The Legend of Batara Kala. This is one of the legend that is commonly told in Java. It is actually just a myth that People especially from some villages in Java believe that an eclipse happens when the sun or the moon is swallowed by Batara Kala, an evil giant. The story says that although Batara Kala is not one of the gods in heaven, but he is very powerful. And how is the story of the sun or the moon swallowed by Batara Kala? The following text is the story.
Once upon a time there was an evil giant. He was called Batara Kala. He was not one of the gods in heaven, but he was very powerful. He liked to kill people, especially children as his food. The children who were able to be his food were the single child, five pandawa (they all were sons or they all were daughters) and Genthono-genthini (two children who were a son and a daughter, the daughter would be eaten). Batara Kala’s hair was made form fire. Everybody was frightened of him.
One day, the chief of gods, Batara Guru, invited all the gods and goddesses to the paradise. He invited them to distribute “Tirta Amerta Sari”, the sacred water from paradise. Anyone who drank the water would live forever since they would never die.
Batara Kala wanted to drink the water too, however, because Batara Guru did not invite him, he secretly flew into Paradise and he tried to cheat by appearing like a god. Unfortunately, Batara Surya (the sun god) and Batara Chandra (the moon goddess) knew this trick and they reported to Batara Guru about what Batara Kala had done.
When Batara Kala’s turn came to receive the sacred drink, Batara Guru directly shot him from a distance with his famous weapon called “Cakra” and it cut his head off. Some of the sacred drink, however, spilled over Batara Kala’s head and this made Batara Kala’s head continue to live without his body.
Batara Kala was very angry with Batara Surya and Batara Chandra when he knew that Batara Guru knew his trick because of their report. He tried to eat them, but the god and goddess escape. Batara Kala became angrier and from that time on he had never stopped chasing them. He continued trying to eat them.
Batara Guru wanted to protect Batara Surya and Batara Chandra. He ordered the people on the earth to make a lot of noise whenever there was an eclipse. The noise would help Batara Surya and Batara Chandra to escape from Batara Kala’s throat. Until this day people in some villages in Java beat object like rice grinders when they see an eclipse. They stay in their houses and pregnant women are told to hide under their beds in order to avoid Batara Kala’s anger.
This is the end of the story of a myth about an eclipse. Remember that the sun or the moon is swallowed by Batara Kala is just a myth.