The island of Java was the earliest island within Indonesia to be identified by the geographers of the outside world. “Yavadvipa” is mentioned in India’s earliest epic, the Ramayana dating to approximately 5th–4th century BC. It was mentioned that Sugriva, the chief of Rama’s army dispatched his men to Yawadvipa, the island of Java, in search of Sita.
Suvarnadvipa, “Golden Island”, may have been used as a vague general designation of an extensive region in Southeast Asia, but over time, different parts of that area came to be designated by the additional epithets of island, peninsula or city. In contrast the ancient name for the Indian subcontinent is Jambudvipa. In ancient Indonesia, the name Suvarnadvipa is used to designate Sumatra island; as counterpart of neighbouring Javadvipa or Bhumijava (Java island). Both Java and Sumatra are the principal islands in Indonesian history.
The great island of Iabadiu or Jabadiu was mentioned in Ptolemy’s Geographia composed around 150 CE in the Roman Empire. Iabadiu is said to mean “barley island”, to be rich in gold, and have a silver town called Argyra at the west end. The name indicated Java, and seems to be derived from the Hindu name Java-dvipa (Yawadvipa). Despite the name’s indicating Java, many suggest that it refers to Sumatra instead.
JAWADWIPA : Dalam Naskah Carita Parahyangan (CP),
“Tembey Sang Resi Guru ngajuga taraju Djawa dipa “Jawadwipa”, taraju ma inya Galunggung, Jawa ma ti wétan”.
Artinya : “Mula-mula Sang Resi Guru membangun pengukuh (bobot) pulau Jawa, yaitu Galunggung, Jawa ada di sebelah Timurnya”.(Drs.Atja, Tjarita Parahiyangan, Jajasan Kebudayaan Nusalarang, Bandung, 1968, Hal. 8 )
Nama kata istilah Jawadipa /Jawadwipa yang diceritakan dalam Carita Parahyangan (Abad-16), ternyata sudah diceritakan /disebutkan terlebih dahulu Berita Fa Hien, tahun 414 M (Abad-5) dalam bukunya yang berjudul Fa Kao Chi. Ye Po Ti selama ini sering dianggap sebutan Fa Hien untuk Jawadwipa (Galunggung).
History of Ancient India Kapur, Kamlesh
Ancient India’s Colonies in the Far East Vol 2, Dr. R. C. Majumdar, Asoke Kumar Majumdar (1937) p. 46
J. Oliver Thomson (2013). History of Ancient Geography. Cambridge University Press. pp. 316–317. ISBN 9781107689923. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
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