The Greatest Siliwangi

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The name Siliwangi is alive both in the folklore of the Sundanese and in the classical literary texts of Javanese (East Javanese). The people in West Java and East Java make no difference between fact and fiction, it is due to the text, the folklore and the history having been specific needly of each other (Danandjaja 1984; Koentjaraningrat 1984).

The old historical notes from East Java tells that Siliwangi has been expressed as a character along the tales and play of Kenthrung or Dhalang Kenthrung accompanied by terbang. Siliwangi in that epic story play is presented as Jaka Wanara (Siyung Wanara) and Surya Kembar in the occasion of the family rites or ceremonial events (Hutomo 1975; 1979; 1981; Rosidi 1960;1961)

The Surya Kember Epic stages Siliwangi, the king from Pajajaran, with two wives. His first wife has delivered twin babies but his second one stolen the babies and replaced them with dogs. It is the helping of Batara Guru who save the babies and rising them alone in Candradimuka crater. They were grown up and named as Kembar and Arya Kembar. They then went to Pajajaran palace. Their stepmother (the second wife of their father) was killed and then they live happily ever after (Olthof 1941; Jayasubrata 1917).

Another historical notes about Siliwangi appears in Carita Ludruk or Ludruk play. It is Siliwangi from Pajajaran who begin the story telling the chronicle Ratu Sagara Kidul, Nay Kanjeng Roro Kidul Mantu and Siyung Wanara. The summary of the story is as follows:

It is Ki Anjar Wilis, who have great influence to the royal family of Pajajaran kingdom, and that makes King Siliwangi (who is named as Cilihawan) feared because Ki Anjar Willis has the royal vein and a sacred greatest monk of the times. So Cilihawan ordered Patih Mangku Praja to take the monk to the palace, testifying him by simulate. It is a Queen named Dewi Sumekar who was pretending pregnant. Ki Anjar Willis knows that he is being cheated by the king, at the same times he also know that in the next future the pregnancy would come true, so he said truthfully. It makes the king furiously angry and killed the monk. At once the monk vanished but still saying in condemn that 'the baby who will be born will take revenge for his death". Then the baby boy is born. On panic, the king and his wife throw away the baby into Krawang river, but luckily the baby still alive and being picked up by Ki Krawang. He adopts and rises the baby in the forest sphere accompanied by animals. Ki Krawang named the baby boy Ciung Wanara (Pleyte 1911; 1913; Poerbatjaraka 1952; Pigeaud 1967-1980).

Then, the baby grown up, he goes fighting for the crown by the pseudonym of the Harya Banyak Wide. He forged the discrowned king's of Pajajaran with bare hand, locked up the king into the iron cage, burned him till death (Pleyte 1914; 1923)

The whole stories above is in resemblance especially with the texts, as follows:

  1. Poenika Serat Babad Tanah Jawi Saking Nabi Adam Doemoegi Ing Taoen 1647 (Olthof, 1941)
  2. Lalampahan Ciung Wanara (Balai Pustaka 1939)

Another expression of Siliwangi and Pajajaran from the East Javanese historical notes appear in Ketoprak stage (or play), also in the popular dance based on Carita Babad (Olthof 1941), as follows:

  1. Lahire Jaka Susuruh
  2. Siyung Wanara
  3. Siyung Wanara Mbalelo
  4. Siyung wanara Dadhi Ratu Pajajaran
  5. Jaka Suruh Ngadegage Majapahit
  6. Siyung Nglurung Menyang Pajajaran
  7. Ajar Samara Tunggal (Puteri Pajajaran Dadhi Pandita)
  8. Nyai Rara Kidul (Puteri Pajajaran Dadhi Ratu Dhemit)

Siliwangi also told in the performance in Dhalang Klithik or Wayang Krucil which is firstly created by Sunan Kudus. The play narrated especially King Banjaransari of Pajajaran up to King Brawijaya of Majapahit. There is also Wayang Gedhang or Wayang Antara which is still popular among the commoners, the story is evoking the relation between Janggala kingdom and Pajajaran kingdom. It is said that Brawijaya "the founder of the Majapahit Kingdom'" is not Raden Wijaya but actually is Raden Jaka Susuruh of the Pajajaran' (Winter en Roorda 1912; Widjaja Kusuma 1961).

The antonished sources is in Arabic script which are very familiar among the Pesisiran dwellers, such as Babad Demak Pesisiran, Babad Tuban. Those Babad is told that the founders of Majapahit is Raden Jaka Susuruh of Pajajaran Kingdom.

From all the folklore and literary texts, we come to a conclusion that Siliwangi is the same as Raden Jaka Susuruh or Prabu Banjaransari or Ciung Wanara. He is the great-great grandfather of Arya Bangah (Yogaswara, et al., 1976).

