The World of Spirits (in Java)

What do you say, spirits? I do not believe such a thing. It's children story or it's superstitious!

For those who have such an opinion, we will not argue, we honor their opinion. Please do not read this article.

In fact, some people are interested in the world of spirits. Perhaps they hear some stories or they read some articles or books. For those who have reached the true knowledge of kejawen (or perhaps who masters metaphysics), the world of spirits is reality, it is not non-sense!

Here-below is the correct information of their worlds (more than one world!), at least as occurred in Java.

In the same opinion with some kejawen experts, in this one and same world, there are in fact occupied by 7 worlds of life, including the world where human-beings live. This worlds has 7 channels of life, occupied by different creatures. The Creatures of these seven worlds, in principle, they mind their own world. Their activities do not mix, every world has their own business to do. From the seven kinds of worlds, only the world of the human-being has sun, and the population (human-beings, animals) have physical bodies.

The 'population' of the other 6 worlds they have bodies from light (badan cahya) or popularly known as spirits (wong/mahluk alus; refined or unseen creatures). There is no bright day in these 6 worlds, as there is no sun. The situation is like in the clear evening, under the light of stars. It is clear but there is no glaring light as the sunlight.

There are two kinds of spirits/mahluk alus-unseen creatures:

  1. Genuine spirits-who are born/created as spirits.
  2. Spirits from human-beings who have 'passed away'

Just like human-beings, there are bad and good, fool and clever spirits. The genuine spirits they live in their own worlds, each of them, they have their own societies. As they have societies, consequently there are spirits with high-position (kings, queens, ministers etc) and low-ranking position (soldiers, employees, workers etc).

This is reality, it's not an illusion or imaginary things. The 'other worlds' are among other:

  1. Merkayangan
    The life 'in this channel' is almost the same with the world of human-beings except there is no glaring light like the sun, there is no day. In the world of Merkayangan, they smoke same cigarettes, they pay with same money, wear same type of dress, there are same cars in the street, there are factories precisely like in our world. Astonishingly, they have more advanced technology than human-beings! Their cities are more modern than ours!
    So they have also skyscrapers, sophisticated airlines etc.

    There are also mystical things in this Merkayangan world. Sometimes, if necessary human-beings are invited by them, among other: to perform wayang shows, to attend wedding parties, to work in the factories of batik, of cigarettes etc. Those human-beings who have performed job in the Merkayangan world, they were paid with valid money-the same as our money.

  2. Siluman
    These 'unseen creatures' live in the watery areas, such as lakes, seas etc. their societes are set like in the ancient time. They have kings, queens, aristocrats, court-employees, servants etc. they live in palaces/karaton, court mansions, old style houses etc.

    If you go to Yogyakarta and Central Java, you would hear some of them, among other: Kanjeng Ratu Kidul-the queen of the South Sea, a legendary, powerful, beautiful spirit-queen, living in her palace of South Sea, with Parangkusumo as its gate. Parangkusumo is renown place of meeting between Panembahan Senopati and Kanjeng Ratu Kidul. In the meeting, Kanjeng Ratu Kidul had promised to protect all kings and kingdom of Mataram.

    She has a strong a loyal woman Patih/Prime Minister, Nyai Roro Kidul. Her empire stretch-out along the South beach of the island of Java. In some places, she has Adipatis/Viceroys.

    As in a normal ancient country, the Empire of Ratu Kidul they have ceremonies, rituals etc. they have also a strong army.

    Sarpo Bongso - the ruler of Rawa Pening a lake nearby the town of Ambarawa, located between Magelang and Semarang. Sarpo Bongso is a genuine Siluman, living in the lake for quite a long time with his siluman people. Kanjeng Ratu Kidul is not a genuine siluman, centuries ago she was a princess of a Javanese kingdom, but her Patih, Nyai Roro Kidul is a genuine siluman since thousand years ago.

  3. Kajiman
    Their way of life with antique mansions, aristocrat style of society is almost the same with siluman, but kanjiman live in the mountainous area and places with hotter temperature. They are mentioned as Jim by people.

