Hayam Wuruk (1334–1389), also called Rajasanagara, Pa-ta-na-pa-na-wu, or Bhatara Prabhu after 1350, was a Javanese Hindu leader from the Rajasa Dynasty and the 4th emperor of the Majapahit Empire.[1][2] Together with his prime minister Gajah Mada, he reigned the empire at the time of its greatest power. During his reign, the Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, became ingrained in the culture and worldview of the Javanese through the wayang kulit (leather puppets).[3] He was preceded by Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi, and succeeded by his son-in-law Wikramawardhana.

Sri Rajasanagara Jayawishnuwardhana
Illustration of Hayam Wuruk.jpg
Modern artist's impression of Hayam Wuruk
Emperor of Majapahit
Reign1350 – 1389
PredecessorTribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi
Majapahit Empire
Died1389 (aged 54–55)
Majapahit Empire
SpousePaduka Sori
Concubine (Wirabhumi's mother)
Hayam Wuruk
DynastyRajasa dynasty
MotherTribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi
Genealogy diagram of Rajasa Dynasty, the royal family of Singhasari and Majapahit. Rulers are highlighted with period of reign.

Most of the accounts of his life were taken from the Nagarakretagama, a eulogy to Hayam Wuruk, and the Pararaton ("Book of Kings"), a Javanese historical chronicle.

Early lifeEdit

According to the Nagarakretagama, Canto 1, Stanzas 4 and 5, Hayam Wuruk was born in 1256 Saka year, corresponding to 1334 CE, the same year that Mount Kelud erupted. Mpu Prapanca, author of the Nagarakretagama, argued that this was the divine sign that Batara Gurunata (the Javanese name for Shiva Mahadewa) had manifest himself on earth, reincarnated as the Javanese king.[2]

Hayam Wuruk's name can be translated as "scholar rooster". He was the son of Tribhuwana Tunggadewi and Sri Kertawardhana or Cakradhara. His mother was the daughter of Raden Wijaya founder of Majapahit, while his father was the son of Bhre Tumapel, a lesser king of Singhasari. Both the Pararaton and the Nagarakretagama praised Hayam Wuruk as a handsome, bright, talented, and exceptional student in the courtly martial arts of archery and fencing, who also mastered politics, scriptures, arts, and music. He was known as an accomplished ceremonial dancer in the court, and some accounts tell of his performances in the traditional ceremonial Javanese mask dance. His mother, Queen Tribhuwana, educated and groomed him to become the next monarch of Majapahit.


In 1350, Gayatri Rajapatni died in her retirement at a Buddhist monastery. She was the consort of Raden Wijaya, the first king of Majapahit, and also the grandmother of Hayam Wuruk. Queen Tribhuwana had to abdicate because she ruled Majapahit under Rajapatni's auspices, and was obliged to relinquish the throne to her son.

Hayam Wuruk inherited the throne in 1350 at the age of 16 when the mahapatih (prime minister) Gajah Mada was at the height of his career. Under his rule, Majapahit extended its power throughout the Indonesian archipelago of Nusantara.

According to the Pararaton and Kidung Sunda, in 1357, King Hayam Wuruk was expected to marry Dyah Pitaloka Citraresmi, the princess of the Sunda Kingdom. The reason for this royal engagement was probably political, to foster the alliance between the Majapahit and the Sundanese Kingdoms. However, in the Bubat incident, the Sunda royal family and their guards were involved in a skirmish with Majapahit troops. The planned royal wedding ended in disaster with the death of the princess and the whole Sunda royal party. The court officials blamed Gajah Mada, sine it was his intention to demand submission from Sunda Kingdom that ended in bloodshed.

Several years later, Hayam Wuruk married his half-sister, Paduka Sori, daughter of Dyah Wiyat. Hayam Wuruk and Paduka Sori had the same father, but different mothers.

In 1365 (1287 Saka year), Mpu Prapanca wrote the kakawin of Nagarakretagama, the old Javanese eulogy for King Hayam Wuruk.[4] The manuscript described Hayam Wuruk's royal excursion around the Majapahit realm to visit villages, holy shrines, vassal kingdoms, and territory in East Java.

He sent embassies to China from 1370 to 1381.[1]: 240 

Hayam Wuruk had a daughter, Crown Princess Kusumawardhani, with Queen Sori. Kusumawardhani married a relative, Prince Wikramawardhana. However, from a consort concubine, Hayam Wuruk had a son, Prince Wirabhumi. After Hayam Wuruk's death in 1389, the empire fell into chaos and decline during the contest over succession between Wikramawardhana and Wirabhumi. The dispute ended in Wirabhumi's defeat in the Regreg war. Wikramawardhana succeeded Hayam Wuruk as the King of Majapahit.


His reign, as part of Indosphere culturally, helped further Indianisation of Javanese culture through the spread of Hinduism and Sanskritization.[1][2][3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Cœdès, George (1968). The Indianized states of Southeast Asia. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 9780824803681.
  2. ^ a b c Mpu Prapanca, translated by Slamet Muljana. "Terjemahan Kakawin Dēśawarṇnana (Nāgarakṛtāgama)" (in Indonesian). Jejak Nusantara. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  3. ^ a b Mark Juergensmeyer and Wade Clark Roof, 2012, Encyclopedia of Global Religion, Volume 1, Page 557.
  4. ^ Malkiel-Jirmounsky, Myron (1939). "The Study of The Artistic Antiquities of Dutch India". Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies. Harvard-Yenching Institute. 4 (1): 59–68. doi:10.2307/2717905. JSTOR 2717905.

Further readingEdit

  • Pringle, Robert (2004). A Short History of Bali: Indonesia's Hindu Realm. Short History of Asia. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1865088631.
Preceded by Monarch of Majapahit Empire
Succeeded by