Bima Swarga

I Ketut Manggi (1946–)

Date painted: 2007

The story of Bhima Swarga is elaborate and all-embracing. Bhima Swarga in Balinese means, Bhima goes to the abode of the gods. Swarga literally means to any place where the gods happen to reside, Heaven or Hell. Bhima, the second oldest of the five Pandava brothers, is forced by his mother Kunti with the mission to rescue from Hell the souls of his earthly father Pandu, and his second mother, Madri. After saving Pandu and Madri from Hell, Bhima must secure them for Heaven. Bhima s siblings go through hell right along with Bhima to rescue their parents. The siblings observe people being tortured for their sins. The siblings are Arjuna, Nakula, Sahadewa, Yudisthira, and Bhima. Bhima goes to Hell to rescue his parents and when he arrives he finds his parents are in a huge hot water bath. Bhima tips the bath which his parents were boiling in and they are taken off to Heaven. The Demons did not like Bhima rescuing his parents and allowing them to go to Heaven. Bhima then has to fight off the Demons. Next, the Gods do not like this idea of Bhima taking his parents from Hell to Heaven. Bhima then gets into a fight with the Gods and Bhima dies in Heaven. The high God of all restores Bhima back to life and gives Bhima the drink of immortality. The last scene of Bhima Swarga shows justice, even with punishments of Hell.

70 by 50 cm

Private Collection of Batuan, Singapore

Depicts: Bimaswarga

photo: Ken Cheong