From Cosmogony to Exorcism in a Javanese Genesis, 4


4. Ritual Purification without Theatre





"Mountain Milieu : Mt Lawu"



"Book of Exorcism"






"Yaasiin Purification"



"Sonten Booklet of a Lowland Healer"



"Structure of the Myth and Corpus of the Mantra"


4.1 -- pp. 104-5 Ghat.a ['quay'] Ud-kaca ['hairless' ('out-hair', i.e., the hair's having been pulled out)] son of Bhima ['terrific']

p. 104

"the village of Blumbang, high on the vocano Lawu in the upper Solo River basin ... has long been well known for ... its tiger-headed dragon (barongan) ensemble which performs locally every Mandhasiya week [14th of the 30 (fn. 3)] to honour Gathotkaca, a son of Bima, and Kancanagara, whose home is the Pringgandani shrine higher up in the mountain forest. ... .

p. 105

... the founding myth for Gathotkaca's shrine ... described the defeat of Baka as an exorcism (ruwatan) of the village, to be perpetuated ... . This is accomplished during the Mandhasiya ... and during a procession with re`yog, a folk dance drama".

4.2 -- pp. 106-7 subtitles of the text : dramatis personae

p. 106

"The total number of the members of Lord Kala's army is 144".

{"And I heard the number of them which were sealed : ... an hundred and forty and four thousand" (Apokalupsis of Ioannes 7:5).}

1. "His Majesty the royal prince Ruci ["wild"]"

2. "Sire 'Trace of the Wind'" [fn. 7 : "a fiery snake that appears at night"]

p. 107

3. "Sire Lightning"

4. "Dame Jrema" {Skt goddess (mentioned in Devi-Bhagavata Upa-Puran.a 6) /JR.Mbhika/ 'yawneress' = Tamil /kottuwa/}

5. "Sire Cloud, disease of rice ["Bambang Irawan, son of Janaka"]"

6. "Sire Levelling Wind"

7. "Sire Rain Storm"

8. "The Fire Protecting Causes, the Wandering God of Love" {the 5 sugarcane-arrows [similar to those of Erot-/Cupid] of Kama-deva 'god of [erotic] desire'}

9. "Sire Iron Porcupine"

10. "Broom of the World"

11. "Protector of the Village"

12. "True Dhalang"

13. "Empty Mountain of the World of the Gods"

14. "Ancestors of the Seven Generations"

4.2 -- pp. 107-8 incense for pran.a-yama ('breath-restrain')

p. 107

"to burn an elephant-sized dose of incense .... . This incense sparkles and rises as a prayer. Holy King, arms crossed over the chest, unifying himself, shutting the nine corporeal openings. ... Rediscovering the initial point, the tip of the nose, the seed of breath ... .

Crossing the world

{bye-passing the material-plane}

in the form of the plough,

{hala asana}

the world,

{bodily microcosm of internal-alchemy}



shrinks down to the size

{via eka-grata 'one-pointed' concentration}

of a grain of pepper. ...

p. 108

The smoke of the incense went towards the northeast, a divine sign that is was accepted by the gods".

{In the northeast cosmic direction is Is`ana (1st of the 5 divine Brahman-s), accepter of this incense-wafted humble prayer of laudation.}

4.2 -- pp. 108-9 how Kala came to incarnate in the material-plane

p. 108

"Once long ago Sire Lord Kala said goodbye to his cousins

in order to go and circle around the earth.

{The feat of circumambulating the world along the circle of one of its dvipa-s (concentric ring-continents) is prototypically assigned to Skanda.}

H directed himself towards the centre of the world

{Gan.a-pati stayed at the centre (mt Meru) with their parents while his brother Skanda did the circumambulating.}

where there was a woman meditating on the edge of the Ganges ["Sewilu Gangga"]. There, Lord Guru was so attracted that his seed subsequently came out and incarnated, becoming a human." {With such " edge of the Ganges", cf. how "Daphne, the daughter of Ladon, there underwent her metamorphosis, and they have a river flowing there, the Ladon" (Philostratos : Life of Apollonios of Tuane 1:16 -- Th"ND").}

{"They said ..., "Come, let us sow our seed in her," and they pursued her. ... In their clutches she ... left ... her shadowy reflection resembling herself ... ." (Reality of the Rulers, in GB, p. 171) -- "This passage closely resembles the Greek myth of Daphne" (GB, p. 171, fn. 35).}

"Lord Guru desired her and was so attracted that his seed was already left (in her). Sang Dewi felt pregnant. When the critical moment of her care {i.e., parturition} arrived,

Sang Dewi felt the seed spread. ...

