The Natural Spiritualism in Javanese Cultural Religion As Seen in Story, "the Queen in Southern Sea", Nyi Roro Kidul
- Length: 2107 words (6 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
Since religion is the philosophy which attempts to understand the concepts involved in religious belief, the religious believers have to give they report such as experiences as those of being in the presence of God, or as being able to realize a timeless and eternal divine order in the universe (it made clear the concept of the religion). In contrast to what happened to the Javanese people who still believe in what they called natural phenomenon that influenced the spiritualism. They showed that there are still many cultural things that they believe as a God or they consider as the dependence that they believe and trust in their life.
Nyi or Nyai Roro Kidul is one of the natural phenomena that have become the spiritual phenomena that happened to the Javanese people, especially for those who live in the Southern Sea of Java like in Yogyakarta. From this concept of belief, it can be considered that the Javanese people admit the concept of deism.
Deism, a rationalist religious philosophy flourished in the 17th and 18th centuries, particularly in England. Generally, Deists held that a certain kind of religious knowledge (sometimes called natural religion) is either inherent in each person or accessible through the exercise of reason, but they denied the validity of religious claims based on revelation or on the specific teachings of any church. Deism can be similar to naturalism, where the concept of belief is still influenced by natural things. Therefore, Deism will often give praise to the formation of life and universe to a higher power that by designing allows only natural processes to control creation.
The decision to choose this topic is to present the issues of the natural spiritualism that develop behind the cultural belief that happen in Javanese belief of cultural phenomena Nyi or Nyai Roro Kidul. In addition, the mystery of several things that influence people to believe this cultural belief becomes the important part that will be explained.
As the main reason to be discussed, deism can be found in Javanese people life becomes the problem or the focused topic. The concept of Deism covers a wide variety of positions on a wide variety of religious issues. Deism can also refer to a personal set of beliefs having to do with the role of nature in spirituality.
This paper will mostly discuss about the natural spirituality behind the belief towards Nyi/ Nyai Roro Kidul for Javanese people. Even though they believe in God (in this case they have their own religions who believe in God) but they still do the spiritual activities that symbolize the natural spiritualism in their daily life. This kind of activities absolutely shows the cultural religion that represents the belief towards the Nyi/Nyai Roro Kidul existence.
The natural spiritualism can be found here is the representative part of the natural belief form that called as the religious belief. In Javanese belief, they know that they believe in God as the creator, but there are still most of them who still do the rituals that directly show about the natural thing that they believe. The natural thing becomes the spiritual phenomena which comes in their daily life influenced they life and caused they believe in these result of rituals. The result of the rituals can be mentioned as cultural religion.
The author tries to present the issue of natural spiritualism in Javanese belief towards Nyai/Nyi Roro Kidul to delivery the message that caused the appearing of new term, which is cultural religion. In this cultural religion who closely related to the term Deism, the author wants to show the phenomena that happen in Javanese people from years ago up to present.
Nyi Roro Kidul is a Javanese Goddess
Nyi Roro Kidul or Nyai Loro Kidul or Ratu Laut Selatan ("Queen of the South," also known as Kangjeng Ratu Kidul and (Queen of the Southern Sea) is a Javanese goddess. The identity is of a goddess or Queen of southern sea of Java (Indian Ocean) in Javanese and Sundanese mythology.
Nyai Loro Kidul has many different names, which reflect the diverse stories of her origin in a lot of sagas, legends, myths and traditional folklore. Many Javanese believe it is important to use various honorifics when referring to her, such as Nyai, Kangjeng, and Gusti. People who invoke her also call her Eyang (grandmother). In mermaid form she is referred to as Nyai Blorong.
The Javanese word loro literally means two - 2 and merged into the name of the myth about the Spirit-Queen born as a beautiful girl/maiden, in Old Javanese rara, written as rårå, (also used as roro). Old-Javanese rara evolved into the New Javanese lara, written as lårå, (means ill, also grief like heartache, heart-break). Dutch orthography changed lara into loro (used here in Nyai Loro Kidul) so the word play moved the beautiful girl to a sick one - Old Javanese Nyi Rara and the New Javanese Nyai Lara.
Explanation above is just about the name of the main character of this paper to be focused on. It is also the first step to know more about her. This reality is a little bit confusing. There are several of Javanese people maybe do not believe of this phenomena, but you can ask to those who live in the Keraton Yogyakarta (Yogyakarta Palace) and the Royal Palace neighborhood. They believe about the story of Nyai/Nyi Roro Kidul. The truth of this story still becomes questioning problem. In fact, this phenomena is real, it is really true that this mythology of Nyai/Nyi Roro Kidul has relevancy with the existence of Keraton Yogyakarta.
Many people believe that there are powerful bond between the Queens of the Southern Sea (Kangjeng Ratu Selatan) with the Royal Palace of Yogyakarta. Society is a tradition community that is respectful toward the balancing of life, the harmony, the balancing, and the prosperity of life. Since this life can be separated from the nature, which is the reason why the people still believe with the natural thing that occurs and have the spiritual value behind it.
