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Title: Monumental Java
Author: Scheltema, J. F. (Johann Friedrich ), 1855-1922
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: I. THE BORO BUDOOR

(Cephas Sr.)]



    Unde etiam nunc est mortalibus insitus horror,
    Qui delubra deûm nova toto suscitat orbi
    Terrarum, et festis cogit celebrare diebus:

    LUCRETIUS, _De Rerum Natura_, Lib. v.






If this book needs an apology, it is one to myself for taking the public
at large into the confidence of cherished recollections. The writing
was a diversion from studies in a quite different direction and letting
my pen go, while living again the happy hours I spent, between arduous
duties, with the beautiful monuments of Java’s past, I did nothing but
seek my own pleasure. Should it turn out that my personal impressions,
given in black and white, please others too--so much the better. In any
case they must be taken for what they are: a beguilement of lone moments
of leisure.

Whoever find them readable, they will not satisfy, I hope, a certain
class of critics; those, I mean, who extend the paltry rule of mutual
admiration, _nul n’aura de l’esprit que nous et nos amis_, to any
field they claim their own and “of whom to be dispraised were no small
praise.” Desirous, I must confess, to stimulate their flattering
disapproval, I hasten to admit in advance my many shortcomings, a full
list of which they will doubtless oblige me with in due process of
censorious comment. My work sets up no pretence to completeness: there
is no full enumeration of all the Hindu and Buddhist temples known by
their remains; there are no measurements, no technical details, no
statistics--a great recommendation to my mind, as Dutch East Indian
statistics go. I am not guilty of an ambitious attempt to enrich the
world with an exhaustive treatise on ancient Javanese architecture and
sculpture--far be it from me to harbour such an audacious design! I
disclaim even the presumption to aspire at being classed as a useful
companion on a visit to the island; I deny most emphatically that I
intend to swell the disquieting number of tourists’ vade-mecums already
up for sale, clamouring for recognition, and, _horribile dictu_, scores
more coming! Be they sufficient or insufficient, qualitatively speaking,
I am not going to increase their quantity.

So much for what this book is not. What it is, I could not help making
it, choosing from the material stored in my memory; reliving, as fancy
dictated in long northern winter evenings, the sunny spells between
1874 and 1903 when I might call Java my home; resuming my walks in the
charming island pleasance of the East, fain to leave the congested main
roads and disport myself along by-paths and unfrequented lanes where
solace and repose await the weary wanderer. The undertaking, somewhat
too confidently indicated by the title, tempted to excursions off the
beaten historical, geographical and archaeological tracks, which
perhaps will contribute to a better understanding of the monuments
described in their proper setting, their relations to natural scenery
and native civilisation, but certainly do not tend to conformity with
the regulation style of compositions of the kind. Invoking the aid of
Ganesa, the sagacious guide, countenancer of poor mortals in creative
throes--for, thank Heaven! the fever of production is indissolubly one
with the anguish that heightens its delights,--I never hesitated in
letting the idea of self-gratification prevail, even when the question
of illustration arose after the plan had ripened of inviting indulgent
readers to partake. In this respect too I struggled free from anxious
deliberation: _Wer gar zu viel bedenkt, wird wenig leisten_. And, Ganesa
aiding, the following kaleidoscopic view of the land I love so well, was
the result of my delicious travail.

Looking for the flowers in the ill-kept garden of Java, the
delinquencies of the gardeners could not be ignored and here I touch
the unpleasant side of the recreation I sought, especially disagreeable
when proposing to strangers that they should share; but a picture needs
shade as well as light to become intelligible. And to paint true to life
the picture of Dutch East Indian passivity (activity only in vandalism!)
regarding treasures of art inconvertible into cash, shade ought to be
preponderant and light relegated to the subordinate place of a little
star glimmering dimly in the darkness, a little star of hope for the
future. Disinclined, however, to spoil my pleasure by dwelling on the
tenebrous general aspect of governmental archaeology in the past, I
have no more than mentioned such disgraceful incidents as the Mendoot
squabbles, and omitted, _e.g._, all reference to such ludicrously heated
controversies as that about the _kala-makara_ versus the _garuda-naga_
ornament, exhaustive of the energy which the officially learned might
have employed to so much greater advantage by rescuing the venerable
temples they fought over, from decay and willful demolition.

The neglect of the ancient monuments of Java has been nothing short
of scandalous, the evil effects of the habitual languid detachment of
the colonial authorities from the business they are supposed to look
after, being, in their case, intensified by acts of dilapidation which
even a Government centuries back on the road of enlightenment would
have checked,[1] not to speak of downright plunder and theft. The more
honour deserve men like Junghuhn among the dead and Rouffaer among the
still living, who lifted their voice against the intolerable negligence
which hastened the ruin of some of the finest existing specimens of
Hindu and Buddhist architecture. At last, in 1901, an Archaeological
Commission was appointed, whose labours were directed by Dr. J. L.
A. Brandes, their head and soul. After his regretted death in 1905,
he was succeeded by Dr. N. J. Krom, who has no easy task in fanning
the spark, struck by his predecessor from the hard flint of official
_laisser-aller_ into a steady, bright flame of real, continuous
solicitude for the country’s antiquities.

Antiquities, except when sold, do not bring money to the exchequer, and
the Dutch Government’s most holy colonial traditions are diametrically
opposed to expenses without promise of immediate pecuniary profit. If
sympathies in matters alien to that prime purpose are miraculously
aroused, such interest, revealing itself at the very best by fits and
starts to serve ambitious schemes, soon flags and dies. Especially in
Dutch East Indian enthusiasm for enterprises financially uncommendable,
the adage holds good that _tout lasse, tout casse, tout passe_. The
efforts of the Archaeological Commission can be traced only at the
respectful distance of at least a couple of years, the drowsy dignity
of red-tapeism putting as long a space as possible between the vulgar
gaze of the unofficially curious and the official accounts of things
accomplished, meetly compiled, arranged, amended, corrected, revised,
purged, padded and bolstered up by the editing experts of successively
the circumlocution offices at Batavia, Buitenzorg and the Hague. The
reports, published in this manner, whatever they represent as having
been done, lay no stress, of course, upon what has been left undone,
upon the architectural marvels unprovided for, still suffered to
crumble away, to be stripped and demolished, the valuable statuary
and ornaments to be carried off piecemeal by unscrupulous collectors,
the lower priced stones they left, sculptured or not, by the builders
of private dwellings and factories, of Government bridges, dams and

The illustrations, inserted to explain, imperfect though it be,
the charm of the temple ruins I treated of, are reproductions of
photographs, taken for the Dutch East Indian Archaeological Service,
I obtained from Messrs. Charls and van Es at Weltevreden, by courtesy
of Dr. N. J. Krom, and of photographs taken for the Centrum Company
at Batavia, and by Mr. C. Nieuwenhuis and the late Cephas Sr. at
Jogjakarta. The work of restoration can be appreciated from the
photo-prints of the _chandi_ Pawon and, with respect to the _chandis_
Mendoot and Boro Budoor, from those facing pp. 215 and 280; they are
the numbers 24 and 40 on the list of the illustrations, and I owe
them to Major T. van Erp, also through the intermediary of Dr. Krom.
My indebtedness for the text so far as it does not rest on personal
observation and information obtained in the localities referred to, is
a very large one to many authors on many subjects separately specified
in the notes. Concerning the historical parts, I beg leave to state
that my readings on controversial points have been determined by a
careful sifting of the most acceptable theories advanced, at the risk of
critics of the stamp alluded to, proving my preferred records absolutely
inadmissible. If so, I having pulled the long bow _à l’instar_ of the
annalists and chroniclers of ancient Java, and consequently being shown
up for indicating the way in which things did not happen and could not
have happened, instead of sticking to the historical truth agreed upon
until one of the hall-marked omniscient makes a name for himself by
inducing the others to agree upon something else, my sin falls back on
the shoulders of the _savants_ prone to lead their admirers astray by
their occasional imitation of the eminent historian at whose inborn
disrespect for facts Professor Freeman used to poke fun. I am afraid
that the system of transliteration I adopted, will also meet with scant
recognition in the same quarter, but finding none that, strictly carried
through, adjusts itself equally well to the exigencies both of Javanese
and Malay names and expressions, I shall adhere to this one until taught

This must suffice for a preface if, indeed, it does not exceed the
measure allowed by my readers’ patience. Knowing Java, they will,
however, excuse my fervour in introducing reminiscences of beauty
breathing scenes which, once enjoyed, linger like delights in memory

                ... _the memory of a dream,
    Which now is sad because it hath been sweet_.

Not knowing Java yet, they will forgive later, when they have visited
the matchless old shrines, images of her past and symbolic of her hopes
for blessings hidden in the womb of time, when they have tried to read
the riddle of her children’s destiny in the Boro Budoor

        ... _seated in an island strong,
    Abounding all with delices most rare._

        J. F. S.



[1] See, _e.g._, the edict, issued more than thirteen centuries ago by
the Emperor Majorian, as quoted by Gibbon: Antiquarum aedium dissipatur
speciosa constructio; et ut aliquid reparetur, magna diruuntur. Hinc iam
occasio nascitur, etc.



    WEST JAVA                                    23

    THE DIËNG                                    40

    PRAMBANAN                                    69

    MORE OF CENTRAL JAVA                         99

    EAST JAVA                                   140

    BUDDHIST JAVA                               177


    THE STONES OF THE BORO BUDOOR               233

    THE SOUL OF THE BORO BUDOOR                 266

    BIBLIOGRAPHY                                285

    GLOSSARY                                    289

    INDEX                                       295


                                                               FACE PAGE

    1. The Boro Budoor (Cephas Sr.)                       _Frontispiece_
    2. _Chandi_ Pringapoos (Archaeological Service through
        Charls and van Es)                                            43
    3. _Chandi_ Arjuno on the Diëng Plateau (Archaeological Service
        through Charls and van Es)                                    57
    4. _Chandi_ Bimo or Wergodoro on the Diëng Plateau
        (Archaeological Service through Charls and van Es)            60
    5. East Front of the Siva (Loro Jonggrang) Temple of the
        Prambanan Group in 1895 (Cephas Sr.)                          70
    6. Siva (Loro Jonggrang) Temple of the Prambanan Group in
        1901 (Cephas Sr.)                                             78
    7. Prambanan Reliefs (C. Nieuwenhuis)                             81
    8. Prambanan Reliefs (Cephas Sr.)                                 84
    9. Prambanan Reliefs (Centrum)                                    87
    10. Prambanan Reliefs (Centrum)                                   90
    11. Prambanan Reliefs (Centrum)                                   93
    12. Prambanan Reliefs (Centrum)                                   96
    13. Water-Castle at Jogjakarta (Centrum)                         131
    14. Water-Castle at Jogjakarta (Centrum)                         135
    15. _Chandi_ Papoh (Archaeological Service through Charls
        and van Es)                                                  151
    16. _Chandi_ Singosari (Archaeological Service through Charls
        and van Es)                                                  157
    17. _Chandi_ Toompang (Archaeological Service through Charls
        and van Es)                                                  159
    18. _Chandi_ Panataran (Archaeological Service through Charls
        and van Es)                                                  164
    19. _Chandi_ Kalasan (C. Nieuwenhuis)                            181
    20. _Chandi_ Sari (C. Nieuwenhuis)                               185
    21. _Raksasa_ of the _Chandi_ Sewu (Centrum)                     191
    22. Detail of the _Chandi_ Sewu (Archaeological Service
        through Charls and van Es)                                   199
    23. _Chandi_ Mendoot before its Restoration (Cephas Sr.)         211
    24. _Chandi_ Mendoot after its Restoration (Archaeological
        Service)                                                     215
    25. Interior of the _Chandi_ Mendoot (Cephas Sr.)                223
    26. The _Chandi_ Pawon and the Randu Alas (C. Nieuwenhuis)       229
    27. The _Chandi_ Pawon divorced and restored (Centrum)           230
    28. Base of the Boro Budoor showing the (filled up) lowest
        Gallery (C. Nieuwenhuis)                                     242
    29. Detail of the Boro Budoor (C. Nieuwenhuis)                   244
    30. Detail of the Boro Budoor (C. Nieuwenhuis)                   247
    31. Detail of the Boro Budoor (Centrum)                          249
    32. Detail of the Boro Budoor (C. Nieuwenhuis)                   252
    33. Detail of the Boro Budoor (C. Nieuwenhuis)                   254
    34. A Dhyani Buddha of the Boro Budoor (Cephas Sr.)              256
    35. Reliefs of the Boro Budoor (C. Nieuwenhuis)                  259
    36. Ascending the Boro Budoor (Cephas Sr.)                       261
    37. Reaching the Circular Terraces of the Boro Budoor
        (Cephas Sr.)                                                 264
    38. Ascending to the Dagob of the Boro Budoor (Cephas Sr.)       270
    39. The Dagob of the Boro Budoor before its Restoration
        (C. Nieuwenhuis)                                             276
    40. The Dagob of the Boro Budoor after its Restoration
        (Archaeological Service)                                     280




    It is the crowning virtue of all great Art that, however little
    is left of it by the injuries of time, that little will be lovely.
    JOHN RUSKIN, _Mornings in Florence (Santa Croce)_.

Java’s ancient monuments are eloquent evidence of that innate
consciousness of something beyond earthly existence which moves men to
propitiate the principle of life by sacrifice in temples as gloriously
divine as mortal hand can raise. Fear, however, especially where
Buddhism moulded their thought by contemplation intent upon absorption
of self, entered little into the religion of the children of this pearl
of islands. Nature, beautiful, almighty nature, guided them and their
work; even the terror inspired by the cosmic energy throbbing under
their feet, by frequent volcanic upheavals dealing destruction and
death, flowered into promise of new joy, thanks to the consummate art of
their builders and sculptors, whose master minds, conceiving grandly,
devising boldly and finishing with elaborate ornament, emphasised most
cunningly the lofty yet lovely majesty of their natural surroundings.
They made them images of the Supreme Being in his different aspects and
symbolised attributes, free from the abject dread which dominated his
worship by other earthlings of his fashioning in other climes, whose
notion of All-Power was more one of Vengeance than of All-Sufficiency.
They lived and meditated and wrought, impressing their mentality upon
the material world given for their use; and so they created marvels of
beauty, developed an architecture which belongs pre-eminently to their
luxuriant soil under the clear blue of their sky, in the brilliant light
of their sun.

Truly high art ever shows a natural fitness, as we can observe in our
gothic cathedrals, in the classic remains of Hellas, including those
of Magna Graecia, the temples of Poseidonia, Egesta and Acragas, the
theatres of Syracuse and Tauromenium, gates opened to the splendour
of heaven and earth by the undying virtue of mortal endeavour. Other
countries, other revelations of the divine essence in human effort, but
not even the shrines of India as I came to know them, born of a common
origin with Javanese religious structures in almost similar conditions
of climate, physical needs, moral aspirations, can equal their stately
grandeur balanced by exquisite elegance, calm yet passionate, always in
keeping with the dignified repose of landscapes which at any moment may
have their charms dissolved in earthquakes, fire and ashes. Angkor-Vat,
turned from the service of four-faced Brahma to Buddhist self-negation,
stands perhaps nearest in the happy effect produced, if not in outline.
And what is the secret of that quiet, subtle magic exercised by the
builders of Java? Nothing but a matter of technical skill, of such a
control over the practical details of their craft as, for instance, made
them scorn metal bindings, while using mortar only to a very limited
extent? Or was it their faith, leavening design and execution, attaching
the master’s seal to general plan and minutest ornamental scroll? In
this connection it seems worthy of remark that architect and sculptor,
though independent in their labours (with the exception of one or two
edifices of a late date), achieved invariably, in the distribution of
surfaces and decoration, both as to front and side elevations, complete
unity of expression of the fundamental idea.

Geographically, the ancient monuments of Java may be divided into
three main groups: a western one, rather scanty and confined to a
comparatively small area; a central one, rich both in Sivaïte and
Buddhist temples of the highest excellence; an eastern one, including
Madura and Bali, illustrative of the island’s Hindu art in its
decadence. Taking it roughly, the order is also chronologically from
West to East, and to a certain extent we can trace the history of the
remarkable people who improved so nobly upon the ideas they received
from India, in the ruins they left to our wondering gaze. There has
been a good deal of controversy respecting the date up to which the
inhabitants of Java developed themselves on lines of aboriginal thought
before the advent of the Hindus or, more correctly speaking, before
Hindu influences became prevalent. In fact, there is hardly any question
regarding the history of the island and its civilisation before the
white conquerors carried everything before them, which has not given
rise to controversy, and many important points are still very far
from being settled--perhaps they never will be. In the face of such
disagreement it behoves us to go warily and what follows hereafter rests
but on arguments _pro_ and _contra_ deemed most plausible and founded
principally on the accounts of the _babads_ or Javanese chronicles,[2]
always liable to correction when new discoveries with new wordy battles
in their wake bring new light--if they do! Rude attempts at rock carving
near Karang Bolong, Sukabumi, and Chitapen, Cheribon, are ascribed by
some to artists of the pre-Hindu period. Professor J. H. C. Kern’s
reading of inscriptions on four monoliths in Batavia, glorifications
of a certain king Purnavarman, proves that the first Hindus of whom we
have knowledge in Java, were Vaishnavas. Then comes a blank of several
centuries while they made their way to Central and East Java where,
however, when the veil is partly lifted, the Saivas predominate, almost
swamping the rival sect. Fa Hien, the Chinese pilgrim who visited the
island in 412 or 413, having suffered shipwreck on its coast, speaks of
Brahmanism being _in floribus_ and making converts, but complains of
Buddhism as still of small account among the natives.

The strangers arrived in increasing numbers on the hospitable shores
of the good and generous _negri jawa_, whose kindly reception of those
adventurers is marvellously well represented on two of the sculptured
slabs of the Boro Budoor, a tale of rescue from the dangers of the sea,
a picture of the past and a prophetic vision of the welcome extended in
later days also to Muhammadans and Christians--to be how repaid! The
Hindus acquitted their debt of gratitude by building and carving with
an energy, to quote James Fergusson, and to an extent nowhere surpassed
in their native lands, dignifying their new home with imperishable
records of their art and civilisation.... The Venggi inscriptions of
the Diëng and the Kadu leave no doubt that the oldest manifestations
of Hinduïsm in Central and West Java were intimately related
and that the first strong infusion of the imported creed must
have operated until 850 Saka (A.D. 928). In 654 Saka (A.D. 732),
according to an inscription found at Changgal, Kadu, the ruler of
the land bore a Sanskrit name and sacrificed to Siva, erecting a
_linga_.[3] An inscription of 700 Saka (A.D. 778), found at Kalasan,
Jogjakarta, is Buddhistic and confirms the evidence of many other
records carved in stone and copper, of the oldest Javanese literature,
last but not least of the temple ruins, all concurring in this that the
two religions flourished side by side, the adoration of the Brahman
triad, led by Siva, acquiring a tinge of the beatitude derived from
emancipation through annihilation of self; Buddhism, in its younger
_mahayana_ form, becoming strongly impregnated with Sivaïsm, to the
point even of endowing the Adi-Buddha in his five more tangible
personifications with spouses and sons. Between two currents of faith,
each imbued with the male and female principle in a country where the
problem of sex will not be hid, it depended often upon a trifle what
kind of emblematic shape the sculptor was going to give to his block of
stone, whether he would carve a _linga_ or a _yoni_,[4] a Dhyani Buddha,
a Bodhisatva, a Tara or one of her Hindu peers.

Subsequent waves of immigration, the Muhammadan invasion, the Christian
conquests, did little to nourish the artistic flame; on the contrary,
they damped artistic ardour. Hereanent our historical data are somewhat
more precise. The Islām takes its way to Sumatra in the wake of trade;
conversions _en masse_ seem to have first occurred in Pasei and Acheh,
while merchants of Arabian and Persian nationality prepared its advent
also in other regions of the north and later of the west coast. Marco
Polo speaks of a Muhammadan principality in the North at the end of the
thirteenth century; Ibn Batutah of several more in 1345; Acheh is fully
islāmised under Sooltan Ali Moghayat Shah, 1507-1522; about the same
time Menangkabau, ruled by maharajahs proud of their descent in the
right line from Alexander the Great, Iskander Dzu’l Karnein, reaches
its apogee as a formidable Moslim state and remains the stronghold of
Malayan true believers until the fanaticism of the _padris_, stirred
by the Wahabite movement, ends, in 1837, in the submission of the last
Prince of Pagar Rujoong to the Dutch Government, which annexes his
already much diminished empire. About 1400 the Islām had been introduced
into Java, Zabej, as the Arabs called it, probably via Malacca and
Sumatra, more especially Palembang. The oldest effort recorded was that
of a certain Haji Poorwa in Pajajaran, but it appears not to have met
with great success. Gresik in East Java, a port of call frequented by
many oriental skippers, offered a better field for the religious zeal
of Arab sailing-masters, supercargoes and tradesmen, every one of them
a missionary too. Maulana Malik Ibrahim secured the largest following
and was succeeded in his apostolic work by Raden Paku, who settled at
Giri, not far from Gresik, whence his title of Susuhunan Giri, and by
Raden Rahmat, who married a daughter of Angka Wijaya, King of Mojopahit,
and founded a Muhammadan school at Ngampel, Surabaya. Their teachings
resulted soon in the conversion of the population of the northeast coast
of the island, where Demak, Drajat, Tuban, Kalinjamat and a few smaller
vassal states of Mojopahit made themselves independent under Moslim
princes or _walis_, who at last combined for a holy war against Hindu
supremacy. They wiped Mojopahit in her idolatrous wickedness from the
face of the earth and the leadership went to Demak, from which Pajang
derived its political ascendency to merge later in Mataram. While the
Islām spread from Giri in East and Central Java, even to Mataram and,
crossing the water, to Madura, by the exertions of saintly men who
“knew the future,” an Arab sheik, arriving at Cheribon, directly from
foreign parts, at some time between 1445 and 1490, Noor ad-Din Ibrahim
bin Maulana Israïl, better known as Sunan Gunoong Jati, undertook
the conversion of West Java. And of Cheribon in her relation to the
Pasoondan may be repeated what a Javanese historian said of Demak, where
the Evil One was outwitted by the building of a _mesdjid_, a Muhammadan
house of prayer, the oldest in the island: two human virtues remained;
so many as embraced the true religion went after them.

The two remaining virtues got hard pressed when Christian strangers
came to explore and exploit: Portuguese, English and Dutch, the latter
dominant up to this day. Viewed from the standpoint of the dominated,
their god was a god of plunder; their emblem, to suit the symbolism
of the Hindu Pantheon, was a _maryam_, a heavy piece of ordnance;
their _vahana_, the animal representative of their most characteristic
qualities, was the tiger, _machan_ still being synonymous with _orang
wolanda_ (Hollander) in confidential, figurative speech. How Skanda,
the deity of war, incited and Kuwera, the corpulent bestower of riches,
directed their warriors and negotiators after the appearance of Cornelis
Houtman’s ships in the Bay of Bantam, need not detain us. That story of
the past, with a hint at the possible future, is told in the legend of
the legitimately wedded but for the time cruelly separated _maryams_
of which one, very appropriately, awaits the fulfilment of a prophecy
at the capital of the intruders, and the other where they first put
foot on land, both being objects of veneration and granters of desires,
especially kind to barren women who come, in a spirit of humiliation, to
pray for the blessing of motherhood. A visit to Batavia is not complete
without a pilgrimage to the Pinang gate, once an approach to the East
India Company’s castle, now in its supernatural cleanness, with its
hideously black funeral urns and statues of Mars and Mercury or whoever
they may be, giving access to the old town, the first public monument
which attracted the attention of young Verdant Green in the age of
sailing vessels after he had paid his due to the customs at the _boom_.
Not far from that Pinang gate, symbolic of a colonial system under
which short weight flourished with forced labour and trade carried on at
the edge of the sword, lies the man-cannon, Kiahi Satomo, whose pommel
presents a hand, closed so as to make the gesture of contempt, _la
fica_, which Vanni Fucci of Pistoja permitted himself when interrogated
in the abode of despair by the poet, _quem genuit parvi Florentia mater
amoris_, and which accounts for the peculiar forms sacrifice assumes at
this altar. His favourite spouse, discovered floating on the sea near
old Bantam, an extraordinary thing to do for such a big heavy piece of
metal, was given a temporary home on the spot where finally she lay
down to rest from her travels: a certain Haji Bool built her a bambu
house after the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, her presence having saved
Karang Antu from the fate of Anyer and Cheringin. Waiting for the great
consummation, when her reunion with her lord at Batavia will announce
the hour of the oppressors’ defeat and their expulsion from Java, she
is not less honoured than he. Dressed in a white cloth, which covers
the circular inscription in Arabic characters on breech and cascabel,
while the priming hole is decorated in square ornament, with five solid
rings to facilitate conveyance if she prefers being carried to moving
by her own exertion as of yore, anointed and salved with _boreh_,[5]
the spouse, expecting the summons in the fragrance of incense and
flowers, _kananga_ and _champaka_, is often surrounded by fervent
devotees, muttering their _dzikr_ on their prayer-mats, grateful for
bounty received or hopeful of future delivery from bondage. Husband and
wife will meet and then a third cannon, far away in Central Java, in the
_aloon aloon_[6] before the _kraton_[6] of the Susuhunan of Surakarta,
inhabited by a ghost, dispenser of dreams, the _sapu jagad_, will
vindicate that name, “broom of the world”, by sweeping all infidels into
the sea. Though the scoffing unbeliever counts this a dream of dreams,
to the confiding children of the land it is a disclosure of things
hidden in the womb of time, not the less true because Kiahi Satomo has
an older mate, Niahi Satomi, the wife of his youth, the robed in red of
the Susuhunan’s artillery park, which glories in many _maryams_ renowned
in myth and history, among them another married couple, Koomba-rawa
and Koomba-rawi, who shielded the ancient Sooltans of Pajang, being
the official defenders of their palace. But Kiahi Satomo’s heart is in
Bantam, at Karang Antu, as Niahi Satomi has reason to suspect since
she, the more legitimate and more advanced in age, cannot keep him at
her side. It avails nothing that the Susuhunan’s retainers chain the
reluctant head of the family to the Bangsal Pangrawit, the imperial
audience-chamber constructed after a heavenly model in gold; always and
always he flies back to Batavia, anxious to be ready where the beloved
_bini muda_ (lit. young wife) has trysted him for sweet dalliance, from
which victory will be born and release.