{It spread out of her womb much as ectoplasm would, for the child was not material-bodied.}

Thus it was that White Seed [Kama Putih] asked, 'Royal Mother, ... I have descended without a solid body. ...' ...

{"Ixion lay with this phantom, which bore him a son, Centaurus" (DCM, s.v. "Ixion", p. 240b).}

Thus it was that in the celestial world of Suralaya ...

p. 109

Sang Dewi said, '... I gave birth to one ["Kala"]

who speaks like a human without having a solid body.

{known as "direct voice" in spirit-mediumship -- spirit-voice speaking, invisibly, from the midst of the air}

That is why I have asked that he be massaged in the celestial world, Sire!' ...

'White Seed, I am going to plunge you into ... Candradimuka ["face of the moon"] so that you can become a man.' [fn. 17 "the young Gathotkaca must be put into a crater by Narada ... . This ... derives that ... that kawah means both volcanic crater and amniotic fluid."]

{/Candradimuka/ is a name possibly reminiscent of Nahuatl /Me[tz]-xico/ 'moon-navel' (indicating nourishment of a foetus by placenta through the navel?) : the Anahuac region containing such volcanos and Popoca-tepetl and Iztac-cihuatl}

Thus spoke the God Guru. ...

{More usually, /Guru/ is title for Br.haspati,

Then he recognized that man as his son, and gave him the name Lord Kala".

who according to the Puran.a-s was involved in a legitimization-process for the boy Soma, whose paternity had been disputed.}

Th"ND" = "Nymphe Daphne".

GB = Willis Barnstone & Marvin Meyer : The Gnostic Bible. Shambhala, Boston, 2003.

4.2 -- p. 109 assignment of food-supply to Kala {cf. Popol Vuh}

"Lord Guru promised to ... his son ... . ... '... food, take it yourself : ...

the various red fruits ... hanging without hook, namely the sun and moon.'"

{Sun and moon are fruits on a single tree, according to the Popol Vuh. Likewise, "the fruits of the tree of wisdom ... were also called sun and moon" (AS, p. 306) by Maier, Greverus, and Flamel.}

AS = Carl Gustav Jung : Alchemical Studies, Volume 13 of The Collected Works of Carl Jung, BOLLINGEN SERIES XX. Princeton (NJ).

4.2 -- pp. 115-7 esoteric cosmogony amalgamated with S.uwfiy mysticism

p. 115

"The Holy One formed the wind of the eternal tablet beside the throne of God. ... The Lord God said to Gurma ... five prayers according to the ["time"] when there was only 'today'. ...

p. 116

Lying on the book face upward, the smoke becomes the sky of seven levels. ... God thus created the so-called quiet desert out of the bright light which is ornamented by 'everything which is', which proceeded out of the bright light. Then proceeded out of the Almighty, ... the glory of angels, ... which stands as the essence of essence of the fairies [widadari] spread over ... the sea of the world. The ocean of lutut, the ocean of butut ... . ... The prophet Sis gave birth to {begat} a child by the Mulat ["diamond"] named Sayid ... . Then he took a wife, who had a child, the angel Wijajil. The first son of the prophet Esis married the goddess Lajah ... . The goddess Letik married Wijajil Sanaka. ... The goddess Alulat, child of Wijajil who was from the heavens, was indeed freed by the angel Ratang ... . ... . ... the goddess Mulat could spread the dayetan [?] of a lamp called the Lord Beam [Nurcaya]. He married the

p. 117

maiden, child of Nur Rasa ... . Durvasa married Wati ["coitus"], the child of King Wind Storm ... . ... Nur Rasa had a first son by the name of Darma {Dharma} (duty) Jaka who was given the title of 'Authority from Authority'. ... Yes, in the person of Manikmaya was begotten a deformed god ["maladewa"]. [The gods] Bayu {Vayu}, Wisnu, [and] the others ... were ten children one after another ... . ... A firefly called fairy Wasara, there was not yet a name for dawn, became the entire natural world."