  4. Demit
    They prefer to live in the green mountains. The demit society live in simple houses, made of wood and bamboo. They look like human-beings but they are of smaller built.

Besides the orderly societies of Merkayangan, Siluman, Kajiman and Demit, there are 2 other societies which the writer is not authorized to state in detail. In short those 2 societies are preserved for honest, holy and wise people.

The non-perfect spirits
Besides the 7 permanent channels, there is an 'emergency' channel where spirits of bad people are being sentenced/are starving due to their past mistake while they lived as human-beings.

A human-being shall be punished if he/she makes mistakes. The punishment shall be carried-out while he/she is still alive in this world or worse, in the afterlife. The afterlife punishment is given to those people who have committed: slander, dishonesty, prewangan (spiritual medium, his/her body is used by spirits for consultation), witch craft and black-magic (make other people suffer, sick, death etc), pengasihan (to be loved by others in unethical deed), killing other people.
Worship to berhala
/looking to be rich/pesugihan;sugih-rich. For Javanese berhala/idol does not mean stone statue. They are 9 kinds of evil spirits, who 'help' human-beings to be rich with material wealth. The worship to these 9 evil spirits is a fatal mistake.

The 9 evil-spirits:
They are spirits, if seen by ordinary person looks like:

  1. Jaran Penoleh - a horse with turn head
  2. Srengara Nyarap - a biting dog
  3. Bulus Jimbung - a big land turtle
  4. Kandang Bubrah - a broken stable
  5. Umbel Molor - a hanging mucus
  6. Kutuk Lamur - a blind kutuk (a kind of fish)
  7. Gemak melung - a singing gemak-quail (a kind of bird)
  8. Codot Ngising - a defecating bat
  9. Bajul Putih - a white crocodile

For those who have committed the above mistake, they shall be punished "after their death". Their bodies and their souls are sentenced heavily. They will be danyang, as they can not pass the requirement of Sangkan Paraning Dumadi (you come from holiness, here in this earth you live in holiness and you'll go back to holiness again).

Only good and honest people could pass the test. If you pass the test, you are perfect. Your life is perfect, your death is also perfect. If you fail, your life shall go somewhere between the world of mankind and Merkayangan. You are punished! What's the punishment and how long, it depends to your mistake. So, be careful and do nice and correct things, when you are entrusted to live as a human-beings in this world! Be grateful to God the Almighty.

The other famous danyang-bad spirits who could help misleading people to be rich are among other: Buto Ijo - (green giant), Klabang sayuta (a million of scorpions), Ula Ngripi (a moving snake). They need very cruel offering among other the lives of human-beings. There are spirits-experts in stealing money: tuyul, in the form of a small boy with bold head, Babi Ngepet, in the form of pig.

Various 'after life' sentences
The worst punishment is the afterlife one. There is no comparable suffering. Everybody has to avoid this kind of sentence. OK. But how? It's simple: Be grateful to God the Almighty, by doing nice and correct thing, have a good conduct, be honest, help the needy, do not cheat, do not steal, do not kill, do not do any harm and bad things. But regretfully many people dare to trespass those simple regulations due to lust and self-interest. Those people for sure should be severely punished and they will be danyang (non-perfect or bad spirit) for a very long time and if, in the life as danyang, they commit again another crimes, they will receive another punishment.

There is a Javanese parable, says: 'Urip iku mung mampir ngombe' : you live in this world as if you just drop in to drink. It means you live in this earth only for a very short time. You should behave properly.

What are the punishments?

For killers
Would be reborn as animals for 1000 days, for every killing, for every soul (In the form of cat, dog, horse monkey, sheep, pig, camel, elephant etc - 13 kinds of animals).

