The traditional Javanese philosophy is basically based on sincretism between Hinduism and Islamic heritage. What I meant by Javanese people is those people who living in central and eastern Java island, Indonesia. The special Javanese philosophy is based on what so called Primbon – the mythical dictionary of Java. The traditional Javanese people used primbon to set up a new house, preparing a new life, marriage and other day to day living.
The most popular Javanese Primbon is Kitab Primbon Betaljemur Adammakna, a mythical heritage from old time. The initial manuscript on Betaljemur Adammakna is belong to Kangjeng Pangeran Harya Tjakraningrat ing Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat (Your Highness Princess Harya Tjakraningrat from Yogyakarta Palace. The Betaljemur Adammakna is acknowledged as the mother of every other Javanese primbon, because it is compiled from ten other primbons:
- Kitab Primbon Betaljemur Adammakna
- Kitab Primbon Lukmanakim Adammakna
- Kitab Primbon Atassadhur Adammakna
- Kitab Primbon Bektijammal Adammakna
- Kitab Primbon Shahdhatsahthir Adammakna
- Kitab Primbon Qomarrulsyamsi Adammakna
- Kitab Primbon Naklassanjir Adammakna
- Kitab Primbon Quraysin Adammakna
- Kitab Primbon Ajimantrawara, Yogabrata, Yogamantra
- Kitab Primbon Kunci Betaljemur
As the name implies, the influence of Islamic religion is very profound. Almost all of the primbon’s title is deriving from Arabic language. This phenomenon shows the impurities or sincretism between old Hinduism/Buddhism Java and Islamic religion. The Islam itself is entering the Java community at fifteenth century, after the collapse of Majapahit kingdom.
The main guidance from primbon is to value the day, date, month and year that we are facing to. What is the good, bad and the destiny of the people. The famous and most remembered things from primbon is the bad day for travel and to do something important. The bad day is classified to different priority. The day are designated as day in a week (Sun-Mon-Tue-Wed-Thu-Fri-Sat) and a pasaran (Javanese day consists 5 days a week – Legi, Paing, Pon, Wage, Kliwon)
- The bad day that can not be used for travelling are: Sunday Paing, Saturday Pon, Friday Wage, Tuesday Kliwon, Monday Legi and Thursday Wage.
- The worst day for travelling are: Wednesday Legi, Sunday Paing, Thursday Pon, Tuesday Wage and Saturday Kliwon.
Another guidance from primbon are the calcuation for successful and happily marriage. They calculate the day and pasaran for each bride and groom and made a simple calculation by summation and division. There are several complicated calculation based on Javanese month and year. Also by counting the number of characters from the name of bride and groom. The bad day also calculated for conducting the wedding.
Click here to see how to calculate neptu (day and pasaran) interactively?
The primbon also shows the mantra for slametan (the thanksgiving ceremony) and the preparation for food and place. The slametan is conducted for every important events, such as wedding, seven month pregnancy, birth and other things considered important. The traditional medicine for child sickness also described.
“wong Jowo yen ora moco kitab iki, ojo ngaku Jowo, saru.”