Once upon a time in eastern Java, lived a patih. His name is Sidapaksa. He had a most beautiful wife of fine and noble character.
Patih Sidapaksa loved his wife deeply. However, Sidapaksa’s mother hates her daughter-in-law because she was from lower caste. Each day she tried to think how to separate Patih Sidapaksa from his wife.
The old woman contrived an evil plan. By flattery and intelligent persuasion, Sidapaksa’s mother makes a plan with King Sindureja. They asked Patih Sidapaksa to go to Mount Ijen to search for the magic flower.
This magical flower has mystical power. Whoever wore the flower, they would remain forever young and beautiful. Patih Sidapaksa needed to find this flower and presented it to his wife.
Patih Sidapaksa heard the royal command. A great sadness filled his heart. He would leave his beloved wife for uncertain time. Moreover, in a few months, she would give birth to their first child.
Sidapaksa had to obey his King and carried out this commands. He permitted to his wife and said farewell. Without any suspicious to his mother, he took leave of her respectfully and submissively.
Sidapaksa entreated her to watch over his child until his return. Not long after Sidapaksa’s departure, a son was born to his wife.
One day, while the young mother was bathing, she left her baby boy peacefully sleeping. Her evil mother-in-law deftly removed the sleeping child from its cradle. Then Sidapaksa’s mom threw her little grandson into the river that flowed nearby.
When Sidapaksa wife returned, she immediately realized her baby was gone. All in the neighborhood ordered to find her child. But the boy was never found.
The young mother could neither eat nor sleep. Day and night, she grieved for her lost child. Finally, she became ill and remained in that condition for months.
Two years passed and Patih Sidapaksa returned from his journey. He had succeeded finding the magic flower. He presented it to the Queen, and his duty performed.
With a light heart, Sidapaksa left the palace to return to his beloved wife and the child he had never seen. But just as he was about to enter his house, he saw his mother running toward him.
Before he could take another step, his mother stopped him. She told him that in his absence, his wife had thrown her newborn child into the river.
“Such a woman you married,” said the mother.
“Your child, our newborn son she threw into the dirty muddy waters of the river and then disappeared. Now your wife pretends to be ill.”
Many other things the mother told about her daughter-in-law. She said all evil things to make her son hate his wife.
Patih Sidapaksa believed in everything his mother said. Then he entered his house. He saw his wife lying weak and ill on her bed. He opened his Kris and approaching her lovely wife.
With rough and angry voice he said, “Ah wicked. Tell me, before I pierce your body with my kris. Tell me why you throw our child into the river. Tell me!”
Sidapaksa’s wife looked up at him with her pale face calm. She said,
“My dear Sidapaksa, why do you wish to wound me? I love you, my husband I did not kill our child. Come! Please carry me to the river. I will show you that it was not me who did this evil deed.”
Gently, he carried his wife to the edge of the river.
“Now prove to me that you had nothing to do with this terrible deed.”
Then Sidapaksa’s wife leaped up, threw herself into the river, and disappeared.
Suddenly, two flower buds appeared. The one is larger and taller than another one. Fragrance emanated from these two flowers. They swayed gently before Sidapaksa fluid.
Then the taller one spoke,
“Sidapaksa, my love, look here beside me our son. You can found him in the bottom of the river, and he will tell you who drowned him.”
The smaller flower bud spoke,
“Father, my mother is innocent. My grandmother threw me into the river. My grandmother is the pride and jealous. Now my beloved mother has come to be with me, and I am happy. We will never separate again.”
The large flower enfolds the small one. The flowers have together vanished into the water. They are never to appear again. But they left their fragrance.
Since that time, the river was sweet-scented. The city on its banks called Banyuwangi. Banyu means water and wangi mean sweet-smell or fragrance.
Oleh: I Gusti Ayu Agung Puspa Dewi, S. S
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