While predictions of the kind may be laughed at, the native belief in
them and the foundations on which that belief rests, are no laughable
matter by any means. Stories of mythical beings like Kiahi Satomo
and Niahi Satomi, transformed into pieces of ordnance connected with
the legendary lore of Trunajaya on one side and Moslim fanaticism
personified in the cannon of Karang Antu on the other, prove that the
native mind is still strongly imbued with pre-Muhammadan and even
pre-Hindu ideas and modes of thought. Its imagination is fed by the
fortunes (and misfortunes!) of an island which may be compared in the
heterogeneous factors of its culture with Sicily, where Greek colonists
built their temples in the high places of aboriginal idolatry; and
the Saracens constructed their qubbehs overtopping the churches and
cloisters into which the Christians had transformed the cellae and
colonnades consecrated to Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Aphrodite, Pallas
Athene, Artemis, the Dioscuri; and the Normans added their arched
doorways and massive masonry to perplex posterity entirely. In Java
the Hindu element, with a strong Buddhist admixture, predominates; it
prevails wholly in ancient architectural activity, not to speak of
Soondanese and Javanese folklore and literature, while later Christian
influence is negligible if not negative. Everywhere in the island we
find under the Muhammadan coating the old conceptions of life from
which the Loro Jonggrang group and the Boro Budoor sprang: scratch the
_orang slam_ and the Saiva or Buddhist will immediately appear. As the
Padang Highlands, which preserve the traditions of Menangkabau, still
ring with the fame of the Buddhist King Adityawarman, and scrupulously
Moslim Palembang still cherishes the memory of Buddhist San-bo-tsaï,
while South Sumatra clings to Hindu customs and habits for all its
submission to Islām, so Java reveres whatever has been handed down from
her pantheistic _tempo dahulu_ (time of yore), however attached to the
law of the Prophet. Sivaïsm and Buddhism were deeply rooted in the
island; if the political power of its old creeds was broken in 1767 with
the taking of Balambangan, Hinduïsm nevertheless lingering among the
Tenggerese and in Bali, their spirit goes on leavening the new doctrine
and we meet with their symbolism at every turn. Not to mention Central
Java, where especially in Surakarta and Jogjakarta their tenacious
sway strikes the most casual observer, the great staircase of the
Muhammadan sanctum at Giri is adorned with a huge _naga_, the worshipful
rain-cloud descending in the likeness of a serpent, despite the Qorānic
injunction to abstain from the representation of animate creation. The
pillars of reception-halls and audience-chambers in the houses of the
high and mighty, East and West, bear a remarkable resemblance to the
_linga_, witness, _e.g._, the _kedaton_[7] built by the Sooltan Sepooh
Martawijaya of Cheribon, a Moslim prince who ought to have evinced the
strongest repugnance to Siva’s prime attribute.

Under the circumstances we need not wonder that the Islām did so little
to stimulate art in Java. Christianity did still less, rather clogged
it in its application to native industries, which suffered from the
country being flooded with stuff as cheap as possible in every respect,
but sold at the highest possible prices to benefit manufacturers in
Europe. This is not the place to expatiate on this subject nor to
discuss present efforts (in which alas! personal ambitions play first
fiddle and jeopardise results) to revive what lies at the point of
death after centuries of culpable discouragement, the professional
secrets and peculiar devices of native arts and crafts, requiring
hereditary skill and the delicate touch of experienced fingers to attain
former perfection, being now already half forgotten or altogether
lost. Concerning the ancient monuments of Java, it is to the British
Interregnum, to Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles that we owe the first
measures for their preservation and the first systematic survey of
specimens of Hindu workmanship as beautiful as any in the world, more
in particular of the Prambanan temples, and also of the Boro Budoor, by
common consent the masterpiece of Buddhist architecture. Marshalling
his assistants in the archaeological field, especially Cornelius and
Wardenaar (whose fruitful explorations and excavations deserved fuller
acknowledgment than they received from him), a diligent student besides
of the history and literature of the island, doing for Java in that
respect what Marsden had done for Sumatra, he inspired Dr. Leyden,
Colonel Mackenzie and his rival John Crawfurd among his contemporaries,
and of younger generations now equally gone, Wilsen, Leemans, Brumund,
Friederich, Junghuhn, Cohen Stuart, Holle,--_j’en passe et des
meilleurs_! The value of their labours must be recognised and it is
the fault of the Dutch Government’s apathetic attitude that with such
forces at its disposal, so little has been achieved. Each of them, with
few exceptions, worked independently of the other and blazed his own
personal path in the wilderness of Dutch East Indian antiquities. There
was, as Fergusson complained, no system, no leading spirit to give
unity to the whole. Disconnected, sometimes misdirected investigation
did not result in more than an accumulation of fragmentary material
for possible future use, _rudis indigestaque moles_. And meanwhile the
glorious remains of a lost civilisation went more and more to ruin. They
were drawn upon for purposes of public and private building; statues
and ornament disappeared, not only in consequence of the unchecked,
persistent nibbling of the tooth of time, and it seemed almost so much
gained if Doorga or Ganesa reappeared occasionally in the function of
domestic goddess or god to some Resident or Assistant Resident who
demonstrated his devotion to ancient art and care for the preservation
of its masterpieces by a periodical process of whitewashing or tarring.
Worse than that: dilettantism began to tamper with the finest temples
and the miserable bungling of mischievous, quasi-scientific enthusiasts
reached its climax in the sorry spectacle prepared for the visitors of
the last international exhibition in Paris (1900). There was to be seen
in the Dutch East Indian section, a mean, ridiculous imitation of one
of the Buddhist jewels of Central Java, a caricature of the _chandi_[8]
Sari, the exterior in nondescript confectioner’s style, daubed dirty
white, the interior made hideous by a purple awning, abomination heaped
on abomination. And that piteous botch, in fact an unconscious avowal of
Dutch colonial shortcomings, did service as a sample of _la magnificence
d’une religion prodigue en ornaments, en feuillages et en voluptés_!

After an era of dabbling by pseudo-Winckelmanns and Schliemanns,
spicing their pretences with mutual admiration, the Government decided
finally to appoint a permanent Archaeological Commission. Things,
indeed, had come to such a pass that there was danger in delay: the
island is becoming more and more accessible to globe-trotters of all
nationalities, not a few of whom publish their impressions, and if
erring authority wields a vigorous Press Law to silence criticism at
home, against foreign criticism it has no weapon of the kind, however
touchy it may be. So it began to move and the Archaeological Commission
(short for Commission for Archaeological Research in Java and Madura),
though without a single trained archaeologist among its members,
displayed at once a good deal of activity under its first President,
Dr. J. L. A. Brandes, exploring in East Java, restoring the _chandi_
Toompang, attending to the Mendoot and Boro Budoor in Central Java, in
order that, acting upon King Pururava’s injunction, at last understood
and accepted, after a fashion, by Batavia and the Hague, no monument
shall be lost which has been wrought in the right spirit. It can be
imagined that subordinate officials, eager to follow their superiors’
lead, now revel daily in numberless finds, reported not only from
districts, near and remote, in the star island, but from the exterior
possessions, from Soombawa, from Jambi in Sumatra, from Kutei in East,
from Sanggau and Sakadan in West Borneo, etc. etc. Like the encouraging
of native art applied to weaving, wood-carving, the manufacture of
pottery, of household utensils of copper and bronze, and so on, the
ferreting out of sculptural and architectural ties with the past is
quite the latest craze, a stepping-stone to preferment or at least a
means of ingratiation with those who set the pace. There would be no
harm in this if obsequious ambition did not burgeon here and there into
an excess of zeal which makes one tremble, pregnant as it proves to be
with dangers well defined by Ruskin: Of all destructive manias that of
restoration is the frightfullest and foolishest.

Curiosity being excited, there is the impulse to satisfy vulgar demands,
to cater to coarse appetites when admitting every one who knocks at the
door of the treasure-house however unworthy. Trippers from the trading
centres on the coast swarm round as their fancies guide; tourists from
distant climes scour the land, either single spies or driven in noisy
battalions of “conducted parties”. Travel in Java is already assuming
the character of holiday excursions pressed upon the public in bombastic
handbills and posters of transportation companies. Revenue being the
principal objective of Dutch colonial solicitude, the opportunity
they create is gladly seized to levy gate-money from visitors to the
_chandi_ Mendoot.[9] And since the Philistines, who do not appreciate
the beauties of a building they cannot comprehend, expect something
in exchange for their contribution to the upkeep, visible tokens of
their really having been there, we shall soon hear of photographers
established in the temple to perpetuate the memory of spoony couples,
giggling and offensive, magnesium flashed at the feet of the Most
Venerable, or of the Boro Budoor in a blaze of Bengal fire to please
mediocrity, which wants barbarous stimulants. And apart from such
concessions to the exigencies of inane modern travel, how distressing
the plain tokens of neglect and spoliation! As Psyche began to mourn
Love after she had come to grasp his excellence, so the discerning
one, advancing to the apprehension of eternal truth there enshrined in
beauty, a call to heaven in stone, laments less what is gone of material
substance by the ravages of time, than what is taken from the spiritual
essence by willful mutilation; by methods of repair embodied in iron
scrapers to remove moss and weeds, incidentally spoiling the delicate
lines of reliefs and decoration; by filling gaps with any rubbish
lying about, mending and patching _à la grosse morbleu_; by additions
for the convenience of sightseers, like the unsightly staircase askew
near one of the original, dilapidated approaches. It is devoutly to be
hoped that the overhauling now in progress will, at least, remove such
incongruities and avoid new horrors of so-called restoration.[10]

Dr. Brandes, whose learning and good sense led the Archaeological
Commission in a track of sound activity, died, unfortunately, in
1905. Though the theft of antiquities has been discontinued on paper,
impudent souvenir hunting is still winked at by authorities fawning
on distinguished guests. Untitled and unofficial collectors will have
some trouble perhaps, at any rate incur a good deal more expense than
formerly, in filling their private art galleries, but for officials
of the type of Nicolaus Engelhard[11] no difficulties seem to exist
and even the Boro Budoor was very recently despoiled to please a
royal personage. So much for Java; as to the exterior possessions,
the Minahassa was plundered, even more recently, for the benefit of
foreign explorers of name and fame. Since the respective Government
edicts[12] multiplied, fixing responsibility at random, cases of
strange disappearance multiplied too, on the principle, it seems, of
making hay while the sun shines; the pen-driving departments, issuing
circulars on everything, for everything, against everything, about
everything, effect absolutely nothing unless their insistence be
taken, often rightly by him who reads between the lines, for a covert
invitation to do precisely the contrary, considering friendships, family
relations, party obligations, etc. etc., of powers and dominions.
The force of regulations and rescripts in the Dutch East Indies is
notoriously short-lived in the best of circumstances, and we have it on
the authority of Hans Sachs, _Je mehr Hürten, je übler Hut_. The very
scrupulous and wise, moreover, drag off whatever is loose or can be
detached, separating details of ornament, reliefs and statues from their
surroundings, which are indispensable to their proper understanding, to
hide and forget them in cellars and lofts of museums until, the stars
being favourable, accidentally rediscovered after years and years, and
ticketed and huddled together with other ticketed objects in long,
dreary rows of forbidding, bewildering aspect. That is, _if_ they are
rescued and classified and ticketed _tant bien que mal_: the colonial
section in the Museum of Antiquities at Leyden, a byword among the
lovers of Dutch East Indian architecture, shows clearly the obstruction
caused by hopeless negligence in the past and lack of backbone in
the present zeal, energy, ardour, nay, frenzy of investigation.
Everything in Dutch colonial affairs goes by fits and starts with long
blanks of indifference between. To give but one instance: the _Corpus
Inscriptionum Javanarum_, planned with flourish of trumpets in 1843,
still awaits the preliminaries of a beginning of execution. Concerning
the fever of restoration which has broken out, one feels inclined, in
support of Ruskin’s opinion quoted above, to sound the note of warning
engraved on the signet ring of Prosper Mérimée, Inspector of the
Historical Monuments of France almost a century ago: μέμνασ’ ἀπιστεῖν,
lest the last state become worse than the first, and excess of zeal
deface what time and the hand of man, even the Department of Public
Works itself, quarrying its material for bridges, dams, embankments
and the shapeless Government buildings of which it possesses the
monopoly, have left standing. Without, however, insisting on the
dark aspect of the situation, let us trust that a sense of shame, if
not of duty, will sustain the interest in the old monuments of Java
now in vogue, and may then the faddish, pompous display, turned into
channels of quiet, responsible, persistent endeavour, herald a brighter



[2] Strictly speaking, says Dr. BRANDES in his notes to his
translation of the _Pararaton_, or the Book of the Kings of Tumapel and
Mojopahit (p. 178), there is only one _babad tanah jawi_, which received
its final redaction about 1700. The other _babads_, though they may
contain recapitulations of the general history of Java, treat of local
affairs or of certain selected periods, as the _babads_ Surakarta,
Diponegoro, Mangkunegoro, Paku Alaman, etc.

[3] Emblem of Siva’s fructifying virility.

[4] Emblem of the fecundity of Siva’s _sakti_ or female complement,
Parvati or Uma, Doorga, Kali or whatever other name she goes by
according to the nature of her manifestations.

[5] Generic name for ointments and salves, used specifically for a
preparation of turmeric and coco-nut oil, which is smeared over the body
on gala occasions and applied to objects held in veneration.

[6] An _aloon aloon_ is an open square before the dwelling of a
native chief; the _kratons_ or palaces with their dependencies of the
semi-independent princes in Central Java have two _aloon aloons_, one to
the north and one to the south, on which no grass is allowed to grow.

[7] _Kedaton_ has the same meaning as _kraton_, but is generally used
for that part of a princely residence occupied by the owner himself with
his wives, concubines and children, as distinct from the quarters of his

[8] _Chandi_ means in its correct, restricted sense: “the stones between
and under which in olden times the ashes of a burnt corpse were put,” or
“a mausoleum built over the ashes of one departed” (ROORDA and
GERICKE); by extension, in native speech, any monument of the
Hindu period. The _chandi_ Sari is supposed to have been a _vihara_ or
Buddhist monastery.

[9] A tax of f. 50 (ten pence), the payment of which secures also
admission to the _chandis_ Pawon and Boro Budoor.

[10] Thanks to Major T. van Erp of the Engineers, who conducted the work
of restoration, this pious wish has been granted.

[11] Governor of Java’s northeast coast from 1801 to 1808, in
whose garden at Samarang “several very beautiful subjects in stone
were arranged, brought in from different parts of the country.”
RAFFLES, _History of Java_, vol. ii., P. 55.

[12] Paraphrases of a fossil statute, periodically paraded and then
returned to its pigeon-hole, like a relic carried round in procession on
the day of the particular saint it belongs to and then shut away in its
repository for the rest of the year. Of what avail are enactments and
ordinances persistently ignored and never enforced?




    Quedaron mudos los cuerpos,
    Solas las almas se hablan,
    Que en las luces de los ojos
    Iban y venian las almas.[13]

    _Romancero Morisco (Celin de Escariche)._

The Batu Tulis, lit. “the inscribed stone”, near Bogor, commemorates the
feats of a certain prince, Parabu Raja Purana, otherwise Ratu Dewata,
and calls him the founder of Pakuan, ruler, _maharajah ratu aji_, of
Pakuan Pajajaran. That kingdom is the centre of everything tradition has
transmitted regarding the Hindus in West Java. Its origin, according to
native belief, goes back to a settlement of princely adventurers from
Tumapel in East Java, and when Mojopahit flourished after the fall of
that mighty empire, it rose to equal eminence at the other end of the
island, only to be destroyed by the same agency, the growing power of
Islām. The subjection of the mountain tribes of the Priangan by the
settlers from the East proceeded in the beginning but slowly and the
children of the land, even after they had yielded to the inevitable,
must have retained a share in the management of their affairs, for
Soondanese _pantoons_[14] mention separately, as two factors of
government, the _ratu_, king of Pakuan, and the _menak_, nobility of
Pajajaran. However this may be, from about 1100 until the beginning of
the sixteenth century, Pajajaran was a political unity that counted. She
could send an army of a hundred thousand warriors into the field. Her
kings disposed at will of large territories, gained by conquest; one of
them conferred upon his brother Kalayalang the dominion of Jayakarta,
in later years better known under the name of Yacatra, and on his
brother Barudin the dominion of Bantam, principalities destined to play
an important part in the overthrow of the sovereign state. Nothing,
save the meagre accounts of the _babads_ and the scanty remains to be
referred to at the end of this chapter, reminds now of Pajajaran, except
the Badooy in South Bantam, who constitute a community apart, entirely
isolated from the rest of the population and whose peculiar customs and
religious observances so far as known, make it probable that they are
the descendants of fugitives before the Muhammadan inroad.

When Noor ad-Din Ibrahim bin Maulana Israïl had established in Cheribon
not only his religion but also his political power, he began, under
the name and title of Sunan Gunoong Jati, to propagate the faith by
force of arms in the whole of West Java. First he cast his eyes on
Bantam, then a mighty realm, the possession or at least the control
of which, leaving spiritual motives alone, would materially benefit
Moslim trade by securing a free passage through the Straits of Soonda
whenever trouble with the Portuguese made the Straits of Malacca unsafe.
The Sivaïte Prince of Bantam, trying to preserve his independence by
fostering the commercial rivalry between his Muhammadan and Christian
friends, received the latter with open arms and besought their
assistance against Cheribon and Demak, but Maulana Hasan ad-Din, a
son of Sunan Gunoong Jati, defeated him none the less and introduced
the Islām among his people both in Bantam proper and in the Lampongs.
Another son of Sunan Gunoong Jati founded the Muhammadan principality
of Soonda Kalapa, notwithstanding the fortifications erected there
by the Portuguese, at the instance of their Bantamese ally, to stem
the tide of Muhammadan conquest. After subjugating the vassal state,
Maulana Hasan ad-Din attacked, about 1526, the troops of Pajajaran
under the King’s son Sili Wangi, and routed them, taking the capital
and proselytising by the sword wherever he went, following the example
set by Raden Patah of Demak in East Java. It is probable that Bantam,
once islāmised and consequently turning against the Portuguese, took the
side of Cheribon in these wars. At any rate, we find Bantam and Cheribon
together acknowledging the suzerainty of Demak, like the more eastern
principalities of the north coast, and when that central Muhammadan
state of Java lost the hegemony in consequence of its breaking up
after the death of Pangeran Tranggana, and at last the Sooltan of
Pajang,[15] into which it dissolved, had to humble himself with his
allies, the Adipati of Surabaya and the Sunan of Giri, before the
Senapati of Mataram, his former regent in that territory, this valiant
and clever potentate claimed the lordship over the island. These were
the beginnings of a glorious new Mataram, perhaps identical with Mendang

Cheribon, which had conquered Bantam and Pajajaran, lost gradually her
strength, became tributary to Mataram in 1625 and wholly dependent in
1632. She declined still more after the death of Panambahan Girilaya,
who divided his succession between his sons Pangeran Martawijaya (later
Sooltan Sepooh) and Pangeran Kartawijaya (later Sooltan Anom), on
condition of their providing for a third son, Pangeran Wangsakarta
of Godong (later Panambahan). Embroiled in the rebellion of Trunajaya
against the authority of Mataram and captured, Martawijaya and
Kartawijaya were kept as hostages at its capital, Karta. Released
through the intervention of Sooltan Tirtayasa of Bantam, more commonly
known as Abu’l-Fatah, they returned home only to get again mixed up
in hostilities against Mataram and the Dutch East India Company,
which overran Cheribon with its soldiers and improved the opportunity
by regulating the affairs of Girilaya’s three sons to its own best
advantage. The foundation of Batavia on the site of old Yacatra, taken
by Jan Pietersz Coen, May 30, 1619, had meant, among other things,
an always keener competition in trade with Bantam or, rather, the
“establishment of a free rendezvous”, _i.e._ free of bickerings with
native princes and princelings, for the fleets of the Company on their
long voyage to the Moluccos. Bantam having outstripped Cheribon by the
importance she derived from English and Dutch shipping, resented the
blow which threatened to relegate her to a second or third place, and
this resulted in frequent conflicts with the intruders, though the
boundary line of their settlement and their mutual relationship had been
carefully defined in the treaty of 1659. On the other side in occasional
difficulties with Mataram, the Company, acting on the _divide et impera_
principle, encouraged the rivalry between the middle and western
empires, which both strove for supremacy in the Priangan. How the
Company accomplished its purpose and triumphed, needs here no detailed
examination. Its objects and the considerations which moved it, are
wittily discussed in a Javanese mock-epic, the _Serat Baron Sakendher_,
a satire on the rise of Dutch power at Batavia, the foundation of Moor
Yang Koong (Jan Pietersz Coen). If that pattern of regents _outre
mer_, the first Dutch Governor-General in Java, whose motto was “never
despair”, whose grip like the grip of the tiger, has invited comparison
with Ganesa (firstborn of Siva and Parvati) for wisdom and cautious
statecraft, with Skanda (also sprung from the Mahadeva’s loins but
without the Devi’s collaboration) for resolution and mettle, here we
find him as the son of Baron Sookmool, Baron Sakendher’s brother,
and Tanaruga,[16] daughter of the Pajajaranese Princess Retna Sakar
Mandhapa, and the poet makes the personification of the Company say
to his twelve hopefuls, the earliest Tuan Tuan Edeleer, or honourable
members of the Governor-General’s Council: Good measures you will
enforce, without quarrelling amongst yourselves, and, even if it were
larceny, the moment you have decided upon it by common consent, I give
my permission,--a speech delightfully in keeping with the tactics of his
father, whose artillery prevailed, not with iron cannon-balls, but with
golden grapeshot of ducats and doubloons.