  • Killer would be a danyang -Banaspati (a spirit with burning head of fire)
  • Those who committed slander, witchcraft, black magic, will be a danyang kemamang (a spirit in the form of a burning head)
  • Those who instruct others to do the killing, slander, witchcraft and black magic, will be a danyang sundel bolong. (a spirit in the form of an ugly woman)
  • A prewangan/spiritual medium.
    A woman would be a danyang peri, a spirit of a bad smelly woman. She likes to bother lonesome men. A man would be a danyang gendruwo, a spirit in the form of a bad smelly man. He is a criminal, he also has a bad habit to bother a wife of a certain man by transforming himself to be a false husband.
  • For a seeker of material wealth by worshipping the evil spirit, he/she would be a danyang kuntilanak (a spirit in the form of beautiful woman, with a big hole in the back)

Usually danyangs live in the trees, there are 13 kinds of trees preferred by them. Among other in the trees of Banyan (waringin), wild cotton-tree (randu alas), sapodilla (sawo), cananga, magnolia (kantil) etc. The above bad danyangs, they like to bother people with weak-mind, have a confused life and those people who carry out punishment due to power of nature or God's will. Sometime the danyangs transform themselves into the form of human beings (beautiful or old women, handsome or old man). But there is an easy natural detection: their feet do not touch the land and there is no hollow under the nose, above the upper lip.

All the bad spirits and the spirits with ugly and scary forms belonged to criminal group in Javanese they are called: Bekasaan (unpolite, Rough)

Danyang Smarabumi
The danyang/spirit guardian of a village or certain places. She/he is a good danyang. In his/her life as a human-being, he/she was sakti, had supernatural power, but his/her knowledge was not perfect.

In the afterlife, he/she is assigned as a danyang Smarabumi to guard a certain village or place and the people living in the village or in that place, to live in safety. He/she is danyang in charge of the village. In the event of traditional slametan/praying together with ceremonial meal, an offering is prepared for the danyang Smarabumi, usually in the form of burning incense and a glass of hot water, a glass of coffee (no-sugar), betel leaves, areca nuts etc.

He/she is called Nini Kaki Sang Danyang Smarabumi Sing Baureksa ing Desa grand-ma/pa danyang Smarabumi who is responsible in the village of ..

Eeri / Haunted places
Probably you heard that a certain house is haunted by ghosts or some places are eerie. You have to see it case by case, you should not generalize it. Herebelow are some examples of spirits appearance:

(You know, there are good and bad spirits)

  1. The spirit(s) wish to tell to the dwellers or visitors of the house/place of his/her or their existance.
  2. The spirits would like to be helped. Usually they are the spirits of human-beings who have died not in a good way (died in accidents, killed, suicide, in punishment, etc)
  3. The spirits who wish to have friendly relation by helping someone in various fields.
  4. The spirits who intentionally bothering the peaceful life of human-beings.

For those who know the secret of life or for the kejawen followers the ones who have known the true knowledge, the appearance or haunting of spirits is not a big problem. But the question is many do not know but curious. In principle, in this world with its seven channels of life, there is a peaceful co-existence of life (co-habitation) among the creatures and every 'nation' has its own world and business.

What is annoying, some people who boasting themselves as experts of spiritualism, paranomals, psychics etc. exploiting this topic with goal for commercialism. A person with true knowledge should never do that. Normally they are very low profile. If they give advice that helping other people they are of the opinion that helping other people is a duty.

The majority of people, they wish to live safely, peacefully without being disturb by any kind of spirits wherever they are, at home, at work place, during travel etc. luckily, their wish is granted. In Java and Indonesia when someone feels that his/her house is haunted by spirits, he/she should ask a help from 'an old man/woman' wong tuwo in Ngoko-low level language or piyayi sepuh in Kromo-high level language or shaman (dukun) to get rid of the disturbance.

Usually there are two ways to cope with this problem:

  1. The spirit(s) should be told not to disturb the people in the house anymore. But the spirit(s) is/are allowed to stay in the house. (Peaceful co-existence).
    Sometimes the spirits have lived longer in the house than the human or even they have lived in that place before the house was built.
  2. The spirit(s) should be asked to move to other place, especially if they are 'naughty/or bad'.

Request for help

  1. In the mid of night, someone is screaming, scared to death, because she/he sees a scary appearance of spirit, the body was in bloodshed or in other horrible forms. The spirit is looking for help to be released from the wrong path.
  2. In the cemeteries, there are spirits who have not found their right way to eternity or they still wish something in this worldly life, even they have passed away for quite a long time.
    It is important to pray to God the Almighty to forgive all mistakes and sins of the deceased. A kejawen people with true knowledge should know how to handle this.

