whatever it is Arjuna has won among themselves. Thus Draupadi ends up being the wife of all five brothers.
Indraprastha

After the wedding, the Pandava brothers are invited back to Hastinapura. The Kuru family elders and relatives negotiate and broker a split of the kingdom, with the Pandavas obtaining a new territory. Yudhishtira has a new capital built for this territory at Indraprastha. Neither the Pandava nor Kaurava sides are happy with the arrangement however.

Shortly after this, Arjuna elopes with and then marries Krishna's sister, Subhadra. Yudhishtira wishes to establish his position as king; he seeks Krishna's advice. Krishna advises him, and after due preparation and the elimination of some opposition, Yudhishthira carries out the rājasūya yagna ceremony; he is thus recognised as pre-eminent among kings.

The Pandavas have a new palace built for them, by Maya the Danava.[30] They invite their Kaurava cousins to Indraprastha. Duryodhana walks round the palace, and mistakes a glossy floor for water, and will not step in. After being told of his error, he then sees a pond, and assumes it is not water and falls in. Draupadi laughs at him and ridicules him by saying that this is because of his blind father Dhritrashtra. He then decides to avenge his humiliation.
The dice game
Draupadi humiliated. Painting by Raja Ravi Varma.

Shakuni, Duryodhana's uncle, now arranges a dice game, playing against Yudhishtira with loaded dice. Yudhishtira loses all his wealth, then his kingdom. He then even gambles his brothers, himself, and finally his wife into servitude. The jubilant Kauravas insult the Pandavas in their helpless state and even try to disrobe Draupadi in front of the entire court, but her honour is saved by Krishna who miraculously creates lengths of cloth to replace the ones being removed.

Dhritarashtra, Bhishma, and the other elders are aghast at the situation, but Duryodhana is adamant that there is no place for two crown princes in Hastinapura. Against his wishes Dhritarashtra orders for another dice game. The Pandavas are required to go into exile for 12 years, and in the 13th year must remain hidden. If discovered by the Kauravas, they will be forced into exile for another 12 years.
Exile and return

The Pandavas spend thirteen years in exile; many adventures occur during this time. They also prepare alliances for a possible future conflict. They spend their final year in disguise in the court of Virata, and are discovered just after the end of the year.

At the end of their exile, they try to negotiate a return to Indraprastha. However, this fails, as Duryodhana objects that they were discovered while in hiding, and that no return of their kingdom was agreed. War becomes inevitable.
The battle at Kurukshetra
Main article: Kurukshetra war
Bhishma on his death-bed of arrows with the Pandavas and Krishna. Folio from the Razmnama (1761 - 1763), Persian translation of the Mahabharata, commissioned by Mughal emperor Akbar. The Pandavas are dressed in Persian armour and robes.[31]

The two sides summon vast armies to their help, and line up at Kurukshetra for a war. The Kingdoms of Panchala, Dwaraka, Kasi, Kekaya, Magadha, Matsya, Chedi, Pandya, Telinga, and the Yadus of Mathura and some other clans like the Parama Kambojas were allied with the Pandavas. The allies of the Kauravas included the kings of Pragjyotisha, Anga, Kekaya, Sindhudesa (including Sindhus, Sauviras and Sivis), Mahishmati, Avanti in Madhyadesa, Madra, Gandhara, Bahlikas, Kambojas and many others. Prior to war being declared, Balarama, had expressed his unhappiness at the developing conflict, and left to go on pilgrimage, thus he does not take part in the battle itself. Krishna takes part in a non-combatant role, as charioteer for Arjuna.

Before the battle, Arjuna, seeing himself facing his great grandfather Bhishma and his teacher Drona on the other side, has doubts about the battle and he fails to lift his Gāndeeva bow. Krishna wakes him up to his call of duty in the famous Bhagavad Gita section of the epic.

Though initially sticking to chivalrous notions of warfare, both sides soon adopt dishonourable tactics. At the end of the 18-day battle, only the Pandavas, Satyaki, Kripa, Ashwathama, Kritavarma, Yuyutsu and Krishna survive.
The end of the Pandavas

After "seeing" the carnage, Gandhari who had lost all her sons, curses Krishna to be a witness to a similar annihilation of his family, for though divine and capable of stopping the war, he had not done so. Krishna accepts the curse, which bears fruit 36 years later.