4.2 -- p. 117 a prayer

"It befits you, True Mercy, to incarnate youself in the spirit of the perfect speech of the perfect True Dhalang of ancient authority over the shadows of yore who appear to the soul and make it talk, descending from the gods".

4.2 -- p. 118 ascriptions to one's body-parts [for kavaca] (recite : "my __ is __")


its ascription

"shining forehead" {cf. /Taliesin/ 'radiant brow'}

"the wheel of time" [Kala-cakra]


"the joining stone" {keystone of arch?}

"yard" [i.e., penis]

"a thousand snakes which protect against all spirits"


"Twin Hibiscus" [double-isle of Jawa?]


"the twin senya ["stars?" {Castor & Pollux?}]"


"the site of a gravestone"




"the Sire Kuramayan"


"the twin senya" {again!}"


"the broken mountain" {cf. Cul-huacan 'bent mountain'}


"a kursina"


"the grotto of a man meditating"


"a thousand hundred thousands {of what?}"


"the place to wash {cf. Washington} [tasang?] like a rising [dedalan] mound of earth"


"of strong iron"


"an iron anvil" {cf. knee for bird's nest in Kalevala?}


"the earth"


"a battlefield" [for palmistry-prognostication?]


"an earthquake [and] hurricane"

"eyes" {again!}

"the language of prayer" [= archaistic verbiage?]

hand {distinguished from "palm", as 3027 /yad/ is from 3709 /kap/}

"Kala" {Kala} {Because his body is inscribed with an alphabet, therefore any distinction between similarly meaningful letters of another alphabet (such as, distinction between /yowd/ and /kowp/, discussed, e.g., in "CA&D", pp. 325 & 328), would be pertinent.}

"CA&D" = David H. Kelley : "Calendar Animals and Deities". SOUTHWESTERN J OF ANTHROPOLOGY 16(1960).3:317-37.

4.2 -- p. 119 groups of young children to be ritually purified



group's "meaning"


"only child"

"ontan-anting" [p. 41 "single and only child"]


"two children, both boys"

"door posts"


"two children, both girls"

"pair of flowers"


"two children, a boy and a girl"

"dana-dini" (fn. 34 "kedana-kedini") [p. 42, fn. 8 "male and female offerings for Kala"]


"five children, all boys"

"the five sons of Pandhu {Pan.d.u 'pale'}"


"three children with a girl in the middle"

"pond between two springs"


"Having lost her husband ..., a pregnant woman's child {posthumus}"

"Lacking Father, [or] Father Lacking"


"a son in between ["two girls"]"

"a spring between two ponds"

4.2 -- p. 120 circumstance required, and those prohibited, to a woman

"A woman who wants to prepare food should chew betel ... . ...

If a pregnant woman is sitting in the middle of a doorway and then yawns [angop], when her moment {i.e., for parturition} has come, the newborn will be seized to be possessed by the Lord Kala. ...

A woman during her menstrual period should for no reason put even a single stalk of rice in a granary ..., for [i.e., lest] she will fall under the taboo of the grandmother {i.e., goddess Inini = Sumerian goddess In-inni} [who is] the goddess Sri {S`ri}. ...

And you, [O!] woman, if you enter the sanctuary of the goddess Sri ["i.e. the rice barn"] and if there are

a Jinada mouse and a Candra cat,

[fn. 36 "Figures in the battle {cf. the Batrakho-muo-makhia by Pigres of Hali-karnassos : ("RZHBF&M") "VERSE 15. Whom Cats pursu'd." But this may otherwise be described as "managing to escape from a ferret-cat" ("C-ROJBF&M", p. 45).} against Punthut Jantaka's parasitical army; cf. Manikmaya (1981; 1, cantos 17 and 18)."

don't chase them away."

Manikmaya (in French).

"RZHBF&M" = "The Remarks of Zoilos upon Homeros : Battle of the Frogs and Mice.";view=fulltext

"C-ROJBF&M" = Rui Carlos Fonseca : "A Cross-Reading of Odysseus’ Journeys in The Battle of the Frogs and Mice". GRAECO-LATINA BRUNENSIA 15 (2010).2:43-50.

