In The Palaces / Kratons of Yogya and Solo, as
well as some buildings or sites with close relation to Kratons
some sign written in Javanese characters can be seen. Nowadays in
some parts of Central Java especially in Yogya and Solo, the
street names are written with Latin and Javanese letters also the
City buses "Bis Kota" It is a positive measure by local
society to preserve an ancient literature heritage.
Even in the remote village of Pantaran, on the
eastern slope of Mount Merbabu, the villagers are preserving the
Javanese characters by writing their names in the gates in front
of their houses.
The Javanese upon seeing the characters, should spontaneously
remember the legend of Ajisaka of Medang Kamulan Kingdom dated
back 1930 Years ago. The year of 1997 is equivalent to Saka Year
Basically there are 20 characters which is called Dentawiyanjana,
namely to be read:
There are additional "Sandangan" (Lit.) means
"Clothes" with sounds :
Lit. means lap.
To be read Macan
to be read Macana
The Javanese jokingly says that Pangkon is an effective killer
- to be killed in someone lap, feeling great but dead. In this
Country a new theory to govern others was born:
If you wish to defeat someone, don't use force, put him/her on
your lap. He/She should unconsciously surrender with pleasure.
The Javanese letters in fact are not only used in Central and
East Java, but it is also used in West Java as they call it Hanacaraka.
It is a proof that in the ancient period, the people of Java, no
matter where they live in the West, Central and East Java, they
had one and similar culture.
Since the Javanese as well as Sundanese, (West Java) Languages
are written with Latin letters, less and less people could read
and write with Hanacaraka. At schools there is no intensive
lessons using this letters. This situation is disappointing. Some
efforts have to be taken to improve this situation, considering
the facts that Hanacaraka is a part of Javanese literature,
literature in Javanese is Sastra, and Sastra does not mean only
literature but also knowledge. And for Javanese, knowledge does
not mean only ordinary knowledge but also a knowledge of life
The Legend of Aji Saka
In The Kingdom of Medang Kamulan, in Java, came a young wise
man, by the name of Aji Saka to fight Dewatacengkar, the cruel
King of The Country who had a habit to eat human flesh of his own
people. Aji Saka himself he came from Bumi Majeti. One day he told
his two servants, by the name of Dora and Sembodo, that he was
going to Java. He told them that while he was away, both of them
have to guard his Heirloom / Pusoko. No one except Aji Saka
himself not a allowed to take the Pusoko. In the big battle, Aji
Saka could successfully push Dewata Cengkar to fall to the South
Sea. Dewata Cengkar did not die, he became a Bajul Putih (White
Crocodile). Aji Saka became a ruler of Medangkamulan.
Meanwhile a woman of the village of Dadapan, found an egg. She
put the egg in her Lumbung (Rice Barn). After a certain period the
egg vanished, instead a snake found in the rice barn. The
villagers would like to kill the snake, but the snake said :
"I'm the son of Aji Saka, bring me to him".
Aji Saka told the snake, that he would be recognized as his
son, if he could kill the Bajul Putih in the South Sea. After a
long stormy battle which both sides demonstrating phisycal
strenght and showing skillfull ability of fighting, the snake
could kill Bajul Putih.
As had been promised the snake was recognized as Aji Saka's son
and he was given a name Jaka Linglung (a stupid boy).
In the palace Jaka Linglung greedily ate domestic pets of the
palace. He was punished by the King, expelling him to live in the
Jungle of Pesanga. He was tightly roped until he could not move
his head. He was instructed only to eat things which fall to his
One day, a group of 9 village boys were playing around in that
Jungle. Suddenly it was raining heavily. They had to find a
shelter, luckily there was a cave. Only 8 boys went inside the
cave, the other one who was suffering from very bad skin disease,
sting and dirty, he had to stay out of the cave. All of a sudden,
the cave was falling apart, The 8 boys vanished, only the one who
stayed outside was safe. The cave in fact was the mouth of Jaka
The Simbolic Meaning of Aji Saka's Legend
A Man from Bumi Majeti. Majeti is acronym of:
Ma = Ketrima (accepted)
Jet = Grenjet (sincere wish)
Ti = Pangesti (a solemn pray)
Meaning: A man with sincere wish and solemn pray is accepted by
Aji Saka was accompanied by Dora and Sembodo
Meaning human beings as the creature of God usually has two
Bad Manners - Dora , Good Manners - Sembodo
He was going to Java
Java: A wise man who always worship God, so he is always
protected by Him
Pusoko: Heirlooms or holy things.
