Javanese Calendar and its Significance to Mystical Life
A Javanese calendar same as any other calendar indicates years, months, dates, days of a certain period of time. In Javanese calendar besides the seven days (Sunday to Saturday), there are the 5 Pasaran days: Kliwon, Legi, Paing, Pon and Wage.
In Java, both kind of days are combined to remember important events for instance: someone was born in Sunday Kliwon or Sunday Wage etc; someone had passed away in Friday Legi or Friday Pon. The famous Sultan Agung, a powerful king of the 2nd Mataram Kingdom was born and passed away on Friday Legi.
He is adored as a wise king of Java. The proclamation of Independence of the Republic of Indonesia, August 17, 1945 was on Friday Legi. A traditional Javanese should not marry or organize important events on a 'bad day' i.e. the days of the death of his/her mother and father.
Symbols of Life Circle
The 8 years compose a sentence: ada-ada tumandang gawe lelakon urip bola-bali marang suwung means: It starts by making activities for the process of life, it always returns to void. The word year in Javanese Tahun means seed (wiji in Javanese). The 8 years explain the process of wiji, always return to void (suwung) i.e. born - died. Born-died, always rotating.
Every existence of a new human life always begins with Rijal (the light of life created by mystical power of God/Gusti). A human circle of life is from Rijal back to Rijal again thru suwung (void). From the 1st month to 9th month the new human is in the mother's womb in the process to be a perfect living baby, ready to born, from the 10th month becomes a human living in this world. The 11th month symbolizes the end of his/her existence in the world i.e. wusana means afterwards. The last is suwung means void, the life goes back to where he/she came from.
With the wish of Gusti, this life shall be Rijal again. It is revolving of life, because life is eternal. Sometimes, an old wise man gives an advice that everyone has to know the essence of sangkan paraning dumadi or purwa, Madya, Wusana, so that he/she should have a good and correct behavior and deed while given the opportunity to live in the world.
The seven days (Dina Pitu, dina-day; pitu-7)
The five Pasaran days (Pasaran Lima - Pasaran Five)
The dates indicate the motions of moon symbolizing the life of a human in the world.
This process of life revolving is called Cakra Manggilingan (Cakra - a wheel with sharp gears, manggilingan - always rolling) or Heru Cakra.
A human with good and correct conduct, always followed true path permitted by Gusti, God the Almighty, he/she should know the Sangkan paraning dumadi (you came from holiness, here in earth you live in holiness, you'll go back to holiness again), human with bad morality,he/she should be severely punished "after their death". (see: the experience of R.M. Binaji - the world of spirits - the non perfect spirits - page 2 & 3)
It is clear that moon is very important in Javanese mystical life. Around midnight during the full-moon, the light of moon and stars give a natural power to human-beings (especially their brains & feeling), who remain outside under the night sky. It's an appropriate time to do olah rasa (exercise of feeling) or samadi.
For a seeker of true knowledge, the motions (Solah) and positions (Patrap) of moon are also significant. He/she must be able to choose the most suitable moment for praying or meditation to reach his/her goal. Some also use solah and patrap of moon to accomplish important matters.
Dino Mulyo (Noble days)
It's the first day of Javanese calendar, the New Year. In the ancient time, Javanese ancestors had decided the first date based upon their observation of the positions of moon and sun - the 1st of month Sura, in the year of Purwana/Alip. Up to know, it is considered as a sacred day the beginning of life, Created by Gusti.
A lot of people purify themselves by bathing in the rivers, springs, seas, oceans or in their own residents and stay awake the whole night. Some watching Wayang Kulit/Leather puppet performance. Some visit holy places for self-introspection & meditation.
The month of Sura is also a proper time for cleaning of heirlooms such as Keris, Tumbak (spears) etc. (kindly click - the article 'commemoration of 1st Suro' for details)
(Suryo S. Negoro)
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