{The description of how ("C-ROJBF&M", p. 49) "how the army of crabs slaughters the mice, ... by amputating their tails" (imitated as "cut off their tails with a carving knife" in "Three Blind Mice") is more characteristic of crabs than of crayfish (though so translated from the Batrakho-muo-makhia in PL2D, p. 133) whose pincers are feebler. Female freshwater crabs (unlike salinewater-crabs) do indeed carry their own offspring on their backs (as do female scorpions), so that the carrying-on-back of mouse Psukh-arpax (misspelled "Psich-" in C-ROJBF&M, passim) would definitely indicate performance by a freshwater-crab, not by a crayfish. Freshwater-crabs are sacred to god Huan-ti 'Yellow Emperor' (HChM, s.v. "Huang Di", p. 144.).}

PL2D = Ge'rard Genette (transl by Channa Newman & Claude Doubinsky) : Palimpsests : Literature in the Second Degree. Univ of NE Pr, Lincoln, 1997.

HChM = Lihui Yang & Deming An : Handbook of Chinese Mythology. ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara (CA), 2005.

4.5 -- p. 125 cosmogony : origin of the world from multitudinous jewels {primarily a Taoist theme; but paralleled in the description of jewel-pebble-constituted world-layers, the 7 Tala-s, in the Puran.a-s)}

"Sang Hyang Pramesthi {Parama-is.t.hin ('Transcendentalmost One')} (S. H. P.) Guru let fall

from ["?"] the stone seat

{likely as jewel "fruits" (plucked by, e.g., <ala >ud-Din according to the 1001 Nights) from (Apokalupsis of Ioannes 22:2) the Tree of Life which is on the riverbank of the river "proceeding out of the Throne of God" (Apokalupsis of Ioannes 22:1)}

a thousand, stones ["jewels? ..."] which split into several thousand. Thereafter the stones became the world."

4.5 -- p. 125 names successively assumed by the boy Kala

"There was a portion of Sang Hyang Pramesthi's yoga {praesumbly yogamaya, i.e., ectoplasm}

["= desire"]

{praesumbly in one of the divine realms known as Kamaloka 'Desire-World', dominated by Kamadeva 'Desire-God', identifiable as Mara (the 5 Mara-s)}

which fell into the depths of the sea,

{in one of the lavana-s betwixt the annular concentric dvipa-s surrounding Jambu-dvipa; or in else some other divine realm?}

emerging as a chubby one named Sang Hyang Kemale` ["Perfect" (/Siddha/?)].

When it could move it was called Sang Hyang Kamasalah ["Faulty Seed"];

when it could stand it was called Sang Hyang Candhusakti ["Supernatural Essence"]."

4.5 -- pp. 125-6 invulnerablity & assumption in glory into Heaven ; distinguishing marks & authority

p. 125

"Boiling water, stone bolts, fire bolts were all made to rain down on him, but ...

{Invulnerability of Leuk-[h]ippos : "they all plunged their spears into his body.

they did not diminish him. Rather little by little they made him increase in size. {Cf. how, at Kuru-k]s.etra, the body of became expanded by the arrows from the PARTHiVa [whence the district-name /PARTHUene/ (within Parthia), and the Hellenic author-name /PARTHenios/] bow by Partha (Arjuna) shot into his body, whereupon his spiritual power became so expansive as to generate the Moks.a-dharma ('Liberation-Law', of the Maha-bharata).} ...

He rose up towards the sky, ... to call upon his father, namely S. H. P. Guru."

He, by the will of the gods, disappeared" (Parthenios 15 -- Th"ND").}

"Sang Hyang Kamasalah's distinguishing marks are that his flesh is shining; his sound is thunder; he shines like a bright jewel, all aflame. ...

p. 126

This authority is of various kinds; including lightning and typhoon; an incessant hurricane; walking without feet; swinging its arms without arms; seeing without eyes; hearing without ears; smelling without nose; tasting without tongue; touching without fingers."

"When he does acquire limbs and organs, it is through their origins that he attains authority. ... In the wayang Murwa Kala, ... These limbs are said to constitute his authority ... . ... is the world constructed out of the body of a god, as mantras like 'The Dhalang's Goose' suggest (cf. Headley 1979a)?"

Headley 1979a = Stephen Cavanna Headley : Description et histoire du finage d'un hameau javannais. PhD, E'cole des Hautes E'tudes in Sciences Sociales et l'Universite' Paris V.

