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Both the ancient manmade temples and the odd natural features of the caldera landscape have been associated to powerful resident deities and spirits. This might be a clue to understand the etymology of the word Dieng, which derives from the Sanskrit Di-Hyang which in turn refers to Kahyangan Dewa or ‘Mountain residence of the Deities’. The local population to this day holds a literal belief system whereby the place and its features indeed serve as shelters for the many spirits and Gods of the Javanese land. For someone interested in the cartography or topography of spiritual Java, this plateau is definite must with so many sacred and haunted spots strewn around. This fact also explains the number of surviving ritual and ceremonial practices held around some lakes and caves near the colored lakes (Telaga Warna). For example the cult of an ancestor spirit named Kyai Kalagete said to inhabit one of the colored lakes is still a vibrant focus of the local people’s religiosity. Due to a legendary anecdote whereby Kyai Kologete is said to have acquired Rastafarian-like dreadlocks during his quest to meet with the famous Queen of the South Seas Ratu Kidul, local children who genetically grow dreadlocks naturally are said to be partly his offspring, and thus are treated in a mystical convention. Their locks eventually get cut and thrown in the lake as the main offering to both Kyai Kalagete and Ratu Kidul as the waters from Dieng flow down to the Indian Ocean through the Serayu River. The Dieng plateau with its unique spiritually-laden atmosphere and sacred spots is a favorite pilgrimage destinationfor Javanese mystics and followers of the Javanism (Kejawen) tradition, yet is also visited for ritual reasons by Balinese Hindu adepts. The caves

set in a rocky outcropin between the colored lakes provide the nucleus for nighttime meditations and ascetic practices, whereby people leave offerings of incense, flowers and ritual foods. A jurukuncior key holder provides access and preparatory incantations to communicate with the divine and celestial beings said to haunt in and around these caves. Many wonders and benefits related to health, wealth and safety are believed to ultimately result from genuine spiritual practice by visitors. The holiness of these places is uncontested by the local residents, and it is this holy energy that attracts the true seekers. Holiness in Javanese kejawen interpretation is understood as realizing the Emptiness of the Selfidentity (Suwung kasunyataan). Emptiness here is not to be approached in a logical time-space perspective, rather than a spiritual concept meaning void of disturbing desires. One who is able to calm the desire mind will create space for the awareness mind to guide perception, which in turn allows the practitionerto unite in subtle feeling (rosobatin) with outer things and beings. This is a state called Kaweningan (mental clarity). This state of mind is sought because wisdom in action, speech and thought will result from it, whereby such a person tends to come up with thoughtful answers rather than continuously questioning things or oneself. In other words also expressed in Hindu/Buddhist Dharma, ignorance of life and universe will be reduced. Dudu ning endi, ananging endi kangening - (Not anywhere physically, yet within the clear center of the heart). Javanese believe that in the keheningan state, answers to all questions can be revealed. Moko Pramusanto and Patrick Vanhoebrouck

Jogja Mag November Edition 2012  

Jogja Mag November Edition 2012

Jogja Mag November Edition 2012  

Jogja Mag November Edition 2012

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