Sengkuni or Harya Sakuni, his name as a youth was Harya Suman, a knight from a smaller kingdom of Plasajenar, the younger brother of Dewi Genpari, the wife of Destarata. He was smart and cunning, his mind was full with dirty tricks.  

Prince Harya Suman wished to take by force Dewi Kunti from the hands of Pandu. A fight broke, but Sumanís ability of fight was nothing compared to Panduís. As a punishment, Pandu buried Sumanís body, only his head appeared above the land. Suman was frightened to die, he was crying and asked forgiveness. He said that if he was freed from the punishment, he would give his sister to Pandu and he would serve him.

Pandu agreed but he gave Gendari to his elder blind brother Destarata. Gendari was feeling insulted but she could not do anything. She vowed to herself that her children wonít have any good relation with Panduís children. A vow came true, mostly due to the help of Sengkuni.

He followed his sister and lived in Hastinapura. Since the first day in Hastinapura, he eyed the position of Patih/Prime Minister. He was very jealous to Gandamana, the Patih to Hastinapura. He tried to find a way to oust Gandamana. Cunningly, he could trap Gandamana to be ambushed by many giants.

Gandamana felt down to a deep hole. Instead of helping Gandamana, Sengkuni buried him alive in the hole, Then Sengkuni reported hastily to king Pandu that Gandamana was killed by an army of giants.

Gandamana, using his supernatural power, Bandung Bondowoso could come out safely. He knew who did it to him. Sengkuni was beaten severely by Gandamana until he losed his charm permanently. As a gentleman, Gandamana reported the case to king Pandu. He admitted his mistake for the merciless beating of Sengkuni. King Pandu released Gandamanaís position as Patih and he went back to his country.

After Gandamanaís departure, using the influence of Gendari and Destarata, King Pandu assigned him as the new Patih of Hastinapura. A position he held until his death in Baratayuda. He served king Pandu very shortly, until Panduís death. Then he served the new rulers, Destarata and Duryudana.

As a Patih to Destarata and Duryudana, he served his masters so smartly, to the complete satisfaction of his maters, no matter what he had to do. In order to keep his lust of power in the palace and his greediness in material wealth, he did many tricky dangerous actions to eliminate Pendawa. Serving the greedy King Duryudana, Sengkuni became the trickiest figure in wayang.

If Kresna was a famous Diplomat for truth and justice, Sengkuni was a Diplomat serving for dirty accomplishments. Besides Duryudana and Korawa, he was the one who pushed Baratayuda to happened.

By chance, Sengkuni had also an invulnerability to sharp weapons. One day Sang Hyang Tunggal, the father of Betara Guru sent Lenga Tawa, oil with supernatural power to King Pandu. By rubbing the oil the body, the parts of the body should be invulnerable to sharp weapons.

But King Pandu was just passed away. To be fair, Begawan Abiyasa, Panduís father and the grand-father of Pendawa and Korawa had decided the use the oil for his grand-children, witnessed by Hastinapura dignitaries, such as Kunti, Destarata and wife, Bisma, Sengkuni etc. Korawa, the elder grand children, got their first turn.

They made a queue starting from Duryudana and so on. But they could not put in order. They pushed one another. Some of the oil of Tawa, held by Abiyasa, spilled out to the flour. Sengkuni quickly rolled his body on the floor.

Kunti who was standing nearby Abiyasa, felt down to the floor. Sengkuni did not miss the chance for his desire to touch Kunti. Immediately, pretending to help Kunti, he grabbed her breast. Kunti was shock and ashamed. She vowed that she would never wear breast-cloth, if not made from Sengkunií skin.

Sengkuni had twice masterminded Pendawaís expulsion. Firstly in the accident of Baleí Sigalagala and secondly when Pendawa lost of dice-gambling. (See. Mahabarata and Baratayuda). In Baratayuda, the slanderous and tricky Sengkuni was executed by Bima. Bima knew very well, the weakest part of Sengkuniís body, his mouth and his anus. Bima stabbed deeply those parts with his kuku Pancanaka (long finger nails in his thumbs of both hand). He tore Sengkuniís mouth to pieces and then peeled his skin fulfilling Kuntiís wish. Sengkuni died in agony.

In Javanese traditional teachings (Kejawen), the death of Sengkuni symbolizing the annihilation of dirty minds, which is a pre-requisite to pursue the true life.

Suryo S. Negoro