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The Love Affairs between Dewi Sukesi with Wisrawa

It seems love affairs between women and men never end. A woman and a man fall in love with each  other, it is in fact something normal, it is natural. The story will be different if it is written by

a great writer. It could become a great world litterature.

In the west has a classical romance known as Romeo and Juliet. In the old Java, in the 11 th century during the era of Kediri Kingdom, the flame of love between a handsome knight, Panji Asmarabangun with a beautiful princess Galuh Candra Kirana is still a very famous love story in the country.

In the old story of wayang, prior Ramayana epoch, there were kingdoms where their kings and inhabitants were giants with ugly scary faces. Their morality were also bad.

A giant in Javanese language is buto, means blind, they can not differentiate between good and bad.

Some giants who were consious  went  to a human Guru to learn ethics, morality and some learn spirituality to worship Gusti, God.

After receiving the teaching of Guru, they make some improvement in their behaviour and physical appearance.Some of them were spiritually enlightened. Those who were enlightened, changed their appearance to be human. They are not buto/blind anymore, they became human with conciousness to do good conduct and avoiding bad behaviour.


King Sumali and Dewi Sukesi

 The change from giants to be human, have been experienced by King Sumali and his daughter Dewi Sukesi from the Kingdom of Alengkadiraja. King Sumali wisely governed his country, he was loved and respected by his people as well as by the Kings of neighboring countries.

Her daughter, Dewi Sukesi was very beautiful, inteligent and kind-hearted. She was very polite person,  spoke with subtle and attractive voice. Her beauty was famous among the neighbours kingdom. Many knights and young kings proposed to her, but were declined politely. Although all of them promised to make her life happier, offering her the most beautiful and expensive jeweleries, and some promised  that her entire life would be showered with material wealth.

King Sumali, her father had a progressive thought, for love and marriage, he let her daughther to decide by herself. He trusted that Sukesi was a wise woman.


Sastra Jendra

Dewi Sukesi was determined that she would not accept any proposal based on the amount of money and material wealth offered to her. She would accept a proposal from a man who knew the spiritual knowledge Sastra Jendra.What is Sastra Jendra? Many people have never heard about it.

Sastra Jendra is ngelmu sejati i.e. a true spiritual knowledge dedicated for gods and goddesses only.

It has a very high level of spirutal value.It is only for gods and angels.

A human who can master Sastra Jendra, he/she must be chosen with the blessing of Gusti, God.

The young kings and princes who came to  propose to Dewi Sukesi, were handsome, well-dressed, polite and had good position in their respective countries. They were all trained for battle and war. Some of them had invulnerability, their skins and bodies were weapon/bullet proof. They were good fighters, they had various kind of heirlooms. But they did not had adequate spiritual knowledge, their lives were focussed to worldly matters such as ambitions for material wealth, fame and position in the hierarchy of power. None of them knew Sastra Jendra. They were disappointed when their proposal got rejected .    

It was a rather delicate duty to Sumali to decline each proposal which not matched with the requirement stipulated by her daughter. Sumali, a dignified king who had mastered Sastra Jendra explained the reply very politely in a soft wise voice, so nobody had heart-feeling. They replied when one day they knew Sastra Jendra, they would come again to renew the proposal if Sukesi had not made her choice yet.


Begawan Wisrawa

In the kingdom of Lokapala, the crown prince had just been inaugurated as a new king. He was king Danaraja who  replaced his father who voluntarily step down as king. The ex king was Wisrawa, he had ruled the country wisely for quite a long  time in a just manner with  brilliant skill and ability. He was always praised by his people as he had given them a peaceful and prosperous life. He was a king who was able to protect the country and the interest of the people. All his words were obidiently followed by his subordinates and people.

Before stepping down, he had prepared carefully his successor, his own son, Danaraja.He was honest man,  had good morality, he had been educated properly so he was quite inteligent, had a bright vision to dedicate his life for the well-being of the people as well as of the country.

When Wisrawa stepped down, in fact he was not too old, he was only 55 years old and he was fit and healthy. He said to himself : Enough to worldly successful life with abundant material wealth. From now on, I want to be free, I wish to pursue spiritual path.

As a free common man, he could go anywhere without any restriction from state protocols. He won’t be a vagabond, he had decided to retreat to a tranquil life and be a hermit. In his age, he would purify his mind and soul, deepen spirituality, wishing to be closer to The Creator, God.