The ruins of the Fort Speelwijck and the minaret of Pangeran Muhammad’s
_mesdjid_ at Old Bantam are very illustrative of the insinuating way
in which the pioneers of the Company planted their factories; once
admitted on the strength of their promises, they gained a firm footing
by military superiority, driving hard bargains and ousting the Islām
from what it had come to regard as its own. Near by is the neglected,
overgrown Dutch cemetery, where many of those pioneers were laid to
rest, far from home, family and friends, killed in the Company’s battles
or by strenuous obedience to exacting orders, bartering their health in
a murderous climate for a handful of silver, wasting body and soul to
swell the Company’s dividends. A tangle of weeds and briars closes over
their remains; thick moss, covering their broken gravestones, effaces
their forgotten names; even the mausoleums dedicated to the memory of
the leaders among them, commanders and commercial agents-in-chief, are
crumbling away, harbouring hungry guests which leave safe lairs in
the forests, when deer and wild pigs become scarce, to raid at night
the village sheepfolds, while snakes may dart forth from the cracks
and fissures at any moment and mosquitoes swarm round in myriads, the
worst plague of all to him who seeks communion with the dead in that
jungle. The burial-ground of the Sooltans of Bantam, gathered round
Hasan ad-Din, the first preacher of the true faith in this region, is
in better condition. Though Shafei, to whose _madsheb_ or school the
Moslemin of the Dutch East Indies belong, disapproved of elaborate tombs
and prescribed that sepulchral cavities, after the deposition of the
bodies, should be filled up and made level with the ground, memorial
tokens to mark the graves of Muhammadan saints, famous princes and
heroes, often venerated as _kramats_, are a familiar sight in Java;
they consist generally of pieces of wood or stone, _tengger_, standing
upright at both ends, at the head and at the feet, differently shaped
for men and for women. Many such are found where Pangeran Muhammad
raised his _mesdjid_ with the minaret detached like the campanile of
some mediaeval Italian church. Tombs all round, tombs of Sooltans,
their brothers and sons and cousins, their great councillors and
generals, a Bantamese Aliscamps with Hasan ad-Din occupying the place
of honour under a canopy, prayer-mats and prayer-books lying around,
a benign breeze stirring the muslin hangings and filling the air with
the fragrance of the _kambojas_.[17] Whoever wants to know of the
excellent deeds of the Sooltans of Bantam, their acts of devotion in
peace and their prowess in war, can receive information from Pangeran
Muhammad Ali in _kampong_ Kanari, one of their descendants, keeper
of the archives of the _mesdjid_ and the surrounding garden of the
departed. He will tell furthermore of the well near the north wall
of the new building, which is fed from the well Zemzem at Mecca and,
thanks to the child Ishmaïl, beneath whose feet its water bubbled
forth, possesses the property of curing disease. It is also connected
with the miraculous source at Luar Batang, whose water possesses the
property of detecting perverters of the truth: the man who tries there
to slake his thirst with a falsehood on his conscience, from a downright
lie to a terminological inexactitude, or even a little fib for the
sake of domestic tranquillity, will not be able to swallow a drop, his
throat refusing liquid comfort until expiation of guilt; and so the
devotees who flock to the shrine of the saint of Hadramaut at Pasar
Ikan, Batavia, leave that source prudently alone--one may have sinned
unwittingly or under strong provocation. Such holy places are thickly
strewn and the last habitation of Hasan ad-Din is one of the holiest,
being overshadowed by the venerable minaret of Pangeran Muhammad’s
_mesdjid_, which signified to Bantam what the _mesdjid_ of Ngampel did
to the eastern and the _mesdjid_ of Demak to the middle states of Moslim
Java. The intact preservation of the latter as the oldest existing
edifice erected[18] for Muhammadan worship in the island, is of high
importance _superstitionis causa_, and exceeding care was taken in 1845,
when the danger of its tumbling down became imminent, to rebuild it not
all at once, but one part after the other, round the four principal
supports of the original structure, and to restore the beautifully
carved lintels and posts exactly to their accustomed position. Nothing
is left at Demak of Raden Patah’s princely dwelling, but the graves
are shown of Panambahan Jimboon, Pangeran Sabrang Lor and Pangeran
Tranggana, who was killed by one of his servants on an expedition to
still Sivaïtic Pasuruan.

Pangeran Tranggana had auxiliaries from Bantam among his troops and
this leads us back to West Java after our slight digression in favour
of Demak, the energetic central state which, at the time here spoken
of, ruled the roast in matters of conquest for the propagation of the
faith. The Bantamese, more than their converters, have conserved a
reputation for fanaticism and it is not yet a quarter of a century
since a certain Abool Karim of the district Tanara preached the
holy war, the brotherhood of the Naqshibendyah fanning the flame of
sedition he kindled. His _murids_ (disciples) Tubagoos Ismaïl, Marduki
and Wasid having spread the movement, a mob, led by a certain Haji
Iskak, massacred several Europeans at Chilegon (1888). But for the
Government’s bayonets, rather than a course of conciliation based on a
thorough knowledge of the agrarian causes at the bottom of the unrest
among the population, the whole of Bantam might have blazed up and
Cheribon might have followed. Seeing that they could not prevail, the
dissatisfied betook themselves again to prayer, there at the grave of
Hasan ad-Din, here at the grave of Sheik Noor ad-Din Ibrahim, situated
not far from the capital he founded, on a hill near the sea, the
Gunoong Jati, whence his title. The terraces of the _astana_ so called,
first home of the Islām in this region, much venerated however much
defaced, savour of more ancient heathen monuments in all their odour
of Muhammadan sacredness, not otherwise than the _Kitab Papakam_,
the Cheribon code of laws, savours of Indian maxims and even at this
date betrays its birth from the legislation introduced by the Hindu
immigrants, though in 1768 (and not before that year, more than three
centuries after the introduction of the law of the Prophet!), the
_Kutara Manawa_ has officially been abrogated in the Sooltanate. The
lowest three terraces of the _astana_ serve as a burial-ground for the
descendants of Sunan Gunoong Jati and the men of mark in the annals of
his empire; a road, winding upward, a Moslim Via delle Tombe, conducts
the pilgrim to a _mesdjid_ on the fourth, not to be desecrated by the
feet of unbelievers;[19] above the _mesdjid_, on the fifth, the _sanctum
sanctorum_, rest the mortal remains of the saint himself. Speaking of
Cheribon in its relations to Hinduïsm and the Islām, a reference to
Chinese influences on Javanese architecture cannot be omitted. They
are most evident, of course, where the sons of the Flowery Empire have
settled earliest and in greatest numbers. In several localities Chinese
temples are found for the building and decorating of which renowned
architects, wood-carvers and painters have expressly been summoned to
Java at great expense. Reputedly the finest is the _klenteng_, situated
at a stone’s throw from the shed wherein Sunan Gunoong Jati’s _grobak_
is kept, the vehicle in which he descended from heaven to proclaim the
Word. Transplanting their curved roof-trees and gaudy ornament, the
Chinese brought also a taste for grotto-work, once notably conspicuous
in the _kraton_ of Sooltan Anom. On the road to Tagal, near the
_dessa_ (village) Sunyaragi, lies a rocky labyrinth belonging to the
pleasure-grounds of Sooltan Sepooh’s famous country-seat. Among other
clever devices it contains an artificial cave so constructed that the
_kanjeng goosti_, retiring thither on a hot afternoon for dalliance
with his favourite of the hour, might shut himself completely off from
the world by a discreet artificial waterfall, securing privacy behind
its liquid screen and a refreshing atmosphere stimulative to amorous
exercise. The Chinaman who elaborated the idea, had his eyes gouged out
to prevent his creating another such wonder of architecture adapted to
the diversions of oriental potentates.

It seems fitting that in Java, the sweet island whose air is balm and
where always the delicious sound of running water is heard, where
the cult of bathing is perfected by inclination as well as necessity
of climate, some of the oldest signs of civilisation are found in
sheltered nooks and corners still frequented by those who appreciate
an invigorating plunge. Kota Batu, near Bogor, the supposed site of
the capital of Pajajaran, is an instance in point. Destroyed, says
the Soondanese tradition, because the illustrious King Noro Pati had
lifted up his heart to boast against the message of the Prophet,
his sons completed the calamity by their wrangling for the lordship
over outlying, as yet unsubjugated and unconverted dependencies, and
righteousness left the country. The same reasons which made Pajajaran
slow to accept the Islām, had hindered her acceptance of Hinduïsm. The
mountainous Priangan was sparsely populated and, even if we accept the
statements of native historians who give Hindu civilisation in West Java
a long life by dating the colonisation from India back to the first
century of the Christian era,[20] confined to a limited area, as the
antiquities discovered make clear, it remained far behind that which
reared the superb temples of Central Java. To the best of our knowledge
there were never any Hindu temples at all in West Java, where the people
seem to have contented themselves with prayer and sacrifice in the
open. While Central Java attained to the loftiest and noblest in art,
West Java vegetated until improved communication, stimulated by war and
trade, brought about a dissemination of more eastern artistic notions,
discernible in raised levels and terraces as those of Gunoong Jati,
which remind one faintly of the Boro Budoor; in earthen walls as those
on the Bukit Tronggool, which are arranged after a plan somewhat like
that of the squares enclosing the principal temple and the surrounding
smaller ones of the _chandi_ Sewu. Even then Polynesian clumsiness was
not shaken off. At Batu Tulis, a _kampong_ in the outskirts of Bogor,
where the hosts of two religions fought the battle which decided the
fate of Pajajaran, are several ungainly images and impressions of the
feet of Poorwakali, the spouse of one of that realm’s petrified kings,
who mourned him with such copious tears that she softened the very rock
she stood upon, according to one legend; and, according to another
legend, of the feet of a certain Raja Mantri who tarried so long in
contemplation of the inscribed stone already mentioned, pondering over
the meaning of its strange characters, that he sank gradually into the
hard ground. There are more impressions of more feet and a coarsely
carved _linga_, Siva’s fecundating attribute, transformed by Muhammadan
piety into the miracle working staff of a Moslim santon. Hardly greater
interest is awakened by the primitive statues Kota Batu derives its
appellation from, “city of stones”, which form a sort of _Ruhmes Allee_,
lining the path from the main road to the bath-house, with many of the
same pattern scattered to right and left. All of them are petrified
worthies of Pajajaran, which their own mothers would not recognise,
though the natives know each of them by praenomen, nomen, cognomen and
title. King Moonding Wangi, _i.e._ the nice-smelling buffalo, looking
perhaps a trifle more human than the rest. Of a similar nature are the
_archadomas_, a collection of about eight hundred blocks of stone on
the estate Pondok Gedeh, which need a vivid imagination in the beholder
to pass for the figures of men and animals. A good specimen of the
Pajajaran type of sculpture, if it deserves that name, is the lachrymose
Poorwakali already referred to as standing, petrified herself, at a
little distance from the Batu Tulis where she solaces her widowhood by
keeping company with Kidangpenanjong, forgetting her royal husband,
after her paroxysm of grief, in a plebeian flirtation. Such is woman!

From these crude attempts at a representation of animate creation,
sprang nevertheless an art which, in the hands of the master-builders
and sculptors of Central Java, who sought the beauty of truth that
is verily without a rival, flowered out in prayers of stone, visible
tokens of their yearning for heavenly reward, born of communion with
the divine in deep reflection, only to descend again to lower planes,
to the seeking of the praise of man, in the decadent conventionality
of the later eastern Hindu empires. The story of the development of
architecture and sculpture in the island from the immaturity identified
with Pajajaran to the luxurious grandeur of the temples of Prambanan,
the Mendoot and the Boro Budoor, hides a riddle no less strange
than that of the bursting forth of Arabic poetry, full-blown in all
its subtleness of thought, exuberance of imagination, perfection
of language. The story of decline is written in the evolution of
decorative design: the significance of motives based on the observation
of the earth and her precious gifts, evaporates gradually in nicely
waving lines, elaborate scrolls, insipid fineries. The _kala_-head
changes into the roots of a tree, figurative of the forest; the trunk
of Ganapati into its bole; at last the tree, roots, trunk, branches,
foliage and all, with the sun rising over the forest, with mountains
touching the sky, with rivers flowing to the sea, into conventional
ornament. Islāmic ideals were not conducive to a revival of artistic
conceptions fading into nothingness; neither was, to repeat that too,
the painful contact with Christian civilisation. When the natives were
made to toil and moil for alien masters, their virtues and energies
blighted into the defects and failings of apathy. How could it be
otherwise where an inefficient, venal police and a slow, defective
administration of justice did (and does) not protect property against
depredation; where exertion beyond what is strictly necessary for
bare subsistence, meant (and means) not prosperity but increased
taxation. With all its pretensions to superiority and display of
ethical sentiment, the Dutch Government can scarcely be said to differ
much from Baron Sookmool, the personified East India Company of more
than three centuries ago. Holland’s wards in her rich colonies may be
moulded into men, angels or devils, like the Triloka, the triple people
of the Hindus, according to the treatment meted out to them and the
education they receive. As far as Java is concerned, hoping in heaven’s
mercy, they live in their old traditions, the light of the past and
the shadow of the present. What will the future bring in advance of
the day on which mankind shall be scattered abroad like moths? There
is no knowledge of it but with God and the secret lies behind the
Banaspati,[21] in the hand of him of the budding lotus-flower, the
Deliverer from Evil.





    The bodies remained silent,
    Only the souls did commune,
    For in the light of the eyes
    Came and departed the souls.

[14] The oldest, perhaps the only original form of native poetry,
happily compared, by Professor R. BRANDSTETTER, with the Italian
_stornelli_. In contradistinction to the _sha’ir_, the charm of the
_pantoon_ lies, or should lie, in its being improvised. It consists of
four lines, of which the third rimes with the first and the fourth with
the second; the first two contain some statement generally but loosely
connected with the meaning of the last couplet, except, to quote Dr. J.
J. DE HOLLANDER, that they determine the correspondence of sound. Here
is one in translation:

    Whence come the leeches?
    From the watered ricefield they go straight to the river.
    Whence comes love?
    From the eyes it goes straight to the heart.

[15] The title of Sooltan was assumed, probably for the first time in
the history of Java, by the ruler of Pajang when, in 1568, he added
Jipang to his domains.

[16] This lady was a prisoner of the Pangeran of Jakarta (Yacatra) from
whom Baron Sookmool, charmed by her beauty when he arrived in Java to
trade for his father, the wealthy merchant Kawit Paru, bought her for
three big guns, whose history, in the legendary lore of the island, is
inextricably mixed up with the _mariage à trois_ of Kiahi Satomo (for
the nonce taking domicile at Cheribon), Niahi Satomi and the _maryam_ of
Karang Antu referred to in the preceding chapter.

[17] _Plumeria acutifolia Poir._, fam. _Apocynaceae_, planted
extensively in cemeteries; its flowers, for this reason called _boonga
kuboor_ (grave-flowers), have a very pleasant odour and are used to
scent clothes, etc.

[18] About 1468, by Raden Patah.

[19] It is told that the intrepid Governor-General Daendels once tried
to invade the sanctity of this house of prayer, but even he had hastily
to retire.

[20] Venggi inscriptions, brought to light in West Java, go back to the
sixth and fifth centuries of the Christian era and name Kalinga in India
as the region from which the Hindu colonists emigrated.

[21] Banaspati or Wanaspati is the conventional lion’s (or tiger’s)
head, a frequent motive in the ornament of Javanese temples, especially
of common use over their porches and gateways.



    Where Silence undisturbed might watch alone,
    So cold, so bright, so still.


Where five residencies--Samarang, Pekalongan, Banyumas, the Bagelen
and the Kadu--meet between two seas, the wonderland of the Diëng links
the eastern and western chain of volcanoes which are the vertebrae of
Java’s spine. The Diëng plateau, the first part created, as tradition
goes, and destined to remain longest above water in the island’s final
destruction and submersion, is nothing but a huge crater. Nature, in her
most mysterious mood, exercises here a charm of a peculiar character,
well expressed by the name, according to the Javanese derivation from
_adi aëng_, _i.e._ marvellously beautiful.[22] The temples in this
region belong to the oldest and finest if by no means the largest of
Java. The discovery of a stone with a Venggi inscription has led to the
conjecture that the Hindu settlement to which we owe them, originated
from the Priangan; other indications point to immigration directly
from Southern India. However this may be, the dates ascertained (one
in an inscription reproduced by me in 1885 for further examination at
Batavia, leaving the stone in the place where I had found it) from 731
Saka (A.D. 809) on, witness to the lost civilisation of the Diëng having
reached its apogee at the time the Abbassides flourished in Baghdad and
the Omayyads in Cordova. How it rose, declined and fell, we do not know.
For four centuries its memory lived only as a fantastic tale, the Diëng
remaining utterly deserted, a wilderness of mountain and forest,
inhabited by devils and demons of the Khara and Dushana type.

Resettled since about 1800, its villages increase in number and size,
and its wild animals, big and small, disappear gradually, though the
tigers are still troublesome, evincing a growing disposition to vary
their accustomed fare with domestic kine and sheep. The sombre woods are
gone and efforts at reafforestation gave so far no perceptible results.
The ground yields abundant crops of cabbage, onions and tobacco, in
which a lively trade is done with Chinese middlemen, who buy for the
merchants at Pekalongan, whence the product is shipped to larger centres
of trade. These middlemen congregate principally at Batoor, a prosperous
village, where travellers to the Diëng, arriving from that side, will
appreciate the hospitable disposition of the _wedono_, the native chief
of the district. Many a one has been entertained under his roof, looked
down upon from the _palupooh_ (split bambu) walls by the Royal Family of
Great Britain and Kaiser Wilhelm in chromolithographic splendour, while
discussing a substantial lunch or arranging for sleeping accommodation
if too tired to push on, or desirous of visiting the Pakaraman, the
valley of death, at break of day when the uncanny manifestations of
that place of horror are strongest. Another source of income for
some of the Chinamen of Batoor and their henchmen of the Diëng is
opium smuggling. The geographical position, commanding access to five
administrative divisions of the island at once, lends itself admirably
to that lucrative business. And if the smugglers cater to a low vice,
they can advance an excuse logically unanswerable by those in authority
who punish them when caught: they satisfy but a demand, in competition
with the Government that created it, introduced the drug and encourages
its use, artificially whetting a depraved appetite and demoralising the
children of the land for the sake of more revenue.

Often though I went up to forget the cares of exacting duties in happy
holidays on the Diëng, trying the different approaches, the impressions
of my first ascent in October 1885 are freshest in my memory. Starting
from Wonosobo, I preferred to a more direct route the roundabout way via
Temanggoong, spending a day on the road between the twin volcanoes
Soombing and Sindoro, enjoying the views to right and left, every new
turn disclosing new wonders: mountain slopes basking in the warmth which
radiated triumphantly from a sky of dazzling brightness, valleys of
perfect loveliness losing their brilliant hues in the shades of evening
as if a curtain fell between the world left and the world entered. The
following morning early I rode from Temanggoong in a thick mist which,
rolling away before the sun, uncovered a landscape more and more rugged
as I passed Parakan and Ngadirejo, but always more charming, a feast
to the eye. Near Ngadirejo the _chandis_ Perot and Pringapoos claimed
my attention. Built for the worship of Siva, his _sakti_ Doorga and
their eldest son, they offered a sad spectacle of decay, the former
crumbling away in the baneful embrace of a gigantic tamarind, one of
whose branches rose from the midst of the ruin straight up to heaven,
overshadowing Ganesa, the conqueror of obstacles, in his meditations;
the latter holding an image of Siva’s _vahana_ or _nandi_, the bull,
symbol of his creative power, still an object of veneration as the
_boreh_ indicated, the walls of the temple being decorated with splendid
bas-reliefs representing a scene from Javanese history or mythology,
analogous to the rape of the Sabine women.[23] Farther on, surprise
succeeding surprise, lies Joomprit, another delicious spot, sanctified
by a holy grave, at the source of the Progo. The water, gushing forth
from the mouth of a cavern and trickling down its sides, is immediately
lost to sight in a declivity among the ferns. Curious monkeys herd
round, led by their brawny chief, imperious like Hanoman, born from the
wind, swinging through space, commanding the simian army of Sugriva:
they constitute one of the few colonies of sacred apes which form a
living link with the Hindu epoch; that of Gaja Moongkoor on the Diëng
has ceased to exist.

[Illustration: II. _CHANDI_ PRINGAPOOS

(Archaeological Service through Charls and van Es.)]

From Joomprit on, it was pretty steep climbing to a point where, at a
sudden turn, I beheld the lowlands, far beneath the clouds gathering
round me, fair plains resting under their hazy veil of midday repose,
calm and undisturbed. Drinking deep of the invigorating mountain air, I
noticed the red cheeks of the women and girls who returned from market
in little groups. After descending to the tea-plantations of Tambi,
the clambering up began again, pretty hard for my pony, to which I
gave an occasional rest, looking back over hills and valleys as they
dissolved in soft-melting tints, impressing the beholder with a sense
of eternal light in limitless space. Wonder akin to awe seized me
when, panorama-like, a landscape of silent grandeur, quite different
from the graceful majesty of the rose-gardens of Wonosobo and the
palm-groves of Temanggoong, unfolded itself. I was on the Diëng plateau.
Notwithstanding the late hour, my admiration of the scenery having made
my progress slow, I could not resist the temptation to dismount and
follow the trail which led me down to the source of the Serayu beside
the road, and pay my compliments to the shade of stalwart Bimo by way of
introduction to the regions resounding in its temples with his exploits
and those of other worthies sung in the _Brata Yuda_.[24] Nor indeed
only in its temples: this same delightful retreat commemorates Bimo’s
prowess according to a legend which in its astonishing account of his
supernatural virility cannot be repeated. Enough to say that Arjuno,
making him dig up the _toog_ Bimo, on the advice of Samār, the wily,
was the first, by determining the course of the Serayu, to direct the
water from the mountains of Central Java to the sea, therewith obtaining
the realm of Ngastino. And whoever takes a bath, alone and at night, in
the water springing from mother earth under the _pohoon chemeti_, the
weeping willow of Bimo’s fountain, will have no occasion for certain
elixirs largely advertised in daily and weekly papers, will retain
youthful vigour into hoariest age.

It was dark when I arrived at the _pasangrahan_, the Government
rest-house, received first by a shaggy, plumetailed dog of the Diëng
variety, suspicious of strangers. Her name proved to be Sarama,
suggesting classical associations not sustained, I am sorry to record,
by her master, mine host, a Swiss, retired from service in the Dutch
colonial army and put in charge of the place. Speaking innumerable
languages and every one of them as if it were a _lingua franca_
composed of all the others, he showed me my room, took orders for my
supper and made me comfortable, the broad, perpetual smile on his
honest face illumining our polyglot conversation. Alas! Wielandt is no
more. Indra, who knows men’s hearts, has certainly assigned to this
diamond, more polished, presumably, in its celestial than in its former
terrestrial state, a worthy station among the jewels of the city of
bliss, Amaravati. A man of family instincts, good Wielandt left several
daughters, at the time of my visit of initiation extremely shy little
girls; and a son, then Sinjo Endrik, the obliging and attentive, ever
ready to act as a guide to and otherwise to assist his father’s guests
on their excursions, now Tuan Endrik, his father’s successor in the
_pasangrahan_, while one of his brothers-in-law keeps a small, private
hotel, opened to meet the increasing influx of sightseers and seekers
of health. The Diëng plateau, especially in the dry season, would be an
ideal site for a sanatorium. The sufferer from the debilitating heat on
the coast in the enervating conditions of a continuous struggle for the
next dollar or official preferment with fatter salary, may find there
rest and a cool climate. Going to the bath-room before setting out early
on some expedition, I have often found miniature icicles pendent from
the _panchuran_, the water conduit, and riding off, have often heard,
in crossing a puddle, the thin coating of ice crackle under the hoofs
of my pony. Sometimes, at sunrise, the few remaining temples stand out
white, the whole plateau being covered with frost, which makes a strange
impression on one who but the day before yesterday sweltered in the
fiery furnace of, for instance, the Heerenstraat at Samarang.

Waking up the morning after my first arrival, feeling cold, though
the scene my eyes met was not quite so severely wintry as that just
described, my dreams seemed to continue in reality. I beheld a tranquil
plain different in its bright serenity from everything I had so far seen
anywhere else, the Bimo temple rising to the left and the Arjuno group
to the right, sharply outlined against the hills and the sky, their
dark-gray colour in wonderful harmony with the verdure of earth and
the blue expanse of heaven. One moment they appeared near in the clear
atmosphere as if I could seize them with my hand, and then again very,
very far, never to be approached. A vapour, clinging to the slope of
the Pangonan in the direction of the Kawah Kidang, reminded me of the
tremendous cosmic energy entering into the composition of this soothing
stillness, this tonic for the sick and worried, with the certainty of
annihilation as final pledge of freedom. Once a lake of seething lava,
the plateau lies enclosed by the tops of five mountains, the Prahu,
Sroyo, Bismo, Nogosari and Jimat, 2050 metres above the level of the
sea; the Pangonan and Pagar Kandang are old eruptive cones, formed
of the mud and sand thrown out, which accumulated at their bases and
raised the surrounding ground. The plateau in its narrower sense is
now a flat stretch of turf, in places, especially in the middle, a
morass, called the Rawa Baleh Kambang for its northern, and the Rawa
Glonggong for its southern part. Ruins have been found everywhere in
the plain and up the slopes of the hills, even up to the summit of the
Prahu. Here stand stone posts in a row, used by Arjuno, according to
the legend, to tether his elephants, while his cows, after grazing on
the Pangonan, were corralled for the night in the hollow of the Pagar
Kandang, lit. “fence of the cattle-pen”; there, as in Diëng Kidool,
layers of ashes among the slags and other debris, mark the situation
in the past of the burning-grounds, which yield a steady harvest of
bronze and gold finger-rings, bracelets, anklets and other objects of
personal adornment. Ancient aqueducts, walls, staircases, foundations of
secular buildings, clustered round the temples, remains of an important
religious centre, so various and rich that Junghuhn did not exaggerate
when calling them inexhaustible, suggest the existence, once upon a
time, in those mountain wilds, of a Javanese Benares, minus the Ganges
but plus a setting of unceasing volcanic activity, which demolished it
by a sudden, violent outbreak. Such suggestions need only the seconding
of one of the learned to be utterly ridiculed by his equally learned
brethren of an opposite school.... We will let the matter rest at
that and simply enjoy the actual calm of a landscape evidently exposed
to destruction at the shortest notice, of nature recuperating from
outrageous debauch.

