Hikayat Pandawa Lima

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Translator: Harry AvelingA sample cover of the book: emerald-green handloom sari with gold embossed nameplate and lettering for the title and author's name. The border of the sari lines the right hand margin of the cover.
Pages: 312
Year of Publication: 2024
Price: Rs 1200 / US$ 40
ISBN: 978-81-968192-5-5 (9788196819255)

About the Translator
Professor Harry Aveling (PhD, Malay Studies, National University of Singapore; Doctor of Creative Arts, University of Technology, Sydney) holds honorary appointments in Translation Studies, Monash University, and Asian Studies, La Trobe University, both in Melbourne, Australia. He has translated extensively from Indonesian and Malay, and co-translated from Hindi. In 1991 he received the Anugerah Pengembangan Sastera (Literary Development Award) for his “commitment to the international understanding of Malay literature”. His previous publications with Writers Workshop, India, include Arjuna in Meditation: Three Young Indonesian Poets (1976); The Mastadon and the Condors by W. S. Rendra (1981); The Interior Landscape of the Heart: Tamil Poetry from Malaysia and Singapore (1981), with Dr R. Dhandayudham; Koong, The Story of a Pigeon (1986) by Iwan Simatupang. Most recently, WW has published his translations of the Hikayat Seri Rama (2020) and Traces by Andre Nayer (2022).

About the Book
In his introduction to the book, which may be considered a companion piece to Hikayat Seri Rama, Professor Aveling writes:

“For fifteen hundred years, Southeast Asia has been instructed and entertained by local adaptations of the two great Indian epics, the Mahabharata (MHB) and the Ramayana (RY). The two works have been recited, rewritten, danced, presented as shadow puppet performances, and used to ornament temples. The characters have been honoured as moral exemplars or condemned as dishonest and treacherous nobles and courtiers. There are many versions of the MHB in Southeast Asia. This is not “THE Mahabharata” in Malay. There is no one, definitive Malay version of the MHB; unlike the Hikayat Seri Rama (HSR), which can indeed be described as “the Malay Ramayana”. There are various versions of the MHB in Malay, based on characters and incidents that are sometimes related closely to the original Sanskrit story and sometimes very different. This is a literary translation of one version of the texts, known as the Hikayat Pandawa Lima (HPL), The Chronicle of the Five Pandawas. It includes the war but also comedy scenes, clowns and coarse humour.”

// Maharaja Darmawangsa said, “Very well. It is my destiny to go to Betara Guru’s heavenly realm. But please wait a while so that I can talk with Maharaja Parikasti first.” // His Majesty ordered that his grandson be summoned. // Parikasti came and bowed down before the king. // His Majesty said, “Oh Parikasti! Rule well. Judge the people wisely, always investigating thoroughly everything that is brought for your consideration. Do not allow evil, because it does not come from the gods, the demigods, or Almighty and All-Worshipful God. Act with dignity and righteousness in all you do, so that your name is famous throughout the world. Life is not permanent. Death is permanent and is the end of everything. // Work for a good name and strive to avoid a bad name when you leave the world. // Your name must be perfect because you are descended from the Pandawas.” // Maharaja Parikasti wept. // He bowed, saying, “I will do all that you ask of me.”

A review of the book was published in the June 2024 issue of The Book Review.


22 chapters divided into three sections


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