In Javanese belief, the King or the leader of a Kingdom or Kasultanan has to communicate with Queen of the Southern Sea (Kangjeng Ratu Selatan) as one of the strengths within their soul to lead the government. In this case, they have to ask for help and take the blessing from the Queen of the Southern Sea (Kangjeng Ratu Selatan).
To prove their great honor to this natural belief of Queen of the Southern Sea (Kangjeng Ratu Selatan), there are many rituals that they do in several occasions. In the activity called Labuhan for instance, a traditional ceremony in Keraton Yogyakarta that is held in the coast side of Southern sea in Yogyakarta. This ceremony is an annual ceremony to celebrate the Birthday of the Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono, the King of Keraton Yogyakarta. This ceremony is held based on the Saka Year (Javanese date system). The purpose of this ritual is for the prosperity of the Keraton Yogyakarta, and especially for the Sultan and the Yogyakarta people.
Another ritual which is presented to give the great honor to the Queen of the Southern Sea (Kangjeng Ratu Selatan) is the Bedaya Lambangsari Dance and the Bedaya Semang Dance. This dance is always held in the Keraton for certain occasions. The Keraton Yogyakarta really appreciate the existence of the Queen of the South Sea (Kangjeng Ratu Selatan) with building which they build in the Taman Sari Building Complex, that is also known as Under Water Palace (Istana Bawah Air). It is located about 1 km in western of Keraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat. Many people believe that this is the place where Sultan and Queen of the Southern Sea (Kangjeng Ratu Selatan) meet.
Moreover, there are many places which Javanese people believe that there is the incarnation of the Queen of the Southern Sea (Kangjeng Ratu Selatan), and people forbid to use green thing especially the clothes, because the green color represents the Nyi/Nyai Roro Kidul. Many people believe that if they use green clothes they will get problem. Besides, there are also several places which are convinced as the place where Queen of the Southern Sea (Kangjeng Ratu Selatan) sometimes visit in. One room in Ambarukmo Hotel for instance, we can meet her if we prepare a Sesajen and do some rituals that consist of spiritual prayer.
There are still many rituals that the Javanese people do to give their great honor to the Queen of the Southern Sea (Kangjeng Ratu Selatan). Some of them sometimes make the preparation called Sesajen, if they want to go fishing. They believe if they do not give the Sesajen, they will get trouble in the sea. This Sesajen is dedicated to the Queen of the Southern Sea (Kangjeng Ratu Selatan) to protect them when they go fishing. Sometimes they do some spiritual prayer in front of the Sesajen as the follow up activity to complete the ritual.
This cultural phenomena has clearly proved that even though there are many Javanese people who already have their own religion, but there are still many people who believe in this kind of natural thing that has spiritual value and they believe it like their own religion that is believe to God.
Deism is the belief that supreme God exist and created the physical universe, and that religious truths can be arrived at by the application of reason alone, without dependence on revelation. In Javanese belief, they do not only believe their own religion as the belief in God, but as the society which has got many influence from their ancestors who also did the same thing, they have to do this ritual as their great honor. The ancestors inherited these cultural phenomena that now still being admitted by the heirs those are the Javanese people. That is why the Javanese people could be called with this ism, which is deism.
The natural thing which has spiritual value that the Javanese people believe culturally is based on this ism. They still believe with the natural phenomena that appear in their life even though it doesn’t make sense if we see from the pure religion belief.
This kind of belief is hardly to be deleted because this belief comes from the Javanese ancestors who believed with natural thing that occurred at that time and they didn’t have other belief like religion now. Perhaps at that time the Javanese ancestors had not known yet about religion and the belief of God as the pure religion, so that they took many influences of the natural thing that has spiritual value to mix with their religious belief.
The Javanese belief of the Queen of the South Sea (Kangjeng Ratu Selatan) gives the influence of the religion itself. Believing the natural thing that has the spiritual values on it brings the different understanding of religious belief. The Javanese people as the believers give their concept of natural spiritualism to the religious belief and mix it with their pure religion.
It clearly influenced the religious experience to others who do not follow this belief. The deism is also clearly proved in this religious experience, because there are lots of the natural things influenced their belief. Instead, deism requires only that the human mind apply logic and reason to come to a recognition and understanding of God, because God is innately logical and reasonable. The Javanese people should differentiate the concept of religion to give stress toward their belief. They have to put much stress on the natural things that has spiritual values that can be put on the religion or it just become the cultural things that they have to appreciate because it came from the ancestors.
As the conclusion, the deism is that influenced their belief has given the new concept of religious belief for people who believe in God as the main creator and appreciate natural to become the belief that has spiritualism value to become culture. Therefore, it is about the appreciation of ism and belief of religion, and great honor that is given to nature.
1. Fatubun, R. 2008. Understanding Philosophy of Science (compilation). Jayapura: Graduate Program, Cenderawasih University