Dewaraja Cult of Siliwangi as religion institution of his kingship[edit]

The principal religion of ancient Sundanese is portrayed by three old Sundanese manuscripts like Cariosan Prabu Siliwangi, Bujangga Manik and Carita Ratu Pakuan or Babad Pakuan. Some sentences in the manuscript, indeed, revealed influences of Hindu-Buddhism to the Dewaraja Cult (Danasasmita 1977; 1982; J. Noorduyn 1962; 1982).

The Dewaraja Cult presupposes that king must be representative of God and observer also protector of dharma (i.e. the highest rule on earth). If the king did not succeed to organize the earth rules (dharma), so then he would not succeed as a king neither not either as God representative on the earth (Ekadjati 1981).

Based on the Rajadewa cult, long before ascending to a throne, a king has to show that he is superior among the populace. He should first practice all of the dharma's essence and be respected by his citizenry. Moreover, a king has to prove that he is not only God representative on earth but also a God by himself who comes to earth. It is that such kind of legitimization.

So, the question is what must a king do to be God like? It is comparable to Tantrayana concept in HinduBuddhism. It is in that way that somebody to become God like during their life. But its process is the very chancy and also dangerous, thus there are not so many persons who are able to do (Magetsari 1981; 1982a;1982b).

Referring to the Tantrayana, a king who will be a candidate of God like is called sisya and should pass through so many stages (phases). He must find the true / real teacher (ghuru) who will estimate that his disciple is appraising the capability, able or not be able following the teaching step by step while the sisya reached the level. The sisya is not only "the thought" but is also "the gesture" (mudra) and "the attitude and behaviour" (Sedyawati Hadimulyo 1977; Balkrishna Govind 1977).

As a matter of fact, a king, as a sisya, has to be declared to have "eight Godlike features" as follow:

  1. Suryya (feature which evokes nobleness which were propels authority)
  2. Yama (feature which evokes justice to citizenry)
  3. Kuwera (feature which protect law or dharma)
  4. Wayu / Bayu (feature which represents the nature of magnanimity)
  5. Waruna / Baruna (feature which represents capacity in economical field)
  6. Indra (feature which represents capacity of dominating seasons)
  7. Candra (feature which represents tenacity and calm in action)
  8. Agni (feature which represents fire on a ceremonial offerings and blare between of human being and God)

Dewaraja Cult is a guidance for a king to reach a state of God in his lifetime. Dewaraja cult had been applied by ancient Sundanese in classical period since the 5th century, in the period of Tarumanagara (which is testified by two stone inscriptions, Tugu inscription and Ciaruteun inscription) which is known as the cult of Vishnu image (Poerbatjaraka 1921). This cult is a replacement of the Indra cult which dominated in the Galuh and Sunda period, getting alongside by side and become dewaraja cult altogether.

The Dewaraja cult means that the religion institution of a kingship is the most important. Dewaraja as an ideals of a kingship can be glimpsed also on the Ramayana script, an adaptation of several redaction of Sanskrit Ramayana stories (Hooykaas 1985), which dates to the second half of the 9th century (Poerbatjaraka 1926; de Casparis 1956). In the Ramayana, a kingdom is compared with the mount Meru and Indra's heaven, the king is thought to be Indra or the God on earth, and eight places in heaven (Lokapalas) were named as the above mentioned eight principles. Consequently a king must act in accordance to the trust of these eight deities.

The concept of Dewaraja is similar to the Tantric of Mahayana Buddhism telling that the king candidate has to reach a situation of liberation towards the wairoccana as the highest religion rules (Tathagata). Its main objective is that a king must govern as a king and, with the help of his people, be able to reach the state of a Buddha.

It is clear that why King Siliwangi is symbolized as God (or “Hiyang” in ancient Sundanese religious concept). According to Hindu, Rajasuya ceremonial event was an attempt of government, or ruler, to expand its territory to extend dharma. While under the reign of Siliwangi, the concept was extended to save people from suffering Samsara or Sangaskara (Sundanese and Balinese spelling). In Sundanese concept, Rajasuya is interpreted as to who instruct, how to act hereafter, how to placate numerous monsters in the svarga (here is definitely not to be translated as "heaven" but as "hereafter") and how to overcome the dangerous obstructions.

Therefore, it is clear that being a king also has to be God of earth during the reign as the concept is saving people from suffering. Based on this concept, Siliwangi and ancient Sundanese people and also most of the kings in the classical period had to have tolerance in practicing their religions. That is why ancient Sundanese succeeded living harmonious co-existence between Hindu-Buddhism and Sunda Wiwitan, their local religion.

See also[edit]

  1. Sunda Kingdom
  2. Sundanese people

References[edit]

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