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Old 30th August 2005, 07:42 AM   #61
Boedhi Adhitya
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I apologize to all forumities, since I've been away for a while and hence, not answered the questions which was addressed to me.

Mr. Purwacarita, as I discussed before with Mr. Marto Suwignyo, pusaka would mean a lot, but as I insist, it was the empu's intention, which made some blade pusakas or not. The empus used the whole process, not only the physical appearance of the blades, to show their intention, in symbolistic languages. Hence, the good pusakas should be able to show this intention. But as the blade handed down from generations, whether by inheritances or trading, the owner would treat it differently, but the empu's intention, would always be the same. And once again, this intention might be "read" by those who understand the symbolistic language used. Then, no matter how you acquire it, the pusaka is a pusaka, even if you bought it on e-bay

About history of the blades, IMHO, it should be considered as "added value". In Kraton, the history would be important, but only after the blades qualify for "pusaka qualities" as I describes before. As I've been told by the "abdi dalem pusaka", all the kraton pusaka have best iron and steel possible at the time it was made, including the Kyai Klerek, which was belongs to Prince Mangkubumi's servant/soldier. This dapur cacing kanil lance suffered a little chipping on his point while he pierced Clereq's armour. (for information, Kyai Klerek named after Major Clereq, a Dutch officer which was killed by this lance, ca. 18 C.). Other example is Kyai Mangunoneng, a sword, pedang suduk pamor tambal, which was belong to Tumenggung Mangunoneng, a considered rebellious Tumenggung. This sword was used by Prince Mangkubumi / Sultan Hamengkubuwono I to kill his own master, as a warning to any rebels. Now it is always carried by women servant on ceremonies involving the sultan in his full formal-dressing. Kanjeng Kyai Kopek, the most honoured keris in heirlooms array of Kraton Jogjakarta, in fact, was a gift from Sunan Pakubuwono III on Sultan Hamengkubuwono I coronation. It is said that KKA Kopek was belongs to Sunan Kalijaga, and hence, symbolize the unity between the Ulama (religion leader) and Umaro (the goverment/king). You may see the picture of KKA Kopek and others in "Jogja Heritage", the official book of Kraton Jogjakarta. Some errors occur on naming and pictures (reversed) thought.

Yes, it was keris Kyai Setan Kober itself who kill it's own master, while Kyai Plered only injured Arya Penangsang badly. According to the legend, Arya Penangsang was a very powerful Adipati of Jipang, who was considered rebelious to Pajang. He would only be killed by his own keris, Kyai Setan Kober, a fiery keris. In a fight against Danang Sutawijaya (which then known as Panembahan Senapati, the first king of Mataram Islam, ca 16 c), Arya Penangsang suffered a wide wound on his abdoment, causing his intestine to felt out. Disturbed by his own hanging intestine, Arya Penangsang tied it to his keris handle, and continue fighting. In the end of the fight, Sutawijaya, which was a young boy and no match to Penangsang, felt down to the ground and not able to continue the fight. Penangsang then drew the fiery Setan Kober to kill him, and incidently, Setan Kober cut Penangsang intestine which was tied to the handle. This "fatal" wound, killed Penangsang instantly. To commemorate this, according to the folklore, Panembahan Senapati then asking all the bridegroom to put jasmines-on-the strings (melati rinonce) on their keris handle to mimic the intestine and symbolizing the bravery, on wedding ceremony.

Today, the Jogjakarta court, claiming as inheritance of Mataram, sees Kanjeng Kyai Ageng Pleret as "a legitimation to govern" for the court. The lance is honoured more than the Sultan himself. Only Sultan himself who clean it on cleansing ceremony. The servants are forbidden to come close and see it on purpose while it is cleaned. Other pusakas may only cleaned after the cleaning of KKA Pleret finished. From those who has seen it incidently, KKA Pleret has exotericly pusaka qualities. The Surakarta court has Kanjeng Kyai Ageng Baru as a match.

About the Kraton's pusaka, In Jogjakarta court, there are 8 servants who specialized on maintaining and documenting the pusaka, all of these servants are court member / royal families. Detail documentation has been done since around 2000 and still on progress, but sadly, without photographs. There are nearly 150 keris kept on Gedong Pusaka/Pusaka main hall (known as Bangsal Prabayeksa), and documentation of others pusaka which is kept in another building still in progress. Lances, would be the most abundant pusaka, counting around a thousand. Once again, according to the servant which I know personally, all of the keris which is kept in Prabayeksa had a "pusaka" grade quality. History of many of them are unknown and some of them were bought by the Sultan / Court.