{Translation into Heaven of Leukippos the white horse is the prototype for Muh.ammad's ascension -- while mounted on a white horse -- to Heaven; and, apocalyptically, for the white horse of Kalkin.}

4.5 -- pp. 126-7 incantation cantillated

p. 126

"This thunderous incantation (aji) by the deity ... descends to the world of men, the middle world. In the Tenggerese creation myth (Smith-Hefner 1996:296-300), such ...

p. 127

seals the alliance between mankind and the divinities ... . ... After the thunderous descent into the world of men, the dhukun ... must ... cantillate ... softly to the recitative of dhandhanggula."

Smith-Hefner 1996 = N. Smith-Hefner : "Litany of the World's Beginning". In :- Stephen C. Headley (ed.) : Vers une anthropologie de la prie`re : e'tudes ethnolinguistiques javanaises. Aix-en-Provence, Presses Universitaires de Provence. pp. 259-306.

4.5 -- p. 127 according to the Sonten Booklet : invocations written on Kala's body

"Dhalang's Goose"; "Water Veneration"; "Mountain Man[.]d[.]ala"; "Locking-out"; "Repulser"; "First Exorcism of the Platform"; "Second Exorcism of the Platform"; "The Finisher".

4.6. -- p. 129 recency of mantra-s currently in use for the Murwa Kala

"In the medieval Javanese ruwatan ..., mantras are read over holy water, but in the eighteenth-century literary presentations of this myth (Manikmaya, Serat Kadha, etc.) the mantras simply do not appear.

Therefore, it is reasonable

to suppose that our corpus of mantras is of relatively recent origin".

{to suppose that after they became obsolete at the close of the mediaeval epoch, they were forgotten, and new ones (those now in vogue ) composed more recently}

4.6 -- p. 129, fn. 46 Tengerese cosmogony {N.B. /Tenger/ or /Tingri/ is the usual Mongol term for 'deity' -- would this imply a Mongol provenience?}

"Cf. Smith-Hefner 1996:287-328, esp. 291-2 where a re'sume' of the Tenggerese version of the creation myth is given. Therein Guru and Uma energe from a void; Prtanjala (here a turtle; one of the five rshi {r.s.i}, usually transformed into a humming bird, emprit) and Uma descend to create the world ... . Guru in the form of Kala joins Durga after she emerges from the ocean, and they eat human flesh together in a graveyard. Finally Kala creates the other gods who are incarnated as sages to save the world, and Kala and Durga return to heaven".

4.6 -- pp. 129-30 other versions of this myth

p. 129

"What could well be much more ancient, however, is the cosmogony which serves as a backdrop to this corpus."

p. 129, fn. 47

"My effort to trace the Manikmaya presentation of this Javanese cosmogony back to the

Dharmas`unya corpus,

{S`unya Puran.a, emphazing a primacy of god Dharma-t.hakura}

the Manikmaya's proposed but unlikely source,

{Even if so, a Taoist provenience of this also could be proposed, inasmuch as "emergence from the void" in not part of any indigenous Bharatiya metaphysics, wherein instead praevious incarnations of deities in praevious worlds, and residues (s`es.a) of former worlds is always supposed; though origins from a primordial "void" (or from a primordial confused mixture) is fairly usual in native Chinese cosmologies.}

has shown that the cosmogonies have evolved quite rapidly since the 15th century (Headley 2000)."

p. 130

"There certainly exist other variant practices, especially in East Javanese ruwatans". [fn. 48 : "Cf. van Groenendal (1992) on the East Javanese tradition of the Murwa Kala."]

Headley 2000 = Stephen Cavanna Headley : "Combining Javanese and Muslim Creation Myths in the Manikmaya". INDONESIA AND THE MALAY WORLD 28/82:280-300.

Van Groenendal 1992 = C. M. V. van Groenendal : "Some Dramatis Personae of the Murwakala Myth of the "Eastern" Tradition". BIJDRAGEN TOT DE TAAL-, LAND- EN VOLKENKUNDE 148:309-14.


Stephen C.[avanna] Headley : From Cosmogony to Exorcism in a Javanese Genesis : the Spilt Seed. Oxford Univ Pr, 2000.