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HAN MARIE STIEKEMA

 


VIVA! JAVA
* Javanese mysticism (Kebatinan) & Traditional Javanese religious tolerance: a model to the world?
*The Yogya Kraton Myth
*Taman Sari 
*The Gunungan 
*Tutup Ngisor
*What we can do for Java....
*Java: Land of Kala, its Candi's (Temples):
*
Borobudur 1
*Borobudur 2

*Borobudur 3
*Borobudur 4

*Borobudur 5
*Borobudur 6
*Candi Mendut

*Candi Pawon
*Candi Ngawen
*Candi Sari
*Candi Kalasan
*Candi Sambisari
*Candi Prambanan
*Candi Lumbung
*Candi Bubrah

*Candi Sewu
*Candi Plaosan
*Candi Gebang
*Candi Ijo
*Candi Banyunibo

 

Java: Land of Kala, its Candi's (Temples)
A surprise right from he start
Central thesis:

Archaic religion - the "Cosmic Mother/The Great Black One" giving birth to Her Son/Lover Gods - originated in Sumeria and spread both to the East and the West. Despite millennia of (patriarchal) religions, who all "forgot" about their Origin, traces of the former can still be found. On Java these are the Kala's. Although present in their hundreds on many Candi's no ANY study (I know of) has ever paid attention to them. However, once you start to see and investigate, a whole new universe is emerging which throws a unique light on Java and its roots. Additional surprise are the links with pre-christian Europe with its Black Madonna's and Green Men. First there were many questions and a few answers; now there is a big answer and fewer questions. Very joyful, indeed!

Borobudur sits in its enigmatic depth, engulfed in vaporous illusions, waiting for someone to find the base simplicity of its Truth....Lokesh Chandra

LINK: Green Men Pilgrim Network

Buddha protected by Kala
(Borobudur)

The key problem: Kala as "God of Time" - as many people understand "him" - is an isolated phenomenon. There are no links with other aspects of Javanese Religion. Hence, no any deeper understanding arises. The picture changes dramatically, after restoring Kala's position in the Divine Patheon, though. All kinds of images until now leading a fragmented life, are linked together. The result: while existing research has to leave many questions e.g. options open, key issues can now be easily understood. The whole edifice of Javanese belief is firmly rooted, consistent and incredibly powerful...

 

Meditating Hindu God with Kala and Stupa on top
(Prambanan)

Some things are (very) obvious. Javanese Candi's display a multitude of Kala's. More than any other image. The reason why this is "overlooked" is, that these images are Heads of Demons. And Demons aren't very high ranked. How come that the whole religious landscape was so dominated by these "Monsters". Somehow they must have been VERY important. They even function as Guardian of Shiva's and Buddha's (LINK Prambanan, LINK Borobudur). Even if one accepts that Kala's are "Gods of Time", even then it is rather strange that these Gods were considered that important.

PS. It is easy to understand that the concept of "Time" is derived from "Destruction", another strong indication that the God is the successor of the Mother (which both spiritually and mythologically is indeed the case)

 

The Holy Gunung (Mount) Merapi

Demon/Guardians are by definition defeated Deities from a previous era. Despite that they still are considered very powerful. Therefore, in the new religion (Hinduism, Buddhism) they have to function as Guardians/Protectors of the new faith. With regard to Kala, "he" wasn't a "God of Time" , but the Origin of Time(lessness): the Cosmic Mother. The latter is All-Embracing e.g. Powerful, being the birthgiver of creation, destruction and "permanence". Surprisingly, these aspects are still visible in the images of the "Demon": the Big Face as Her Essence, the upper jaw as the devouring Mouth, and the Tree of Life on top. Realizing that She is indeed everywhere, it means that without doubt Java is the land of the Original Mother (in disguise)!

Kraton

This hypothesis is strongly supported by a most archaic myth: that of the "Queen of the South Seas" (LINK). Summarized it says that there is a mystical link between Mt. Merapi, the Kraton of Yogyakarta and the Sea Goddess. Mt. Merapi stands for the Great Mother, both including Creation and Destruction; the Sultan being Her Son/Lover with Nyai Lara Kidul as Her manifestation as the Goddess/Queen. The dynamics between the three are very revealing, indeed. The Sultan appears the executive of the Mother, hence he should always be very much attuned to Her. This is only possible when he is ego-less. Indeed, his most important duty is to sacrifice his ego (invited by Mothers/Mt Merapi's destructive Force!) through daily meditation (LINK TAMAN SARI). Being renewed this way he regularly celebrates a "sacred marriage" with the Queen, the latter granting him a strong reign, prosperity and fertility (of the land). The miracle is, that this myth, which is put into practice until this very day! is an exact successor to the myth of Inanna, Mother/Goddess/Queen of Sumeria, 5000 years ago. Many elements can also be found in the Legend of the Grail....

 

Queen of the South Sees: Roto Kidul. LINK The Yogya Kraton Myth

Not surprisingly thus that this powerful myth, a one that survived all patriarchal distortions during many millennia! has its reverberation on Javanese belief e.g. culture as a whole.

Taman Sari

Generally, it is astonishing how little is known about the background of the Candi's. Most of it is guessing. There is still no knowledge about the world view people had at that time, no understanding of their roots. Hence, interpretations are fragmented at best.

Borobudur

HOW COULD JAVA HAVE OVERLOOKED KALA?

Candi Pawon

Now, to reassure you, I don't have the pretension of knowing everything. Also for me there are countless places where I have to admit I don't know. As an European I don't have access to all tales of Javanese mythology. Long before Westerners "discovered" the Candi's the local people had preserved old tales. Nowadays, more and more of them have been published. What I hope is that one day we sit together and exchange*. Because isn't what I contributed a new paradigm? I hope Javanese people one day acknowledge that through it hitherto secretive phenomena suddenly make sense. Even if I would be totally wrong - which no researcher can exclude - I am happy to have stirred a new and fundamental round of discussion, putting the Javanese culture once again in the center of interest, which, obviously it very much deserves

* I would be very honored if local scientists, writers read my hypothesis and
comment on it!

Gunungan

Food for thought is the "God of Time" linking "him" to Shiva, the Hindu God of Destruction. Shiva in his turn is a pre-Vedic God!, who can be traced back to the Indian Harappa-culture. This culture is the link between Hinduism and the archaic Mother cultures of the Middle East (Sumeria and Persia). Thus the   "Proto-Shiva" (before he became a Hindu God) originated from the Mother Religion, where he "played the role" of Son/Lover or Vegetation God. In later times certain festivals still link ("the wild") Shiva with the autumn (where he "died") and spring (where he was reborn). Like so many "Son of the Mother" Gods, he stole attributes, which originally belonged to Her, like "death and rebirth" or like the "Great Black One". Hence the "God of Time" (Kala) as "he" is perceived in current days, was originally the Cosmic Mother, the latter in the course of time being replaced by Shiva.

See more under "Prambanan"  

 

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Last revising: 08/09/12