He was not strange to spirituality, deep in his heart he knew true life, he knew Sastra Jendra, the divine spiritual knowledge. Within his circle in spirituality, he was called Begawan Wisrawa means the venerable Wisrawa. That was why, he was a just and wise king and during his reign he could maintain clean government, managed by decent and hard working officials and he could bring prosperity and peace to his people and country.

Before he left the palace, he had to accomplish his last state duty i.e. to help find a wife for king Danaraja who was  still a bachelor. He told his son Danaraja to get married at the soonest. Because it was not proper if a king remained bachelor and it was also important for the next succession to the throne.

Danaraja had no candidate to be his consort. He agreed to his father’s suggestion to propose Dewi Sukesi, a beautiful well-known princess, the daughter of Sumali, king of Alengkadiraja According to the tradition, Wisrawa was appointed to be the official messenger of the kingdom of Lokapala to represent king Danaraja to propose Dewi Sukesi..Wisrawa was appointed as Lokapala’s delegation because he had a very close relation with king Sumali. Optimistically the proposal would be accepted and at soonest a great royal wedding between Danaraja and Sukesi performed.


The Proposal

Following the royal etiquette, Wisrawa, the messenger of king Danaraja made an audience to the King of Alengkadiraja, Sumali.On behalf of Danaraja ,he proposed Dewi Sukesi, the daughter of king Sumali to be the wife of Danaraja.

During the audience, Sumali knew intuitively that Wisrawa was a spiritual enlightened man. Sumali explained politely but straight to the point that Sukesi would only accept proposer who have mastered Sastra Jendra. Wisrawa humbly replied that he knew  the essence of  Sastra Jendra. Sumali said that Wisrawa have to prove it directly to Sukesi as it was a clause stipulated by Sukesi herself.

In that case Wisrawa had to explain it directly, face to face with Sukesi and no other person allowed to listen.


The explanation of Wisrawa to Sukesi

The explanation took place in a special room of Alengkadiraja palace, where no other people could see nor listen.Both of them, Wisrawa and Sukesi sat cross-legged face to face on the floor covered by a beautiful thick carpet. At the beginning, Wisrawa’s explanation was very serious, he spoke softly and politely and carefully avoiding mistakes. Sukesi listened attentively .The explanation went on, Sukesi from time to time interupted by making some questions. From the way she asked, Wisrawa was aware that in fact Sukesi had mastered Sastra Jendra. The explanation was  merely a test to him.

After a while, they conversed more freely, from time to time their eyes met and started smiling to each other.In her heart, Sukesi praised the man who spoke to her nicely, his explanation was perfect She likes also the way he spoke and his body movements were very convincing She acknowledged  that she  had never met   a handsome and inteligent man like him.

In the other hand, Wisrawa in his heart also praised Sukesi, a beautiful clever woman with a vast knowledge. So far, he only thought that she was matched to be the wife of Danaraja, his son.. He felt great, made a lot of smiles with the hope Sukesi would accept the proposal to be Danaraja consort.

Although sometimes his mind was tempted: I have never seen a virgin so beautiful and attractive like Sukesi. Her shining face and perfect body are so magnetic. Oh, if I could embrace her even for a while, I would be the happiest man in the world. But Wisrawa immediately came back to his good conciousness i.e to accomplish his mission to propose Sukesi for his son.

The conversation went on, they comminicated more oftenly, more freely. It was not clear how it begun, Sukesi and Wisrawa got attracted to each other. The feeling of attraction was so strong, entering the hearts of a woman and a man in a lonely place.


The Love Affairs

Sukesi and Wisrawa could not refrain the flame of lust. They did not think anymore about ethics, for the sake of “love”, everything could be done.Sukesi forgot completely that the man she embraced was supposed to be her father-in-law; and Wisrawa did not remember anymore that Sukesi should be the wife of his son. The lust had defeated clear mind, they could not control their mind as well as their shameful action. And it was a pity, because these affairs were involving Wisrawa and Sukesi who have good moral and have gained high level spiritual knowledge.

Such kind of temptation could happened to anybody, in this regard our elder wise people always try to remind us by saying : Eling lan waspada ( in Javanese) –Be concious and cautious. Don’t be haughty as if you are a holy person. As long as you are human, with physical and subtle bodies, you could be trapped into temptation. The temptation promised you with something sweet and great, but it was a lie, you would be in trouble and fall into disgrace.

