Trowulan in the Past
MAJAPAHIT IN THE PAST
Short History about Majapahit Kingdom
In the Indonesian History during the 12th to 15th century, there was a huge kingdom in Indonesia that occupied most of the area of South East Asia called Mojopahit Kingdom. Mojopahit Kingdom was established in East Java, at first, Raden Wijaya with his people came to an area named Trik in Mojokerto. This area had many Maja Trees, whose fruits are very bitter. Because of this, Raden Wijaya called this area Majapahit because ‘pahit’ in Indonesian means bitter.
After the founding of Majapahit, the kingdom grew very fast and after a few decades, Majapahit had occupied the whole area of Java Island. Raden Wijaya was the first king of Majapahit and his title was Kertarajasa Jayawarddana. After Raden Wijaya died in 1309 AD, his son, Jayanegara, ruled the kingdom. During Jayanegara’s authority, Majapahit kingdom passed many obstacles such as rebellions of his father’s unsatisfied subordinates. After fighting the rebellion for years, Majapahit kingdom managed to protect its country, but unfortunately, his own traditional doctor killed Jayanegara.
After Jayanegara’s dead, Majapahit came to a new era and was ruled by Tribhuana Wajayotunggo Dewi who was helped by his governor, Gajahmada. Gajahmada later became very famous because he made an oath named Palapa oath. In his oath, Gajahmada swore that he would lead Majapahit to dominate the South East area.
After a century since its founding, Majapahit started its golden era during Hayam Wuruk’s hegemony. During this period, Gajahmada fulfilled his oath and led Majapahit to dominate South East Asia. The area consisted of Indonesia, Malacca (Malaysia), Thailand, Vietnam, and Philippine. Soon afterwards, Hayam Wuruk died in 1389 and the Majapahit Kingdom started to suffer many problems. Started by a conflict between two of Hayam Wuruk’s children, a war could not be avoid. This great intern war was very famous known as ‘Perang Paregreg’.
When the war ended three years later, Wikramawarddana who won the war ruled for years. Then the throne was bequeathed to his descendants until his third generations. However, on that time, Majapahit had lost its powers. Its internal problems along with a new development in North Java Coast caused Majapahit did not exist anymore. At last, in 1519, Majapahit Kingdom had totally ended.
Religion in the Majapahit Kingdom
During the times Majapahit existed in Java, the kingdom had spread many religions to the people in Indonesia. Before the 4th century, Indonesian people had not had any religions but the believed in animism and dynamism, a belief that everything in the world has spirit and a tradition to worship ancestors’ spirits.
During Majapahit era, there were two majors’ religions, Hindu and Buddha, and this two religions became national’s religion. The number of Buddhists and Hindus reached more than 90% of Majapahit populations, however, there were also people who still believed in animism and dynamism or believed in Islam.
In every national ceremony, two religious leaders must exist to remark the two major religions. Recent research done by a number of scientists had also found that Majapahit was also the center of religion development during those times. In its capital city there were number of religious universities which means that in that time Majapahit had grew so much and became the center of world civilization. One of the most famous books of Mojopahit, Sutasoma, which was written by Mpu Tantular was used as Indonesian slogan, ‘Bhinneka Tunggal Ika’. This sentence means that people are different from each other but have one nationality and no justice has two faces.
The Majapahit Government
Majapahit was a kingdom, so it was ruled by one power, usually a king or queen. A kingdom always uses Monarchy government in which the highest leader was the king, while its leadership must be continued to the king’s descendants. The children of the kings usually also have power under the king, on the other hand there were also governors who were called as ‘Bhree’ who control country politics. Then every sector of the country had one leader that ruled the activities of the citizens.
Majapahit had developed laws to maintain justice. The laws controlled the citizens’ life and had two types, penal law and civil law. Penal law prohibited violation against other while civil law controlled the problems among citizens. Because of its modern law, Majapahit managed to control people to do their own works smoothly. Because of this, Majapahit then became a strong agricultural country that produces many foods and livestocks. It showed that during that time Majapahit was a wealthy country.
Humans Stratification in Majapahit
Under Mojopahit Era in Java, Humans stratification still existed. In Majapahit kingdom, not every citizen has the same rights. In the major, there were four types of stratification. The stratification based on their aristocracy. The first group was Brahmana. Brahmana was people who have strong religious wisdom. They were the families of religious leaders, they lived wealthily, and they have a high social status. After that, there was Ksatria who consisted of many aristocracies. They usually were kings’ families or high-class people who have strong positions in government.
The third class was sudra. Sudra people consisted of the normal citizens like farmers and traders and they did not have any special rights, however, they can still live freely but not so wealthy. The last group was Paria. Paria people were same as slaves. They have no right and they were owned by other people and must do many works for nothing. On that time, this kind of condition was usual and no one thought that it was wrong. (Sebastian/ 10B)