King Dukut: a Role Model for Bali? (2007)

The Bali Post depicts King Dukut and Gusti Jelantik Bogol's roles in history as examples of moral conduct. The historical background, however, is contested.

In below articles, which appeared in the Bali Post (17 & 24 October 2007), writer Wiana & reader Tjekeg discuss the duel between chief minister to the King of Klungkung, Gusti Jelantik Bogol, and King Dukut of Nusa Penida. The year of this duel is not mentioned, and neither do we know what the name of the King of Klungkung is. When we compare this article with other sources, it is near to certain that the name of the Balinese Kingdom of Klungkung is erroneous. As discussed elsewhere, it is likely that this duel took place somewhere between the reigns of Waturenggong (1460-1550) and King Dimade (1635-1651), if indeed it took place at all. Therefore, 'Klungkung' should probably be replaced by 'Gelgel'. English translation by Godi Dijkman. The original Indonesian texts follow below.

bungkutfrontImage left: "Bungkut" by I Nyoman Renu (image: Godi Dijkman, Sanur 2009)

Wiana emphasises various times that the way this duel was fought is exemplary for the way the Balinese should wage politics in this day and age. An admirable vision. It is also interesting to read how the duel between the two rulers is considered a possible moral basis for the modern struggle for power and wealth. The readers are invited to contemplate on the behaviour and characteristics of the Klungkung King and both men who engaged in the duel. Two terms are repeatedly flag-shipped as beacons of moral (and religious) conduct: the characteristics befitting a 'kesatria' (either those characteristics that typify a nobleman, or those of a warrior, the second caste in the Balinese Caturwangsa system) and 'swadharma' (one's own duty).

A week after this article appeared, I Made Tjekeg, an Ear Nose & Throat specialist originally from Nusa Penida, sent in a letter in which he expressed doubt on the verisimilitude of the contents of the story, as of old presented this way in this article and many other media. He claims the two men who engage in the duel are both descendants of one and the same ancestor from Java, and that therefore the 'amicable' solution for the war in Nusa Penida in the form of a duel without dragging the army nor the local population into it, was in fact a family business. Tjekeg bases his vision on the fact that King Dukut would be the descendant to the last ancient Balinese King Astasura Ratna Bumi Banten (defeated by the Majapahit general Gajah Mada in 1343), and that Jelantik Bogol - who before had lived in Java - was the heir to Kings Erlangga and Udayana. Therefore, Tjekeg decides, these men have one common ancestor.

Tjekeg does not elaborate on the family relations, since this article - probably - is not the most suitable media to expound on these matters. His vision, however, is not new. More research and digging in various genealogies is called for.

On King Dukut's Exemplary Noble Character

The palm leaf inscriptions 'Lontar Ratu Nusa' tell the tale of the King of Klungkung's efforts to unite Nusa Penida with Bali. This is done to create more productive relations between the people of Bali and Nusa. However, when Ngurah Paminggir was commissioned by the King Klungkung, his efforts to approach the King of Nusa failed because Paminggir used violence (in war) in order to vanquish Nusa. What are the historical relations between Pura Dalem Peed and King Dukut?

At the moment King Nusa released his 'wong samar' to defeat Paminggir and his army. The King of Klungkung continued to unite Bali and Nusa and he commissioned I Gusti Ngurah Jelantik Bogol [to go to Nusa Penida, author]. His approach was ethical as he followed the etiquette that befits a Kesatria (Nobleman, Warrior Caste), envoy of the king. King Nusa welcomed the envoy with equally good manners.

King Dukut, otherwise known as King Bungkut - according to alternative sources - was willing to give up his Kingdom of Nusa in the most respectful way befitting a Kesatria. The two men engaged in a respectful duel without the involvement of soldiers or the people. The duel was one characterised by Kesatria-like ethics and was not based upon hatred and arrogance, to show off their grandeur.

