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Old 4th July 2019, 11:48 PM   #1
A. G. Maisey
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Default The Beginning:- A Question

I have a question for everybody who follows this Forum.

I've answered a lot of questions, so now I think I'm entitled to ask one, and it is a question that is probably mostly a matter of opinion, additionally it is not highly technical.

What I would like to know is this:-

on a keris blade, where is the beginning of the blade?

Is it the point, one side or another, or is it somewhere else?

The Beginning of the Blade, an opinion please.

Thank you.
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Old 5th July 2019, 04:39 AM   #2
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I think it begins at the Ganja, Alan.
To my way of thinking such things end at the point.

Does a Phallus/Lingam begin at the tip?
Or does it begin at the base?

Last edited by Rick : 5th July 2019 at 04:52 AM.
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Old 5th July 2019, 09:14 AM   #3
A. G. Maisey
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Rick, my personal opinion is that all things begin at the beginning, and the beginning of everything is the foundation or the base, so I guess I'd have to say that a lingga begins at its base, which when you think about it seems a bit contradictory, but still, that's only my opinion.

Let's see what others might think, that's why I asked the question, to try to see if there is more or less a broad agreement on the beginning part of a keris blade
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Old 5th July 2019, 12:17 PM   #4
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My personal opinion is the Pesi, beginning of the blade. Means when its finish, or done as a Keris.

If during the making, maybe different? The mpu start making from the base area, gandik etc. Just above gonjo. Even when making the sogokan dan blumbangan, they started from the bottom area.


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Old 5th July 2019, 01:02 PM   #5
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OK, pesi?

Why not?

Its more or less in the same general area, the big end, so to speak, so that's two votes for the big end of the keris.

Last edited by A. G. Maisey : 6th July 2019 at 06:17 AM. Reason: consistency
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Old 5th July 2019, 04:49 PM   #6
Bob A
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Taking the blade as a whole, one way of approaching the question is to consider that the surface of the blade, in its entirety, is the beginning.

That's the part that interacts with the rest of the universe, if you will, and separates the keris from everything else; the interface between the object and its surroundings, the essence of its reality.
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Old 6th July 2019, 09:14 AM   #7
Jean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey

on a keris blade, where is the beginning of the blade?



I am not a philosopher and since the beginning of this thread, I am wondering: Why this question?. Alan will probably tell us more later.
I am scratching my head (is it the beginning or the end of my body?) but have no valid reply to submit
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Old 6th July 2019, 10:31 AM   #8
A. G. Maisey
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Thanks Yohan, so you're a Big End man

and Jean, you have no opinion?

OK, no opinion.

As to why I asked the question, it was because I wished to try to establish a consensus of opinion in respect of the beginning of a physical keris blade.

Does it start at the very tip, the ujung, the front and move back towards the hilt, or does it start at the base of the blade and move forward towards the point? Where does this long thin piece of metal begin? Everything begins somewhere. Does a building begin at its foundations and go up, or with its roof and go down?

When we look at a keris, how do we hold it? How do we examine it ? Do we point it towards the ground, or towards the sky, or towards the horizon, or towards somewhere else?

Why do I want to establish a consensus of opinion?

Because I want to prepare a foundation for further understanding. Its that simple.

All I'm asking for is an opinion, not a theory that needs to be defended.
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Old 6th July 2019, 11:24 AM   #9
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Well for a change I would say that the beginning of the blade is the tip of the pesi (the bottom end of a blade). The pesi is part of the blade since it "penetrates" it from the base.
Regards
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Old 6th July 2019, 11:31 AM   #10
Paul de Souza
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I think the keris begins at the ganja...the point we focus on when we first take it out from the sarong.
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Old 6th July 2019, 12:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul de Souza
I think the keris begins at the ganja...the point we focus on when we first take it out from the sarong.


I considered this option too but the ganja is separate from the blade unless it is iras
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Old 11th July 2019, 07:51 PM   #12
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I'm avoiding looking at any of the replies so that I won't be biased (by anything other than my current knowledge and views) in giving my answer.

For me the bilah starts at the ganja.
Seeing the bilah as a representation of a kayonan or gunungan, it seems logical that the gonjo is the root from where the rest of the blade grows or the base on which it rests.
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Old 13th July 2019, 01:04 AM   #13
A. G. Maisey
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Bjorn, I asked the initial question as a simple question, and we got back a mix of simple, uncomplicated answers, and philosophical answers. I would say that you have given us a simple answer.