So, I conclude, historical values may be an important things, but it is not a main consideration. The main consideration, IMHO, would be the exoteric and isoteric qualities, which also show the ability of the empu to put his intention on the blade properly while he made the keris. What I really mean about isoteric isn't "tuah" or magical properties, but something more philosophically. How did we acquire it, might have a little values, as long as you didn't steal it So, for me, you may buy kerises on e-bay and call it pusaka, as long as the blades qualify

Sorry, I got to go, and I would post more sharing on "Jimat ngucap pusaka kandha" and how the "isoteric" things work tomorrow

best regards.
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Old 30th August 2005, 08:58 AM   #62
Alam Shah
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Quote:
So, for me, you may buy kerises on e-bay and call it pusaka, as long as the blades qualify

Dear Boedhi Adhitya,
How do we see/know whether the blade qualify or not as a pusaka?
Any tips/pointers that you can share with us?
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Old 30th August 2005, 10:35 PM   #63
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I'd like to wish you all good luck finding your next keris pusaka on eBay!
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Old 31st August 2005, 09:29 AM   #64
Boedhi Adhitya
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To assess/judge quality of something, we must understand how those things were made, the material and process used, and what the really purpose of those things. This also apply to keris. Contrary to common belief, judging a pusaka keris, firstly, is a very rational process. After that, you should use your own "feeling". No dukuns and incenses involved

First of all, about the making process and materials used.
One of the important processes in keris making is "mewasuh besi". wasuh=basuh=cuci=to wash/clean. This is the first step in forging pusaka. We all know, the ancient iron produced by smelting, and had a lot of impurities inside. The empu drove off the impurities by layering the iron (heating the bar, elongated it, fold it back, welding it, repeating the process for many times). Remember though, this process done before the iron mixed with the pamor. Basically, the empu was making a very pure iron. It takes a lot of effort and a good materials, and seem to be skipped if the empu just made an ageman keris. Empu Djeno said, it takes 12-14kg iron just to make a single keris, not to mentions the steel and pamor materials, if he followed the process used by Empu Pangeran Sedayu / Supo Mandrangi, the famous empu of Majapahit. The characteristics of clean iron, amongs others, are: withstand the high/welding temperature and giving little sparks in this bright-yellow temperature, resilient, and withstand the corrosion. Having the pure iron is very important, not only technically (that is, giving resilient and corrosion-resistant characteristics to the blade, as a weapon) but also esoterically (empu Jeno said, his prayer would be more easily "answered" and "get into" the blade if he works on this iron), and philosophically (which we may discuss later). On the finished blades, there are 3 classes/categories of this "clean" irons : Nyabak = look like sabak=batu tulis=slate, that is, smooth, clean and dense iron. This would be the minimal iron's quality for pusaka keris; Nyerat=serat=fibrous iron, better quality blades ; gulali = look like gula-gula/candy/melting sugar, the best quality iron/blades. Identifying this "clean iron" would be the most important point in assessing pusaka. Just remember then, the assessor must be able to discriminate the smooth-clean characteristic caused by polishing or by the iron itself.

After passing the "Iron exam", then we should examining how the pamor integrated to the iron. I believe, in better quality keris, the pamor material would also be "washed", just like the iron. The earthly iron symbolize the human, in this case, the owner of keris. Pamor then symbolize the heavenly fate, no matter where it came from (celestial or terrestial). Before "catching" and "unite" with the heavenly fate, the human-being should be "clean" spiritually. That why the "clean iron" is important philosophically. Pamor, in other case, should be integrated "properly" to the iron, according to the empu's intention. Many times, the empu fail to do it properly, just like Monet painting his water lotus series. While he painted over 200 paintings, only a few of them, he himself thought, as "properly" showing his intention.

Other exam would be the "garap", that is, how the ricikan (details) were made, and "guwaya", the overall looking of the keris. This exam involve your "feeling". Pusaka keris should have "personality". Haryono Guritno classified keris in 10 grades. the best would be "mahanani", came from "ana"=being, that is, a keris which is when unsheathed, the "aura" or "character" would be easily felt by any attendants in the room. Just like a good painting changing the "aura" of the room. Once again, need no dukun or incense here. Just your feeling.

Wish may help. Handling a pusaka by ourselves might means thousands words

Good hunting !
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Old 1st September 2005, 05:00 AM   #65
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Hi Boedhi,
Thank you for the interesting piece of information.

Quote:
Haryono Guritno classified keris in 10 grades. the best would be "mahanani", came from "ana"=being, that is, a keris which is when unsheathed, the "aura" or "character" would be easily felt by any attendants in the room.