In the duel, I Gusti Jelantik Bogol used a weapon bestowed upon him by the Kingdom, called "Ganja Malela", but after some time this weapon broke and Jelantik almost lost the duel. His wife, Ni Gusti Ayu Kaler, however, intervened and gave Jelantik a sacred weapon called Pencok Sahang. At seeing this weapon, King Dukut felt his final moment was nigh, and he would go back to 'eternity' by means of the Pencok Sahang.

The battle was halted and King Dukut told Jelantik he felt he was going to return to the 'Silent Skies' because of Pencok Sahang. King Dukut also told Jelantik that he would give up all the riches of Nusa, including its people and the 'wong samar' to support King Klungkung in his efforts to provide prosperity in Klungkung.

The Pencok Sahang weapon was really the tusk of the snake Naga Basuki. When Ayu Kaler took a bath in the Unda River, there was a piece of wood, a piece of firewood ('sahang') that kept drifting towards her. Each time she tried to push the wood away, it came back to her. Then, finally, she picked it up. And after opening it, inside there was an unfinished keris. This keris was named Pencok Sahang, the tusk of Naga Besuki himself.

Let's for a moment contemplate the background of the duel between King Dukut and Jelantik Bogol. These two men already knew each other. They were even friends before the one became king and the other chief minister to the king [of Gelgel, author]. The moment they faced the duel described above they managed to approach the issue in accordance with their own duty in keeping with their rank as kesatria. At the moment Minister Jelantik Bogol came to Nusa commissioned by Klungkung Kingdom, he was welcomed by King Dukut.

As a result of the royal commission to fight King Dukut, their friendship ended. King Dukut felt he could no longer adhere to his duty (swadharma) as a kesatria. Minister Jelantik brought over his troops from Klungkung, but 'softly' attacked the Kingdom of Nusa. Jelantik approached the king with much diplomacy beforehand and showed him much respect, who kindly welcomed Jelantik. King Dukut entertained Jelantik with a meal and treated his as a friend.

During this meal, King Dukut said that Nusa was not to be vanquished as long as he lived, even when all the troops on the island were all dead. Likewise, the envoy of the King of Klungkung said he was not to be beaten, even if all the Klungkung troops were to die in battle.

King Dukut and Minister Jelantik Bogol together agreed not to use their troops in the fight. They hoped they would be able to create a bond of friendship and communication between Bali and Nusa. They agreed to engage in a duel and execute their respective 'swadharma' at the same time. Jelantik's 'swadharma' consisted of making the mission given to him by the King of Klungkung a success, i.e. to unite Nusa into the Kingdom of Klungkung. King Dukut's 'swadharma' consisted in safeguarding the standing of the Kingdom of Nusa Penida.

They engaged in a duel to execute their respective 'swadharmas'. The duel was not fought because of hatred, but thanks to the power instilled in them by their respective 'swadharmas' in keeping with their rank as kesatrias. And in doing so, they wanted to keep their friendship. Before the fight began, King Dukut entertained his guest with a meal and treated him with respect. The troops from Klungkung and those of Nusa participated in the festivities as well.

After Jelantik and his entourage has been entertained with a meal, the duel commenced in a manner that befits kesatrias. No-one amongst the civilian population was hurt in King Klungkung's struggle of power over Nusa. The kesatria-like character of both King Dukut and Minister Jelantik is exemplary for the people of Bali in trying to build their island. The dynamics of political life that put on the foreground kesatria characteristics whereby no-one of the population is hurt is very important in trying to reach for power and attain wealth.

The unity of Nusa and Bali was the basis for a government system which came about through a process characterised by respect at the time of the King of Klungkung. This way, no-one really lost in the battle. King Dukut did not hand over his 'wong samar' troops in the duel with Jelantik Bogol. It is very well possible that Kind Dukut envisaged something greater and more glorious, the unity of the islands and the peoples of Nusa and Bali. Through this process, it is easier for both Bali and Nusa to reach prosperity for the lives of all those living there, regarding both matters of the inner self and the outer world.