The Pandavas who had ruled their kingdom meanwhile, decide to renounce everything. Clad in skins and rags they retire to the Himalaya and climb towards heaven in their bodily form. A stray dog travels with them. One by one the brothers and Draupadi fall on their way. As each one stumbles, Yudhishitra gives the rest the reason for their fall (Draupadi was partial to Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva were vain and proud of their looks, Bhima and Arjuna were proud of their strength and archery skills, respectively). Only the virtuous Yudhisthira, who had tried everything to prevent the carnage, and the dog remain. The dog reveals himself to be the god Yama (also known as Yama Dharmaraja), and then takes him to the underworld where he sees his siblings and wife. After explaining the nature of the test, Yama takes Yudhishthira back to heaven and explains that it was necessary to expose him to the underworld because (Rajyante narakam dhruvam) any ruler has to visit the underworld at least once. Yama then assures him that his siblings and wife would join him in heaven after they had been exposed to the underworld for measures of time according to their vices.

Arjuna's grandson Parikshit rules after them and dies bitten by a snake. His furious son, Janamejaya, decides to perform a snake sacrifice (sarpasattra) in order to destroy the snakes. It is at this sacrifice that the tale of his ancestors is narrated to him.
Versions, translations, and derivative works

Many regional versions of the work developed over time, mostly differing only in minor details, or with verses or subsidiary stories being added. These include some versions from outside the Indian subcontinent, such as the Kakawin Bharatayuddha from Java. The plays of the Tamil street theatre, terukkuttu, use themes from the Tamil language versions of Mahabharata, focusing on Draupadi.[32]
Critical Edition

Between 1919 and 1966, scholars at the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune, compared the various manuscripts of the epic from India and abroad and produced the Critical Edition of the Mahabharata, on 13,000 pages in 19 volumes, followed by the Harivamsha in another two volumes and six index volumes. This is the text that is usually used in current Mahabharata studies for reference.[33] This work is sometimes called the 'Pune' or 'Poona' edition of the Mahabharata.
Modern interpretations
Krishna as depicted in Yakshagana from Karnataka which is based largely on stories of Mahabharata

The Tamil writer S. Ramakrishnan has written a critically acclaimed book based on the Mahabharata called "Uba Paandavam". It discusses the story in a non-linear manner from a traveller's point of view.

The Kannada novelist S.L. Bhyrappa wrote a novel in Kannada (now translated into most Indian languages and English) titled Parva, giving a new interpretation to the story of Mahabharata. He tried to understand the social and ethical practices in these regions and correlate them with the story of Mahabharata.

Malayalam writer M. T. Vasudevan Nair's novel Randamoozham (English: Second Turn) tells the Mahabharata from Bhima's point of view. Mrityunjay (English: Triumph Over Death) written by Shivaji Sawant is a novel with Karna as the central character of Mahabharata.

In Indian cinema, several film versions of the epic exist, dating back to 1920.[34] The internationally acclaimed parallel Bengali film director Satyajit Ray also intended to direct a theatrical adaptation of the epic, but the project was never realized.[35]

In the late 1980s, the Mahabharat TV series, directed by Ravi Chopra,[36] was televised and shown on India's national television (Doordarshan). In the Western world, a well-known presentation of the epic is Peter Brook's nine-hour play, which premiered in Avignon in 1985, and its five-hour movie version The Mahabharata (1989).[37]

Among literary reinterpretations of the Mahabharata the most famous is arguably Sashi Tharoor's major work entitled The Great Indian Novel, an involved literary, philosophical, and political novel which superimposes the major moments of post-independence India in the 20th century onto the driving events of the Mahabharata epic.

Mahabharata was also reinterpreted by Shyam Benegal in Kalyug. Kalyug is a modern-day replaying of the Mahabharata.[38]

Western interpretations of the Mahabharata include William Buck's Mahabharata and Elizabeth Seeger's Five Sons of King Pandu.
English translations

The first complete English translation was the Victorian prose version by Kisari Mohan Ganguli,[39] published between 1883 and 1896 (Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers) and by M. N. Dutt (Motilal Banarsidass Publishers). Most critics consider the translation by Ganguli to be faithful to the original text. The complete text of Ganguli's translation is in the public domain and is available online.[40]

Another English prose translation of the full epic, based on the Critical Edition, is also in progress, published by University Of Chicago Press, initiated by Chicago Indologist J. A. B. van Buitenen (books 1-5) and, following a 20-year hiatus caused by the death of van Buitenen, is being continued by D. Gitomer of DePaul University (book 6), J. L. Fitzgerald of Brown University (books 11-13) and Wendy Doniger of the University of Chicago (books 14-18).

A poetic "transcreation" (author's own description) of the full epic into English, done by the poet P. Lal is complete, and in 2005 began being published by Writers Workshop, Calcutta. The P. Lal translation is a non-rhyming verse-by-verse rendering, and is the only edition in any language to include all slokas in all recensions of the work (not just those in the Critical Edition). The completion of the publishing project is scheduled for 2010. Sixteen of the eighteen volumes are now available.