Eerie places
Some places like road-junctions, bridges, museums, old castles, retreats, cemeteries etc are eerie or hair-raising.

  1. On a certain bridges, there are a lot of accidents, many people died. The drivers know the bridge is eerie, so they horn every time they pass it.
    The spirits of the dead people, can not release themselves from the 'earth gravity', they stay on earth, they are starving. They want to have more 'friends', staying with them. That's why, more accidents happened.
  2. In certain museums, old castles, cemeteries etc. Especially at night are frightening, haunted by ghosts. There are some spirits who guard the places or some antiques or heirlooms not to be bothered by anyone.
    In the cemeteries, there are some spirits who guard a tomb of the deceased. They remain loyal to the deceased. You know there are clever and fool, good and bad spirits. Sometimes, those guards-spirits, due to their blind loyalty attack a visitor.
    The majority of that kind of spirits do not know the quality of a visitor. If a visitor does not know anything about spiritualism, or he/she is weak, the attack is dangerous. He/she can be sick or even died, if not properly taken care.
    Some old people say, it is better not to live nearby a cemetery. Or if you go to a cemetery or to some old places, you have to be spiritually prepared. In your heart, you should say that you have a good intention, you are not doing any harm to anybody, you should be in safety.
  3. By nature, some places are having strong power. Become good places for meditation. Or some places are attractive to various creatures from different worlds. They like to visit the places.
  4. The domains of spirits. The palaces, the houses, the villages of spirits usually are located in lonely places far away from human residential areas, such as in the mountains, in the forests, in the lakes, in the beaches etc. but nowadays due to the fast growing of human-population, it seems nobody seriously thinks about it.

Somebody is married with a spirit from another established society of creature, for instance with a siluman or kajiman. The mix family has children too. Do you believe it? Yes, you do! Just like a marriage between an Indonesian with a westerner and the children are Eurosian.

Usually the mix children of men and spirits, they are spirits, they do exist but they live in the world of spirits, with the Merkayangan, silumans or kajimans. Those who married with spirits, surely they have made agreements between them, how they should meet, live together etc, most of the agreements indicate that when the married person dies, he/she would join her/him and their children to live in the spirit society.

Most of the piyayi sepuh (old men) say, it's better a human marries to another human. But if you marry a spirit, he/she should be a spirit from an established society, not the punished spirits. It should be a fatal mistake!

It's hard for ordinary young people to resist the temptation of a merkayangan, siluman or other spirit beauty and handsome. A young man should say: I have never seen such a beautiful lady in my live!. And she would say that she's is ready to marry him but he has to join her to live in her world. So, it's better not to make a rendez-vous with spirits when you are still young! You may know one thing, spirits are more aggressive than human-beings in love relation. You should know, that in their respective societies, there are plenty of living spirits, their worlds are also crowded.

Why do some people are married with spirits? They learned mystics, when they were not yet strong enough in spiritualism, they met with spirits, beautiful or handsome, attracted and getting married.
Those who marry with spirits, they become clever, they would know everything, they could be spiritual consultants, their partners would always help them.
But it does not mean that they have achieved true knowledge (ilmu sejati), the harmonious relations between servant and master. Regret-fully, after they become clever, they are lazy to do samadi, which is the most important factor for person seeking true knowledge. Most of their time are engaged with spirits.

Invited by human-beings
As a general rule, the spirits should live in their own societal worlds, they have nothing to do with the affaires in the human world.

But why so many spirits exist in the human world? The biggest part of them are invited to live here, they are need by some people. To become guards of somebody or to dwell in a certain heirlooms.

Their 'arrival' in our world are invited or drawn by a strong old man / shaman or dukun. They were assigned to do some duties. Once they live here, they are isolated from their own folks and world. It's very difficult or almost impossible for them to return to their own society. In fact, there are 'migrants' of spirits in our world, most of them are siluman and kajiman.

Nowadays, some people say openly, they have collection of spirits for sales. The price is according to their ability. No comment to the trading of spirits!

