Join Date: May 2006
This representation of a dragon is a European influenced one. We also find Chinese influenced representations of dragons in later Indonesian decorative motifs.
These Chinese & European dragons are different cultural interpretations of the Naga.
However, the Naga is not really a dragon, the visualisation of the Naga as a dragon is just a convenient way to put a physical form onto something that is not a physical being. Something similar to the way in which virtually all religions create physical forms for non-physical beings, in order to assist lay people to visualise a deity or other entity.
This is not the place to begin discussion of the Naga as understood in Javanese/Balinese and other SE Asian cultures. However, there is information available on this subject that is sufficient to fill several libraries, all you need to do is to look for it.
Insofar as the keris is concerned, the keris itself, that is, the blade, is amongst other things, an icon that embraces the concept of the Naga, specifically the Naga Basuki, who in Hindu belief is a binding force.
As this translates into esoteric keris belief, that binding force of the Naga Basuki flows through all of creation, and by the medium of a family (or pusaka) keris, binds the present custodian of the keris to past generations of a family and to all current members of a family. In this sense, the keris becomes an embodiment of the Naga Basuki, binding all members of a family, past and present, and thus can be seen as a part of ancestor worship, which in the Javanese/Balinese context, relates back to the Mt Meru and Gunungan beliefs.
So, Nagas? Plenty there for you to learn Alex, if you have the interest and the dedication.