Indonesian Mythology

The Gods and Spirits of Indonesia

DEWI SRI

Balinese and Javanese Rice Goddess

Also known as SHRIDEVI

Extremely fertile Goddess of Rice — and much much more!

She was born from the tears of Antaboga the World Serpent, who was having a bad day in Heaven and badly needed a hug.

His snaky tears formed into three fabulous shining eggs. They were astonishingly lovely, gleaming and beautiful in their pure majesty like giant pearls. So he decided to offer them to the Supreme Deity Batara Guru to decorate his new palace.

Unfortunately two of the eggs were smashed in transit, which almost made Antaboga cry again. But he did deliver the third egg, which to everyone’s surprised cracked open to reveal a baby godlet named Dewi Sri.

She was a bouncing baby deity who swiftly grew up into a beautiful young deity. Unfortunately she was so lovely that all the male deities started squabbling over her. She became the unintentional cause of so much jealously, bad feeling and sexual tension that the gods decided life would be much easier if they just killed her off.

Which they did, with heavy doses of ultra-strong cosmic poison.

Strangely enough, as soon as poor Dewi Sri’s body was in the ground, some kind of miraculous chemical reaction took place. New and wonderful plants started to grow out of her corpse. Bamboo and small trees grew from her arms and legs. Spices grew from her mouth. From her hair sprang fragrant flowers. From her breasts grew delicious mangoes... Well,you get the idea.

Finally, the all-important rice plant popped out of her bellybutton and covered the lands. For this reason, Dewi Sri became the Goddess of Fertility and Agriculture, not to mention Rice of course. She was — and is — highly popular across Indonesia.

We just hope all that poison she drank has worn off by now.

Dewi Sri Facts and Figures

Name: Dewi Sri
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names: SHRIDEVI

Gender: Female
Type: Goddess
Area or people: Bali and Javanese people of Indonesia
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: Rice
Area of expertise: Rice

Good/Evil Rating: NEUTRAL, may not care
Popularity index: 244

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Article last revised on May 11, 2019 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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