The Legend of Lutung Kasarung. Once upon a time there was a kingdom in West Java. The kingdom was led by a king named Prabu Tapa Agung. He was getting old and therefore wanted to retire as a king. But unfortunately, he had no son to replace him as a king. He only had two daughters named Purbararang and Purbasari. He thought of choosing one of his daughters, Purbararang and Purbasari. But it wasn’t an easy choice. They were both very pretty and smart. The only difference was their temperament. Purbararang was rude and dishonest, while Purbasari was kind and caring. With those considerations, Prabu Tapa Agung finally wanted Purbasari to replace him.
Purbararang didn’t agree with her father’s decision. “You cannot appoint her to be the queen, Father. I’m older than she is. It’s supposed to be me as the queen, not her!” said Purbararang. Prabu Tapa Agung smiled. “Purbararang, to be a queen takes more than age. There are many other qualities that one must possess,” explained Prabu Tapa Agung wisely. “What does Purbasari have that I don’t?” Purbararang pouted. “You’ll find out when Purbasari has replaced me,” Prabu Tapa Agung answered. And the king still chose Purbasari to be the next queen.
After the discussion, Purbararang went back to her room. “Is there something wrong?” asked Indrajaya. Indrajaya was Purbararang’s fiancé (future husband). “I’m upset! Father has chosen Purbasari as a queen to replace him and not me! I have to do something!” Purbararang said. Driven mad by her anger, she asked Indrajaya to accompany her to come to a witch and asked her to send rash all over Purbasari’s body.
Meanwhile, before going to bed, Purbasari started to feel itch all over her body. She tried applying powder to her body, but it’s no use. Instead, the itching grew even worse. She didn’t want to scratch it, but she just couldn’t help it. In the next morning, there were scratch mark all over Purbasari’s body. “What happened to you?” asked Purbararang, pretending to be concerned. “I don’t know, sis. Last night, my body suddenly felt very itchy. I scratched and scratched, and this is what happened,” Purbasari answered. Purbararang shook her head. “You must have done something really awful. You’ve been punished by the gods!”
That day, the whole kingdom was scandalized. “What have you done, Purbasari?” demanded Prabu Tapa Agung. Purbasari shook her head. “I didn’t do anything that would upset the gods, Father,” she answered. “Then how can you explain what happened to your body?” Prabu Tapa Agung asked again. “If you don’t confess, I’ll banish you to the forest.” Purbasari took a deep breath. “Like I said before, I didn’t do anything wrong. And I’d rather be thrown into the forest than to confess to a deed I didn’t commit.”
After a short discussion with his advisor, Prabu Tapa Agung then sent a Patih (Governor) to alienate Purbasari into the forest. Purbasari was very sad, but she couldn’t do anything to defy her father’s order. She was accompanied to the woods by the Patih. Arriving at the jungle, Patih (The Governor) is still kind enough to make a hut for Princess Purbasari. He also advised Purbasari, “Be brave Princess. The affliction will surely end, the Almighty will always be with Princess”. “Thank you uncle,” said Purbasari.
After the Patih left, suddenly a black monkey came to Purbasari’s hut. He carried a bunch of bananas. From behind him, some animals looked on. “Are the bananas for me?’ Purbasari asked. The black monkey nodded, as if he understood what Purbasari said. Purbasari took the bananas with pleasure. She also said thanks. The other animals that were looking on also seemed to smile. “Are you willing to be my friend?” Purbasari asked them. All the animals nodded happily. Although she was living by herself in the forest, Purbasari never lacked of supplies. Every day, there were always animals bringing her fruits and fish to eat.
A long time had passed since Purbasari was banished to the forest, but her body still itched. At some places, her skin was even ulcerating. What am I supposed to do?” Purbasari sighed. The monkey who was sitting next to her stayed still, there were tears in his eyes. He hoped Purbasari would remain patient and strong.
One night of full moon, Lutung Kasarung acting strange. He walked to a quiet place and meditate. He is obtaining something to the Gods. This proves that the Lutung Kasarung no ordinary creature. Not long later, near the monkey broke ground and created a small lake, the water was clear as a bell. The water contains an ingredients that is very fragrant.
The next day Lutung Kasarung met Purbasari and He asked her to follow him to go to the lake. When they were near to the lake the monkey suddenly spoke, “The water of this lake will heal your skin,” he said. Purbasari was surprised, ”You can talk? Who are you?” she asked. “You’ll find out, in time,” the monkey said. Purbasari didn’t want to force the monkey. She then walked to the lake. She bathed there. After a few hours, Purbasari walked out of the pond. She was shocked to see her face reflected on the fragrant lake water. Her face was beautiful again, with smooth and clean skin. Purbasari observed her entire body. There were no traces of any skin ailments. “I’m cured! I’m cured!” Purbasari shouted in joy. She quickly offered thanks to the gods and also to the monkey.
The news of Purbasari’s condition quickly spread to the kingdom. It made Purba Rarang who lived in the palace wanted to see her sister. She then accompanied by Indrajaya and her soldiers go to the forest to see Purbasari. Purbasari asked if she would be allowed to go home. Purbararang said she would let Purbasari return to the palace if Purbasari’s hair were longer than hers. Purbararang then let her hair down. It was so long, it almost touched the ground. But it turned out that Purbasari’s hair was twice longer than Purbararang’s hair.
“Fine, so your hair is longer than mine.” Purbararang admitted. “But there is one more condition you must fulfill, do you have a future husband who is handsomer than mine?” said Purbararang as she walked toward Indrajaya. Purbasari felt miserable. She didn’t have a future husband yet. So, without much thought, she pulled the black monkey beside her. Purbararang and Indrajaya burst out, but their laughter didn’t last long. ‘So your fiancé is a monkey?’ said Purbararang.
The monkey meditates and suddenly transformed into a very handsome young man, a lot more handsome than Indrajaya. “I’m a prince from a kingdom far away. I was cursed to be a monkey because of a mistake I committed. I could regain my true form only if there’s a girl who would be willing to be my wife,” said the young man.
Finally, Purbararang gave up. She accepted Purbasari as the queen, and also confessed everything she had done. “Please forgive me. Please don’t punish me,” Purbararang said, asking for forgiveness. Instead of being angry, Purbasari smiled. “I forgive you, sis,” she said. Soon after, Purbasari become a queen. Beside her was the handsome prince, the former monkey known as Lutung Kasarung. This is the end of the legend of Lutung Kasarung.