Is there pictures of these that you can share or point to other references? Is there any "Iron Exam" references to recommend? It would be useful to be able to identify them.
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Old 1st September 2005, 08:51 AM   #66
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Dear Mr. Alam shah,
I'm afraid I can not show you the pictures. Sorry. I've only seen 3-4 kerises with, I consider as having, "mahanani" qualities. None of them is mine I'm also afraid that the pictures will not "catch" the "mahanani" qualities, only the beauties. But I will try to manage to have those pictures.
Until now, I've found no book/chapter discussing specifically on iron exam. I've learnt the iron under guidance of elders. They show me a pieces, then they say "this what our ancestor called as 'nyabak' and this is 'nyerat'. Just look carefully and learn, then we discuss". If they didn't have the example, they would refer to others who have it, by saying "just go to Mr. X, and ask his permission to look at the Kyai Y. It has 'gulali' iron. watch carefully". Well, good and perfect pusakas are very rare. It takes years just to find one of them that being sold.

But internet is a powerful tools, you might learn something about ancient iron and steel manufacturing and some metalurgy, and you might also compare the katana-making process and keris-making process. Haryono Guritno himself now in process of publishing his book entitled "Keris Jawa, Antara Mitos dan Realita" (Javanese Keris, between the myth and reality). I believe this book will discuss many aspect of Java keris. IMHO, Guritno is wise enough by not trying to cover all keris cultures from archipelago / nusantara . Btw, 4 kerises' pictures I attached on previous posts might be considered as having "nyabak" iron. Hope this may help.

Since I've promised to share about how the esoteric works, then I would pay my "debt" now
esoteric consist of 3 aspects : philosophy, "tanjeg" and "tayuh". Philosophy would be the "bridge" between the exoteric and esoteric. "tanjeg" is the interpretation of keris's intention, as the empu intended to when he made the blade, by "feel"-ing the exoteric properties. "tayuh", is a "forum" where the owner could "feel" the keris "intention" (=power, if you wish), for example, by dreaming. I would only discuss the philosophy and tanjeg. no tayuh, please

Say, we have a common Tilam Upih keris, with the famous "Udan Mas" (golden rain) pamor, with good, black and shiny "nyabak' iron and perfect pamor. No flaw likes "nerjang landhep" (the pamor lunging/go through the steel edge) or "pegat waja" (broken steel/iron) or "pegat pamor" (broken/interupted pamor). It has a luwes (suppel) and calm-polite (sopan) looking/appearance (guwaya). Some worn out or corrosion is acceptable, though

Philosophically: the pesi (tang) symbolize the phallus, the ganja (with it's hole ) symbolize the yoni. Pesi and ganja thus symbolize the fertily or birth. That is, the beginning of life (of the owner, of course). The pejetan symbolize the "seed of life". Some also interpret it as "hard working" or "the job that had been done". Tikel alis ="folded eyebrow" = 2 eyebrows became one. How comes? It takes two person, man and woman, preferably If you find your partner, stick your eyebrows, and see what else you've been doing. Tikel alis symbolize loyalty and affection. Tilam=alas="bed sheet", upih=pelepah=might means "branch of a tree", likes coconut leaves. Tilam upih means = "sleeping with/on a 'pelepah' as a bed sheet. = to live a modest and humble life. Tilam upih might also call Tilam Pethak(=white)= white bedsheet = to live an honest life.
The blade itself symbolize the owners "path of life". Straight blade symbolize the straight, honest life. Luks means that the owners should avoid/evade every life's hindrance and temptations wisely. The point/tip is the owners end of life, the times when we meet our Creator (if you believe in one). The odd luk means "only your Creator know your fate. It is He who made it even"
Now, we can read this "book" : "May you have the prosperity in your life by works hard and living in a modest and humble life. Be honest and loyal for always. Show your affection to others and always remember and praise your Lord, The Creator. Just remember, all the living will dead, and so do you".

By looking to this keris, the owner who can read the messages, will understand. By look and watching it's beauty again and again, the owner will be suggested to practices "The Teaching". In the end, he may lives in a prosper life. That is a real "tuah" of keris.

If we treat it only as an amulet but never "read" it properly, we may only burnt the incense and spelling mantras likes "O, Great Kyai Tilam Upih, please bring prosperity to my life". But if treat it as "pusaka", we may unsheathed it, and let "the spirit/the teaching" of keris "absorbed" into our own spirit/mind. That's would be the meaning of "Jimat Ngucap, Pusaka Kandha".

The Tanjeg then, the overall interpretation of this keris derived from exoteric properties. In this case : "this tilam upih keris with pamor udan mas will help the owner to have a prosper life".
Please remember that I don't have all the answer. Many keris symbolistic language have lost, and it is a "living culture" which evolves all the times. I do not claim that this interpretation would be the same as the Majapahit era. And cultures, also, may vary.

Wish this post may help you.

