Cornell University

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Arja Saraswati Puja - a Contemporary Balinese Performance Piece

Sunday, March 5, 2023 at 7:00pm

Barnes Hall
129 Ho Plaza Cornell University: Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

Join us for a dance and musical performance by Arja Saraswati Puja featuring Sanggar Seni Citta Usadhi and the New Atlantic Chamber Gamelan. 

Arja Saraswati Puja tells the story of the powerful King Watugunung, who rules the Kundadwipa kingdom with Lord Brahma’s blessing. Unbeknownst to the king, his most beautiful wife, Dewi Shinta, is actually his own mother. When Dewi Shinta recognizes that she has committed a grave wrong by marrying her son, she sends him to heaven on a futile quest to locate and capture the divine goddess Nawangsasih to be her maidservant. But Dewi Nawangsasih’s husband, the great Lord Wisnu, does not wish to surrender his beloved partner, so he transforms into the mighty Rudramurti, mounts a fierce battle, and expels King Watugunung — defeated and unconscious — from the heavens. After several days, King Watugunung awakens with divine awareness and repents for his wrongdoings. Honoring this enlightenment, the Lord Brahma sends the Goddess Saraswati to light the earth with knowledge.

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Event Type

Dance (Performance), Music, Performance


Music, Southeast Asia Program, Department of Music

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Contact Name

Emily Falica

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