Gajah Mada (died 1364) was, according to ancient manuscripts and Javanese tradition, a military leader and mahapatih (prime minister) of the Majapahit Kingdom , appointed by Queen Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi , in East Java , Indonesia. . He is considered to have brought the kingdom to the summit of his power and glory.

Gajah Mada is known in particular by three texts:

  • The Nagarakertagama , an epic poem written in 1365 , so after his death, under the reign of King Hayam Wuruk ,
  • The Pararaton or “Book of Kings”, a chronicle written in the xvi th century which declines genealogy of the kings of Singasari and Majapahit
  • The Kidung Sunda , a poem written probably also the xvi th century, which tells the unhappy love of Hayam Wuruk for a princess of the Kingdom of Sunda .

The Pararaton recounts, among other things, the oath that Gajah Mada pronounces, by which he vows not to taste the palapa (perhaps a spice) before having subjected the whole Nusantara or “islands of the outside”, that is, other than Java.