  • Bali Post (by Wiana), 'Ajeg Bali', 17 October 2007

A different version of King Dukut's Surrender

tjekeg genealogyImage right: stone in the front yard of I Made Tjekeg, Denpasar (image: Godi Dijkman, 2009)

The surrender of King Dukut from Nusa Penida, famous for his spiritual power (sakti), to Minister Jelantik Bogol is often part of articles in both the printed and electronic media, literature, poem recitals and singing (Kakawin, pesantian), and theatre drama and dances. Nearly all of these media present the same story as is written in the article Ajeg Bali (Bali Post, 17/10)

What is hard to understand is, whether it is customary for the wife of an war commander, Ni Gusti Ayu Kaler, to accompany her husband Minister Jelantik Bogol in his attack on Nusa Penida? The answer could perhaps be 'yes' in holding out. We know much about is called the Puputan wars. Of course, more research should be done into matter. It is possible that the diplomatic approach as described is part of a family approach. King Dukut was enfeebled from old age and was without any offspring at the time of the dialogue with Minister Jelantik Bogol. Jelantik, on the other hand, was young, but still sad after the weapon bestowed upon him by the Klungkung Kingdom had broken. These two men were, in fact, the descendants of one and the same forefather.

King Dukut is a descendant of the Ancient Balinese King, Astasura Banten [Sri Ratna Astasura Bumi Banten, author], provoked by Majapahit government with the term King Bedahulu, and he was made out to be a man with a pig's head. Minister Jelantik Bogol is the heir to Erlangga-Udayana, who - some time before - had lived in East Java. So both these men engaged in this war are the offspring of the same ancestor. Is it then possible for King Dukut to "surrender" to the very young Minister Jelantik Bogol and to give up his 'life secret' to him at the same time?

Apart from this, a war without any casualties amongst the army is a very strange thing indeed, especially in the light of the magic mentioned (is the weapon Pencok Sahang that is used to defeat King Dukut the tusk of Naga Basuki?).


* Teks asli bahasa Indonesia *

Sifat Kesatria Dalem Dukut Patut Diteladani

Dalam Lontar Ratu Nusa diceritakan upaya Dalem Klungkung menyatukan Nusa Penida dengan Bali. Upaya itu dilakukan untuk membangun hubungan yang lebih produktif antara rakyat Bali dan rakyat Nusa. Hanya saat Ngurah Peminggir diutus oleh Dalem Klungkung mendekati Dalem Nusa ternyata gagal. Kegagalan itu karena Ngurah Peminggir menggunakan kekerasan perang mau menguasai Nusa. Bagaimana hubungan kesejarahan antara Pura Dalem Peed dengan Dalem Dukut?

Saat itu Dalem Nusa melepaskan wong samar-nya mengalahkan Ngurah Peminggir dengan pasukannya. Dalem Klungkung melanjutkan upaya penyatuan Pulau Bali dengan Nusa dengan mengutus I Gst. Ngurah Jelantik Bogol. Pendekatan yang digunakan oleh I Gusti Ngurah Jelantik Bogol adalah pendekatan yang etis mengikuti tata krama seorang kesatria sebagai utusan raja. Dalem Dukut pun menerima dengan sangat hormat sesuai dengan tata krama kerajaan dalam menerima utusan raja.

Dalem Dukut atau ada juga sumber yang menyebut Dalem Bungkut bersedia menyerahkan Kerajaan Nusa melalui suatu cara yang terhormat dalam tata krama sebagai kesatria. Dua tokoh ini pun mengadakan perang tanding secara terhormat dengan tidak melibatkan prajurit dan rakyatnya. Mereka melakukan perang tanding secara kesatria tidak berdasarkan kebencian dan kesombongan akan kelebihan diri masing-masing.

