On Mpu Tanakuṅ, Daṅ Hyaṅ Nirartha, and the Authorship of the Bhuvanakośa

Andrea Acri


This article takes as a point of departure the first Sanskrit verse of the Sanskrit-Old Javanese Śaiva scripture Bhuvanakośa, which has come down to us in Balinese palm-leaf manuscripts. It argues that this verse forms an introductory hymn (maṅgala or stuti) praising Śiva and, at the same time, revealing the identity of the compiler of the text—whether genuine or fictively attributed ex post—through a “signature” expressed by means of a Sanskrit word hinting at the name Tanakuṅ, an author of Old Javanese literary and religious works who lived in the 15th century. It then elaborates on the socio-historical and religious background of that period, and links the figure of Tanakuṅ and the texts ascribed to him to Ḍaṅ Hyaṅ Nirartha, an important Balinese religious figure who is believed to have been active on the island between the late 15th and early 16th century.


Bhuvanakośa; Old Javanese literature; Sanskrit; Śaivism; Buddhism; Mpu Tanakuṅ; Ḍaṅ Hyaṅ Nirartha

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.37014/jumantara.v13i1.1150


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