Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Keris A Manifestation Of "Jiwa Jawi"

Translation: Roderick C Wahr

First of all I need to put forward that I will not confirm or deny the understanding of the keris and other tosan aji . What deserves to be looked at is how the culture of the keris or tosan aji benefits our lifestyle together. Therefore I want to put forward the warning of our ancestors, "Janjine dudu jimat keramat, anaging angunging Gusti Kang Pinuji". The Keris is not a charm, but rather a "piyandel", certainty, (hope, prayer, and belief), an item of praise to worships The Creator. Basically, the existence of the keris is to be useful to the community.

Keris and Magic

In short, the story of the keris is about knowledge and is regarded a manifestation of "Jiwa Jawi". Java is derived from the word Javana which means intelligent wisdom. The word keris is derived from - mangker karana aris - which means retreating from this world wisely. Since it involves the world of the keris, it is necessary to wrestle and fathom nature, your inner self, and the wishes of The Creator.

The keris is a personal symbol, a piyandel, a rich property, this is the unshakeable belief in the world of the keris. The keris has meaning and content, one must be aware foremost that the keris contains piwulang-wewarah (education and pointers), advice for living righteous and truthful (the hope that mankind will become wise and intelligent).

Man has basically only one desire, to head for The Creator, and within the keris the philosophy is expressed "sangkan paraning dumadi" (a person's place of birth and the objectives of his life), "sangkan paraning pambudi" (the effort to achieve life's objectives through knowledge) or "manunggaling kawula gusti" (to make an effort to direct life's objectives). Because of that the keris physicallly depicts and outlines the hope, at the same time the advice, that mankind always acts and has an attitude in accordance with the keris. The keris smoothly depicts the human methods/efforts in heading towards The Creator.

There are straight and serrated kerises, this depicts a spirit of "Teguh dalam niat, luwes dalam pelaksanaannya", firm in intention, flexible in execution; meaning that man is asked to be wise during his lifespan, flexible and not rigid. The sharpness of the keris is not meant to wage war on others, but to wage war on one's self. The keris is not meant for killing but to be used to protect oneself; this becomes very hard to separate or differentiate if someone really strives for power. It means that you must have the ability to control your inner desires.

Empu and Keris

Then, where lies the magic of the keris? In the Javanese philosophy it is outlined that "Bapa (wong tuwo) tapa, anak nampa, putu nemu, buyut katut, canggah kesrambah", meaning that if the father (parents) expresses a loving behaviour, the children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and descendants will also receive that gift. The care that is realized in the object of the work carried out by an Empu (keris master), while ignoring his body and under bodily abstinence for at least 3 months, gives him great power which is registered in the spell embedded in the strikes of the empu while burning and forging under continuous loving care.

The prayers of the empu take the form of spells which are emitted by a cassette player which is then recorded into the keris and tosan aji. That cassete can be replayed if the owner of the keris knows how to play it. For that reason, in the world of the keris, there is a behaviour/ritual that must be followed by the person buying the keris. The keris is bought with money, but there is something more important than that, it is caring behaviour; there is a well known saying: "Tyas manis kang mantesi ruming wicara kang mranani, sinembah laku utama" (A good heart that always prevails, scented discussions that are always attractive, in addition to a behaviour of eminence). Without such behaviour the keris will not be significant.

A reliable keris also needs reliable behaviour, because of that, even though we may possess a Gajah Mada keris, without corresponding behaviour that keris will be useless, because its magical powers cannot be brought to life. Even though a keris is exoterically of lower class, but its owner is of noble behaviour, than that keris might become significant in its owners life.

This passage of understanding the keris as a manifestation of "Jiwa Jawi" is not only for the Javanese ethnic group, but Java in the sense of Javana which is "intelligent wisdom".

Source: lebah_kecil

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