The relation of Sukesi and Wisrawa based on lust, had matching result, the birth of scary giants :

Dasamuka, their first son, a giant with red ten scary faces, symbolizing uncontrolable anger.

Kumbakarna, a black big giant with black skin symbolizing lust of eating and sleeping.

Sarpakenaka, a woman giant with ugly yellow face, symbolizing lust of envy, material wealth and

handsome men.

Gunawan Wibisana, their fourth child was born as a good looking human with pale white face, symbolizing moderate life style, self-denial favoring spiritual deeds.

Sukesi and Wisrawa were not concious that their relation was based on lust, they thought it was pure love. But seeing the birth of their three giant babies in a row, they knew that something was wrong. They continued with their relation, when they made love “to produce” their fourth child, they remember the “ethics” of love making i.e. asking the blessing of Gusti, God prior to love making.

Thus, their fourth child was born, Gunawan Wibisana, an honest man with good moral behaviour and who fought for the truth.When he was grown up, Wibisana helped Rama to free Sita, Rama’s wife who was locked up in the palace of Alengka.After helping Rama to defeat the immoral and cruel king Dasamuka and his troops, Wibisana rebuilt his country and became a wise and just ruler of Alengkadiraja.


The true spiritual knowledge

( Ngelmu Sejati in Javanese language)

The love affairs between Sukesi with Wisrawa is to remind the seekers of true knowledge to avoid such kind of temptation.If we are tempted, we  would be in trouble and disgrace. If we are able to control our mind, to calm down our emotion to direct them to do only positive activities, it would be much easier to calm down the mind ( meneb in Javanese), to relax our bodies ( heneng in Javanese) and then the mind or the spiritual feeling is completely peaceful ( hening in Javanese).

In order to be able to be in a position of meneb, heneng, hening, we need to make spiritual exercices relaxly and diligently. In the old days to deepen spiritual conciousness, we have to do self –denial such as to live with moderate requirements a.o by doing fasting. It is best to eat just enough and eat healthy food, mainly vegetables and fruits. Sleep when you are really sleepy. It is best to have a quality sleep, just enough not too long, which make us fresh all the day.Too much sleep is not good for those who wish to raise their spiritual conciousness. When you sleep, you forget everything, you loose conciousness. Our elders often say that sleep is relative of death. Just evaluate it.

For the grown up, make love moderately, not too often and it is best with wife or husband.

As long as you live, work positively, be always ready to help others, have good morality and always worship all loving God. It is advisible to have a balance of life for worldly and spiritual matters.

If we are able to carry out the above attitudes, we have ability to learn Sastra Jendra, a high level spiritual knowledge.

Sastra Jendra comes from the words Sastra harjendra. Sastra means knowledge, harjendra means safety and prosperity for gods. Thus Sastra Jendra means The knowledge of gods to get safety and prosperity. In the earlier time, Sastra Jendra was only for gods, goddesses, angels. No human was allowed to know and to practise it.


 The Javanese literature has a classical work Arjuna Sasrabahu by famous writers Yasadipura and Sindusastra In this poetry, there is a valuable sentence : Sastra Jendra Hayuningrat Pangruwating Diyu. The phrases mean : The spiritual knowledge for gods to get safety and prosperity by freeing oneself of blindness ( of morality and spirituality) in order to have ability to differentiate the good and the ugly. :

In the old days, there were many flowery or “disguised” words and sentences in Javanese spirituality. It was meant only those who had strong and definate intention could understand the true meaning of the knowledge.

The essential meaning of the phrase : Sastra Jendra Hayuningrat Pangruwating Diyu is : Samadi – ( meditation with the only goal to surrender spiritualy to God) of someone has been  accepted by Gusti, God..

The goal as well as the essential meaning are very simple, crystal clear. Nowadays, the dissemination and explanation of Kejawen spirituality is more opened, using more staight forward phrases.

The Kejawen spiritualists admit that now ,  the period of Sastra Piningit ( secret knowledge) is over, at present is the era of Sastra Cetha ( open knowledge).

It is crystal clear that someone who has mastered  Sastra Jendra spiritual knowledge, he/she knows her/his true life; he/she has a harmonious relation with Higher Self; he/she knows the true life, the reality of life. A spiritualist who have met Higher Self, he/she knows completely the secret of life.

By having true spiritual conciousness, he/she will always do something constructive and positive to help others and actively preserves the planet earth- Memayu hayuning bawono in Javanese terminology.



Suryo S. Negoro

Edited by Angela Sri Utami