Voices solemn and sweet summon to close communion with the power behind
those manifestations, the universal soul of things human and superhuman,
infernal and divine. One look more at the strip of turf which clasps
the mysteries as a girdle embossed with gems, the Arjuno and Bimo
shrines, shining in the splendour of early morning,--we shall return
to them after our stroll of orientation. In the _dessa_ Diëng Wetan,
close to the _pasangrahan_, is, or rather was, the _watu rawit_, a wall
constructed of big blocks of stone, two portions of which still exist
with a narrow staircase, hewn on a smaller scale, leading to the coping.
The structure, largely drawn upon for building material, goes also by
the name of _benteng_ (fort of) Buddha, an appellation incompatible
with the Sivaïte origin of Diëng architecture and a contradiction in
terms besides, considering the character of Gautama’s teaching; but in
native parlance everything connected with the Hindu period is referred
to as belonging to the _jaman buda_, while the expression _agama
buda_ includes every pre-Muhammadan ancestral religion. Via Patak
Banteng, Jojogan and Parikesit the _dessa_ Simboongan may be reached,
until recently the highest in Java (2078 metres). Founded in 1815 by
the grandfather of the present _lurah_, or chief of the village, its
inhabitants, on whose stature and colour of skin the cool climate has
had a visible influence, are very prosperous, their principal occupation
being the preparation of a hair-oil from the seeds of the _gandapura_
(_Hibiscus Abelmoschus_). Simboongan lies on the west bank of Telaga
Chebong, one of the many lakes which add to the indescribable charm
of the Diëng, some possessing uncanny echoes, some being yellow and
sulphurous, some of ever changing hue, some of crystalline clearness
and stocked with goldfish, while the marshy shores are a favourite
haunt of _meliwis_, a kind of duck much prized as food and becoming
correspondingly scarce. Proceeding to Sikunang we get beautiful views in
the direction of Batoor, hidden among its Chinese graves and orchards
as in an airy robe of white and green; along the mountain rills which
hasten impetuously to the valley of Banjarnegara, meeting in the
radiance of the sun’s promise for union with the sea; down to the
ricefields of Temanggoong, resplendent at the feet of the high mountains
which keep guard over the Kadu, a paradise dominated by the sister
volcanoes Soombing and Sindoro, a joy to behold.

Passing Sikunang and turning round the Gunoong Teroos, a spur of the
Pakuojo, we notice some trachyte steps, the head of a staircase made
for the convenience of pilgrims from what is now the residency Bagelen,
to the city of temples, an ascent of five thousand feet. Over a long
distance, following the course of the river Lawang, that gigantic
roadway can be traced far below Telaga Menjer by stones left in holes
from which it was not easy to remove them for building purposes.
Another of these _ondo buda_ on the north side of the plateau, served
the pilgrims coming from what is now the residency Pekalongan, via Deles
and Sigamploong, and disappeared in the same manner. Descending, a smell
of sulphur announces a lion of the Diëng of a less innocent, in fact of
a decidedly satanic aspect: on this soil always the unsuspected turns
up, the remains of an ancient civilisation forcing themselves upon our
attention together with impressive reminders of the subterranean forces
which extinguished it. From a number of cavities on the slope of the
Pangonan, bare of vegetation, a picture of desolation, noxious vapours
rise and bubbles of mud are blown forth and burst with a rumbling noise.
High above the rest works the Kawah Kidang, the deer-kettle, spouting
and growling, throwing the hot liquid round with relish, and it is
advisable to keep her well to leeward on her days of gala, for she
changes frequently her aim and her mood, an index of Kala’s disposition
when stirring the bowels of the earth. Being the pulse of the Diëng,
so to speak, she is regularly excited to fiercer exertion by the rainy
season, differing also in this particular from the Chondro di Muka,
her rival near the Pakaraman, with whom she has been confused even by
geographers of name, greatly to her disparagement since she commands
a considerably wider sphere of influence, not scrupling to encroach
upon the domain of her neighbours by moving about. Wherever one pokes
into the ground within her sphere of action, the steam rushes out and
seething puddles are formed; it is wary walking and the wise will take
warning from the foolhardy Contrôleur whose curiosity prompted him a
step too far: sinking through the upper crust into the boiling mud,
he had his legs so badly burnt that he died of the consequences and
was buried at Wonosobo instead of marrying his Resident’s daughter at

With its mofettes, solfataras, steam-holes, mud-geysers, sulphurous
lakes, its treacherously opening and closing chasms,[25] last but
not least its notorious valley of death,[26] the Diëng is the region
above all others in volcanic Java, of miracles that expound the
antagonism between fratricide life and death on our turbulent planet,
which continuously prepares for or recovers from spasms of generative
destruction. One of these spasms, on a grander scale than usual in
the short span of human history, was the eruption of Krakatoa in
1883; which raised and submerged islands, shaking and altering the
Straits of Soonda, a resultant tidal wave razing the towns of Anyer
and Cheringin. The Diëng, some three hundred miles off, responded
faithfully, as might have been expected, the Kawah Kidang roaring and
splashing mud furiously, the wall of the crater-lake Chebong cracking
in several places, so that part of its water, instead of flowing
through the old channel, now seeks its way through the fissures thus
created, remunerative tobacco-fields being transformed into swamps. Such
disasters preach an eloquent sermon on the text, hewn in stone by the
builders of the temples here erected to Siva as Kala, the Overthrower,
and, transmitted with the wisdom of ages by a later religion, happily
expressed by the German poet:

    _Was hilft es Menschen seyn, was liebe Blumen küssen,
    Wann sie sind schöne zwar, doch balde nichts seyn müssen?_[27]

The news that a troop of strolling players had arrived, dispelled,
however, ideas of that sort, unpalatable truth never proving successful
against the pleasurable excitement of the moment. They were going to
perform at the house of the reputedly wealthiest man of the plateau
and not the less highly considered by his neighbours because caught
redhanded, not once but repeatedly, in handling the forbidden, as I
heard afterwards. Living near one of the enclosures traditionally
associated with the pyres which were extinguished when the Hindu
priests deserted their altars, he gave the _ton_ to the upper ten of
Diëng society, “disporting like any other fly” unterrified by daily
manifestations of cosmic potency. Surrounded by his _ganadavatas_,
gods of the second rank, he welcomed me to the show. Mounted on sham
horses, the actors delighted their audience with a sham battle which
soon became a single combat between two valiant knights, encouraged by
masked clowns, funny yet exquisitely graceful in their movements: the
_savoir vivre_ of this people is perfectly matched with their elegance
of carriage and correctness of speech and innate propriety of demeanour.
The comedians’ stage-properties did not amount to much and their
inventive genius shone the more brilliantly: a tiger (for a hunt of his
highness our common uncle[28] followed the joust) was improvised with
jute bagging and two pieces of wood, representing the jaws, snapping
ferociously, perhaps a compliment to the _orang wolanda_ present, his
biped equivalent in native estimation, as already remarked. Or an
allusion may have been intended to local events: not longer than a week
before, Paman had tried to force Wielandt’s stable, cooling his wrath,
when baffled, on Sarama’s pups.

So much for my recollections of the histrionic exercises on the Diëng,
and now about the temples! If Thomas Horsfield, in his narrative of the
tour he made through the island between 1802 and 1807, mentioned the
so-called Buddha-roads, it was Raffles who sent Cornelius, Lieutenant in
the Corps of Engineers, to survey the architectural remains on the Diëng
plateau proper, which the earlier traveller had not visited. According
to the official account of his mission, kept in the library of the
Museum of Antiquities at Leyden and still unpublished, he found whatever
was standing of some forty groups, covered with clay and volcanic ashes
up to nearly a fourth of the original height. Captain Baker, also
commissioned by Raffles, worked three weeks on the Diëng after his
examination of the ruins at Prambanan and the Boro Budoor. Junghuhn,
whose observations date from 1838 to 1845, speaks of more than twenty
temples in a wilderness of marshy woods. The woods have disappeared, the
marshes hold their own and of his twenty temples only eight are left in
a recognisable shape: five of them belong to the Arjuno group, including
the so-called house of Samār; the best preserved is the Wergodoro or
Bimo; the Andorowati and Gatot Kocho crumble away even faster than the
rest. It has already been remarked that the Diëng structures belong
to the oldest in the island, the _hanasima_ inscription, transferred
to Batavia, furnishing a record of the Diëng civilisation which goes
back to 731 Saka (A.D. 809). They are interesting to the Indian
antiquary, wrote Fergusson, “because they are Indian temples pure and
simple, and dedicated to Indian gods ...; what (they) tell us further
is, that if Java got her Buddhism from Gujerat and the mouths of the
Indus, she got her Hinduïsm from Telingana and the mouths of the
Kistnah.... Nor are (they) Dravidian in any sense of the word. They
are in storeys, but not with cells, nor any reminiscences of such;
but they are Chalukyan.” Later learning accepts this statement only
with cautious reserve. Whether Chalukyan or not, though, it is plain
even to the unlearned that, erected to Siva, the Mahadeva worshipped
principally in his character of Bhatara Guru, the divine teacher, to his
_sakti_ Doorga and their first-born Ganesa, these temples, radiating the
all-soul in the fierce glare of the midday sun, unfolding their secrets
in the mellow moonbeams of night, partake fully of their mysterious
surroundings, are integral portions of the ground they occupy, as
may be said of all ancient Javanese buildings. Men of great power of
imagination, deep-reasoning sentiment, the builders of these marvels,
working their thoughts up to the sky, rescued for us the essence of
the Diëng’s past existence. Their apprehension of universal happiness
without beginning or end, sharpened by the desire to enjoy heaven on
earth, lent immortality to the greatness of a people every vestige of
whom would have disappeared but for their creative enthusiasm.


(Archaeological Service through Charls and van Es.)]

Prurient prudery, keen on the scent of the nasty, feels shocked at
the _lingas_ and _yonis_ lying round, unable in its fly-blown purity
to grasp the divinity of eternal love in the poem of generation, the
union of the Deva and the Devi in causation and conception of life.
The Philistine sees little more than rubbish, heaps of stone of no
earthly use except as havens of refuge when out shooting _meliwis_
and overtaken by rain. In the Rawa Baleh Gambang we find five such
clustered together, the _chandis_ Arjuno with the house of Samār,
Srikandi (Ongko Wijoyo), Poontadewa (Trumo Kasumo or Sami Aji) and
Sembrada (Sepropo), the chief hero of the _Brata Yuda_ being honoured
in the midst of family and friends, including his funny and faithful
servant. The _kala-makara_[29] ornament of the entrance to the _chandi_
Arjuno tells its tale; so do the empty niches designed for free-standing
statuettes dissolved into space. Like the _chandi_ Srikandi it was once
surrounded by a wall and another point of resemblance is the small
rectangular building called the _chandi_ Samār, probably destined for
secular purposes; of the Srikandi dependency, however, only the base
can be traced. The _chandi_ Sembrada deviates somewhat in architectural
plan and detail, and the ground-idea of the decoration can be studied
to best advantage in the _chandi_ Poontadewa, finest of the group,
exquisitely graceful on its high basement. Here again the _makara_
ornament prevails, budding into leaves and flowers, chiselled with a
chaste appreciation of the esthetic principle of self-control: _In
der Beschränkung zeigt sich erst der Meister_. Under the tapering
roofs, fallen or falling in, which give the inner chambers an air of
indescribable elegance, notwithstanding the cramped dimensions, images
of holiness stood on pedestals; the images have been removed, heaven
knows whither, and even the pedestals have fared badly at the hands
of sacrilegious robbers digging for hidden treasure. Trumo Kasumo,
supposed to keep sentinel over his _chandi_ (in bas-relief, north side),
cannot but be scandalised at modern methods of research and modern
behaviour in general.

The morass shows, in the dry season, the foundations of buildings,
regularly arranged, lining streets which intersected at right angles
over a considerable part of the Rawa Baleh Gambang. Their disposition
has been advanced to support the theory that the population of the Diëng
lived in wooden houses, built on those substructures of stone. The
theory that the superstructures of stone have been carried away and the
submerged substructures left because not so easy to get at, is just as
plausible; perhaps a little more so. But whatever they were, temples and
priestly or private dwellings of wood or stone, the officiating clergy,
their assistants and the inhabitants of the city ministering to their
fleshly needs, must have suffered a good deal from the dampness of the
soil, the plateau offering already in those early days a field of rich
promise for the experiments of hydraulic engineers. Among canals and
ditches of less importance, the Guwa Aswotomo, a _cloaca maxima_ some
twelve centuries old, still relieves the plain of its superfluous water.
According to the legend, for nothing in this locality goes without at
least one,--according to the legend then, the subterraneous passage
was dug by Aswotomo on his expedition to the Diëng for the purpose
of smashing the Pandawas, and nearing Arjuno’s residence he pushed
his way up to the surface, from distance to distance, spying how far
he had yet to continue his underground march. Descending into one of
the peep-holes he made, in a season of extreme drought, I was able to
crawl on to the next, through mud and debris which blocked my further
progress and, unable to crawl out on a level fifteen or twenty feet
lower, the watercourse sloping deeper and deeper down, I had to return
to my point of ingress. The glory of this feat diminishes in the light
of my knowledge of the circumstance that the Diëng plateau harbours
no snakes,[30] save the decorative _nagas_ of temple architecture,
and that a companion followed my movements above ground; had we been
provided with ropes, we might have carried our work of exploration
much further--but that must wait for another time. Of the rare plant
which grows nowhere but in Aswotomo’s burrow and owes its growth to
his copious perspiration while at his task, a fern possessing rare
qualities, highly beneficial to him who pulls it out by the roots, I saw
or, rather, felt nothing in groping my way through mire and darkness.
Taking its course in a direction inverse to the mole-man’s initial
tunnel boring, his Guwa begins at the Arjuno temples as an unpretentious
drain and runs, for about half a mile, slanting toward the source of the
river Dolok, where Junghuhn has set up two _lingas_.


(Archaeological Service through Charls and van Es.)]

The largest remaining and most beautiful temple on the Diëng is the
_chandi_ Wergodoro or Bimo,[31] where the Pangonan rises out of
the Rawa Glonggong. Notwithstanding Fergusson’s opinion, competent
critics, deriving their conclusions from the horizontal lines of the
roof-storeys, maintain its Dravidian or Southern Indian instead of
Chalukyan character.[32] The niches with busts, which impress one as
windows with people poking out their heads to see who is disturbing
their quiet, suggest an approach to ideas further developed in the
architecture of the plain of Prambanan. These curious persons look out
only at the back and at the sides; the niches of the roof in front, over
the projecting porch with _kala-makara_ ornament, are all empty. With
its entrance facing east, in contradistinction to those of the other
temples on the plateau, which face west, the _chandi_ Bimo possesses
also notable peculiarities in the details of its sculpture: the double
lotus of the cornice, lotus-buds and diminutive bo-trees of uncommon
shapes, etc., while the upward tapering structural design displays a
tendency to the slightly curved lines so dearly loved by Greek builders
of the best period and adapted by the masters of early Gothic. The
larger, lower niches have been despoiled; architraves and mouldings,
festooned with foliage, flowers and seed-pods, divide the open spaces
round about in a tasteful, sober manner, exciting without fatiguing
the eye. From the fact that the decoration has not been completed, it
is inferred that the sculptors were interrupted like their comrades at
work on other monuments of Central Java, overwhelmed perhaps by the
catastrophe of volcanic or martial nature, which depopulated the Diëng
and coincided with the decline of the ancient empire of Hindu Mataram.
The miraculous voice heard in the _chandi_ Bimo at dead of night, is
silent on this point. All temples have their _shetans_, their bad,
rarely good spirits, but the _genius loci_ of the Bimo excels the whole
Arjuno crowd of them in efficacy and unfailing attention to the business
of the seekers of advice, who arrive from far and wide to consult the
oracle. Entering after dusk the gate of the Dread One, Kala, one with
Rudra, the Roarer (the Kawa Kidang) near by, they have but to wait in
prayer at the altar of the wondrous fane. A strange whisper, mounting
like the odour of _melati_ and _kenanga_, tells them how to avoid the
grim giant Danger if, on leaving, they are firmly determined to pursue
the road of Good Desert.

The _chandis_ Gatot Kocho and Andorowati, falling into hopeless ruin,
will soon be remembered only by their location, like the _chandi_
Parikesit, and it is a pity to think of those which left no trace at
all, whose very names are forgotten. The state of affairs on the Diëng
plateau, said Captain, now Major T. van Erp,[33] commissioned for the
restoration of the Boro Budoor, leaves everything to be desired....
Villages came into existence and expanded. The inhabitants need stone
substructures in building their houses and it is a matter of course that
they use temple stones for that purpose; these are here much smaller
than those of the monuments in the valley of the Progo and the plain of
Prambanan, easily carried off and exactly of the right size.... This is
the case of the spoliation of the temples on the Diëng in a nutshell.
But it should be added that the natives are not the only offenders. So
much, indeed, is implied in Major van Erp’s anecdote of a tourist who,
examining the statuary adorning the grounds of the _pasangrahan_, a
remarkable collection formed from miscellaneous loot, was invited to
make his choice, the selected plunder to be delivered at Wonosobo in
consideration of five guilders (a little over eight shillings). Many
others had the same experience: numberless statues and stones carved
into ornament have been appropriated by official and unofficial visitors
to enrich museums and private collections. The appointment of Wielandt
Sr., later of Wielandt Jr. as keeper of the _pasangrahan_ and of the
antiquities in a region of archaeological interest equal to Pompeii and
Herculaneum, without any funds whatsoever at their disposal, was only
an incident in the continuous farce performed by the Dutch East Indian
Government in all its relations to monumental Java up to the date of its
laborious confinement of the Archaeological Commission--and after, as I
shall have abundant occasion to show: a farce with consequences sad to
contemplate. This applies to antiquities of every description. I turn to
my diary: In different places, when digging, layers of ashes are found
with charred human bones imbedded, and often trinkets. The natives,
however, keep their treasure-troves secret for fear of the Government,
which has decreed, and rightly, reserving its rights, that they may
not sell without asking for and obtaining permission, but appropriates
everything it hears of, at ridiculously low prices; a good deal is
therefore sold and bought privately, notwithstanding the prohibition,
even by officials; a systematic search never having been attempted, none
the less fine trifles are unearthed and not always trifles either; last
night, in the _pasangrahan_, some rings were shown to me; the owner,
acting very mysteriously, produced at last a statuette from under his
_baju_, about six inches of solid gold, beautifully wrought; its mate,
equal in height, material and workmanship, he had been forced to sell,
according to his story, for seventy guilders (less than £6); he wanted
more to part with this one and it is certainly worth many and many times
that sum; a change in the usual sordid Government practice would result
in remarkable discoveries; recently, as Dr. L. told me, an inscribed
stone was laid bare; when trying to have a look at it the same day, his
informant told him that it had already been spirited away to prevent
_susah_ (trouble); not much is necessary to be sentenced to _krakal_
(hard labour in the chain-gang) at Wonosobo.

It is true the Government sent some one to the Diëng, about fifty years
ago, to photograph the temples as they then existed and, fortunately,
the operator chosen was I. van Kinsbergen who, having made his début in
Java as a member of an opera-troupe, developed a rare artistic sense
in portraying the deteriorating outlines of the ancient fanes of the
island. But there the matter rested until the complaints became too loud
and in 1910 hopes were held out that steps would be taken to clear the
ruins of parasitic vegetation, to drain the plateau by repairing the
trenches and conduits still in working order since the Hindu period,
incidentally to consider the possibility of restoring the sanctuaries
not yet tumbled down. Names I heard in connection with this charge,
make me tremble, writes a correspondent from Batavia, for a repetition
of the vandalism committed in the plain of Prambanan, particularly
the criminal assaults on the _chandi_ Plahosan and the _chandi_ Sewu,
where a Government commissioner tried to arrest further decay on the
homoeopathic principle: _similia similibus curantur_. Government
solicitude for conservation proves often more destructive than simple
neglect and, to take an illustration from the Diëng itself (others will
be culled in the course of my observations, from a plentiful supply of
official _bêtises_ and _bévues_, if not worse, in other localities), no
sooner was general attention drawn to the enigmatic sign, described by
Junghuhn and copied in his standard work from a rock between the lakes
Warna and Pengilon, than it began to fade. Still quite clear in 1885
and up to 1895, despite its having been exposed to wind and weather
during ten centuries (as surmised), it became fainter and fainter after
that year, the process of a gradual loss of colour being duly noted at
subsequent visits, until in 1902 I found it hardly distinguishable. To
make up for the injury, a Contrôleur discovered, in 1889, supplementary
tokens, not black but red, on the same Batu Tulis, or Watu Ketèq as
the natives rather call it, “monkey-stone”, because they recognise in
the figure recorded by Junghuhn, a likeness to the animal referred to.
The smaller red letters, or whatever they were intended for, steadily
increasing in number, appearing in places where I had never noticed
anything before, I could not help suspecting the little shepherds who
look so innocent and shy and hardly venture an answer when spoken to, of
knowing more about this miraculous growth of a hieroglyphic inscription
than their artlessness implied. For all their stolid mien, the natives
are exceedingly fond of a joke and what greater sport can be imagined
than to get the wise men of Batavia and of European centres of erudition
by the ears, inciting them to raise always more learned dust in their
efforts to decipher the undecipherable characters of an impossible
language, each being cocksure of the infallibility of his individual
interpretation? If, however, we have not to do with Kromo or Wongso his
mark, the ghost of the Batu Tulis must be held responsible for, among
the incorporeal inhabitants of the many caves in this neighbourhood,
the dweller beneath the monkey-stone is of greatest occult potency and
the good people who come from the adjoining lowland districts, even from
Surakarta and Jogjakarta, to hear and translate the voices of the Diëng,
repair hither, after partaking of good advice in the Bimo temple, to
_sembah_ (make their salutation) before the entrance and ask _slamat_
(blessing and success) on their foreshadowed undertakings. Nocturnal
devotions inside the cave of the Watu Ketèq on a lucky, right lucky,
carefully calculated night, means untold wealth, and whoever dares to
brave the resident sprite of darkness with that desire in his heart, as
very few do, and still remains a poor devil, has doubtless skipped a
word of power in muttering his incantations or disregarded some other
essential observance.

To the lover of mountain scenery it is far more profitable to wait
for dawn near the triangulation pillar and point of junction of four
residencies: Samarang, Pekalongan, Banyumas and the Bagelen, with a
fifth, the Kadu, only a few paces off, when the Eye of Day rises to
divide the waters behind the mountains and the rack of clouds, and,
to the north and the south of the island, the sea begins to glimmer
in the azure and orange tints sent before to meet the melting gray of
vanquished darkness. Following its course in all-compassing space, the
soul enters into silent communion with nature, the divine creation of
the supremely divine which teaches feeble men how to worship. Such
moments bring a wholesome chastening of the flesh and as we descend,
goaded by the fierce darts of the conqueror overhead who makes the
earth wrap herself in her vapoury robe of protection, veiling the
grand vision,--as we descend where the runnels descend that feed the
Serayu and the Tulis winding its way to the Kawah Kidang, we find the
plain with the _chandis_ one immense temple of adoration. The Vedic
subtle body yearns to enter the sheath of prayer, to be moulded by
its creator into the form fit for union with the spirit of the world;
respiration becomes aspiration to the beatitude of manifest truth, of
final rest in extinction of sin and shame and sorrow. So pass the hours
in purification, in desire of a spark of the thought which breathes
life into mortification of self. Then, at the passing of the light
with the last flush from the West, in awe-inspiring stillness, the
quivering stars lift their heads to watch the holy city of the dead; in
clear-toned stillness, the night-wind moaning, the Rawa lamenting the
lost civilisation of a lost religion whose symbols remain but are not
understood, a mourning for humanity labouring in vain. The Diëng has
been repopulated with a race between whose fanciful ideals, rooted in
a forgotten past, and the rapacity of foreign rulers no lasting accord
seems possible. Is it ordained that they, the thralls and the masters,
shall continue in their present relations? Or will they disappear in
their turn and, to quote Junghuhn, this mountain region revert to its
free, natural state? Perhaps in the hour of upheaval native seers
prophesy, when safety shall be found by none except to whom the Just
Reckoner grants it. And mingling in one measure, which comprises the
_jaman buda_, the time of bondage and the future, their dim notions
of Mahadeva, the Beneficent Destroyer, and their conception of the
dispensation of the Book, the leaders of religious exercise in the
villages abide by their advice of submission until the true believers
win the day, a day of glory for Islām, sure to arrive in the circular
course of existence, which is nothing but Sansara, in attainment of
Moslim brotherhood, which is nothing but Brahma Vihara, the sublime
condition of love. Meanwhile, hearing is to be practised; haply it
will lead to the comprehension of a lesson inculcated by each of the
three creeds amalgamated in the Javanese mind and best expressed in the
form borrowed from a fourth: The thing that hath been, is that which
shall be; and that which is done, is that which shall be done,--or, in
the version of the greatest poet of our own age: _Ciò che fu, torna e
tornerà nei secoli._[34]



[22] Dr. A. B. COHEN STUART, however, derives Diëng from
_dihyang_, the name found by him in old records.