A project to translate the full epic into English prose, translated by various hands, began to appear in 2005 from the Clay Sanskrit Library, published by New York University Press. The translation is based not on the Critical Edition but on the version known to the commentator Nīlakaṇṭha. Currently available are 15 volumes of the projected 32-volume edition.

Indian economist Bibek Debroy has also begun an unabridged English translation in ten volumes. Volume 1: Adi Parva was published in March 2010.
Abridged versions

Many condensed versions, abridgements and novelistic prose retellings of the complete epic have been published in English, including work by William Buck, R.K. Narayan, C. Rajagopalachari, Krishna Dharma, Romesh C. Dutt, and Bharadvaja Sarma.

A Kawi version is found on the Indonesian island of Bali and was translated by Dr. I. Gusti Putu Phalgunadi. Of the eighteen parvas, only eight Kawi manuscripts remain.


Notes

* a: Santanu was a king of the Kuru dynasty or kingdom, and was some generations removed from any ancestor called Kuru. His marriage to Ganga preceded his marriage to Satyavati.
* b: Pandu and Dhritarashtra were fathered by Vyasa after Vichitravirya's death. Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura were the sons of Vyasa with Ambika, Ambalika and a maid servant respectively.
* c: Karna was born to Kunti through her invocation of Surya, before her marriage to Pandu.
* d: The Pandavas were acknowledged sons of Pandu but were begotten by Kunti's invocation of various deities. They all married Draupadi (not shown in tree). In particular:
o Yama or Dharma (Dharmadeva), for Yudhishtira
o Vayu, for Bhima
o Indra for Arjuna
o The twins, Nakula and Sahadeva were born to Madri through her invocation of The Ashvins
* e: Duryodhana and his siblings were born at the same time, and they were of the same generation as their Pandava cousins.

The birth order of siblings is correctly shown in the family tree (from left to right), except for Vyasa and Bhishma whose birth order is not described, and Vichitravirya who was born after them. The fact that Ambika and Ambalika are sisters is not shown in the family tree. The birth of Duryodhana took place after the birth of Karna, Yudhishtira and Bhima, but before the birth of the remaining Pandava brothers.

Some siblings of the characters shown here have been left out for clarity; these include Chitrangada, the eldest brother of Vichitravirya. Vidura, half-brother to Dhritarashtra and Pandu.
Cultural influence

In the Bhagavd Gita, Krishna explains to Arjuna his duties as a warrior and prince and elaborates on different Yogic[41] and Vedantic philosophies, with examples and analogies. This has led to the Gita often being described as a concise guide to Hindu philosophy and a practical, self-contained guide to life.[42] In modern times, Swami Vivekananda, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi and many others used the text to help inspire the Indian independence movement.[43][44]
See also

* Kingdoms of Ancient India
* Kakawin Bhāratayuddha
* Kodungallur Kunjikkuttan Thampuran
* Ramayana
* Mahabharat (TV series)
* Mahabharat (1965 film)