I think that going back a few years to before I found the true understanding of "Batu Lapak" my answer would have been the same as yours, I would have been thinking in terms of male/female, lingga/yoni, Dewi Ganga, and so on. In fact, even though on the face of things an opinion that the gonjo is the beginning of the keris blade, in reality, that opinion becomes a philosophical opinion if we ask why the gonjo is the base of the blade. The only way we can defend the opinion is by taking a philosophical position and arguing from that base.

On the other hand, the Batu Lapak is directly under the pesi, and in some early keris it was actually a product of attaching the pesi to the wilah, so if we think about this, we might feel inclined to ask exactly what is meant by the idea of a "beginning stone". Taking account of the position of the Batu Lapak, we could perhaps find several different and equally valid opinions of the "beginning" of a keris blade.
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Old 13th July 2019, 02:46 AM   #14
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To me, with no knowledge of the deep lore of keris symbology, the ganja can represent a saddle in that it is a transition point from vehicle (handle/hand) to rider (blade). So instead of a stone as an obstruction between butt and seat perhaps, in this analogy, the stone can be the rider itself at this transition (beginning) point where servant stops and master starts which is clearly a place of power. However as, presumably, the ganja is not called a saddle in other contexts this interpretation is quite a stretch but can point to how saddle and beginning can be synonymous.
As an aside I did a Google image search for Batu Lapak to see examples and found that it also refers to an unusual hard scale at the base of some chicken feet. If the Google translate captures the meaning correctly it is believed to provide a major advantage in a cock fight in what seems to be somewhat talismanic manner.
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Old 15th July 2019, 01:50 PM   #15
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Thank you for your contribution Dizos.

Certainly a rather interesting and divergent opinion, but I do have more than a little difficulty in seeing any relevance to the keris. Still, as you say, the keris is well outside your own area of speciality.

In respect of the cock fight association, I just ran that image search myself and if I read the text associated with the images I find most text seems to be Malay or Indonesian. In fact, the idea of "batu lapak" associated with a fighting cock's feet has no relationship at all to the idea of batu lapak associated with keris, either as "saddle stone", or as "beginning".

The palm of the hand, or the sole of the foot is the "telapak". The word "lapak" actually carries a connotation of the lower part of something, so sole of the foot, being at the bottom, has become "telapak". Horse's hoof = "telapak kuda".

This "batu lapak" associated with fighting cocks is a hard callous on the bottom of a fighting cock's foot, it has the appearance of an implanted stone in the bottom of the fowl's foot. Batu = stone.

In a fighting cock a "batu lapak" is a "sole of the foot stone", or just simply a "foot stone".

No relationship to keris at all.

But then, maybe there is a relationship, and to follow this idea, it is best to understand that in the Javanese mind, more is better:- a multitude of deities is better than a single deity, and a multitude of meanings is better than a single meaning.

Now, I've already pointed out that the word "lapak" carries the connotation of the lowest part of anything. The lower part of the wilah is the sor-soran, and sor-soran also has a connotation of "low", in fact in ordinary speech, not keris jargon, "sor-soran" means "subordinate".

Now included in the sor-soran is a characteristic that sometimes appears called the "tungkakan", "tungkak" means "heel", "tungkakan" means "heel (of something)". The "tungkakan" is the little bend in the wilah that sits under the buntut urang of the gonjo. So looking at the lowest part of the keris we have this heel, and stretching across the blade in front of it? Well, although it is not named in keris related terminology, that straight line would have to be the telapak, the sole of the foot of the keris. So, if we see a batu in the middle of this "sole" , what else can it be but a "batu lapak"?

Batu lapak most certainly can be understood as "beginning stone", but if we look at the tungkakan, and pause to think for just one moment, maybe "batu lapak" can also be understood as "foot stone". Obviously one understanding does not necessarily negate the other:- the more meanings that can be given to anything, the better the understanding.

Consider for a moment:- not only is the sole of the foot the beginning of a man, but of any being that walks, and the beginning of anything is the lowest part of any endeavour.

A little bit like "aum" and "Allah" and "ron dha". The understanding that is appropriate to the level of knowledge.

Last edited by A. G. Maisey : 15th July 2019 at 02:38 PM.
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