Krsna: contested narratives.

S Krishna mahadevasiva at
Sat Jul 12 01:12:32 UTC 1997

>I am looking for renditions of the story from outside
>Puranic/Epic/Vaishnava literature (ie from Buddhist, Jain, Shaivite or 
>other sources).
>Can anyone kindly assist me with any references?   
>Thanks.   Edwin Bryant

 I suddenly remembered something that I saw/read about a long time a 
long time ago: There is a  strong Krishna tradition that originated/ 
still alive in Bali in Indonesia.
There are plays/dance-dramas in this part of the world which use the 
Krishna theme. I remember seeing a dance drama in which there was a 
reference to the "burial ground" of Krishna( yes, that was no typo, the 
correct word is "burial ground" i.e. this has something to do with 
Moslem influence to the best of my belief). 
  The plot of the drama ran like this: Krishnas grandchildren plan to 
visit his "grave". In order to do that, they need to go past the burial 
ground where the the graves of Yama and Yami are situated(Yama and Yami, 
according to this story are incestuous twins). The spirits of Yama and 
Yami enter the bodies of the grandchildren of Krishna. The rest of the 
dance drama refers to the moral degeneration of the grandchildren of 
Krishna and the eventual destruction of his family and how all efforts 
to save them from destruction came to nought.
  I realise that this topic/depiction would provoke the wrath of many an 
orthodox Hindu, but what I found interesting was the fact that
1. In Hindu texts, there are references to twins called
   Yama and Yami, and according to A.L.Basham, they did have an    
incestous relationship.
2. There is a very general resemblance between the destruction of the 
Yadava race( due to indolence,indulgence and inebriation;I am not sure 
as to what other vices they exactly indulged in) and the story of the 
destruction of the grandchildren of Krishna in the Indonesian story that 
I am refering to.

Of course, there is no text in Hinduism that refers to this particular 
incident in the sequence/style in which it was depicted by the 
Indonesian troupe.

On the other hand, the differences  between the broad outlines of the 
corresponding stories in India and Indonesia are:
1. The Indonesian story talks about the death of Krishna as occuring 
prior to the destruction of the Yadava race( there is a reference to his 
grave); whereas according to the Indian version Krishna was killed
at the same time/shortly after the Yadava race indulged in an orgy of 
2. As pointed out earlier, the concept of "burial ground" is borrowed ( 
most probably)from Islam, which is plausible, considering that Indonesia 
has been Moslem dominated from the 15th century, atleast from the 15th 
century. The kingdom in which this occurs is refered to as "Boma", 
whereas in the Indian version, all the events are centred around 

 I do remember that the accompanying orchestra was called the "Gammelan" 
though I am not sure as to what the dance drama was called. If my memory 
serves me correctly, it was called "Nyidrasamhastara".

Hope this helps,


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