Javanese Characters and
In The Palaces / Kratons of Yogya and Solo, as well as some buildings or sites with close relation to Kratons some sign written in Javanese characters can be seen. Nowadays in some parts of Central Java especially in Yogya and Solo, the street names are written with Latin and Javanese letters also the City buses "Bis Kota" It is a positive measure by local society to preserve an ancient literature heritage.
Even in the remote village of Pantaran, on the eastern slope of Mount Merbabu, the villagers are preserving the Javanese characters by writing their names in the gates in front of their houses.
The Javanese upon seeing the characters, should spontaneously remember the legend of Ajisaka of Medang Kamulan Kingdom dated back 1930 Years ago. The year of 1997 is equivalent to Saka Year 1930.
Basically there are 20 characters which is called Dentawiyanjana, namely
to be read :
There are additional "Sandangan" (Lit.) means "Clothes" with sounds :
Lit. means lap.
To be read Macan
to be read Macana
The Javanese jokingly says that Pangkon is an effective killer - to be killed in someone lap, feeling great but dead. In this Country a new theory to govern others was born :
If you wish to defeat someone, don't use force, put him/her on your lap. He/She should unconsciously surrender with pleasure.
The Javanese letters in fact are not only used in Central and East Java, but it is also used in West Java as they call it Hanacaraka. It is a proof that in the ancient period, the people of Java, no matter where they live in the West, Central and East Java, they had one and similar culture.
Since the Javanese as well as Sundanese, (West Java) Languages are written with Latin letters, less and less people could read and write with Hanacaraka. At schools there is no intensive lessons using this letters. This situation is disappointing. Some efforts have to be taken to improve this situation, considering the facts that Hanacaraka is a part of Javanese literature, literature in Javanese is Sastra, and Sastra does not mean only literature but also knowledge. And for Javanese, knowledge does not mean only ordinary knowledge but also a knowledge of life (Kawruh).
The Legend of Aji Saka
In The Kingdom of Medang Kamulan, in Java, came a young wise man, by the name of Aji Saka to fight Dewatacengkar, the cruel King of The Country who had a habit to eat human flesh of his own people. Aji Saka himself he came from Bumi Majeti. One day he told his two servants, by the name of Dora and Sembodo, that he was going to Java. He told them that while he was away, both of them have to guard his Heirloom / Pusoko. No one except Aji Saka himself not a allowed to take the Pusoko. In the big battle, Aji Saka could successfully push Dewata Cengkar to fall to the South Sea. Dewata Cengkar did not die, he became a Bajul Putih (White Crocodile). Aji Saka became a ruler of Medangkamulan.
Meanwhile a woman of the village of Dadapan, found an egg. She put the egg in her Lumbung (Rice Barn). After a certain period the egg vanished, instead a snake found in the rice barn. The villagers would like to kill the snake, but the snake said : "I'm the son of Aji Saka, bring me to him".
Aji Saka told the snake, that he would be recognized as his son, if he could kill the Bajul Putih in the South Sea. After a long stormy battle which both sides demonstrating phisycal strenght and showing skillfull ability of fighting, the snake could kill Bajul Putih.
As had been promised the snake was recognized as Aji Saka's son and he was given a name Jaka Linglung ( a stupid boy).
One day, a group of 9 (nine) village boys were playing around in that Jungle. Suddenly it was raining heavily. They had to find a shelter, luckily there was a cave. Only 8 (eight) boys went inside the cave, the other one who was suffering from very bad skin disease, sting and dirty, he had to stay out of the cave. All of a sudden, the cave was falling apart, The 8 (eight) boys vanished, only the one who stayed outside was safe. The cave in fact was the mouth of Jaka Linglung.
The Simbolic Meaning of Aji Saka's Legend
The Symbolic Meaning of Dentawiyanjana (The 20 letters)
Hanacaraka : There are envoys ( a couple - a man & a woman from God the Creator)
This symbolizing the beginning of the existence of human life, everything was so holy. Things begin to change when additional letters of i, e, u, o, etc were introduced. Those letters are named "sandangan " (clothes) in Javanese.
The children became adults, they start feeling the pleasure touch of skin to skin (sexual relationships). The wrong - doings, cheating, pretending, lust, greediness, cruelty which bring sickness and calamity are becoming common practice. Many people are only developing rough feeling of five-senses through eyes, nose, mouth, ears and skin. They forget the pure life, so the light of life becomes blur, not clear. The human beings live in a place where there is cold and hot weather, there are sadness and happiness. In order to prevent further sins and calamity, the Rule of Life ( Paugeraning urip) was introduced. So that people should remember His Creator and behave accordingly. Among other thing was the Rule of Marriage, family responsibility, human relations etc.
A man has to pray to God, that's mean that he has to worship God and that he has to command the five-senses.
A man has to do fasting sometimes, it's God's order, that's mean that he has to control the five-senses.
The desire of the five-senses must be aimed to do only positive things for the man himself and other people.
The 'sandangan' (clothes) of Dentawiyanjana are depicting evil temptation.
It should be easier for a man seeking life purification if he could throw away the 'sandangan' that is to say to be free from evil temptation. The Javanese terminology for this philosophy is 'Ngracut-Busono' (ngracut = to take-off ; busono = clothes).
Note : In the writing-book, the Javanese letters are written under the lines (not above) from left to right. Symbolizing that Javanese people is low profile people.
The words Aji Saka could mean :
Aji = King/ruler
Saka = Pillar of Javanese house
Aji Saka is the symbolic meaning of the principal rule of life. It could happened not only in Java, but in any other place of the world as well.
(Suryo S. Negoro)
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