Best regards,

Boedhi Adhitya.

Last edited by Boedhi Adhitya : 1st September 2005 at 08:59 AM. Reason: mispelled
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Old 1st September 2005, 09:16 AM   #67
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Dear Boedhi Adhitya,

i am glad that i read these lines. Somehow, i do not know why (perhaps due to spiritual and mind excercises from different aspects) i think this is the correct path. Many thanks for the posts.

BR,

Themis
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Old 1st September 2005, 10:11 AM   #68
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Dear Boedhi Adhitya,

Thank you for the thought provoking info.
It somehow makes sense. Thanks for sharing.

I'll be looking out for the book by Haryono Guritno. Do let us know when it's published.
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Old 1st September 2005, 11:37 AM   #69
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Some interesting perspectives Boedhi and I'm particularly interested in your elaborations on certain keris parts/attributes like the peksi, ganga, tikel alis, tilam upih etc. Apparantly we're also along the same line in this respect at another forum which barely have progressed but perhaps you could also help in expanding the list and fill more. I guess there are further resources (brains) here to draw (pick) on too.

http://www.kampungnet.com.sg/module...thread&tid=1395

I'd agree the peksi represents the phallus and the ganja the female part and as a unit may be a representation of the Shiva lingam. If so, I'd say this is a representation of the absolute, call it God of you like for Shiva is the destroyer and the destroyer transcends duality represented by mergence of the male/female, positive/negative attributes. Brahma is more associated with birth, hence my reasoning opposite to that of yours since it's not Brahma oriented if indeed so. At this juncture, I'd say it's still a conjecture on my part.

Here's an example of the shiva lingam.
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Old 1st September 2005, 02:24 PM   #70
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Quote:
Btw, 4 kerises' pictures I attached on previous posts might be considered as having "nyabak" iron.

Nyabak = look like sabak=batu tulis=slate, that is, smooth, clean and dense iron. This would be the minimal iron's quality for pusaka keris;

...The first keris is the work of Supowinangun, the father of Empu Djeno Harumbrojo, the last living empu today. The keris was commisioned by KRT Puspodiningrat, The son of Prince Puspodiningrat, around 1930. Inherited by the owner today.

...The second is a keris once belongs to KGPA Mangkubumi, the eldest brother of Sultan Hamengkubuwono VII. It was commissioned by the Mangkubumi himself, and the work is done in his own workshop.

...The third is a keris once belongs to GPH Hangabehi, the eldest son of Sultan Hamengkubuwono VIII. Even so, this keris was made in Kraton Yogyakarta, commisioned by the Sultan Hamengkubuwono VII himself.

...This is a very rare dhapur, with elephant head wearing a crown as it's gandhik. I've only seen one and other piece reported to be exist in Jogjakarta Court, named "Kyai Gajahendra".


Hi. Do you know why pusaka keris belongs to great people and rare one only have minimal iron's quality? Is this some sort of gurindam?
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Old 1st September 2005, 11:08 PM   #71
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I wish to complement Pak Boedi upon his clear presentation of the view of the keris held by many students of the keris in today`s Java.

He has opened a window on a uniquely modern Javanese style of thought that reflects some of the traditional elements of Kebatinan that contribute to Javanese mysticism and philosophy as this has developed during the second half of the 20th. Century.

However, as Pak Boedi himself points out, the point of view which he has presented is a point of view that has evolved within a living culture.

Further, it is a point of view which is not universally held within the greater body of Javanese culture, and it does not in any way represent the demonstrable history of the keris within Javanese culture.

As I remarked in an earlier post:-
"As an icon of Javanese society the keris has also changed through the years , and because of its ability to change it survives today, and will continue to survive as long as it can continue to change to fulfil the needs of the changing society and culture of which it is a part."

Pak Boedi has demonstrated beautifully the element of change that has taken place in the position of the keris in a segment of present day Javanese society, and provided a strong case for the continued existence of the keris as a part of that society.

I complement and honour Pak Boedi and his associates for their contribution to the continued development of our dynamic culture.
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Old 3rd September 2005, 04:33 AM   #72
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Hi John. Shiva lingam does not even look like keris. How does keris resemble it?
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Old 3rd September 2005, 07:04 AM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purwacarita
Hi John. Shiva lingam does not even look like keris. How does keris resemble it?


Certainly not the keris but in the context of the peksi (penis) and ganja (vagina).
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Old 3rd September 2005, 11:21 AM   #74
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Hi John. Very fascinating though. Regarding that keris as believed is once legendary weapon of gods and depicted if they manifest themselves into Buta when they are very angry. Wisnhu also handle weapons in his Buta manifestation and do some damages with them. Brahma also share the same nature.
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