[23] The remains of both these exquisite little temples suffered
severely from a gale in 1907, which blew some of the surrounding trees
down, their trunks and branches falling heavily and disjoining the
still tolerably erect walls, the _chandi_ Perot, according to latest
intelligence, being wholly destroyed by the toppling of the tamarind it

[24] The _Brata Yuda Yarwa_ is the Javanese version of the famous Kawi
poem _Bharata Yuddha_ which, in its turn, is founded on the Sanskrit
epos _Mahabharata_. The war for the possession of Hastinapura is
transplanted to Java; the Sanskrit proper names have passed into the
nomenclature of Javanese history and geography; the Indian heroes have
become the founders of Javanese dynasties, the progenitors of Javanese

[25] One of those chasms, near the _dessa_ Gaja Moongkoor, swallowed not
merely a dancing-girl, a most common occurrence in Javanese legendary
lore, but a whole village.

[26] A very active mofette which the natives call the Pakaraman, _i.e._
the “selected spot” where King Baladeva had his arms forged in the Brata
Yuda war.


    What is the use of living, of kissing lovely flowers,
    If, though they are beautiful, they must soon fade into nothing?

[28] The native’s deferential fear for the animal in question, makes
him reluctant to pronounce its name, a liberty likely to give offence;
referring to the lord of the woods, he speaks rather of his respected
uncle (_paman_) or grandfather (_kakeh_), which satisfies, at the same
time, his lingering belief in the transmigration of the soul.

[29] Siva as Kala, the destroyer with the lion’s or tiger’s head,
Banaspati, devouring the sea-monster Makara: time finishing all
things and alleviating all distress, in respect of which notion
VOLTAIRE’S short but pointed story of _Les Deux Consolés_ may
be profitably read.

[30] Query: Has St. Patrick ever been on the Diëng?

[31] Or Bhimo, one of Arjuno’s four brothers and avenger of the honour
of the family on Kichaka, who had fallen in love with their common wife

[32] No buildings in the Northern Indian or Indo-Arian style have been
found in Java.

[33] Reporting to the _Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences_, January
11, 1909.

[34] That which has been, returns and will return through all time.




    _Queen Gertrude...._

            ..., all that lives must die,
    Passing through nature to eternity.

    WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, _Hamlet, Prince of Denmark_, I., ii.

The vast plain of Prambanan, which extends southward from the foot of
the Merapi, one of Java’s most active volcanoes,[35] is, or rather was,
studded with Sivaïte and Buddhist temples. Called, in the later days
of ignorance regarding their signification, after some outstanding
feature (Sewu, Loomboong, Asu), after gods, demi-gods and heroes of
romance (as on the Diëng), after the villages near which they were found
(Kalasan or Kali Bening), or after their general position, a good many
might share the appellation Prambanan. In speaking of _the_ Prambanan
temples, however, the group is meant which lies beside the main road
between Surakarta and Jogjakarta, where the two residencies meet, but
still within the boundaries of the latter. Excepting the Boro Budoor
and Mendoot, it comprises the finest and most famous monuments of
Central Java, which from olden times have been held in great veneration
by the population, even in their neglected condition, when reduced to
little more than heaps of overgrown debris, lairs of wild animals. Freed
from their luxurious vegetation and excavated, architectural remains
of the first order came to light with sculptured ornament nowhere
else surpassed in richness of detail and correctness of execution.
Surrounded by ruins of a mainly Buddhist character, these buildings
were consecrated to the Hindu Trinity with Siva leading the Trimoorti
as Bhatara Guru, Master and Teacher of the World. A date recently
discovered, 886 Saka (A.D. 964), or, according to another reading,
996 Saka (A.D. 1074), points to the period when Sivaïsm in Java had
already become strongly impregnated with Buddhism, a circumstance
fully borne out by the external decoration.


(Cephas Sr.)]

Among the natives, the Prambanan ruins go by the name of _chandi_
Loro[36] Jonggrang because of the legend connected with their origin.
Once upon a time Prambanan was ruled by a giant-king, Ratu Boko,
possessed of an only daughter, Princess Jonggrang, and an adopted son,
Raden Gupolo, whose father had been killed by command of the King of
Pengging. Having sworn revenge, Raden Gupolo feigned love for the
beautiful daughter of that monarch and asked Ratu Boko to assist him
in making her his wife. Ambassadors were despatched with instructions
to negotiate the marriage. His Majesty of Pengging received them in
a friendly manner and entertained them at his Court but, not wanting
Raden Gupolo for a son-in-law, he sent secret agents in all directions
to seek and bind to his service a hero with power to resist and subdue
the giants, Ratu Boko’s subjects, of whom he was in mortal fear. One
of those emissaries, searching the slopes of the Soombing, met with
the recluse Damar Moyo of the children of Sumendi Petoong, the chief
of the _legèn_-drawers.[37] Damar Moyo’s wife had blessed him with two
sons, Bondowoso, a tall and strong fellow, and Bambang Kandilaras,
less muscular but more favoured in outward appearance and of a gentler
disposition, whom he recommended as just the man needed for the rescue
of the Princess of Pengging and ready for the task, provided her royal
father would consent, in consideration of the defeat of the giants,
to give his daughter to the young man with half his kingdom as dowry
and the other half to follow after his death--which conditions prove
that even in those remote days the saintly did not despise worldly
advantage. The King of Pengging consented and Bambang Kandilaras marched
against Prambanan, but no weapon could harm Ratu Boko, who roared so
dreadfully that the sound and his breath combined were enough to knock
any human foe down at a distance too far to distinguish a man from
a woman or a giant from a _waringin_-tree. Bambang Kandilaras fled,
reporting at Damar Moyo’s cave, and was commanded to try once more with
the assistance of his brother Bondowoso. They accomplished nothing.
Bambang Kandilaras ran away even before the battle commenced, to hide
himself in a ravine where the troops of Prambanan could not follow
him, and Bondowoso, blown off his legs by a puff from Ratu Boko’s
formidable lungs, sought safety in precipitate retreat to the mountain
Soombing. Then Damar Moyo taught him a magical word which, pronounced
twice, would make him big and heavy as an elephant, and give him the
strength of a thousand of those animals. Thus armed, Bondowoso returned
to Prambanan, where he killed half of Ratu Boko’s warriors in their
sleep, while the other half, waking up, concentrated backward, with
the enemy in hot pursuit, to tell their king what had happened. Nobody
shall stir, said he; I myself alone will settle this little business.
Meeting Bondowoso near the village Tangkisan,[38] he began to roar as
loud and fume as hard as he could but, to his astonishment, his breath
lacked the accustomed power and so he had to fight for his life hand to
hand. It was a terrible fight: houses and gardens were trampled down,
forests rooted up and mountains kicked over, while the perspiration
dripping from the bodies of the enraged combatants formed a large pool,
the Telaga Powiniyan.[39] To end the struggle, Bondowoso, in a supreme
effort, seized Ratu Boko round the middle and threw him into that pool,
where he sank and, drowning, made the earth tremble with a last roar
of anger and distress.[40] Raden Gupolo, hearing the noise, hastened
to his assistance with a few drops of the water of life in a cup, an
elixir prepared by Mboq Loro Jonggrang,--only a few drops, but enough to
resuscitate the dead giant-king if put to his lips. Bambang Kandilaras,
however, drew his bow and, from the place where he had watched the
fight, shot the cup out of the hand of Raden Gupolo, who thereupon
attacked Bondowoso. Bambang Kandilaras let more arrows fly at the
giant-warriors of Prambanan, who now rushed up to avenge their king’s
death. In the general _mêlée_ Bondowoso killed also Raden Gupolo and cut
off his head, which he threw away in an easterly direction, changing it
into a mountain, the Gunoong Gampeng; but his brains and heart he threw
away in a southwesterly direction, changing them into another mountain,
the Gunoong Woongkal. Thereupon he defeated the remaining half of the
army of Prambanan and repaired to Pengging, claiming the reward for
his brother. The king of that country, glad to be rid of the giants,
was as good as his word, wedded his beautiful daughter to Bambang
Kandilaras and appointed Bondowoso his viceroy in Prambanan, with the
rank and title of _bupati_. Taking up his abode in the palace of the
late Raden Gupolo, Bondowoso happened to see Mboq Loro Jonggrang, who
continued living in the _kraton_ of Ratu Boko, and fell in love with
her. He asked her hand in marriage and she, abhorring the man who had
killed her father, and one so unprepossessing in countenance too, but
afraid to provoke his displeasure by a blank refusal, answered that she
was willing to become his wife on condition of his providing a suitable
_sasrahan_ or wedding-present, nothing more nor less than six deep wells
in six buildings, the like of which no mortal eye had ever seen, with
a thousand statues of the former kings of Prambanan and their divine
ancestors, the gods in heaven, all to be dug and built and carved in one
night. Bondowoso called in the help of his father, the recluse Damar
Moyo, of the King of Pengging and of his brother Bambang Kandilaras, all
three of whom responded, going to Prambanan and uniting in prayer on the
day before the night agreed upon by the spirits of the lower regions,
who had been commandeered for the task by the saint of the mountain
Soombing. The evening fell and as soon as darkness enveloped the earth
a weird sound was heard of invisible hands busy laying foundations,
erecting walls and sculpturing statuary. By half past three o’clock the
six wells were dug, the six buildings completed and nine hundred and
ninety-nine statues standing in their places. But Mboq Loro Jonggrang,
roused from her slumbers by the hammering and chiselling, and suspecting
what was going on, ordered her handmaidens out to stamp the _padi_[41]
and to strew the ground, where the noise was loudest, with flowers and
to sprinkle perfume. The spirits of the lower regions cannot bear the
odour of flowers and perfumes, as everybody knows; so they had to desist
and deserted their almost finished work in precipitate flight, to the
consternation of Bondowoso, who pronounced this curse: Since the girls
of Prambanan take pleasure in fooling a faithful suitor, may the gods
grant that they shall have to wait long before they become brides![42]
Having said this, yet hoping against hope, he called on his lady, who
asked tauntingly whether the honour of his visit meant the announcement
that the task imposed upon him by way of testing his love, had been
completed. This filled the measure and he answered: No, it is not and
you shall complete it yourself. The threat was immediately realised:
Loro Jonggrang changed into a statue of stone, the thousandth, which
terminated the labour of the spirits and is still to be seen in a niche
on the north side of the principal edifice.

The reader will recognise in this legend the hoary eastern material of
many others current also in western lands. It pervades the legendary
lore connected with the plain of Prambanan in widest sense, and one of
its many variations, to be recorded farther on, applies specially to the
Buddhist _chandi_ Sewu or “thousand temples”, only a little distance
from the Loro Jonggrang group;[43] in fact, originally adapted to
account for the many ruins scattered over a vast area in that region,
it has taken separate forms to meet the requirements of separate
localities. Apart from tradition, we owe the oldest extant description
of the Prambanan antiquities to the East India Company’s servant Lons at
Samarang, who wrote in 1733. The Governor-General van Imhoff referred to
them in 1746 and Raffles, his successor during the British Interregnum,
not satisfied with writing and talking alone, commissioned Cornelius
with Wardenaar to survey them and make plans for reconstruction. After
1816 things returned to the accustomed neglect: A short stay in the
plain of Prambanan, says an authority already quoted,[44] is sufficient
to note that thousands of valuable hewn and sculptured stones have been
and still are used for all sorts of purposes ...; from time immemorial,
great quantities of stone have been (and still are) taken from
Prambanan by his Highness the Sooltan of Jogjakarta, generally once or
twice a year ...; this happens, if I am well informed, in compliance
with a written demand, fiated by the local authorities. The foundation,
in 1885, of the Archaeological Society of Jogjakarta, which undertook
the excavation of the parts of the Loro Jonggrang group covered with
debris and vegetation, and the clearing of the whole, did little to
ameliorate the situation with respect to the carrying away from the
Prambanan temples, speaking collectively, of stones for the building of
houses, factories, etc., and of ornament for the decoration of private
grounds and gardens. Though bills were posted all over the ruins,
including Doorga’s, alias Loro Jonggrang’s sanctum, prohibiting, by
order of that Society, the salving of gods and goddesses with _boreh_
and the defacing of the walls with inscriptions, its members themselves
dragged statues away to fill a so-called museum of their contrivance
at the provincial capital, dislocating things of beauty, ranging the
_disjecta membra_ on scaffoldings in a shed as crockery on the shelves
of a cupboard. The monuments of Prambanan being primarily mausolea,
their first concern was to dig for the _saptaratna_, the seven treasures
buried with the ashes of the dead under the images of the deities
hallowing those perishable remains. The plunder consisted in urns
containing, besides the ashes, coins, rubies and other precious stones,
pieces of gold- and silver-leaf with cut figures (serpents, tortoises,
flowers), strips of gold-foil inscribed with ancient characters,
fragments of copper and glass, etc. The mortuary pits easiest to rifle,
had already been emptied before the semi-official spoilers turned their
attention to them. This chapter is not the most glorious in the history
of the Archaeological Society of Jogjakarta which, on the other hand,
started a work too long neglected by the Dutch Government, even after
Raffles’ vigorous initial effort. Incidentally it promoted the schemes
of the superficial yet very ambitious, pushing to the front on the
strength of what should have been put to the credit of more capable but,
to their detriment, more modest labourers in the archaeological field:
It is not always the most deserving horses that get the oats, says a
Dutch proverb.

IN 1901

(Cephas Sr.)]

The Sivaïte character of the temples of Prambanan would be sufficiently
indicated, if there were no other proofs, by the sepulchral cavities
they inclose and which define them as the monuments of a graveyard
consecrated to the memory of the great and mighty of Hindu Mataram, who
worshipped Siva as Mahadeva, the Supreme God, Paramesvara, the Maker,
the Maintainer, the Marrer to make again. Sepulchral pits or wells are,
indeed, the Sivaïte hall-mark in the architecture of Java and here, at
Prambanan, we find, in so far as preserved, the finest of the edifices
raised to encompass and revet such pits, temple-tombs built for the
glorification of the Creator in creative consciousness, highest boon
granted to humanity, a glimmering of his All-Soul which, leaving
the dust to return to dust, aspires to union with the Uncreated. A
central group of eight shrines, once surrounded by numberless smaller
ones, witnesses, in soberness of well-balanced outline, in precision of
detail, to the exquisite art of those Hindu-Javanese master-builders
who, like the architects of our old cathedrals, were unconcerned as to
the opinion of man, but had the adoration of the godhead in mind and
made the whole world partake of the divine blessing which quickened
heart and hand, whether then descending from Siva’s nature as the
essence of the Trimoorti, or from the sublime truth symbolised in the
Christian Holy Trinity. The marvels of design and execution still
standing at Prambanan in their dilapidated state, on a terrace excavated
in 1893-4, were arranged, with the smaller ones now altogether gone, in
a square whose sides faced the cardinal points. The material used in
their construction was a kind of trachyte which, originally yellowish
and hard to chisel into shape, has assumed a dark gray colour and by the
richness of the sculptured ornament gives an impression as if easily
moulded like wax. The three western temples, of which the one in the
middle, consecrated to Siva or, according to the natives, the _chandi_
Loro Jonggrang proper, is the largest, correspond each with a smaller
structure to the east; still smaller _chandis_ bound the space between
the two rows to the north and south. The buildings dedicated to the
Trimoorti, set squarely with a square projection on each side, rest on
basements of the same polygonous conformation, so much in favour with
the architects of that period; the inner rooms are on an elevated level
because of their position over the vault-like compartments saved out in
the substructures, and can be reached by staircases, once provided with
porches, leading to the storeyed galleries. Vestiges of 157 diminutive
_chandis_ outside the rampart which encircled the central group,
testify to the former existence of many and many more, shut in by a
second and a third demolished wall. A closer inspection of the ruins,
revealing beauties not yet departed, leads to an apprehension of what
has been irrevocably lost. These temples of the three gods who are but
one, always reminded me in their pathetic desolation of the _capellas
imparfeitas_ of Santa Maria da Victoria; what is incomplete, however,
unfinished at Batalha, has run to decay at Prambanan--there the budding
promise and arrested blossoming of an artistic idea, here the scattered
petals of the full-blown flower rudely broken off its stem.


(C. Nieuwenhuis.)]

Siva is the keynote of the Prambanan group, Siva, the Jagad, the Bhatara
Guru, according to his prevalent title in the island. In the temple
which bears his name, he appeared as the leader in the exterior chapel
looking south; his wife, Doorga, looks north; their first-born, Ganesa,
looks west. The latter, sitting on his lotus cushion, is represented as
the Ekadanta, the elephant deprived of one of his tusks when fighting
Parashu Rama; a third eye in his forehead betokens his keenness of
sight; he wears in his crown the emblematic skull and crescent of his
father; one of his left hands brandishes his father’s battle-axe; one
of his right hands holds the string of beads suggesting prayer; his
father’s _upawita_, the hooded snake, is strung round his left shoulder
and breast. Doorga, his mother, born from the flames which proceeded
from the mouths of the gods, stands on the steer she killed when the
terrific animal had stormed Indra’s heaven and humiliated the immortals;
her eight hands[45] wield the weapons and other gifts bestowed upon her
by the deities at their delivery: Vishnu’s discus, Surya’s arrows, etc.
etc., while her nethermost right hand seizes the enemy’s tail and her
nethermost left hand the shaggy locks of the demon Maheso, who tries to
escape with the monster’s life. This magnificent piece of sculpture,
highly dramatic and yet within the limits of plastic art, the unknown
maker having instinctively obeyed the rules formulated in Lessing’s
_Laokoon_, some thousand years after his labours were ended, is the
petrified Lady Jonggrang, victim of Bondowoso’s revengeful love. It
does not matter to the native that Siva has always claimed her as his
consort, if not under the name of Doorga then under that of Kali or Uma,
ever since she, Parvati, the Mother of Nature, divided herself into
three female entities to marry her three sons, who are none but he who
sits enthroned as Mahadeva in the inner chamber, looking east, with his
less placid personifications, the _dvarapalas_ (doorkeepers) Nandisvara
and Mahakala, the wielders of trident and cudgel, guarding the entrance,
supported by demi-gods and heroes. The colossal statue of their heavenly
lord, broken into pieces by the falling roof, has been restored and
replaced on its _padmasana_ (lotus cushion). In this shape the god
wears the _makuta_ (crown) with skull and crescent, has a third eye in
his forehead and a cobra strung round his left shoulder and breast;
his body, decked with a tiger’s skin, rests against the _prabha_, his
aureole; one of his left hands holds his fly-flap, one of his right
hands his string of beads; of his trident only the stick remains.

Siva, the one of dreadful charm, is everywhere, either personified or
in his attributes: he dominates the external decoration of the Vishnu
and the Brahma temples too, in the latter case as _guru_, even to
the exclusion of all other gods; the middle _chandi_ of the eastern
row, facing his principal shrine, has his _vahana_, the bull; the one
to the north his smaller image, while in the third, to the south,
wholly demolished, no statuary can be traced. The inner chambers of
the subordinate buildings show more plainly than that of Siva, which
is adorned with flowery ornament, that the Sivaïte style concentrated
ornamentation rather on the exterior than on the interior. The four
statues of Brahma, the master of the four crowned countenances, who
lies shattered among the debris of his temple, and the four statues
of Vishnu in his (a large one with _makuta_, _prabha_, _chakra_ and
_sanka_, and three smaller ones, representing him in his fourth and
fifth _avatar_ and in his married state with his _sakti_ Lakshmi in
miniature on his left arm), are chastely conceived in the chaste
surroundings of their chapels. In addition to the sorely damaged
_Ramayana_ reliefs, presently to be spoken of, they dwell, however
simple the interior arrangement of their cells may be, among richly
carved images of their peers and followers stationed outside: Vishnu
among his own less famous _avatars_ and supposed Bodhisatvas between
female figures; Brahma, as already remarked, among personifications of
the ubiquitous Siva in his quality of teacher, accompanied by bearded
men of holiness. Siva’s _nandi_, a beautifully moulded humped bull,
emblem of divine virility, watches his master’s abode, attentive to
the word of command,--watches day and night as symbolised by Surya,
the beaming sun, carrying the flowers of life when rising behind her
seven horses, and by Chandra, the three-eyed moon, drawn by ten horses,
waving a banner and also presenting a flower, but one wrapped in a
cloud. The _chandis_ of the eastern row, fortunately not yet despoiled
of these striking specimens of Sivaïte sculpture, the statue of Siva
opposite the Vishnu temple and enough to enable one to recognise that
they too had once a band of ornament in high and low relief, emphasise
even in the ruinous condition of their substructures, polygonous like
those of the larger temples but on square foundations, the mystery
attaching to the fascination exercised by the main building they
supplement, and whose decoration, strictly Sivaïtic on the inside
while partaking of the Buddhistic on the outside, has racked many
brains for an explanation. The bo-trees and prayer-bells, profusely
employed in its external embellishment, together with figures agreeable
to the Bodhisatva theory, have led some to advance the opinion that
it is a purely Buddhist creation, though perhaps tinged with Sivaïte
notions. They were met with the objection that there is no sign of
a dagob as distinguishing Buddhist feature; that the riddle of the
resemblance between the statuary on the outside of the Siva temple
and the conventional representation of Bodhisatvas, could find its
solution in the canonisation or deification of kings and famous chiefs,
a practice as old as ancestor-worship, which held its own in Java from
pre-Hindu days up to our own. However this may be, if the Prambanan
temples, and especially the one particularly dedicated to the great
god of the Trimoorti, preached orthodox Sivaïsm to the elect of its
innermost conviction, while tainted externally with the heresy of the
deniers of the existence of gods, the indubitably Buddhist Mendoot
reverses the process. This and the syncretism discernible in nearly all
the _chandis_ of Java, shows the religious tolerance of the Javanese
in the Hindu period. And religiously tolerant they are still as true
believers in the true faith of Islām; the fanaticism one occasionally
hears of, roots rather in discontent from economic causes than in
bigotry or over-zealous devotion to a creed which declares rebellion for
conscience’ sake against a firmly established rule that recognises it,
to be unlawful.


(Cephas Sr.)]

The demi-gods and heroes with their followers on the outside of the
Siva temple, occupy, counting from the base upward, the third tier
of ornamentation, also the highest in the roofless condition of the
building: the few niches left above are empty. Beneath, the story of
Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu, is told in bas-reliefs which belong to
the very best Hindu sculpture discovered in Java or anywhere else. The
division of the casements is effected by bo-trees, sitting lions and
standing or dancing women in haut-relief, especially the last being of
exquisite workmanship. In endlessly varying attitudes, embracing one
another or tripping the light fantastic toe, retreating and advancing,
their measured steps being regulated by the musicians on interspersed
panels, they represent the _apsaras_, nymphs of heaven, adorning the
house of prayer to acquaint mortal man with the joys in store for
the doer of good. The human birds and other mythical animals under
the bo-trees, the prayer-bells and flowers in the garlanded foliage,
enhance the charm of this ingenious decoration, the splendidly limbed
virgins disporting themselves in a frame of imposing magnificence, their
graceful movements being worthily seconded by the sumptuous setting.
Nor does this wealth of detail, this marvellous display of artistic
power, of skill perfected by imaginative thought, divert the attention
from the divine idea embodied in Siva or from the introduction to its
understanding provided by the _Ramayana_, initiating the beholder’s
intelligence by degrees. All is so well balanced that the lower guides
to the higher in whetting comprehensive desire. First, on reaching the
terrace, starting from the low level of vulgar interest, curiosity and
sympathy are awakened by the epic which shared popular favour with the
_Brata Yuda_. It is not known who enriched the literature of Java with
a version of the _Ramayana_ adapted to Javanese requirements; as in the
case of the _Mahabharata_ he was probably one of the poets living at the
cultured courts of the eastern part of the island. Whatever his name,
he made a hit with his tale of the god who descended from heaven, bent
on flirting with the daughters of men, and won a wife, the tenderly
loving Sita, by drawing Dhanusha, the mighty bow of Siva. His success
may be appraised by the circumstance that scenes taken from his poem
were deemed suitable to embellish the tombs of sovereign rulers. Can it
be called an improvement after more than a thousand years of progressive
western civilisation that we, to honour the memory of our dead,
make shift with inflated epitaphs advertising virtues in life often
conspicuous by an absence which the maudlin angels of our cemeteries,
rather than shedding undeserved, vicarious tears, perpetually seem to
bemoan on their own account?



The adventures of Vishnu in his Rama guise are told from the moment
of Dasharatha, King of Ayodhya, invoking his aid to make the royal
consorts partake of the blessing of motherhood. Vishnu, resting on the
seven-headed serpent of the sea, Sesha or Ananta, the one without end,
dispenses a potion which makes Kantalya, who drinks half of it, conceive
Rama; Kaykaji, who drinks a fourth part of it, Bharata; and the third
spouse, who drinks the rest, the twins Lakshmana and Shatrughna. We can
follow Vishnu, reborn from mortal woman, on the reliefs of the Siva
temple, which are tolerably preserved, through the first stages of his
earthly career as Rama, but must renounce studying his subsequent story
on the exterior of the temples dedicated to himself and Brahma, where
the third tier of sculpture has altogether disappeared, save a few
mutilated bas-reliefs. That is a great pity, for the illustration of the
_Ramayana_ by the artists entrusted with the decoration of the _chandi_
Prambanan, judging from what we still possess, marks the apogee of
Hindu-Javanese art; revelling in accessory ornament, it never surfeits,
keeping the leading idea well in view, every embellishment adding to its
intrinsic value. The heavy moulding above the lowest band of chiselled
work of the Siva temple has fortunately protected it from being damaged
by falling stones; here we are able to discover the sculptor’s technique
at close quarters and it is worthy of note that some of the curly lions
are wanting in their appointed places. This, coupled with the fact that
a few of the _apsaras_ remained unfinished, while others, like statues
of gods on higher planes, have only been outlined, and spaces, evidently
contrived for ornament, present flat surfaces, has led to the conjecture
of a catastrophe which surprised the builders and made them suspend
their labours as in the case of the Bimo temple of the Diëng plateau.



