the Hindu empire Majapahit in Java. He is also said to have cursed
his king upon the conversion of the latter to Islam in 1478.
Sabdapalon then promised to return, after 500 years and at a time of
widespread political corruption and natural disasters, to sweep Islam
from the island and restore Hindu-Javanese religion and civilization.
Some of the first new Hindu temples built in Java were indeed
completed around 1978, for example Pura Blambangan in the regency of
As the prophesies foretold, Mt. Sumeru erupted around the same time.
All this is taken as evidence of the accuracy of Sabdapalon's
King Joyoboyo, also Sri Mapanji Jayabaya or Jayabhaya reigned over
the kingdom of Kediri in East Java from 1135 to 1157 AD. He reunified
Java after a split that occurred with the death of his predecessor
Airlangga. He is also remembered for his just and prosperous rule,
and reputed to have been an incarnation of the Hindu deity Vishnu. He
is the archetypal 'just king' (ratu adil) who is reborn during the
dark age of reversal (jaman edan) at the end of each cosmic cycle to
restore social justice, order, and harmony in the world.
His name is mentioned in the manggala (prologue) of the famous
kakawin (Old Javanese poetry in Indian meteres) Bharatayuddha as the
patron of the two poets; mpu Sedah and mpu Panuluh who wrote this
When Japan took Java, in the first weeks of 1942, Indonesians danced
in the streets, welcoming the Japanese army as the fulfillment of a
prophecy ascribed to Joyoboyo, who foretold the day when white men
would one day establish their rule on Java and tyrannize the people
for many years – but they would be driven out by the arrival of
yellow men from the north. These yellow men, Joyoboyo predicted,
would remain for one crop cycle, and after that Java would be freed
from foreign domination. To most of the Javanese, Japan was a
liberator: the prophecy had been fulfilled. The Japanese freed
Indonesian nationalists from Dutch prisons and hired them as civil
servants and administrators. In the waning days of 1944, however, it
was clear that Japan could not win the war. The Japanese officially
granted Indonesia its independence on 9 August 1945, and the
commander of Japan's Southeast Asian forces appointed future
President Sukarno as chairman of the preparatory committee for
Indonesian independence. As one account of Indonesian history puts
it, "With the minor exception that three crops had been harvested,
Jayabaya's prophecy had been realized."
Together with the prophecy of Sabdapalon to return, after 500 years
and at a time of widespread political corruption and natural
disasters (in 1978), to sweep Islam from the island and restore Hindu-
Javanese religion and civilization, Joyobooyo's prophecy gave much
heart to the Indonesian Hindu communities.
Many believe that the time for the arrival of a new ratu adil is near
(as the prophesies put it, "when iron wagons drive without horses and
ships sail through the sky [i.e. cars and airplanes]"), and that he
will come to rescue and reunite Indonesia after an acute crisis,
ushering in the dawn of a new golden age.