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Sangkan Paraning Dumadi

The Beginning of Human Being

Every person at some point asks the fundamental question “Who am I?” or “Where did I come from?” In Javanese spirituality or Kejawen, the answer to this question in Javanese is ‘seko mula-mula, bali marang mula-mula’, from the beginning returns to the beginning, from holiness returns to holiness.

Human being who starts from holiness comes to this world with a mission, and it is to be carried out as best as possible while he or she is in this world.  The main duty of a human is to makaryo - berkarya (to create) to benefit self and others.  Another important duty is Memayu Hayuning Bawono- to Preserve the Beauty of the World, where everyone has the duty to protect and preserve the world with everything in it as a whole, so that it is safe and comfortable for all to live and that everything in it benefits the well-being of all beings including humans and their offsprings (for detailed explanation please read the Chapter on Memayu Hayuning Bawono).

In the beginning of time, when the world was still quiet and everything was simple, life went on without any trouble: the needs of humans were not that many and they lived peacefully.   They carried out their obligation to worship Lord, God the Creator of the Universe and respected the teaching of the elderly.

When life started to get busier and worldly materialism became more attractive, many neglected the life duties assigned to them before they were born.  The Javanese term for it is ndleyo - to deviate from their assignment, because they got distracted or forgot (lali in Javanese), or because the person deliberately tried to forget it (or in Javanese nglali).

The lifestyle of the world which is chasing extravagance and materialism caused many to loose their spiritual sensitivity, they can’t even feel it anymore.  This caused a separation from the most important spiritual guidance which is Manunggaling Kawulo Gusti (the unity of human and God).


The Light of Life in the Sky

The sky that spreads beautifully and peacefully, decorated with planets, stars, and millions of supernova is the beginning of the creation of human beings.  In the sky there are lights in the colors of white, green and yellow.  All three lights together in Kejawen is known as KANG MURBENG ALAM, ADA-ADA GAWE LELAKON URIP which means The beginning, when the Ruler of the universe created life.

The three lights together is known as PAMOR and consists of White Pamor- GARINI, Green Pamor - Nurani, and Yellow Pamor - Handini.  When PAMOR or one of the lights met with SERENG - sun light, together they became RIJAL.  Rijal is CIKAL BAKAL MANUSIA (the beginning of human beings) which was the order of Kang Mubeng Alam - The Creator of the Universe, God, to become SUKSMA.  When Suksma became a human, or in Kejawen term Jumeneng Manuswa, it became HYANG SUKSMA.


Furthermore, the process of how men is created is divided into two:

  • NURANI/Pamor Hijau when it met Sereng thus the Jumeneng Manuswa becomes JIWA with the characteristics of a Female.
  • HANDINI/Pamor Kuning when it met Sereng thus the Jumeneng Manuswa becomes JIWA with the characteristics of a Male.



The word ‘Manuswa’ comes from manu which means shame; and swa which means animal.  A person without shame is at the same level as an animal.

After the above process, the next is the process of unification between Hyang Suksma and Jiwa (with either the characteristics of Female or Male) with Trimurti Jagat, which is a combination of the elements of wind-water-fire, and together they become one with their essence which is Pratiwi or land.

Through a perfect process of a physical love connection between an adult man and an adult woman, human is born as a Female Human or a Male Human with physical body, complete with the elements of: Hyang Suksma, Female Jiwa or Male Jiwa and Nyawa.  Nyawa is the wind that comes out of Pamor, Rijal, Jiwa and Hyang Suksma.  Without Nyawa, a person cannot breathe.


The Similarity Between Humans and the Construction of the Planets

To note, the creation of human has similarities with the creation of planets, the stars and the supernova.  The Light of Life could either be the beginning of humans or the beginning of planets.  Thus, it can be understood why the objects in the sky with their lights can be seen all the way to Earth and have an effect to the life of humans.

It is Garini = White Light that became the essence of planets, stars and the supernova (the white light which consists of different colors of lights among others red, blue and yellow).  There are planets that can be habituated and there are planets that are not, it depends on the light that exist in each planet.  Those with too much red light became too hot, and those with too much blue light became cold.  And for those that have a lot of yellow light, they will birth beauty.


Construction of Planets:

  1. Inner part:  The Light/ Hyang Suksma
  2. In the middle:  Gas and Liquid
  3. Outer area:  The Skin of the Planet


Construction of Human Being:

  1. Inner part:  The Light/Hyang Suksma
  2. In the middle: Jiwa (soul)
  3. Outer:  the physical body which consist of the senses and the sixth sense.


The complete elements of a human, physically and mentally as explained above, is prepared in the way so that the human can carry out his or her life’s duty, as according to the mission he or she is assigned to.

To be prepared mentally and physically is meant so that the human can continue to learn, as according to the teaching of Kejawen which says that people are ordered to live in the world to learn and to never stop learning.


The Affect of Planets and Stars to the Life of Human on Earth

The affect of objects in the sky is explained in details in the original of the Javanese calendar, created based on weather or known as Pranotomongso (for more information please read the chapter on Pranotomongso).  With the Javanese calendar along with Astronomy which have been known in Java since more than 3000 BC, the Javanese has already had the guidance for the time to plant seeds in the wet paddy field system, when to go to the sea to fish, and when is the right time to get plenty of catch.

Not only for physical activities, the objects in the sky such as the Moon and its light greatly affect the life of people, physically and sritually (please read the chapter on Javanese Calendar - Its Relationship with Spiritual Life).  The same with the sun and the stars, they too play a big role in our daily life, including when we carry out spiritual steps or acts such as meditation, which is done by the Believers of God to live in alignment with the will of God, the Creator of the universe and life.

Until the Earth reached million years old, the Earth in the beginning was only occupied by those who were able to adjust themselves with the harsh and dangerous environment of the Earth at the time.  It was the Creator of Life who decided when life began on Earth.  When the Creator decided that human beings can live on Earth, every human who was born and live on Earth was always accompanied by his or her ‘spiritual’ siblings and guards.  They cannot be seen by the physical eyes as determined by purbawasesa- complete power of God, the Creator (please read chapter on Spiritual Siblings and Guards).

Human being who was born and live in this world fulfilled two destinies: to be born and to die.  True Life dressed in physical clothing comes for a few years to carry out a life mission in the world, until the time arrived, the physical clothing frayed and it is left in the World, while the True Life returned to where it came from.  Kejawen called this process Cakra Manggilingan which means what live in holiness and then live in the world, will then return to holiness.  According to Kejawen, in the process of life, for every person, is Sangkan Paraning Dumadi, from holiness to return to holiness.