One of the salient features of the decoration at Prambanan, indeed of
all ancient Javanese art, Sivaïte and Buddhist, is the representation
of animal life as an important factor in human destiny. If the Buddha
was called the Sakya Sinha, the Lion of the Sakyas, and his sylvan
embodiment adorns in many reproductions the Boro Budoor, his stateliest
temple, at Sivaïte Prambanan we find the king of the desert extensively
utilised in the general decoration, together with the beasts of the
field under the bo-trees and fanciful combinations of man and his lowly
friends, not dumb but of different speech, like the _kinnaris_, the
bird-people. The _Ramayana_ bas-reliefs echo the kindness[46] shown to
those humble companions in Indian myth, history and present-day asylums
for the aged and infirm among them. Attending the monkey warriors
with whose help the simian deity Hanoman restored King Sugriva to the
throne of his forefathers at Kishkindhya (an allusion, it is thought,
to the doughty deeds of the aborigines of the Deccan), _bajings_[47]
and _bolooks_[47] are gambolling round the house of the Most Awful
and Mysterious, once worshipped here by great nations whose very names
are lost, but whose art, giving a place to all creation in symbolic
expression of the divine, still teaches us the lesson that the animals
are also children of the gods, endowed with life not to be exterminated
to serve our pleasure and our vanity, or to be abused for our profit,
but to enjoy the fullness of the earth and the good gifts of heaven as
we do ourselves, or might do if we were wise. Mother Nature, Siva’s
_sakti_ Doorga, nurses at her bosom all her husband’s offspring, without
distinction, and at Prambanan she superintends the growing world, as the
mistress of his household, in the highly finished form the artist has
given her: Loro Jonggrang, daughter of Ratu Boko of the Javanese legend.
Not in her outward character of the demon-steer subduing virago does she
attract her worshippers here, nor in that of the woman of the golden
skin riding the tiger, full of menace, but in that of Uma, the gentle
goddess who sheds light on perplexing problems of conduct, to whom one
turns in distress. Ideal of high-born loveliness, Loro Jonggrang is
especially venerated by those of her own sex who are in trouble or have
a desire to propound in the fumes of incense they burn: barren matrons
praying for issue from their bodies to their lords and masters, like the
wives of King Dasharatha; virgins anxious to get married; pseudo-virgins
who have trusted too much in the promises of their lovers, following the
_hadat_ established by herself at Prambanan and diligently observed
(not only, it should be noticed, in that neighbourhood, but likewise
where no one ever heard of Loro Jonggrang and her _escapades d’amour_),
insisting that, in the name of the precedent she set, consequences shall
be warded off. When _pasar_, _i.e._ market, falls on a Friday,[48] her
votaries are exceptionally numerous, mostly native women entreating
deliverance from female ills or help in the attainment of feminine
wishes. Chinese, half-caste and occasionally European ladies may,
however, be observed among them: it is said that several happy mothers
of the ruling race at Jogjakarta and Surakarta owe their husbands
and children to Notre Dame de Bon Secours of Prambanan; that brides
having obtained their heart’s desire in union with the beloved, the
bridegrooms in their turn repair to her shrine, after a honeymoon ended
in storm-clouds, with an earnest supplication for means of release. This
explains the sprinkling of males among the fair devotees on Fridays,
dejected looking persons who smear the statue of Doorga with _boreh_,
despite notices to desist, supplicating her to repeal former decrees,
having different objects in view, of course, with their salvings of
Ganesa and Siva’s _nandi_. Favours are requested, pledges are given,
votive sacrifices are performed, the gods and their attributes, Mboq
Loro Jonggrang in the first place, are wreathed and festooned with
flowers in compliance with an old Hindu custom so deeply rooted that
we may notice grave, turbaned _hajis_ yielding to it, unheedful of
the Prophet’s anathemas against those who commit the unpardonable sin
of idolatry, straying more widely from the right path than the brute
cattle, wicked doers, companions of hell-fire whose everlasting couch
shall be on burning coals.



As the exhalations of the incense rise to the dying rays of the sun
and mix with the scent of the _kembangan telon_, the flowers of
sacrifice, _melati_, _kananga_ and _kantil_, the soughing of the
trees in the evening breeze repeats the lessons taught by an ancient
inscription found near the temples of Prambanan, and a summary of which
Hindu-Javanese _Libro del Principe_, taken from a translation by a
Panambahan of Sumanap, may be acceptable: What has been here set down,
was in the beginning an ancestral tradition, very useful if observed,
but, if disregarded, it becomes a curse. This inscription was made in
the year 396 (?), in the third month, on a Friday in the sixth era.
Let it inform you of the most exalted, of the road to enlightenment
and happiness, to attain your country’s progress and prosperity. Proof
thereof will be cheap food and raiment, and universal peace, that those
who honour the gods may lead tranquil lives. Honouring the gods is the
perfection of conduct. Whosoever strives after that will be smiled
upon by them, for the practising of virtue provides access to heaven,
which shines in splendour, and all gods will unite with the supreme
Siva Bathara Indra to assist the practiser of virtue. But whosoever
does wrong will go to perdition and his appearance will be monstrous,
his shape like the shape of a dog; such a one acts unwisely because he
turns away from virtue and obeys his passions, which are his enemies.
It seems good to know this in life, in order to practise virtue and
praise the godhead, believing in Bhatara, who has power over the world,
possessing heaven and earth. The teachers must also be respected,
without exception, because of their venerable charge, and you must
learn of them to honour Bathara above all gods, the Omnipotent, the
Ruler and Maintainer of everything. Praise him in order that you may
gain happiness and bliss even while you live on earth. Honour your
parents and the parents of your parents and their teachings, which are
inviolable, as they before you considered inviolable the teachings which
came to them from their parents and ancestors as received from the god
Bathara, who opened their hearts to probity. Know that they were allowed
to adorn themselves with fragrant flower-buds wherever their influence
penetrated: this will also be your privilege after the purification of
your minds. Conduct yourselves honestly according to divine direction,
acquire discretion and try to resemble the illustrious kings of the
past who compassed the felicity of their subjects. Be no regarders of
persons either among the good or among the bad; all are mortals in a
fleeting world. This consider: Bathara is the King of Kings who ordains
the holy institutions. Fill the place of a father among his children.
If there are any of your subjects who act wickedly, command them to
mend their ways; if they persist in evil, teach them to distinguish
between what is good and what is bad in their souls, to the advantage
of the living. Excellent men must be appointed to manage the affairs of
the people. These three things are of highest importance: that proper
instruction be given; that your subjects become prosperous instead of
poor through oppression; that every one of them know the boundaries of
his fields. Persevere in honouring Bathara! Glorify him and inherit joy!
Dress cleanly and keep your bodies clean. Acknowledge the omnipotence of
Bathara Giri Nata and, protected by him, no one can harm you. May his
superiority be reflected in you to confound the wicked doers. If you
desire a change of station, seek seclusion to do penance in order that
Bathara’s brilliancy may become visible in you. Nothing is so beautiful
and so profitable to you as the conquest of your passions, subduing
them to a pure mind and lofty aspirations, vanquishing the enemies of
virtue who reveal themselves: it will help to proclaim your lustrous
righteousness. Glorify Bathara! He will descend in his beneficence to
show you the way. Reflect seriously: some day you must die; ponder
over the mystery of life and make the ignorant understand for their
own salvation. Behaving in this manner, happiness cannot escape you,
kings of good rule, all of whose prayers will be listened to and with
whom no one can be compared: this is the sign of the eminence of the
sovereign who dominates men as the tiger dominates whatever breathes
in the forest. The gods will protect such kings to the benefit of
their subjects, traders and carriers of merchandise and labourers in
the fields. Nothing is denied to the obedient, for the gods ward off
evil from their thrones; evil is known in heaven before it touches the
mortals on earth. Glorify Bathara! The men of rank and high birth who
serve kings, must be of middle age. In their fiftieth year it behoves
them to retire from the world into prayerful solitude to die as a child
dies; let the body suffer for the soul, crowning the end of life. As
you grow in knowledge your wishes will be fulfilled and your soul will
leave its prison. The token of higher knowledge is evident. Where does
the soul go? It gains in beatitude or, if no progress has been made, it
seeks a refuge in the bodies of animals and people of mean appetites.
Gaining in beatitude, it reaches heaven, the garden of rest, but hell is
the abode of sin. Cleanse, therefore, your thoughts; eschew impurity! Do
not favour the wealthy, nor despise the poor; all are equally confided
to your care. O ye, who are kings and represent the gods in your
kingdoms, listen to this admonition and know your responsibility for the
ultimate lot of your subjects. Bathara, the lord of life and death, will
call you to account. Woman has been created inferior to man; but many
men are enticed to wrong-doing by the smooth speech of their women-folk,
who lack perception by the inscrutable decree of the gods. Woman wishes
to control man, taking her caprice for wisdom, always pressing him
to follow her fancies. The chronicles, however, mention the names of
queens like Sri Chitra Wati, Sinta Devi and Sakjrevati Drupadi. In the
days of Dhipara Jaga, Tirta Jaga, Karta Jaga and Sang Ngara bloody wars
devastated the land; kings were bewitched and changed into dragons and
elephants because they disregarded the ordinances of Bathara and also
because they were weak, not able to restrain their burning passion for
beautiful women, acting differently from that which behoves those in
authority. Possess your souls in continence! Bathara watches and you are
unacquainted with the hour of your death.



The shadows of evening thicken; darkness gathers, darkness in the train
of Rahu, the devourer of sun and moon, robing the temples in gloom.
Fire-flies, darting from between the sculptured bo-trees and festooned
foliage, begin to hold their nocturnal feast but subside before a red
glare, nascent in the holy of holies. They return, as if borne by
strange, wild melodies, and grow into the luxurious forms of luminous
nymphs, the _apsaras_, who leave their stations round the house of fear
to dance their voluptuous dance of death, renouncing their allegiance to
the Mahadeva to court Kama of the flowery bow, consumed by the desire
to enjoy life and life’s best before the approach of the mower cutting
them down. Their mates, the _gandharvas_, excite them in their weird
revelry with songs and the musicians urge them with the clang of tabors
and cymbals. Shaped for the enchanting arts of love, skilled in the
wiles of female magic, they move in a whirl of passion, like flames of
fire, more redoubtable to man than the sword and arrows of his bitterest
foe. Luring the unwary who tarry at Prambanan when the fates, weaving
the web of the world, change the colours of day into night’s blackest
dyes, when the lotus-blossoms hang heavy on their stems and the air
is burdened with the odour of incense and sacrificial wreaths, they
intend his subversion by a mirage of delight, a hallucination of the
senses, and present the gratification of carnal desire as the triumph
of reason. Woe to him if he does not resist in the delirium of his
infatuation! The moment he tries to grasp their flitting forms, they
evade him as a mountain stream in spate, as the spray of its water
dashing down the rocks, as foam on the surging brine. The _apsaras_
mock, the _gandharvas_ hiss him, the musicians howl, all turning again
to stone, having instilled their subtle poison into his heart. He seeks
in vain the joy they held out to him, begs in vain for a draught of the
_soma_, the nectar of the gods. Then, shooting out from the great god’s
abode as a flash of lightning, the red glare takes substance and Siva
appears in his most terrible aspect, Kala, destroying time, waving the
skull which springs from the lotus stem, menacing men and cattle, the
wild beasts of the woods, the fowl of the air and the fish of the sea,
with the _trishula_, the trident of desolation. Behind him the Devi, his
spouse, emerges from her niche, riding Vayu, the stormwind, not Doorga
or Uma disguised as Loro Jonggrang, but Kali, the furious, of hideous
countenance, crowned with snakes, dripping with blood. Lifting up her
voice above the roaring of her steed, she joins the Dread One, Rudra,
the Thunderer, and passion and baffled desire become a portion of the
tempest she raises, the odour of the _kembangan telon_ breathing agony.
Mahakala, the Almighty Overthrower, deals death under his veil. But if
the night of terror begins in darkness, it will end in dawn and light
of day: all that lives, is born to die for new life to succeed, and so
teaches Siva himself, the Bhatara Guru. In adoration of Ganesa, the
fruit of his union with Parvati, wisdom will accrue to him who learns
the lesson; enlightenment from the spectacle of time, the demolisher,
fortifying fecund nature, reanimating the universe in anguish of decay.
Wisdom is the great gift, purification of the soul in abstinence from
the pleasures which drag it down, to keep the spark of the divine
undefiled in its earthly sheath with the aid of the father and the
son, whose distinctive qualities merge in Wighnesa, the vanquisher of
obstacles. Drinking their essence, man’s hearing and knowing leads to
affection and commiseration, to the second Brahma Vihara, the sublime
condition of sorrow at the sorrow of others, and when dissolution
arrives as a reward, Yama, the judge of the dead, will find no cause
for reproach. The good will enter the diamond gate, but grievous
torment awaits the foolish who pamper the flesh and are ensnared by the
daughters of lust.



[35] Whence its name, derived from _api_ (fire).

[36] The title Loro designates a lady of very high birth.

[37] _Legèn_ is the liquor prepared by fermentation of the sap drawn
from some trees of the palm family.

[38] From _tangkis_, _tinangkis_, which, derived from _nangkis_, “ward
off”, means “to repel one another.”

[39] _Telaga_ means “lake” and _powiniyan_, derived from _winih_,
“seed”, means a flooded ricefield in which the ears on the stalks, bound
in sheaves, are put to serve for seeding.

[40] Not the last, as this legend has it, for Ratu Boko’s roaring can
yet be heard on still nights, if we may believe the people who dwell on
the banks of the Telaga Powiniyan.

[41] _Padi_ is rice in the hull, shelled by the women and girls, usually
very early in the morning, by stamping it in blocks of wood hollowed out
for the purpose.

[42] Bondowoso’s curse took dire effect and the Javanese lassies of the
neighbourhood, who enter the bonds of matrimony about their fourteenth
year, comment with sarcastic pity on the fact that their sisters of
Prambanan have, as a rule, to wait some ten rainy seasons longer--not
without seeking compensation, it is alleged, after the example set by
their patron saint Loro Jonggrang, whose maidenly life, according to
the _babad chandi Sewu_, of which more later on, was not altogether

[43] The very precise ridicule this appellation, which originated in
the childish credulity of the natives, who persist in paying homage to
a statue of Doorga as if it were actually their petrified Mboq Loro
Jonggrang; but the real name of the group being unknown, why should we
reject a distinction not denoted by the less definite term Prambanan?

[44] Major, then still Captain T. VAN ERP in his report to the
_Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences_, January 11, 1909.

[45] The sculptor showed his independence by disregarding the more
canonical number of sixteen or ten.

[46] Stimulated especially by Buddhist and Jaïn influences.

[47] Squirrels: _Sciurus nigrovittatus_ and _Pteromys elegans_ and

[48] _Pasar_ is held once every five days and once every thirty-five
days it falls, therefore, on a Friday.




    Le bon sens nous dit que les choses de la terre n’existent que
    bien peu et que la vraie réalité est dans les rêves. CHARLES
    BAUDELAIRE, _Les Paradis Artificiels (Dédication)_.

Except during a period of some four centuries and a half, from about 940
till the palmy days of Mojopahit, when declining Hindu civilisation, for
reasons as yet unexplained, sought a refuge farther east, Central Java
and especially that part of it known in our time as the Principalities,
_i.e._ Surakarta and Jogjakarta, has always been the heart of the
island. There lived and live the true Javanese, the people of heaven’s
mercy, cherishing their old traditions; these and the beautiful scenery
of their fire-mountains and fertile valleys are still theirs, whatever
else may fail: glory, power and freedom. They lived and live in their
world of custom and formality a life unintelligible in its inner
workings to the western brain, impenetrable to the western eye. There
are forces hidden in the Javanese mind, the resultant of a strangely
moved past, which we can never understand, though we may admire their
creative energy, revealed in the now conventional designs guiding the
hand of the potter, the wood-carver, the goldsmith, the armourer, the
_batikker_,[49] hereditary practisers of dying arts and crafts; in the
remains of a marvellous architecture long since altogether dead. No
chapter in the whole history of eastern art, says Fergusson, is so full
of apparent anomalies or upsets so completely our preconceived ideas of
things as they ought to be, as that which treats of the architectural
history of the island of Java ...; the one country to which they (the
Hindus) overflowed, was Java, and there they colonised to such an
extent as for nearly a thousand years to obliterate the native arts
and civilisation and supplant it by their own ...; what is still more
singular is, that it was not from the nearest shores of India that
these emigrants departed but from the western coast.... A _linga_,
erected in the Kadu in the year 654 Saka (A.D. 732), a Sivaïte symbol
of generation, marks the origin of an artistic activity whose most
brilliant period, the classical one of central Javanese architecture,
as G. P. Rouffaer styles it rightly, begins with the construction of
such buildings as the Buddhist _chandi_ Kalasan or Kali Bening. The
inscription of King Sanjaya in Venggi characters, and vestiges of
Vaishnav tendencies in the Suku and Cheto temples of a much later date,
point to the worship of Vishnu, while Brahma’s four sublime conditions
and more subtle transcendentalism do not seem to have attracted the
Javanese converts to Hinduïsm. They could grasp the unity of Siva’s
threefold functions much better and accepted him as Mahadeva at the
head of the Trimoorti. The advent of Buddhism in its _mahayanistic_
form, the creed of the northern church so called, served to emphasise
native tolerance. Sivaïsm and whatever there was of Vishnuïsm,
harmonised with Buddhism to the extent of borrowing and lending symbols,
emblems and divine attributes; Hindu gods played puss in the corner
with Bodhisatvas, as already remarked upon in the preceding chapter;
the _chandi_ Chupuwatu surprises us with a _stupa-linga_;[50] a
Javanese prince of the thirteenth century bears the expressive name of
Siva-Buddha; the old Javanese _Sang Hiang Kamahayanikan_ contains the
dictum: Siva is identical with Buddha.[51] If more inscriptions had been
found, more light might have been thrown on the anomalous ornamentation
of, for instance, the Prambanan temples and the Mendoot; but Sivaïte
records of the kind leaving the matter unexplained, Buddhist information
is still scantier, perhaps a consequence of Baghavat’s followers not
excelling in epigraphy or literary labours of any description.

If the backwash of great political events or religious discussion when
the Islām superseded older creeds, may have aided Kala, the Destroyer,
in demolishing a good many buildings of the classical period, whose
sites even are sought in vain, it is certain that the pioneers of
western civilisation, proud of their superiority, willfully and wantonly
undid in many places work that had been spared by time and earthquakes
and volcanic eruptions and enemies born of the soil, devastating with
fire and sword their brethren’s hearths and houses. Christian zealots
regarded the ancient monuments as assembly-rooms of the Devil where the
benighted heathen used to foregather in idolatry, lodges of abomination
the sooner razed the better, a pious feeling often translated into
action on grounds of utility: the stones offered excellent building
material. Officials and _particulieren_[52] of broader views, besides
acknowledging the serviceableness of _chandis_ in this respect, went
_recho_-hunting[53] for the adornment of their houses and gardens. Quite
a collection has been formed in the residency grounds at Jogjakarta, the
nucleus of which was moved thither from the estate Tanjong Tirta, whose
former occupants, like most of the landed gentry, made exceedingly free
with the temples and monasteries in that neighbourhood. As neither they
nor the others bothered about noting where they got this or that piece
of sculpture, we are entirely at sea concerning the meaning of several
beautiful statues. This is the case, _e.g._, with one of remarkably fine
execution, a crowned goddess, sitting on a lotus cushion and encircled
by a flaming aureole, pressing her hands to her bosom. She has been
fortunate enough to escape the fate of some deities who shared her
sequestration and were left to the care of the convicts detailed to keep
the Resident’s compound in trim, a duty performed by whitewashing or
daubing them with a grayish substance, excepting the hair of the head,
the eyebrows, the eyeballs and the _prabha_, which the gentlemen-artists
of the chain-gang are in the habit of painting black, enhancing the
general effect by “restoring” lost hands and feet and damaged faces
after methods nothing short of barbarous, but therefore the better in
keeping with the traditional attitude of those in authority. For this
infamous disfiguration and desecration, which makes any one unaccustomed
to Dutch East Indian processes shudder with horror, never disturbed the
aesthetic sense or equanimity of the several occupants of the residency
who, during the last thirty-five years, saw it going on under their
very eyes, the eyes of the representatives of a Government lavish in
circulars[54] recommending the country’s antiquities to their care.
Neither are those eyes shocked by the “museum” adjoining the residency,
a jumble of plunder from _chandis_ far and near; nor by the chaotic mass
of torsos, arms and legs, fragmentary evidence of wholesale spoliation
behind that pitiful exhibition of archaeology turned topsyturvy.

So much for the statuary removed from the _chandis_, as far as it can
be traced. Concerning the _chandis_ themselves, it should be remembered
that the greater part has wholly disappeared. Hillocks, overspread
with brushwood, sometimes awaken hopes that by digging foundations
and portions of walls may be discovered; heaps of debris, tenanted
by lizards and snakes, point to structures of which nothing that is
left, indicates the former use; shattered ornamental stones speak of
magnificent buildings fallen or pulled down--glimmerings of splendour
that was. The temples still standing are reduced to ruins and diminish
almost visibly in attractiveness and size. Rouffaer[55] gave an
interesting example of their fate in the story of the spiriting away
of the _chandi_ Darawati: in 1889 tolerably well preserved, though two
large statues of the Buddha had been dragged off to the dwelling of a
European in the _dessa_ Gedaren, it was gone in 1894--vanished into air!
The temples constructed of brick, like the _chandi_ Abang, have suffered
even more, of course, than those of stone, the memory of whose grandeur
is retained in a few ghastly wrecks. Reserving the Buddhist remains
for later treatment and passing by the Sivaïte caves with rectangular
porches in the Bagelen, mentioned by Fergusson, I shall deal here with
the _chandis_ Suku and Cheto, and the most noteworthy ruins in the
southern mountains. The latter comprise the _kraton_ of Ratu Boko, Mboq
Loro Jonggrang’s father, as the natives call it, and the temple group of
the Gunoong Ijo. Of the legendary kingly residence little more is left
than a square terrace with portions of a wall and the sill of a gate.
The _chandi_ Ijo consists of a large temple of the usual polygonal form
with ten smaller ones and a pit which contained two stone receptacles
and strips of gold-leaf with the image of a deity and an inscription;
the buildings are in a sad condition, but decay has not impaired their
beauteous dignity and the landscape alone repays a visit to Soro Gedoog,
an estate whose gradual reclamation of the jungle led to their discovery
in 1886 when ground was cleared for an extension of the plantations.