Notes

1. ^ a b Brockington (1998, p. 26)
2. ^ Van Buitenen; The Mahabharata - 1; The Book of the Beginning. Introduction (Authorship and Date)
3. ^ bhārata means the progeny of Bharata, the legendary king who is claimed to have founded the Bhāratavarsha kingdom.
4. ^ Spodek, Howard. Richard Mason. The World's History. Pearson Education: 2006, New Jersey. 224, 0-13-177318-6
5. ^ Amartya Sen, The Argumentative Indian. Writings on Indian Culture, History and Identity, London: Penguin Books, 2005.
6. ^ a b c d Buitenen (1973) pp. xxiv-xxv
7. ^ Sukthankar (1933) "Prolegomena" p. lxxxvi. Emphasis is original.
8. ^ Gupta & Ramachandran (1976), citing Mahabharata, Critical Edition, I, 56, 33
9. ^ SP Gupta and KS Ramachandran (1976), p.3-4, citing Vaidya (1967), p.11
10. ^ Brockington, J. L. (1998). The Sanskrit epics, Part 2. Volume 12. BRILL. p. 21. ISBN 9004102604. http://books.google.com/books?id=HR-_LK5kl18C&pg=PA21&.
11. ^ 18 books, 18 chapters of the Bhagavadgita and the Narayaniya each, corresponding to the 18 days of the battle and the 18 armies (Mbh. 5.152.23)
12. ^ http://www.jstor.org/pss/596517
13. ^ J.A.B. van Buitenen, Mahābhārata, Volume 1, p.445, citing W. Caland, The Pañcaviṃśa Brāhmaṇa, p.640-2
14. ^ Hermann Oldenberg, Das Mahabharata: seine Entstehung, sein Inhalt, seine Form, Göttingen, 1922, [page needed]
15. ^ Cited approvingly in Max Duncker, The History of Antiquity (trans. Evelyn Abbott, London 1880), vol. 4, p. 81.
16. ^ For example, John Campbell Oman, The Great Indian Epics (London 1895), p. 215.
17. ^ The Ashvamedhika-parva is also preserved in a separate version, the Jaimini-Bharata (Jaiminiya-ashvamedha) where the frame dialogue is replaced, the narration being attributed to Jaimini, another disciple of Vyasa. This version contains far more devotional material (related to Krishna) than the standard epic and probably dates to the 12th century. It has some regional versions, the most popular being the Kannada one by Devapurada Annama Lakshmisha (16th century).The Mahabharata [citation needed]
18. ^ In discussing the dating question, historian A. L. Basham says: "According to the most popular later tradition the Mahabharata War took place in 3102 BCE, which in the light of all evidence, is quite impossible. More reasonable is another tradition, placing it in the 15th century BCE, but this is also several centuries too early in the light of our archaeological knowledge. Probably the war took place around the beginning of the 9th century BCE; such a date seems to fit well with the scanty archaeological remains of the period, and there is some evidence in the Brahmana literature itself to show that it cannot have been much earlier." Basham, p. 40, citing HC Raychaudhuri, Political History of Ancient India, pp.27ff.
19. ^ M Witzel, Early Sanskritization: Origin and Development of the Kuru state, EJVS vol.1 no.4 (1995); also in B. Kölver (ed.), Recht, Staat und Verwaltung im klassischen Indien. The state, the Law, and Administration in Classical India, München, R. Oldenbourg, 1997, p.27-52
20. ^ A.D. Pusalker, History and Culture of the Indian People, Vol I, Chapter XIV, p.273
21. ^ FE Pargiter, Ancient Indian Historical Tradition, p.180. He shows estimates of the average as 47, 50, 31 and 35 for various versions of the lists.
22. ^ Pargiter, op.cit. p.180-182
23. ^ B. B. Lal, Mahabharata and Archaeology in Gupta and Ramachandran (1976), p.57-58
24. ^ Gupta and Ramachandran (1976), p.246, who summarize as follows: "Astronomical calculations favor 15th century BCE as the date of the war while the Puranic data place it in the 10th/9th century BCE. Archaeological evidence points towards the latter." (p.254)
25. ^ Gupta and Ramachandran (1976), p.55; AD Pusalker, HCIP, Vol I, p.272
26. ^ AD Pusalker, op.cit. p.272
27. ^ Sattar 1996, pp. lvi-lvii
28. ^ [1]
29. ^ Book 1: Adi Parva: Jatugriha Parva
30. ^ Book 2: Sabha Parva: Sabhakriya Parva
31. ^ Plant Cultures - picture details
32. ^ Srinivas, Smriti (2004) [2001]. Landscapes of Urban Memory. Orient Longman. pp. 23. ISBN 8125022546. OCLC 46353272.
33. ^ Bhandarkar Institute, Pune—Virtual Pune
34. ^ Mahabharat at the Internet Movie Database (1920 film)
35. ^ C. J. Wallia (1996). "IndiaStar book review: Satyajit Ray by Surabhi Banerjee". http://www.indiastar.com/satyajitray.html. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
36. ^ Mahabharat at the Internet Movie Database (1988-1990 TV series)
37. ^ The Mahabharata at the Internet Movie Database (1989 mini-series)
38. ^ What makes Shyam special...
39. ^ Several editions of the Kisari Mohan Ganguli translation of the Mahabharata incorrectly cite Pratap Chandra Roy as translator and this error has been perpetuated into secondary citations. See the publishers preface to the current Munshiram Manoharlal edition for an explanation.
40. ^ The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa translated by Kisari Mohan Ganguli at the Internet Sacred Text Archive
41. ^ Introduction to the Bhagavad Gita
42. ^ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi; On The Bhagavad Gita; A New Translation and Commentary With Sanskrit Text Chapters 1 to 6, Preface p.9
43. ^ Stevenson, Robert W., "Tilak and the Bhagavadgita's Doctrine of Karmayoga", in: Minor, p. 44.
44. ^ Jordens, J. T. F., "Gandhi and the Bhagavadgita", in: Minor, p. 88.

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