Tabing depicting a scene from the Ramayana: Sita's ordeal of fire Indonesia Bali 1970
Paint on cloth
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Australia - 22 Jun 2006
The scene depicted is a famous one toward the end of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana. It refers to the aftermath of the abduction of the god Rama's wife, Sita, by the demon king of Lanka, Ravana. Once returned to her husband, rumours emerged that Sita has been seduced by Ravana. To prove her purity, Sita threw herself into a fire, but the god of fire, Agni, sensing that her heart was pure, refuse to let the fire harm her. The scene on the upper right shows the ramp from which wives traditionally jumps into their husbands' funeral pyres. Trijata, Sita's companion during her captivity, sits within the pavilion at the end of the ramp. The scene of the upper left depicts the gods Shiva, Indra and Kubera on the demonic Wilmana bird.