The spirits with higher position (kings, queens, ministers, and messengers) from time to time, according to need, they come to visit some people, because of their own wish or they are invited. But after the meeting they will go back to where they belong. They have duties and assignments in their places, but not here.

The shamans (dukun) or medical men/women of the spirits sometimes cross the border and visit a wise people here for consultation. Some spirits with the permit of their shaman, visit a human dukun to be cured from illness.

Black knowledge
Besides people who are learning true knowledge, there are also somebody who are learning 'black knowledge'-ilmu hitam such as black-magic. This is horrible for normal people! But, regretfully it is a fact!

Those narrow-minded people, usually with lower educational background, they wish to achieve a quick profitable result in their life, they wish to have a supernatural power, no matter what are the consequences.

They are seeking supernatural power such as invulnerability (towards sharp-weapon, bullet, blow), able to disappear from sight, able to run very fast, have a tremendous fist blow etc to back up their disgraceful occupation.

Through a black dukun/shaman, they make commitments with black knowledge. They would be helped in their jobs by a certain bad spirit, in turn despite they have to pay fee for the dukun, they have also to give some offerings to the related spirits and these people should be helped by the spirits as long as they live in this world, but after this life, they have to be the spirits' helpers. For how long or until when?
Usually the dukun say that he is not involved in whatsoever commitments. He is just doing his job. No, it is not true, the fact is the dukun is responsible for what he/she does and he/she should pay the price.

A bigshot robber, he had a black knowledge which is called welut putih (white eel). Like an eel he was difficult to be caught. He had tremendous invulnerability. He has been beaten up badly, he almost died, but within a short period he could recover, as if nothing has happened to him. He could recover instantly if he drinks water. He has similarities with eel.

It was not easy to get this welut putih black aji/knowledge. He had to pay the price by fasting, making some offerings etc. if he could pass the 'education', with the help of the dukun/black guru, a spirit of a white eel should enter his body. That's why he has characteristic almost the same with eel, he has to stay nearby water and consumes more water.

The Guru of black knowledge
There are also people who become gurus of ilmu hitam (black knowledge). Probably it's their destiny. They should have known what is the price to be involved in that kind of activities. It's true that the black guru is having very strong magical power, it can be said, probably, that all his wish in this world is fulfilled. He does not want to think about the after life, or he would be proud to live again in that kind of circumstance. It's his affaires.

As an ordinary normal people, seeing the fact that learning black knowledge is also not easy, why then, they do not learn true knowledge. Of course, learning true knowledge is longer, one has to have great patience and there won't be any cross-cut to acquire the knowledge. And the goal is completely different!

A guru of black knowledge, in his fight to defeat his enemy, he/she could transform his body to be a gigantic dragon (Naga raksasa). He/she could eliminate at once his opponent. He/she has many followers, respected by them. All his words are obeyed. He/she has power, abundant material wealth, a lot of pleasure.

But that kind of guru had committed his after life, when his life in this world ended, he should prepare himself to go the world destined for him, the world of spiritual snakes.


Who is R.M. Anom Binaji?

'The world of spirits' as told to the writer by R.M. Anom Binaji, a native of Ambarawa, Central Java, living in Jakarta.

Everyday, as a child when he woke up early in the morning, in his native, cool and hilly town of Ambarawa R.M. Anom Binaji or Mas Ajid or Ki Anom, as his friends call him, immediately confronts with the gigantic powerful mountain, Mt. Merbabu.

In the Southern part is another giant active volcano Mt. Merapi. A few hundred meters from his house is the large lake Rawa Pening. Born 43 years ago, in that tranquil green natural surroundings with strong magnetic power, the young boy Mas Ajid was influenced by the power of nature, notably, he was raised in a traditional Javanese family. His late father, a teacher of a public high-school with dozen of children, was a master of traditional self-defense, Pencak Silat. Consequently he had some mystical power and he practised also kejawen.