The _chandis_ Suku and Cheto are situated respectively on the western
and northern slope of the Gunoong Lawu, a volcano on the boundary
between Surakarta and Madioon, not less expressive in its scenery of
what heaven has done for this delicious island. Shortly after the
mysterious pyramids of Suku had drawn the attention of Resident Johnson,
in the British Interregnum, Thomas Horsfield visited them and made some
drawings. The inscriptions and the sculptured ornament of Cheto were
reported upon by C. J. van der Vlis, in 1842. The groups belong to the
latest, most decadent period of Hindu architecture in Java and their
foundation, Suku being a few years older than Cheto, must have coincided
with the introduction of the Islām. Bondowoso, the son of the recluse
Damar Moyo, who assisted the King of Pengging against Ratu Boko and took
such signal revenge upon the latter’s daughter, Loro Jonggrang, for
rejecting him, the uncouth slayer of her father, is supposed to have
erected the buildings at Suku. Those at Cheto owe their origin to a
prince of Mojopahit, who quarrelled with his brother, the ruler of that
empire, or, according to another legend, to a certain Kiahi Patiro, who
refused to become a convert to the new faith and repaired to the Lawu,
where he lived as a hermit and was killed by Pragiwongso, an emissary
of the Moslim King of Demak. _Linga_-worship returned in the temple
groups of the Lawu to its crudest modes of expression, and Fergusson,
who mentions the dates 1435 and 1440, speaks of a degraded form of the
Vishnuïte religion, the _garuda_,[56] the boar, the tortoise, etc.,
being of frequent occurrence in the ornamentation. Junghuhn described
the staircases he found, which connected the terraces, and the statues,
which hardly came up to the artistic standard of Prambanan and the Boro
Budoor, one of them distinguishing itself by a colossal head whose
measurement from chin to crown was three feet, half of the whole height.
Comparing his description with the actual state of things, much must
have been removed, heaven knows whither! Notwithstanding the obvious
truth of Fergusson’s remark that a proper illustration of Suku and
Cheto, and, I may be permitted to add, of the remains on the summit
of the mountain, whether originally tree-temples or consecrated to
devotional exercises in the open, _à l’instar_ of West Java, promises
to be of great importance to the history of architecture in the island,
very little has been done in that direction or even for the conservation
of the ruins where _recho_-hunters and a luxurious vegetation vie in
obliterating the traces of most interesting antiquities. Junghuhn
sounded a note of warning apropos of the falling in of the peculiarly
constructed pyramidal temple, May 1838, but this and the other monuments
have been suffered since, as before, to crumble quietly away and the
easily removable sculpture to be carried off. Ganesa, in his manifold
reproductions, seconds on the Lawu his father Siva, head of the
Trimoorti, continuing the lead obtained seven centuries earlier in the
plain of Prambanan, and a systematic study of the reliefs, now covered
with moss and lichens, might shed a good deal of light on several
unsettled questions. One of those reliefs, blending the human and the
divine in the manner of the allusions to the _Brata Yuda_ on the Diëng
plateau and the Rama legend on the walls of the _chandi_ Loro Jonggrang,
represents a complete armoury, with Ganesa, protector of arts and
crafts, between the armourer himself and his assistant who works the
bellows. If, with Rouffaer, we divide the long era during which the
Hindus, first as immigrants and then as rulers, merged gradually in the
aboriginal population, into a Hindu-Javanese period of Central Java and
a Javanese-Hindu period of East Java, the monuments of Suku and Cheto
belong evidently to the epoch of Javanese-Hindu decline, decadent art
flowing back to its classical source, tarnishing original Hindu-Javanese
conceptions. Leaving Buddhist architecture to be dealt with in the
last chapters, and before turning to the _chandis_ of East Java, a
short historical review may aid in the appreciation of this decline and
subsequent paralysis of the creative faculty. Kartikeya, the god of
war, a younger son of Siva and Parvati, had his strong hand in this,
and how he invested and divested mighty princes, who conquered or were
defeated and finally passed away, causing the rise and fall of glorious
kingdoms, is written in the _babads_, the Javanese chronicles, by no
means such old wives’ tales as Dominee Valentijn tried to make them out,
but containing in their extravagance a kernel of stern reality, not the
less explanatory of the condition of the fairy island Java because the
_magnanimes mensonges_ of a vivid imagination animate the dull facts.

Of the Hindu empire Mataram in Central Java nothing tangible is left
except the ruins referred to, a few objects in metal and stone,
accidentally unearthed or dug up by treasure-seekers, and some
inscriptions, title-deeds, etc., the scanty “genuine charters of Java”
as van Limburg Brouwer defined them. The name Mataram has been preserved
on a copper plate, dating from about 900, which agrees in this respect
with four other records, discovered in East Java; the capital of the
_Maharaja i Mataram_ is called Medang. For two centuries, from the
beginning of the eighth until the beginning of the tenth, Mataram seems
to have flourished as the most powerful state in the island, especially
aggressive towards the east. Native tradition, in fond exaggeration
of her importance, makes her sway the destinies of the world. Her
star waned suddenly; by what cause is unknown; but whether it was the
invasion of a mightier enemy or a natural catastrophe, the same as that
which overtook the builders of the Diëng and the plain of Prambanan,
forcing them to leave their work unfinished, ancient Mataram sank into
insignificance. From the middle of the tenth until the beginning of
the sixteenth century, the successors of her former eastern vassals,
that is whichever of them happened to be on top in the continual
struggle for supremacy, did in East and Central Java as they pleased,
warring, intermarrying, annexing their neighbours’ domains, only to
lose them again and their own kingdoms to boot, to usurpers, ambitious
ministers, popular governors of provinces, enterprising _condottieri_
or mere adventurers favoured by Dame Fortune. In that overflowing
arena of high rivalry, dynasties succeeding one another with amazing
rapidity, Daha, situated in what is now Kediri, secured paramount
influence after Kahuripan, situated in what is now Southern Surabaya;
then Tumapel, situated in what is now Pasuruan, became ascendant; then
Daha once more and, last of the great Hindu empires, Mojopahit, about
1300, to be overthrown, after two centuries of preponderance, by the
sword of Islām. Jayabaya, King of Daha, from about 1130 till about
1160, has been called[57] the Charlemagne of Java, in whose reign
learning and letters were encouraged; or the Javanese King Arthur, whose
life among his heroes, in peace and war, is reflected in the idylls
of the _Panji_-cycle, at whose Court the famous poet Mpu Sedah began
his version of the _Mahabharata_, the _Brata Yuda_, finished by Mpu
Panulooh, author of the _Gatotkachasraya_, while Tanakoong wrote the
_Wretta-Sansaya_, a sort of _Epistola de Arte Poetica_. When Tumapel
expanded, especially under Ken Angrok, troublous times arrived for
Daha, which could hardly hold her own against the encroachments of that
unscrupulous monarch. Ken Angrok or Arok, born in 1182 at Singosari,
had seized the royal power after assassinating the old King in 1222 or
1223. The kris he used, had been ordered expressly for that deed from
the famous armourer Mpu Gandring, who was its first victim because he
tarried in delivering it, the tempering of the steel having taken more
time than suited the usurper’s patience. Dying under the murderous
stroke, Mpu Gandring uttered a prophetic curse: This kris will kill
Ken Angrok; it will kill his children and grandchildren; it will
kill seven kings. The prophecy came true with wonderful exactness.
Ken Angrok having married Dedes, the widow of the old King he had
despatched, was himself killed as the third victim of Mpu Gandring’s
kris in the hand of a bravo commissioned by their son Anusapati, the
Hamlet of Javanese history. And how blood followed blood during the
hundred years of Tumapel’s hegemony, how Ken Angrok’s descendants
harassed their neighbours before the curse took effect upon each of
them, appearing like luminous stars in the sky of politics and war, and
then disappearing behind the shadowy cloud of untimely death, is it not
written in the _Pararaton_ or Book of the Kings of Tumapel and

The foundation of Mojopahit has been attributed to scions of several
royal families, among them to Raden Tanduran, a prince of Pajajaran
in West Java which, it will be remembered, owed its origin to princes
of Tumapel. The most widely accepted reading is, however, that a
certain Raden Wijaya, commander of the army of King Kertanegara,
great-grandson of Ken Angrok, profiting from his master’s quarrels with
Jaya Katong, ruler of Daha in those days, carved out a kingdom for
himself, reclaiming, always with that end in view, a large area of wild
land, Mojo Lengko or Mojo Lengu, near Tarik in Wirosobo, the present
Mojokerto. King Kertanegara who, by branding the Chinese envoy Meng Ki,
had stirred up trouble with the Flowery Empire, was unable to punish
this act of arrogance, and his violent death in a battle won by the
legions of Daha, meant the inglorious end of Tumapel. This happened in
1292 and the expeditionary force sent from China to chastise him for his
ungracious treatment of ambassadors to his Court, consequently found
their object accomplished or, more correctly speaking, unaccomplishable
when landing in 1293. But its leader indemnified his martial ardour
by entering the service of Raden Wijaya who, with his assistance,
subjugated Daha, which had tried to reassume her former precedence.
Firmly established on the throne of the realm he had fashioned out of
Daha, Tumapel and his own territory near Tarik, he refused, however,
to pay the price stipulated by his Chinese ally and when the auxiliary
troops asked the fulfilment of his promises, arms in hand, he proved to
them that superior strength is the ultimate arbiter of right and sent
them home much diminished in numbers and pride. The Emperor of China,
wroth that the beautiful princesses of Tumapel, daughters of the late
King Kertanegara, whom he had deigned to accept as concubines, were not
forthcoming, but stayed behind to adorn the harem of the self-made King
of Mojopahit, ordered his unsuccessful generalissimo to be flogged by
way of example to other commanding officers. Raden Wijaya who, with the
kingly title, had assumed the name of Kertarajasa, enjoyed his royal
dignity only until 1295 and his ashes were entombed in two places not
yet located: in the _dalem_ (the inner, private part) of his palace
conformably to the Buddhist, and at Simping conformably to the Sivaïte
ritual, not otherwise than King Kertanegara received last honours in the
guise of Siva-Buddha at Singosari and in the guise of a Dhyani Buddha at
Sakala, and the remains of King Kertarajasa’s successor were interred in
three places according to the Vishnuïte ritual, circumstances from which
we may conclude that in East as in Central Java the different creeds
lived together in most amiable harmony.

The kris of Mpu Gandring might limit the earthly term of the descendants
of Ken Angrok, it could not check their prowess while they were still
up and doing. Overlords of East and Central Java, extending their rule
to Pajajaran, they even looked for conquest to the other islands of
the Malay Archipelago. Under Hayam Wurook or Rajasa Nagara, in the
latter half of the fourteenth century, Mojopahit reached her zenith; a
record of 1389 mentions Bali as being tributary since about 1340; Aru,
Palembang and Menangkabau in Sumatra, Pahang with Tumanik in Malacca,
Tanjong Pura in Borneo, Dompo in Soombawa, Ceram and the Goram islands
acknowledged Nayam Wurook’s suzerainty too. Seeing no more worlds to
subdue, he died and, as in the case of Alexander the Great, his empire
fell to pieces; in East Java itself Balambangan seceded from Mojopahit
proper and the Muhammadan propaganda, fanning discord between the
Hindu princes of old and new dynasties, prepared their common doom.
The beginnings of the Islām in East Java have already been spoken of,
with Gresik as a missionary centre, Maulana Malik Ibrahim as the first
_wali_ in that region and the conversion into Moslim vassal states
of the dependencies of Mojopahit, whose princes, combining under the
auspices of Demak against their liege lord, sealed his fate. Raden
Patah of Demak was a man of war and destiny. The fire of the new faith
burning fiercely within him, he hurled his defiance at the stronghold
of the heathen, speaking to the last King of Mojopahit, his father or
grandfather according to tradition, as Amaziah, King of Juda, spoke
to Joash, the son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, King of Israël: Come,
let us see one another in the face,--but with a different result: the
challenger from Demak came out victorious and Mojopahit ceased to exist,
an issue fraught with grave consequences. This occurred about the year
1500[58] and Raden Patah, pursuing the royal family on their flight,
defeated the King or one of his sons again at Malang, where a last stand
was made. But Gajah Mada, the Prime Minister of Mojopahit, founded a
new empire, Supit Urang, which comprised much of the territory once
belonging to Singosari. The Saivas also held out at Pasuruan, which
was invested by Pangeran Tranggana, a successor of Raden Patah, but
after his assassination by one of his servants, the troops of Demak
returned home. Pasuruan and Surabaya reverted, later on, to the Regent
of Madura, a son-in-law of Pangeran Tranggana. Yet, Hinduïsm lingered on
in the island; its political power was only broken with the conquest of
Balambangan by the East India Company in 1767, and the population of the
Tengger mountain region did not commence to accept the Islām until very

In the confusion which resulted after the death of Pangeran Tranggana
from the disruption of his domains into Cheribon, Jayakarta and Bantam
in the western, Gresik and Kediri in the eastern, and Demak proper and
Pajang in the central part of the island, the latter territory absorbed
Jipang and its Prince Tingkir, a scion of the royal family of Mojopahit,
was proclaimed Sooltan by the spiritual authority of Gresik, the first
time we find that title mentioned in the history of Java. Sooltan
Tingkir appointed one of his trusted servants, Kiahi Ageng Pamanahan,
governor of the tract of land which had preserved the name of Mataram.
Kiahi Ageng Pamanahan improved the condition of the people and his son
Suta Wijaya, who had married a daughter of the Sooltan, making himself
independent by rebelling, by poisoning his father-in-law after his
having been captured and pardoned, finally by taking possession of
the regalia in the subsequent war of succession, became master of the
situation and laid in New Mataram the foundation of another state which,
in the reign of his successor Ageng, 1613-1646, gained the ascendency
over the rest of Java with Madura, subjugating even Sukadana in West
Borneo. Not, however, without strenuous exertion for Balambangan gave
a good deal of trouble in the East and the conquest of Sumedang in the
West, in 1626, taxed the military strength of the rising empire to
its utmost. When the East India Company began to make its influence
felt, Moslim solidarity proved a valuable asset as, for instance, in
the relations with Bantam and Cheribon, whose Pangeran proposed the
title of Susuhunan for Ageng (1625) before Mecca promoted him to the
Sooltanate (1630). In 1628 and 1629 he ventured to attack Batavia, the
new settlement of the Dutch, but had to retire and, what was even worse,
by provoking those upstart strangers, he damaged his trade: they closed
the channels of export to Malacca and other foreign ports of rice, the
principal produce of the land. “Mataram must now become our friend,”
wrote the Governor-General to his masters, the Honourable Seventeen,
and, indeed, Mangku Rat I., Ageng’s son, found himself obliged to
sign a treaty of friendship with the Company--a dangerous friendship!
Differences between their “friend” and Bantam with Cheribon were
sedulously fostered by the authorities at Batavia; the Company took a
hand in the putting down of disturbances created in East Java by Taruna
Jaya of Madura and Kraëng Galesoong of Macassar; the Company patronised
and protected the reigning Sooltans, who moved their residence from
Karta to Kartasura, against pretenders and exacted payment in land,
privileges, concessions, monopolies, etc., shamelessly in excess of the
real or pretended assistance afforded in quelling purposely manufactured
anarchy--precisely as we see it happen nowadays wherever western
civilisation offers her “disinterested” services to eastern countries of
promising complexion for exploitation by western greed.

Mataram, trying to escape from the extortionate friendship of the
honey-tongued strangers at Batavia, whose thirst for gold seemed
unquenchable, has its counterparts in benighted regions now being
“civilised” after the time-honoured recipe: interference which upsets
peace and order, more interference to restore peace and order with
the naturally opposite result, occupation until peace and order will
be restored, gradual annexation. The East India Company’s mean spirit
of haggling was held in utter contempt by the native princes, _grands
seigneurs_ in thought and action, too proud to pay the hucksters with
their own coin, though bad forebodings must have filled the mind,
for instance, of Susuhunan Puger, recognised at Batavia as Mataram’s
figurehead under the name of Paku Buwono I.,[59] when near his capital
a Dutch fort was built and garrisoned with Dutch soldiers to back him
in his exactions for the benefit of alien usurers and sharpers. Like
the rat of Ganesa, they penetrated everywhere and the tale of their
relations to the lords of the land is one of tortuous insinuation until
they had firmly established themselves and could give the rein to their
sordid commercialism in always more exorbitant claims. Paku Buwono II.,
feeling his end approach, was prevailed upon, in 1749, to bequeath his
realm to the Company, but one of the most influential members of the
imperial family decided that this was carrying it a little too far:
Mangku Bumi,[60] brother of Paku Buwono II., supported by Mas Saïd, son
of the exiled Mangku Negara,[61] and other _pangerans_ (princes of the
blood), stood up in arms to defend their country’s rights and inflicted
severe losses on the Dutch troops in stubborn guerrilla warfare. This
led to the partition of Mataram between Paku Buwono III. and his uncle
Mangku Bumi, both acknowledging the supremacy of the Company, the latter
settling at Jogjakarta, the old capital Karta, under the title and
name of Sooltan Mangku Buwono,[62] while Mas Saïd, who did not cease
hostilities before 1757, gained also a quasi-independent position as
Pangeran Adipati Mangku Negara, which in 1796 became hereditary. With
three reigning princes for one, the power of Mataram was definitely
broken and Batavia assumed the direction of her affairs quite openly,
the “thundering field-marshal” Daendels emphasising her state of
decline and the British Interregnum bringing no change.

In 1825 the divided remnant of Mataram, viz. Surakarta with the Mangku
Negaran and Jogjakarta with the Paku Alaman,[63] was deeply stirred by
Pangeran Anta Wiria calling upon his compatriots to chase the oppressors
away. Born from a woman of low descent among the wives of Mangku Buwono
III., Sooltan of Jogjakarta, it seems that, nevertheless, hopes of his
succession to the throne had been held out to him when he assisted his
father against the machinations of his grandfather, Sooltan Sepooh
(Mangku Buwono II.), banished by Raffles in 1812. However this may be,
he resented the settlement of the Sooltanate on the death of Mangku
Buwono III. upon Jarot, an infant son, and other circumstances adding
to his dislike of Dutch control, he raised the standard of revolt. The
Javanese responded with alacrity to an appeal which bore good tidings
of delivery as the wind, ridden by the Maroots who make the mountains
to tremble and tear the forest into pieces, bears good tidings of
coming rain to a parched earth. Anta Wiria, under his more popular
name of Dipo Negoro, and his lieutenants Ali Bassa Prawira Dirja, or
Sentot, and Kiahi Maja, gave the Dutch troops plenty of bloody work in
the five years during which the Java war lasted, 1825-1830. It was the
last eruption on a large scale of the fire imprisoned in the native’s
heart, the last sustained effort at regaining his independence, crushed
by the white man’s superiority in military appliances, but occasional
throbbings, ruffling the surface as in Bantam (1888), the Preanger
Regencies (1902), Kediri (1910), etc., show that the volcano is by no
means an extinguished one. Though “kingdoms are shrunk to provinces and
chains clank over sceptred cities,” the love of liberty, laid by as a
sword which eats into itself, does not own foreign dominion, and the
native princes, especially the Susuhunan of Surakarta and the Sooltan
of Jogjakarta, remain objects of worshipful homage. Their genealogy
remounts to the gods whose essence took substance in the illustrious
prophet Adam who begat Abil and Kabil on the goddess Kawa; the history
of their house begins with the arrival in the island, in the Javanese
year 1, of Aji Soko; they are the _panatagama_ and _sayidin_ (_shah
ad-din_), directors and leaders of religion; their Courts set the
fashion in high native society, Solo[64] being more gay and extravagant,
Jogja[64] more sedate and solid, as a writer at the end of the
eighteenth century already remarked.

The Dutch Government recognises the imperial or royal dignity of
Susuhunan and Sooltan by the superior position of its Residents in the
capitals of their Principalities, who, directly responsible to the
Governor-General, correspond in rank to the general officers of the
army, while the administrative heads of the other residencies have
to content themselves with the honours due to a colonel; also by the
institution of dragoon body-guards whose ostensibly ornamental presence
can be and has been turned to good account when the mental intoxication
arising from meditation on gilded disgrace, charged with the lightning
of passion, produces effects irreconcilable with the fiction that all
is for the best in this best of worlds. With the Government steadily
encroaching on the native princes’ ancient rights, bitterness grows
apace and irritation at the recoiling weight of bondage lives on, though
colonial reports represent it as dead. Truly, in the three centuries
during which it pleased Kuwera, the fat god of wealth, to inspire the
strangers from the West, rich in promise but slow in performance,
exacting and pitiless, to deeds of unprincipled rapacity, the people
have learned to hide their thoughts that worse may not follow, hoping
that time will set things right. But as everything points more clearly
to the fixed purpose of the Dutch Government to avail themselves of
every pretext for swallowing the Principalities as all the rest has been
gobbled up, there are those who cherish the memory of Dipo Negoro and
consider the necessity of new man-offerings: the greater the need, the
greater must be the propitiation. On the whole, however, better counsel
prevails, deliverance being sought on planes of mystic exercise, silent
submission being practised in expectation of the consummation of a
higher will, and this is the native’s secret as he repeats the lessons
inculcated in the _Wulang Reh_, the treatise on ethics written by one
of the eminent of the past, Sunan Paku Buwono IV.: May ye imitate our
ancestors, who were endowed with supernatural strength, and may ye
qualify for penitence, heeding closely the perfection of life; this is
my prayer for my children; be it granted! Meanwhile taxation increases,
but who can object to that when in days of old the good people had to
pay for the privilege of looking at the public dancers, whether they
cared to look at them or not; when compulsory contributions to the
exchequer were levied upon one-eyed persons for their being so much
better off than the totally blind; etc.... Fancy a Minister of Finance
in Holland defending a vexatious new assessment on the ground of
arbitrary cesses in the Middle Ages!

Hindu art had lost its vitality when the second empire of Mataram arose
in Central Java and the cult of the ideal was effected by modernising
currents from the eastern part of the island. Sanskrit, as the vehicle
of thought in Venggi and Nagari characters, made place for Kawi which,
related in its oldest forms to Pali and in its symbols to the Indian
alphabets, evolved soon afterward into a specific Javanese type.
Sivaïte literature paved the way for the _Manik Maya_, the _Bandoong_,
the _Aji Saka_, the _Panji_- and the _Menak_- or _Hamza_-cycles, the
_Damar Wulan_; as to Buddhist literature, Burnouf’s comment upon its
inferiority holds also good for Java: no trace exists even of a life of
the Buddha, of _jataka_-tales, except such as have originated in the
eastern kingdoms at a comparatively late date. Literary culture in the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was a continuation of and throve on
the efforts of the great authors hospitably entertained at the Courts of
Mojopahit and Kediri. The Javanese language with the wealth of words it
acquired and the diversity of expression it developed,[65] exercised and
still exercises in its four dialects[66] a vivifying influence upon the
Soondanese speech in the west and the Madurese in the east. Its script,
like the people who speak and write it, and cling to their _hadat_,
the manners and customs of the _jaman buda_, which, notwithstanding
their Islāmitic veneer, they prefer to the law of the Prophet,--its
script rejects Moslim interference and refuses to employ the Arabic
characters, sticking to its equally beautiful _aksaras_ and _pasangans_.
Religions succeeding one another, generally without discourteous haste,
Muhammadanism penetrated Central Java but slowly from the north, first
by the conversion of the great and mighty who profited by the example
of Mojopahit, then by grafting the idea of the one righteous god upon
the godless Buddhist or pantheistic Hindu creed of the _orang kechil_,
the man of slight importance who, up to this day, though fervent in
his outward duties as a Moslim, shows in every act that his individual
and national temperament is rooted in pre-Islāmic idiosyncrasies. The
heroes of the _Brata Yuda_ and _Ramayana_ are just as dear to him as
the pre-Islāmic saints whose legends are gathered in the story of _Raja
Pirangon_ and the _Kitab Ambia_, as the forerunners, companions and
helpers of the Apostle of God.

The sacred _waringin_, never wanting in the _aloon aloon_, the open
places before the dwellings of the rulers of the land and their
deputies, what is it but the bo-tree, the tree of enlightenment?
One of venerable age in the imperial burial-ground of Pasar Gedeh,
planted, according to tradition, by Kiahi Ageng Pamanahan or his son
Suta Wijaya, announces without fail the demise of a member of one of
the reigning families either at Solo or at Jogja, by shedding one of
its branches. Pasar Gedeh, Selo and Imogiri are silent spots, peopled
with the dead whose lives’ strength made history and is mourned as the
strength of a glorious past. Selo, an enclave belonging to Surakarta, in
Grobogan, residency Samarang, contains the ancestral tombs of the rulers
of Mataram; Imogiri and Pasar Gedeh in Jogjakarta, which latter marks
the site of the original seat of empire and was comparatively recently
put to its present use, are the cemeteries common to the royalty of both
Principalities, and guarded by officials, _amat dalam_ with the title
of Raden Tumenggoong, appointed by mutual consent. A Polynesian bias
to ancestor-worship, unabated by Hinduïsm, Buddhism and Muhammadanism,
accounts for the almost idolatrous adoration[67] of the graves of the
Susuhunans and Sooltans, their ancestors and also their progeny that
did not attain to thrones, receptacles of once imperial dust, feeding
the four elements from which it proceeded and to which it returns like
meaner human clay. Look, says Kumala in the Buddhist parable, all in the
world must perish! The religious brethren of his faith used to repair at
night to the sepulchres of those taken to bliss and spend the lone hours
in pondering on the instability of conscious existence, desiring to gain
the Nirvana by their undisturbed meditations, but Sivaïte associations
people the old graveyards of Java with _raksasas_, monstrous giants,
eaters of living and dead men and women, and santons, bent on prayer
amid the last abodes of the departed, have been terrified, especially at
Pasar Gedeh, by weird noises and apparitions signalling their approach,
commending hasty retreat to the wise. It is advisable to distrust
darkness there and rather to choose the day for acts of devotion, even
if annoyed by worldlings who come to consult the big white tortoise in
the tank, ancient Kiahi Duda, widower of Mboq Loro Kuning, presaging
the better luck the farther he paddles forth from his subaqueous
habitation. At a little distance is the _sela gilang_, a bluish stone
with a more than half effaced inscription, only the lettering of the
border being legible. Tradition calls it the _dampar_ (throne) of Suta
Wijaya, sitting on which he killed Kiahi Ageng Mangir, his rival and
owner of the miraculous lance Kiahi Baru, who had been lured into his
presence by one of his daughters to do homage by means of the _ujoong_,
the kissing[68] of the knee; near by are a stone mortar and large stone
cannon-balls, the largest possessing the faculty of granting untold
wealth to those strong enough to carry it three times without stopping
round the _sela gilang_, whose legend, carved by a prisoner of war,
either a spirit of the air or a magician, reveals in its marginal
commentary a philosophic mind coupled with linguistic talents: _zoo gaat
de wereld--così va il mondo--ita movet tuus mundus--ainsi va le monde_.

