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Rudana &  Museum

The concept for developing the Museum Rudana is mainly based on the philosophy of Tri Hita Karana that combines three comprehensive relationships:  the relationship between man and the nature, man and their social environment, and man with God.  This concept of trinity of relationships is reflected in the three stories in the main building of the museum. Each story houses different collection.

Spiritual Symbol of  the Buildings of Museum Rudana



1.  Basuki Dragon

A pair of huge dragon carvings decorates the front stairs to the main building. The dragon named Naga Basuki (symbolizing the layers of the earth) is part of the three dragons besides Naga Tatsaka (symbolizing the content of the earth) and Naga Anantaboga (symbolizing the surface of the earth). These three dragons are always mention in the cycles of the universe, especially the Naga Basuki which also symbolizes peace, order and welfare.

2.  Boma

The statue of Boma, a creature of great power, rests on the main gate. Boma, who according to the Hindu adherents is a creature of great power, was born having been conceived by Visnu and Ibu Pertiwi. Boma is the keeper of the earth and is often depicted as a huge tree, the protector of the life on earth

3.  Naga Tatsaka

Naga Tatsaka represents the surface of the earth. It is always linked to the environmental condition of the earth. It is believed that Naga Tatsaka was holding the legs of the Dewa Indra, begging him to save him from the great fire prepared to burn him. Naga Tatsaka was going to be sacrificed as a revenge by Prabu Janamejaya, whose father was bitten by a snake/dragon.

4.  Garuda statue

Garuda (the bird) is the child of Bagawan Kasiapa and Dewi Winata. Dewi Winata was made a slave by Dewi Kadru, the concubine of Bagawan Kasiapa who had ill feelings towards here. Garuda received Amerta from Visnu, and as token of appreciation he was willing to be his means of transporation. Garuda gave the amerta to naga, the child of Dewi Kadru, as an exchange for his mother freedom.

5.  Buddha statue

The Buddha statue is a symbol of silence, peace and kindness.

6.  Patung Apsara-Apsari

Symbols of angels (nymphs) when Mandara Giri went out from Kasirarnawa (ocean of milk).

7.  Nara Singa (Singa with wings)

The winged lion statue is derived from a story about dewa Wisnu who sent his two guardians named Jaya and Wijaya to the earth to incarnate into the form of of two detya (giants) known as Hiranyaksa and Hiranyakasipu, as a result of a curse by Brahmana Senata Kumara. Dewa Wisnu incarnates into a “nishima”, a human with lion’s head. In Bali this creature is particularly illustrated as a winged animal. The Nihima/ Nara Singa as Awatara Wisnu Kills Hiranya kasipu, while Awatara as Wisnu, kills Hiranyaksa. 

8. Elephant Statue

This statue symbolizes as the defensive power of the earth. It is the lower part of the building. It is illustrated as an elephant which during the rotation of the mandara giri, emerges from the Ksiranawa or the Milky Ocean. It is also the symbol of good deed.

Oncesrawa Horse is the symbol of Tamas (attitude, curiosity or passion).

Water Buffalo is the symbol negligence

9.  Frog Statue
According to pre Hindu folklore, frogs are the medium to call for rain. During a hunting expedition in the middle of dense jungle, being faraway from the queen and concubine, a king is sexually aroused and his beastly lust gave birth to a frog. The frog will become a prince if a princess is willing to accept him as her husband. 

10. Painting on Window Glass

The glass paintings of the Rudana Museum tell the story of Sutasoma who is the descendant of Arjuna of the Pandawas, son of King Mahaketu (grandson of King Parikesit). Sutasoma left the palace to seclude himself and become a hermit. In his travels he meets a tiger in pursuit of its own cub with the intention to devour it. Sutasoma forbids the tiger to eat its cub, and offers himself to be eaten in place of the cub. The tiger accepts the offer, but is unable to eat him because of Sutasoma’s noble deed.

At the same time Dewa Indra calls Sutasoma to return to the palace, because the kingdom is threatened by King Purusada, a worshipper of Bhatara kala. Purusada wants to reign as the king of all kings in that land. His wish can be fulfilled if he can make an offering of 108 heads of kings, of which 107 he already has. Leaving only one more head to have – Sutasoma’s. Sutasoma returns to his palace and asks Purusada to to release all the captured kings. In return he is prepared to be offered to Bhatara kala. Bhatara kala then transforms himself to a huge dragon snake, coiling around Sutasoma to swallow him. But, due to Sutasoma’s good deed, the dragon becomes weak and surrenders himself completely to Sutasoma whom he worships ever since in order to release himself from his sin so that he can ascend to heaven.

11. Dewi Saraswati

Dewi saraswati is the depiction of Brahma. She is the most competent Veda teacher, and is therefore worshipped as a symbol of knowledge.  Saras means flowing, or the flow of sacred knowledge, in the form of literature, chanda/ song, and also mantra weda as taught by Rsi Duwarsa. In Bali it is customary that once in every six months on Saturday wuku watugunung, Saraswati Day is celebrated (piodalan) with saraswati offering as a tribute to science and the descending of Goddess Saraswati to earth for the prosperity of mankind.

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