The young boy learned the names of several strong spirits in his vicinity. The spiritual ruler of lake-Rawa Pening is Sarpo Bongso, the spiritual rulers of Mt. Merbabu are Lempir and Terapa, the spiritual rulers of Mt. Merapi are Pujangga and Parlapa. He was very much impressed by the peaceful life in his hometown. They care and help each other. They live in harmony, the traditional people, the Muslims, the Christians, the Catholic, the Chinese ethnics. It's the root of local culture.

The Keris and Antique Furniture
Since elementary school, he was adopted by his uncle and lived in Jakarta. Years later, his adopted father after he was retired from service, opened an antique furniture shop in the big house of the family.

Mas Ajid, as a teenager sometimes helped the delivery of the merchandise or at home, he helped to arrange the antiquities including some keris. At first, he did not pay any attention, when he stood close to some keris or very old furniture, he felt something and he had hair-raising.

After he noticed it, he felt some vibration. He started to feel that in some keris, there were spirits. He could not understand how it could be. Keris is a sharp weapon from metal made by someone. As he could not solve the problem by himself, he asked a piyayi sepuh, an old man. By chance, the old man had a thorough knowledge of kejawen. He told him a lot of thing including heirlooms, spirits and the story of true knowledge etc.

Learning true knowledge
He was so surprised to see some people who know a lot of thing in spiritualism. He admires people with their magical knowledge could cure sick people. He met people who could predict precisely. He said to himself: If other people could have those abilities, why I could not? He began to practise the learning of kejawen. He did it seriously without being noticed by other people. He did a lot of exercises, fasting, less of sleeping, be patient, concentration of cipta and the most important thing is breathing exercises, every midnight for at least one hour.

In a remote village
In 1988, he was entrusted by his family to take care of a fish pond in a village in West Java. It was a fish pond with fast flow water system to quickly fatten the fishes, supplied with super quality of feed. Included a rice field and the fishery stood on 10.000 sqm of land. For the first 2 years, there was no electricity in the village.

After the sunset, the place was quiet and dark. Coincidentally, the place fits for spiritual exercises. He could practise concentration of cipta and breathing exercises (ulah napas) quietly without any disturbance for 2 to 3 hours per night regularly. That kind of regular exercises should open the inner feeling-rasa. He saw clearer the reality.

As a result of serious samadi, he could meet Mayangkara (for men) or Mayang Sarkara (for women) Mayangkara or Mayang Sarkara is bigger and blacker than the person.

Both of them are called Mayang Gaseto (people call it Mayonggo Seto) means love of Gusti/Lord, in the broader sense, means: the love of Lord are for all women and men.

For urgent matters, during samadi, Mayangkara should transmit a message to the people who is doing samadi. If a person is already familiar with samadi, he/she while doing physical and soul purification, totally surrender his/her life to God the Almighty, he/she should receive mystical message in case of necessity. He/she begins to have a harmonious relation with Lord.

White shadow/wewayangan putih
Sometimes you feel by yourself that you have asked too much for your self. You said that you do for others, but in fact it is your self-interest, your own lust to do something. In that case you have to purify your self. Take a bath and concentrate your cipta to Holy Creator you ask to be forgiven for all your mistakes.

The best way is in the mid night during full moon. You stand firmly outside the house, in the garden, see your own shadow, concentrate by breathing, you are sorry for all your mistakes. You should see your black shadow becomes white, don't breath and you see the sky. You would see your white shadow like snow or white cloud in the blue sky.

That's mean your request is granted. If you are already familiar to see white shadow outside the house, than you could learn to do it inside the house. You sit under a lamp, where you can see your shadow in front of you.

With concentration this shadow could become white. But it's need a lot of exercises, it's much more difficult. But with a firm determination, it should work.

A clear view
Within almost 20 years of learning kejawen, Mas Ajid has a clear view of what happened in this world. Only a very limited people are aware that he had achieved true knowledge. He is low-profile, he is busy with his permanent job in the field of manufacturing.

Replying to a question, why did it take too long time to master kejawen, he said firmly:
"Because in kejawen, you exercise yourself, you do it by your own power. You do not use outside help (for instance from spirits) You become your real self! And the most important: You are blessed and permitted by Lord".

Suryo S. Negoro

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