I Gst. Jelantik Bogol dalam perang tanding itu menggunakan senjata pemberian kerajaan bernama ''Ganja Malela''. Dalam perang tanding itu senjata Ganja Malela I Gusti Jelantik Bogol patah. Hampir saja I Gst. Jelantik Bogol kalah. Cepat-cepat istrinya, Ni Gusti Ayu Kaler, memberikan senjata bartuah bernama Pencok Sahang. Melihat senjata Pencok Sahang ini Dalem Dukut sudah punya firasat bahwa waktunya sudah tiba untuk kembali ke alam sunia lewat senjata Pencok Sahang.

Peperangan pun dihentikan sementara dan Dalem Dukut menyatakan kepada I Gst. Jelantik Bogol bahwa ia akan kembali ke Sunia Loka lewat senjata Pencok Sahang itu. Dalem Dukut pun menyatakan menyerahkan segala kekayaan Nusa dengan rakyat dan wong samar-nya untuk mendukung Dalem Klungkung memajukan Klungkung.

Senjata Pencok Sahang ini sesungguhnya adalah taring Naga Basuki. Ketika Ni Gst. Ayu Kaler mandi di Sungai Unda ada sepotong kayu bagaikan kayu bakar atau sahang yang selalu menujunya. Setiap kayu itu dijauhkan dari dirinya selalu balik kembali mendekati dirinya. Akhirnya kayu itu dipungut. Setelah dibelah ternyata di dalamnya terdapat sebuah keris yang belum jadi. Keris itulah bernama Pencok Sahang yang tiada lain adalah taring Naga Basuki sendiri.

Yang patut direnungkan latar belakang dari perang tanding Dalem Dukut dengan Jelantik Bogol. Dua orang ini sesungguhnya sudah saling kenal, bahkan bersahabat saat belum menjabat sebagai raja maupun patih. Saat ada panggilan tugas yang berbeda ini mereka kelola dengan bijak sesuai dengan swadharma kesatria. Saat Patih Jelantik Bogol datang ke Nusa membawa tugas Kerajaan Klungkung, Dalem Dukut menyambutnya dengan sangat ramah.

Dalem Dukut menyatakan bahwa jangan karena ada tugas yang berlawanan terus persahabatan menjadi hilang. Demikian juga sebaliknya jangan karena sahabat terus swadharma ditinggalkan sebagai seorang kesatia. Patih Jelantik Bogol membawa pasukan dari Klungkung, tetapi tidak dengan kasar menyerang Kerajaan Nusa. Jelantik Bogol mengatakan pendekatan diplomatik terlebih dahulu dengan cara-cara yang menghormati Dalem Dukut. Raja Nusa ini pun menyambut dengan baik. Dalem Dukut menjamu Patih Jelantik Bogol sebagai seorang teman.

Dalam jamuan tersebut Dalem Dukut menyatakan bahwa Nusa tidak akan kalah kalau Dalem Dukut masih hidup, walaupun semua pasukan Nusa habis. Sebaliknya utusan Dalem Klungkung pun tidak akan kalah kalau Patih Jelantik Bogol tidak gugur di medan perang, meskipun semua pasukan Klungkung gugur dalam pertempuran.

Dalem Dukut dan Patih Jelantik Bogol sepakat untuk tidak memberikan pasukannya masing-masing bertempur. Biarlah mereka bergembira membangun komunikasi persaudaraan demi Bali dan Nusa. Dalem Dukut dan Patih Jelantik Bogol sepakat untuk melakukan perang tanding dalam melakukan swadharma kesatria. Swadharma Patih Jelantik Bogol adalah menyukseskan misi Dalem Klungkung untuk menyatukan Nusa Penida ke dalam kekuasaan Klungkung, sedangkan Dalem Dukut memiliki swadharma untuk menjaga eksistensi kehormatan Kerajaan Nusa Penida.

