Batara Guru (Betara Guru) Name of the Hindu god Shiva used in the Malay Peninsula, Bali, Java, and Sumatra. Batara Guru is often identified with the spirit or god of the sea, Si Ray or Madu-Ray. The god rules over the sea from the low-water mark (at the river’s mouth) to midocean. His home is in Pusat Tassek, the navel of the lake. In this mysterious home lives a gigantic crab. When the crab goes out for food at certain times during the day, he displaces the water in Pusat Tassek, causing the ebb and flow of the tides. From the center of Pusat Tassek springs a gigantic magic tree, Pauh Jangi, in whose boughs perches the roc, a large bird able to lift an elephant (found also in The Thousand and One Nights in the story of Sinbad the Sailor). Batara Guru has a wife, Madu-ruti, and two children, Wa’ Ranai and Si Kekas (the scratcher).
Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow– Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante