Join Date: Jan 2005
Thank you for your clarification, Pak Boedhi.
It would seem that after all we are both reading from the same page.
I would, however, like to make the distinction between a Royal Pusaka and the pusaka of those of us who are less than Royal.
I agree totally that the Royal pusakas, which were made with the intention of becoming pusaka, would be made by a leading empu, and would acquire spiritual power as a part of the process of manufacture.
However, many families may have their own private pusaka which was made by a lesser empu, or which was perhaps not even made with the intention of becoming a pusaka, but which has acquired that power through acceptance of its status as pusaka , by the members of the kin group.
This acquisition of power is not unknown amongst even Royal pusakas. It is my understanding that Kyai Plered only became Kyai Plered after he was used to kill Kapt. Tack.
The overwhelming, defining factor in the assignment of pusaka status to a keris in particular, is that it is accepted by a kin group as the binding agent that brings together all members of a kin group, both past and present.
I admit, that in present day Jawa, this function of the keris pusaka no longer applies. It did apply until very recently in Bali, and may still, of this I am uncertain, however, there can be no doubt that this function of the keris pusaka did apply in Hindu Javanese culture, and when we consider the previously quoted statement of Pakubuwana I on the relative importance of pusakas, it is clear that in 1708, this function of the pusaka keris was still recognised in Jawa.
However, in respect the use of the term "pusaka" by keris cognoscenti, I would make the point that while people who are very advanced in the study of the keris, and who live in Yogyakarta, or who are under the influence of the Yogyakarta school of keris study, may use the term "pusaka" as you detail, not all very advanced students of the keris comply with, or accept this usage.
In this matter of usage, I feel that there is perhaps room for some people to follow one road and other people to follow a different road.
Especially when it comes to describing the percieved properties of an item of tosan aji.
I do not believe that this is a case of "correct", or "incorrect".
It is simply that as with many things in the world of the keris, there is a lack of uniformity of opinion.
Similarly, it is important that we do not confuse the essence, or the talismanic power of a keris with its function as a kin group binding agent, or in the case of a Royal pusaka, its function as a legitimiser of right to rule.
In the case of the esoteric power of talisman or essence, perhaps only a very few psychically sensitive people are able to know or suspect the nature of a keris---although it would seem that a great number of people would like to lay claim to such power.
However, with the kin group pusaka, the power of the pusaka rests in the kin group, and its acceptance of the pusaka in its role.
A pusaka keris can only be a pusaka keris when it is accepted by those to whom it is pusaka, as pusaka.
Thus, a Royal pusaka cannot be pusaka and will lose its power as this, if the people of the realm fail to accept that it is pusaka.
A family pusaka will not be pusaka if the members of the kin group forming that family fail to accept that it is pusaka.
The unseen quality of the pusaka keris flows from God, through God`s creation, man.