Dalem Dukut dan Patih Jelantik Bogol perang tanding untuk melakukan swadharmanya masing-masing. Perang tanding itu bukan dilakukan karena kebencian, tetapi atas dorongan melakukan swadharma sebagai kesatria. Dalam melakukan swadharma tersebut mereka tetap juga menjaga persahabatan. Sebelum perang tanding dilangsungkan, Dalem Dukut pun menjamu I Gst. Ngurah Jelantik Bogol sebagai seorang sahabat dengan jamuan kehormatan. Pasukan Klungkung dan Nusa pun ikut berpesta dalam perjamuan tersebut.

Setelah jamuan berlangsung barulah perang tanding dilakukan dengan cara-cara kesatria. Kedua pasukan hanya sebagai saksi perang tanding tersebut. Apalagi rakyat sipil tidak ada yang jadi korban dalam proses penguasaan Nusa oleh Dalem Klungkung. Sifat-sifat kesatria Dalem Dukut dan Patih Jelantik Bogol ini patut menjadi renungan kita bersama dalam membangun Bali dalam proses dinamika kehidupan politik untuk mengutamakan sifat-sifat kesatria yang tidak mengorbankan rakyat kecil untuk mewujudkan tujuan mencapai kekuasaan maupun mencari kekayaan.

Bersatunya Nusa dengan Bali menjadi satu sistem pemerintahan dalam proses yang sangat terhormat pada masa pemerintahan Dalem Klungkung. Tidak ada yang kalah menang dalam artian sempit. Dalem Dukut tidak mengerahkan pasukan wong samar-nya melawan I Gst. Jelantik Bogol. Kemungkinan Dalem Dukut melihat suatu kepentingan yang lebih besar dan lebih mulia yaitu bersatunya alam dan rakyat Nusa dengan Bali. Persatuan ini akan membawa kedua daerah lebih mudah maju membangun kesejahteraan hidup bersama antara rakyat Bali dan Nusa Penida lahir batin.


  • Bali Post (by Wiana), 'Ajeg Bali', 17 October 2007

Versi Lain 'Menyerahnya' Dalem Dukut

Menyerahnya Dalem Dukut dari Nusa Penida yang terkenal kesaktiannya kepada Patih Jelantik Bogol sering diberitakan baik melalui media cetak, elektronik, sastra kekawin (pesantian) maupun pertunjukan drama tari. Hampir semua media tersebut isinya sama seperti yang disampaikan pada artikel Ajeg Bali (Bali Post, 17/10).

Yang sulit dipahami adalah, lazimkah seorang istri pemimpin perang, Ni Gusti Ayu Kaler, ikut mendampingi sang suami Patih Jelantik Bogol dalam penyerangan ke Nusa Penida? Kalau untuk bertahan, mungkin ya. Kita banyak mengenal istilah perang puputan. Hal ini tentu menjadi sebuah pertanyaan yang perlu dikaji lebih dalam. Ada kemungkinan pendekatan diplomasi yang dipakai adalah kekeluargaan.

Dalem Dukut yang sudah uzur dan tidak punya keturunan ketika berdialog dengan Patih Jelantik Bogol yang masih muda dan dalam kesedihan setelah senjata pemberian Kerajaan Klungkung yang bernama ''Ganja Malela'' patah, ternyata sama-sama berasal dari satu leluhur.
Dalem Dukut adalah keturunan Raja Bali kuno, Dalem Astasura Banten, yang oleh Majapahit diprovokasikan dengan sebutan Dalem Bedahulu yang dilukiskan sebagai manusia berkepala babi. Sedangkan Patih Jelantik Bogol adalah keturunan Erlangga-Udayana yang pernah menetap di Jawa Timur.

Jadi kedua tokoh dalam perang tersebut berasal dari satu keturunan. Atas dasar pertimbangan tersebut, maka Dalem Dukut rela ''menyerah'' kepada Patih Jelantik Bogol yang masih muda dengan memberitakan rahasia kematiannya.
Selain itu suatu peperangan tanpa korban prajurit memang aneh, apalagi bernuansa magis (senjata Pencok Sahang yang dipakai mengalahkan Dalem Dukut merupakan taring Naga Basuki?)


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