Kamulan from Mula - Beginning
A Place where people worship the Creator who has created the
beginning of life.
The woman of Dadapan Village who put an egg in her barn. The
egg disappeared and a snake appeared.
This sentence simbolizing that an adult woman could be
pregnant, in her womb, then a baby was born.
The snake / the baby was brought to Aji Saka - his father.
Meaning that a baby must be well taken care by his parents.
The boy could kill the white crocodile and was name Jaka
Linglung (Stupid Boy)
This sentences would like to explain that:
The child before being a grown up (21 years old), he is
Linglung (stupid) means he is dependant of his parents.
He could kill the white crocodile, the boy became an
independent man, taking care of his own life.
Dewata Cengkar: a grown up man who has no ability to take care
of his own life, he still bothers his parents.
Jaka Linglung was thrown away to the Jungle of Pesanga, tightly
roped until he could not move his head, Symbolizing:
He has to search his own food and necessities, means he has to
He has to use his head or brain to fulfill his demand. The
Jungle of Pesanga, Pesanga means 9 (nine).
He could work everywhere in the eight directions of the World,
but he should always remember one thing, that is the blessing of
Without this, things might go wrong
The 9 (nine) village boys. The one who is sick and dirty was
not allowed to enter the Cave
meaning : All the necessities of life must be a result of a
good descent job, the dirty things is forbidden.
The Symbolic Meaning of Dentawiyanjana (The 20 letters)
Hanacaraka: There are envoys ( a couple - a man & a woman
from God the Creator)
Datasawala: They should do everything upon his instruction.
Padajayanya: Both are the winners with equal status, they live
in harmony caring each other
Magabatanga: They completely serve the will of God. Their souls
and bodies belong to God (Sumarah)
This symbolizing the beginning of the existence of human life,
everything was so holy. Things begin to change when additional
letters of i, e, u, o, etc were introduced. Those letters are
named "sandangan " (clothes) in Javanese.
The children became adults, they start feeling the pleasure
touch of skin to skin (sexual relationships). The wrong - doings,
cheating, pretending, lust, greediness, cruelty which bring
sickness and calamity are becoming common practice. Many people
are only developing rough feeling of five-senses through eyes,
nose, mouth, ears and skin. They forget the pure life, so the
light of life becomes blur, not clear. The human beings live in a
place where there is cold and hot weather, there are sadness and
happiness. In order to prevent further sins and calamity, the Rule
of Life ( Paugeraning urip) was introduced. So that people should
remember His Creator and behave accordingly. Among other thing was
the Rule of Marriage, family responsibility, human relations etc.
A man has to pray to God, that's mean that he has to worship
God and that he has to command the five-senses.
A man has to do fasting sometimes, it's God's order, that's
mean that he has to control the five-senses.
The desire of the five-senses must be aimed to do only positive
things for the man himself and other people.
The 'sandangan' (clothes) of Dentawiyanjana are depicting evil
It should be easier for a man seeking life purification if he
could throw away the 'sandangan' that is to say to be free from
evil temptation. The Javanese terminology for this philosophy is
'Ngracut-Busono' (ngracut = to take-off ; busono = clothes).
Note: In the writing-book, the Javanese letters are written
under the lines (not above) from left to right. Symbolizing that
Javanese people is low profile people.
The words Aji Saka could mean:
Aji = King/ruler
Saka = Pillar of Javanese house
Aji Saka is the symbolic meaning of the principal rule of life.
It could happened not only in Java, but in any other place of the
world as well.