Indonesian Civilization and the Kanjeng Kyai Sabdo Palon Keris

Kanjeng Kyai Sabdo Palon with a Kolo Nadah dapur featuring 5 waves (luk). On the gandik we can see a figure who represents Sabdo Palon. The kinatah features kodok (frogs) and pari (rice plant).

Sabdo Palon is a spiritual being who disappeared from this world in the last days of the Majapahit era. Before he left this world, he said that “in 500 years from now Java will become Javanese again”.

It yet remains unknown in what year the Majapahit era came to an end. When we examine the ancient Javanese chronicles that were written down in the Babad Tanah Jawi, we can find the following: “Sirna ilang Kertaning Bhumi”, which, when translated, forms a chronogram with the number 1400 (Sirna: 0; ilang: 0; Kertaning: 4; and Bhumi: 1). This general interpretation became widely accepted since it is estimated that the Majapahit Kingdom fell in the 14th century.

The pessimistic view on the Majapahit Kingdom of the time as recorded in this manuscript is believed to be the work of the court poet Mpu Prapañca, who opposed the King’s reign of power. Possibly he did not want to portray the deterioration of the Majapahit Kingdom merely in a political sense, but rather did he prefer to compose a chronogram in which he refered to the final days of the kingdom as a fatal disaster (Brandes 1896:920 revised by N.J. Krom).

In Mpu Prapañca’s manuscript the disaster is called ‘Banyu Pindah’, which can be translated as moving water. This may possibly refer to the great floods that scourged the port of Canggu in the year of 1256 of the Saka calendar, or 1334 A.D. Then there is a note that forcasts a disaster will happen in the year 1296 of the Saka calendar / 1334 A.D. This particular disaster is remarkably similar to the ‘Lumpur Sidoarjo’ (the Sidoarjo mud flow), and further tells about the emerge of the ‘Pagunung Anyar’, which literally means a new mountain, or a mountain of mud.

However, in the book ‘The Suma Oriental of Tomé Pires’, it is stated that the Majapahit Kingdom in fact still excercised their reign of power in 1519 A.D. At that time, the kingdom was ruled by Girindrawardhana Dyah Ranawidjaja who previously was known as Bre Kertabhumi (1474 – 1519 A.D.), and this king would later also become known by the name of Brawidjaja. Together with his spiritual advisor Sabdo Palon and his servant Noyo Genggong, King Brawidjaja left the kingdom behind and resided at Mount Lawu where he could fulfill his spiritual duty, i.e. the realization of liberation (Sanskrit: ‘Mokṣa’). Hence, it is said that, due to Brawidjaja’s attainment of the spiritual goal, his powerful entity still dwells near the top of Mount Lawu, and can indeed be sensed by those who have developed a certain level of spiritual wisdom. Mount Lawu is therefore considered a sacred place where the rulers of Java performed their spiritual practice and received divine revelations since time immemorial.

Toni Junus, who is actively involved in the Indonesian keris world, feels there are apparent signs of a coming change in circumstances of the unity of the state of the Republic of Indonesia. During his contemplation, Toni Junus perceived that the words spoken by Sabdo Palon about the cycle of 500 years should be counted from the year 1519 A.D., not 1400 A.D. This means that we can remark 2019 A.D. as the final year of the cycle of 500 years as prophesied by Sabdo Palon. In the year 2019, then, a milestone event will occure in Indonesia; a new civilization will arise in society, which will flourish in spiritual wisdom while it enjoys economic wealth, too.

In either way, there will soon come a new socio-political system in Indonesia, and then a cultural revival will evolve as well. This process of change slowly sets in motion after the year 2012. People’s awareness will become ‘handuweni, handarbeni’, which means that they become mindful of their nation and faithfully care for their beloved homeland, as well as dilligently striving together for realization of ‘Gemah Ripah Loh Jinawi, Tata Tenteram Kerta Raharja’; the return to the indigenous culture and prosperity of Nusantara which will lead the nation towards peace and happiness. Moreover, the heightened awareness of the Indonesian people will allow them to reconstruct the true identity of their nation after it has been affected by colonial rule of power over politics, culture and religion for 500 years.

In the years approaching 2019, the ethics and wisdom from the peoples’ ancestors will transform into a communal spirit that leads the people from Nusantara towards the essence of humanity, in both worldly and spiritual sense. Only then can Indonesia become truly prosperous. Toni Junus thus created a keris that reflects the contemporary situation in Indonesian society as an expression of “The Revival of the Nation’s True Identity”.

Toni Junus in a besalen at Lemah Nduwur, Muntilan.