Selo, Imogiri and Pasar Gedeh: so goes the world indeed, and the
nameless prisoner of war’s motto, preserved near the _pasarahan dalam_,
the imperial garden of rest, would be hardly less appropriate over the
gates leading to the _kratons_, the residences[69] of the Susuhunan of
Surakarta and the Sooltan of Jogjakarta, where they do the grand in
the grand old way, cherishing the memories of a power gone by. A visit
to the Principalities without an invitation to attend some function
at Court cannot be called complete and it is a treat to watch the
ceremonial exercises connected with one of the three _garebegs_[70] or
with the salutations on imperial birthdays and coronation-days in the
roomy _pendopos_, the open halls whose general style betrays its Hindu
origin no less than the aspect, the dresses, the movements of the native
nobility, officials and retainers, an assemblage of a fairy tale, betray
their Hindu parentage. The _bangsal kenchono_, the audience-chamber
of the Sooltan at Jogja, is a masterpiece of construction in wood, the
carved beams and joists, richly gilt and painted in bright colours,
forming a ceiling of wonderful airiness and elegance; in the _bangsal
witono_ the Sooltan shows himself to the people on days of great gala;
in the _bangsal kemandoongan_, a hall in one of the many open squares
of the palace grounds, seated on his _dampar_ or throne, he used to
witness the execution of his subjects sentenced to death, who were
krissed[71] against the opposite wall; another of these open squares
was dedicated to pleasures which remind of the _munera gladiatoria_,
more especially of the _ludi funebres_, and kindred amusements with a
good deal of local colour: we find it chronicled of Sunan Mangku Rat I.,
Java’s Nero, that once he beguiled a tedious afternoon in his _kraton_
at Kartasura by stripping a hundred young women and letting a few tigers
loose among them. The dining-hall (_gedong manis_: room of sweets) in
the _kraton_ at Jogja, to the south of the audience-chamber, can easily
hold three hundred guests with the host of servants they require; at
Solo the imperial stables and coach-houses[72] are scarcely inferior in
interest to the friend of horses, riding, driving and coaching, than the
Kaiserlich-Königliche Marstall at Vienna or the Caballerizas Reales at
Aranjuez. But of all the sights at the Courts of the Principalities of
Central Java it is the human element that fascinates most, a waving mass
of silent figures in the magnificent setting which reflects centuries
of _Sturm und Drang_, the new to the visitor’s eye being nothing but
the very, very old; men taught by fate to treasure their thoughts up in
their hearts, as their mountains do the hidden fire, worshipping _tempu
dahulu_, sustained by _l’amour du bon vieulx tems_, _l’amour antique_,
even the rising generation remaining apparently unaffected by the
example of western fickleness, an inconstancy ever more pronounced since
the illustrious citizen of Florence, of the Porta San Piera, commented
on it:

    _Che l’uso de’ mortali è come fronda
    In ramo, che sen va, ed altra viene._[73]

The country-seats of Susuhunans and Sooltans, where they sought repose
from cares of state, often contained temples erected, if not in the
name then in the spirit of their kind of sacrifice, to Kama, the god
of love, smuggled into the practice of a later creed. They had no
wish to become the victims of their virtue like the excellent King
Suvarnavarna; they did not aspire to the fame accruing to Rama in
his relations to the female demon Shoorpanakha, personification of
sublunar temptations. And the manifold functions assigned to water in
their pleasances, to the limpid, running water of the cool mountain
rills, are characteristic of an island where a bath, at least twice a
day, preferably in the open, is both a necessity and a luxury which the
poorest does not dream of denying himself. Observe the crowds of men,
women and children, always chaste and decent, disporting themselves
in lakes and rivers, every morning and every evening; note the names
of Pikataän, Kali Bening, Banyu Biru, idyllic spots and equal to the
classic _chandi_ Pengilon, Sidamookti and Wanasari to the lover of a
plunge and a swim, screened by flowers and foliage, with the blue heaven
smiling on his joy. Passing by Ambar Winangoon and Ambar Rookma, the
remains of the so-called water-castle at Jogjakarta convey some notion
of the manner in which royal personages sought recreation, amusing
themselves in their parks of delight, fragrant and tranquil like the
restful Loombini, where Maya gave birth to the Buddha; toying with their
women in and round the crystalline fluid. An abundant spring within the
boundaries of the palace grounds led to the conception of this retreat
or, rather, these retreats, for there were two, connected by a system of
canals which speaks highly for native hydraulics, though the buildings
erected to obey a capricious will, show in their present ruinous state
how architecture had degraded since the Hindu period, its flimsy
productions being unable to withstand the first serious earthquake. Of
Pulu Gedong, to the northeast of the _aloon aloon kidool_, nothing
is left but crumbling portions of the walls which jealously guarded the
privacy of the Sooltan’s watersports. Of Taman Sari and Taman Ledok,
situated in the western part of the _kraton_, a good deal is still
recognisable, especially the structures on Pulu Kenanga in the largest
of the artificial lakes which are now dry ground, the one here meant
being incorporated into a _kampong_, one of the several groups of native
dwellings inhabited by the Sooltan’s numerous retainers. The whilom
islands convey in quite a picturesque way the lesson that human works
must die like the hands that fashioned them.



The building of the “water-castle”, whose pavilions, artificial lakes,
tanks and gardens spread over an area of about twenty-five acres,
was begun in 1758 by a Buginese architect under the orders of Mangku
Buwono I., a great raiser of edifices, as Nicolaas Hartingh[74] wrote
in 1761, and maker of “fountains, grotto-work and conduits which,
though completed, he orders immediately to be pulled down, not finding
them to his taste, thus squandering some little money.” We possess a
description[75] of the _kraton_ at Jogjakarta, dated September 1791,
from the hand of Carl Friedrich Reimer,[76] who speaks of “a collection
of gardens, fish-ponds and pleasure-pools.” He probably visited Pulu
Gedong before proceeding to Taman Sari[77] and expatiates on the
spaciousness of the dwelling room in Pulu Kananga, where it seems that
the Court could find plenty of accommodation. But what made the greatest
impression on the expert in hydraulics was the arrangement of passages
and an apartment for prayer and meditation under water, as if the
Sooltan deemed it an advantage to worship surrounded by the babbling
stream, light and fresh air being provided through turrets rising above
the surface. In the place called Oombool Winangoon, situated on a low
level, with three tanks, fed from the great lake of Taman Sari, was a
cool retreat where the Sooltan used to rest a while after his bath,
refreshing himself with a cup of tea. Alluding to the Sumoor Gumuling,
Reimer remarks that the architect must have chosen a round form for
his structure to make it the better resist the pressure of the water
all round. The strange building which went by that name and consisted
of two concentric walls with a flat roof,[78] taken for a subaqueous
house of prayer by the visitor of 1791, has also been very differently
explained: some see in its remains a dancing-school, awakening visions
of the Sooltan’s _corps de ballet_ practising in the first storey to
the dulcet tones of the _gamelan_, the native orchestra, that ascended
from the basement and aided them in going through their paces; others
connect it with functions never referred to in polite society and which
have nothing in common with praying, either with the heart or with
the feet, more correctly speaking: with the arms, hands and hips, for
Javanese dancing is no loose skipping and hopping about, but a graceful
and expressive play of the body and more particularly of the upper limbs
in rhythmic, undulating motion. Passing from one lake to the next, the
Sooltan’s means of conveyance was the _prahu_ Niahi Kuning, a gorgeously
decorated barge, given to him by the East India Company; other boats,
plying between Taman Sari and Taman Ledok, were at the disposal of the
ladies of the royal household desirous of an outing with their babies;
two small skiffs left their moorings every night alternately, at a
signal given on a _bendeh_, to feed the fishes, which knew the sound and
assembled in shoals. The guard-rooms near the northern watergate, of
which the remaining one, _i.e._ the one not altogether fallen into ruin,
shelters in the morning a motley crowd of sellers of fruit, vegetables,
sweetmeats, etc., witnesses to the Company’s dragoons, protecting and
shadowing their Highnesses of Surakarta and Jogjakarta with the princes
of their blood, already having been entrusted with that task in the days
of Mangku Buwono I.

Of the delicately carved woodwork hardly a trace remains, but some
foliage and birds among flowers, executed in stucco, give evidence
of a good taste which knew how to make old motives subservient to new
requirements. Though a Muhammadan pleasance, designed by a Muhammadan
architect for a Muhammadan prince, the _garuda_ over one of the
entrances, the Banaspatis on gables and fronts in Taman Sari and Taman
Ledok, the _nagas_ coping the balustrades of the staircases, show that
Hindu conceptions continued to leaven Javanese art. The relations with
China and the consequent influx of Chinamen have also borne their fruit
in Central Java as in Cheribon and the eastern kingdoms: Reimer informs
us that the galleries and tops (now gone) of the several buildings
were constructed like pointed vaults, and were wrought “in the manner
of Chinese roofs”; Pulu Gedong was famous for the lofty Chinese tower
erected near the spring which furnished the water for the “castle”,
its lakes, ponds, tanks and canals, and for the irrigation of its
grounds. The orchards, renowned for their mangoes and pine-apples, the
vegetable-, sirih- and flower-gardens had a great reputation in the
land; assiduous attention was paid to horticulture on the principle,
well understood by oriental gardeners, that flower-beds, ornamental
groves and bowers are like women; that however much art and pains
are bestowed on their make-up, the art of arts is the concealment
thereof.... Writing this it occurs to me how properly a western version
of that universally approved maxim has been put in the mouth of
_Gärtnerinnen_, _niedlich_ and _galant_:



    _Denn das Naturell der Frauen
    Ist so nah mit Kunst verwandt._[79]

Though Mangku Buwono I. was a contemporary of Goethe, his knowledge of
_Faust_ is extremely doubtful, but being an artist in his own way, he
took care that the natural scenery, assisted by art, should contribute
to a pleasant general impression in the distribution of the dwellings
for his retinue: native princes (and of his rank too!) do not move an
inch inside or outside their _kratons_ without numberless attendants at
their heels. In the “water-castle” were apartments, not only for the
Sooltan, for the Ratu, his first legitimate spouse, for his other wives
and concubines, for the little family they had presented him with, but
for the dignitaries of his Court, officials of all degrees, secretaries,
servants of every description, various artificers from the armourers
down to the _kebon kumukoos_, the makers of _tali api_ (fire-rope),
necessary for lighting his Highness’ cigars. There were reception-,
dining-, living- and sleeping-rooms for the Sooltan, his Ratu and
female relatives, each apart; common rooms for the _selir_ (wives of
lower degree); rooms for the instruction of their children; rooms where
his Highness’ daughters spent a few hours every day in _batikking_;
guard-rooms for the _prajurits_, the male guards; guard-rooms for
the female guards under command of the Niahi Tumanggoong, a lady of
consequence, who kept and keeps the _dalam_, the interior of the
_kraton_, under constant observation so that no illicit _amourettes_
shall occur in the women’s quarters, and yet--! There were store-rooms,
kitchens, workshops, prisons, halls set apart for the dancers, male
and female; the cream of the female dancers, the _srimpis_ and girl
_bedoyos_, were probably housed in or near the principal pavilion on
Pulu Kananga, of which the Sooltan occupied the eastern and the Ratu the
western portion. Above all there were the bath-rooms, dedicated to Kama
and his wife Rati of Hindu memory; and since the parrot is the _vahana_
of that frivolous god, many are the unspeakable tales of revived rites
of his luxurious worship.

The etiquette at Court is fitly illustrated by the two tea-houses of
Taman Sari, the eastern one for the Grand Pourer-out-of-Tea of the
Right, who presided over the preparation of the delectable beverage
for the Sooltan, and the western ditto for the Grand Pourer-out-of-Tea
of the Left, who provided for the Ratu. A scrupulous punctilio is
ingrained in Javanese habits and customs, from high to low, on great
and small occasions, the native’s mentality always reverting to
things which were, but never more can be. The homage done to sacred
objects, arms, _gamelans_, etc., by giving them a human name and a
title,[80] venerating them as if endowed with supernatural faculties,
recalls Polynesian fetishism, Hinduïsm being blended with it in Siva’s
_trishula_, Vishnu’s _chakra_, etc., which are still carried behind the
native princes among their _ampilan_.[81] The _upacharas_ or imperial
and royal _pusakas_[82] are treated with the utmost reverence when
shown at the appearance in public of Susuhunan or Sooltan, and their
bearers, the _koncho ngampil_, who hold an honoured position at the
Courts of Solo and Jogja, may be considered direct successors of the
envoys of King Dasharatha on the reliefs of the _chandi_ Loro Jonggrang,
who bore his regalia when meeting Rama and Lakshama. The strange
ceremonial, preserved from the time when gods walked amongst men, seems
hardly antiquated, on the contrary very germane to _siti-inggil_[83]
surroundings. One need not visit the _kratons_ though, to notice how
the spirit of the past permeates all things Javanese; any well-dressed
native getting out of his _sado_[84] at the railway station or repairing
thither on foot for a journey with the fire-carriage, will do. Even if
he cannot afford the few _doits_[85] necessary and must impair his
dignity by going afoot, he has his retainers to look after his box
and, stuck behind, he has his magnificent kris in a sheath of gold,
with a beautifully carved ivory handle, in nine cases out of ten a
_pusaka_, cherished like the kris Kolo Munyang of the Prince of Kudoos
or, as others allege, of a Susuhunan of Surakarta, who sent the weapon,
which killed its master’s enemies without human direction, to the
assistance of Pangeran Bintoro, then oppressed by a king of Mojopahit.
The chronology of this legend is evidently a little faulty, but, O! the
wonders of Java’s golden age, and, O! the superstitious honour in which
their memory is held by these lovable people, whose actual existence is
a dream of days gone by. And that happy dream, they ween, is a presage
of the future, prophesying the restoration of their fathers’ heritage.
If, nevertheless, the hour draws near of unconditional surrender, the
Dutch Government steadily and surely arrogating to itself the externals
with the substance of power in the Principalities, they will silently
submit to the _nivarana_ of their ancient faith, the hindrance arising
from torpor of mind appointed to them in the _sansara_, the rotary
sequence of the world, and seek consolation in the promise of their new
faith that the Lord will not deal wrongly with his servants. The life of
nations, like the life of men, starts running as the mountain torrent
and meets many an obstacle before it swells to a broad river in the
plains and flows tranquilly and mightily to the sea; also for Java it is

                          ... Non anche,
    l’opra del secol non anche è piena.[86]



[49] _Batikking_ is the art of dyeing woven goods by immersing them in
successive baths of the required colour, protecting the parts to be left
undyed by applying a mixture of beeswax and resin.

[50] A _stupa_, lit. a mound, a tumulus, is a memorial structure,
sometimes raised over a relic of the Buddha, one of the eight thousand
portions into which his ashes were divided, or a tooth, or any other
fragment of his remains. The combination of such a memento of the Most
Chaste with the emblem of supreme virility is syncretism indeed!

[51] Professor Dr. H. H. JUYNBOLL in the _Bijdragen tot de
Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde van Nederlandsch Indië_, Ser. vii., vol.
vi., nr. 1.

[52] Those not in the Government service: planters, industrials, etc.,
always of lower caste in general, especially official esteem, than
the select who draw their salaries from Batavia. Hence the native
designation of such an inferior individual as a _particulier saja_,
“only” a private person.

[53] _Recho_ or _rejo_ is the name given to any sort of statue.

[54] From _circulus_, circle, something round, which rolls easily away
into oblivion as it is intended to; but, if nothing else, _la folie
circulaire_ keeps the fiction of governmental guidance and control

[55] Speaking at a meeting of the _Royal Geographical Society of the
Netherlands_, December 27, 1902.

[56] Vishnu’s _vahana_ or bearer, the monster-bird.

[57] By G. P. ROUFFAER, _Indische Gids_, February 1903.

[58] The fall of Mojopahit has been put at 1478 (Javanese chronicles),
1488 (VETH’S _Java_, 2nd ed.) and between 1515 and 1521

[59] Paku Buwono, like Paku Alam, means “nail which fastens the

[60] Lit. “the one who has the world in his lap,” _i.e._ the supporter
(ruler) of the world.

[61] Lit. “the one who has the empire in his lap,” _i.e._ the supporter
(ruler) of the empire.

[62] Lit. “the one who has the universe in his lap,” _i.e._ the
supporter (ruler) of the universe.

[63] A fourth semi-independent domain, created at the expense of
Jogjakarta for the benefit of Pangeran Nata Kusuma, ally of the British
during the troubles of 1811 and 1812.

[64] Common abbreviations, in speaking and writing, of Surakarta and
Jogjakarta; Solo is, to put it correctly, the name of the place where
Paku Buwono II., after his old _kraton_ had been destroyed by fire in
the civil war diligently fostered by the Company, built the present one,
_Surakarta Hadiningrat_, _i.e._ the most excellent city of heroes.

[65] _Ngoko_ is spoken among the common people, among children, by
adults to children and by those of superior to those of inferior rank;
_kromo_ by those of inferior to those of superior rank and by people
of high rank amongst themselves unless differences in social degree or
grades of relationship require another mode of address; _dagellan_ or
_gendaloongan_ (in Surakarta) and _madya_ (in Jogjakarta), a mixture of
_ngoko_ and _kromo_, by people of equal rank conversing in an unofficial
capacity, politely but without constraint, by those of superior to those
of inferior rank, their seniors in years whom they wish to honour,
by merchants of equal rank and the higher servants of the nobility
to one another; _kromo-inggil_ comprises a group of words used when
referring to whatever is divine or very exalted on earth; _basa kedaton_
is the language of the Court, spoken by all males in the presence of
the reigning prince or in his _kraton_ whether he be present or not,
but in addressing him or his heir presumptive, _kromo_ is used; the
reigning prince employs _ngoko_ interspersed with _kromo-inggil_ words
when referring to himself; the women in the _kraton_ speak _kromo_ or
_kromo-madya_ among themselves, _basa kedaton_ to such men-folk as
they are allowed to see and _kromo_ to the reigning prince or his heir
presumptive; _ngoko andap_ is a coarse sort of speech which descends
to the use of words, in relation to man, ordinarily applied only to
animals; _kromo-dessa_ means rustic speech in general.

[66] The central and most refined Javanese of Mataram or Surakarta,
spoken in the Principalities, the Kadu, the Bagelen, Madioon and Kediri;
the western Javanese, spoken in Cheribon and Banyumas; the _basa_ or
_temboong pasasir_ (speech of the coast), spoken in Tagal, Pekalongan,
Samarang, Yapara and Rembang; the eastern Javanese, spoken in Surabaya,
Pasuruan, Probolinggo and Besuki.

[67] A cult with a ritual handed down from the past and scrupulously
observed. Cf. the account of a visit to Selo in 1849, published from
papers left by Dr. M. W. SCHELTEMA, in _De Gids_, December,

[68] The Javanese do not kiss in the disgusting, unwholesome, western
fashion; they smell or sniff, using the olfactory instead of the
osculatory organs, as sufficiently indicated by the words of the native
vocabulary describing the operation referred to. In this matter again,
the Hindu immigrants may have made their influence felt. Cf. Professor
E. WASHBURN HOPKINS’ interesting paper on _The Sniff-Kiss in
Ancient India_, in the _Journal of the American Oriental Society_, vol.
xxviii., first half, 1907.

[69] Including, besides the palaces and palace grounds, thickly
inhabited little towns. The _kraton_ of Surakarta contains, _e.g._,
more than ten thousand people, all belonging to the imperial family and
household, from the princes to their dependents, servants and hangers
on: court dignitaries, court functionaries, gold- and silversmiths,
wood-carvers, carpenters, masons, musicians, etc. Within its walls
is also the imperial _mesdjid_, a fine, large building with a widely
visible gilt roof.

[70] The _garebeg mulood_, _garebeg puasa_ and _garebeg besar_,
corresponding with the _maulid_ (feast of the Prophet’s birth), _id
al-fitr_ (feast of breaking the fast) and _id al-qorban_ (feast of the

[71] _Krissing_, a form of capital punishment until recently still in
use in the island of Bali, consisted in driving a kris to the heart of
the condemned man, sometimes under circumstances of refined cruelty,
the executioner not being permitted to put an end to his victim’s agony
before the prince, presiding in person or by deputy, had given the
signal for the _coup de grâce_.

[72] A story is told of a Susuhunan of Surakarta having ordered a
magnificent landau from one of the first _carrossiers_ in Paris, that
the favoured industrial was advised to send some cooking-pans with it
on delivery. Asking: What for? he got the answer: To poach the eggs his
Highness’ chickens will lay in your carriage. Splendour and squalor live
near together in the households of thriftless oriental potentates.


    For usage with mortal man is like the leaf
    On the bough, which goes and another comes.

[74] Governor and Director of Java’s northeast coast, afterwards member
of the Governor-General’s Council at Batavia.

[75] Published by H. D. H. BOSBOOM from papers in the Dutch
National Archives.

[76] Titular Major, afterwards Lieutenant-Colonel of the Corps of
Engineers, Director of Fortifications and Inspector of Canals, Dams,
Dikes and Waterways.

[77] REIMER’S description leaves Taman Ledok _in dubio_ and
a reason for his probable non-admittance there, may be found in the
circumstance that it appears to have been the part of the pleasance
reserved for the recreation of the Sooltan’s concubines.

[78] Whence the name: _oombool_, like _sumoor_, means “well” or
“spring”, and _gumuling_, derived from _guling_, means “rolled up”,
“lying flat.”


    For nature in woman
    Is so near akin to art.

[80] Kiahi is a very common one. Dr. J. GRONEMAN, whose
description of the water-castle at Jogjakarta contains a good many
interesting particulars, mentions the name of the barge of state,
presented to Paku Buwono I. by the East India Company, Niahi Kuning, as,
to his knowledge, the only instance of a female appellation being given
to royal paraphernalia--perhaps on the same principle as that which
makes us, too, speak of a ship as of a “she”.

[81] Emblems of royalty; more strictly: objects of virtu belonging to
the reigning family.

[82] A _pusaka_ is an heirloom, generally with luck bringing properties
either to the rightful owner or to any one who secures possession of it.

[83] Lit. “the high place” of the _kraton_.

[84] Short for _dos-à-dos_, a kind of vehicle naturalised in Java;
offering only problematic comfort at its very best, the ramshackle
specimens plying for hire in the streets of the capital towns of the
island, beat everything ever invented anywhere else in the world for
inflicting torture on the pretext of conveyance.

[85] _Doits_ are copper coins of endless variety, demonetised
more than half a century ago but still used by the natives almost
exclusively and to the prejudice of the legal “cent”, the hundredth
part of the “guilder” or legal unit of the Dutch East Indian currency,
notwithstanding the Government’s efforts (on paper) through the medium
of financial geniuses, whose name is Legion and whose practical
performance is Nihil, to put the monetary system and colonial finance in
general on a firm, workable basis.

[86] ... Not yet, the work of (our) time has not yet reached its




    cosi da l’ossa dei sepolti cantano
    i germi de la vita e degli spiriti.[87]

    GIOSUÈ CARDUCCI, _Odi Barbare_ (_Canto di marzo_).

When, suddenly, for reasons still unknown, the classic period of art
in Central Java closed, about 850 Saka (A.D. 928), East Java
awakened and entered on an era of artistic activity in every direction,
which lasted until the fall of Mojopahit six centuries and a half
later. In architecture it offers nothing so grand and imposing as the
ancient temples of the Middle Empire, but much more diversity, and
numerous inscriptions, resembling, after 900 Saka (A.D. 978),
in form and contents, what we possess of old Javanese literature,
enable us in many cases to determine the dates and also the character
of the _chandis_, found principally along the course of the Brantas
in the residencies Pasuruan, Kediri and Surabaya. Moving eastward, it
was there that Hindu civilisation made greatest progress, no more
in the vigorous enthusiasm of a young faith eager to proselyte, but
modified by and finally succumbing to the influences of the soil,
the climate, the idiosyncrasies of the aborigines. The oldest dates
(Madioon, Kediri, Surabaya and Pasuruan) fall between 890 and 1140;
then we have a good many again from Kediri (1120-1240 and 1270-1460)
and from Surabaya (1270-1490); also from Pasuruan, Probolinggo and
Besuki (1340-1470), Madura (1290-1440) and Rembang (1370-1390); finally,
the constructive energy returning to Central Java, from Samarang and
Surakarta (1420-1460), Suku and Cheto bringing up the rear. In the palmy
days of Daha and Tumapel a sort of transition style was elaborated;
under Ken Angrok and his descendants on the throne of Mojopahit, East
Java reached its architectural zenith, never equal in the grandeur of
its conceptions to the Boro Budoor or even the Prambanan temples, to
the symmetrical richness of the Mendoot, but making up in fantastic
decoration what it had lost in sobriety of outline. The builders
pandered to the unwholesome demand for that perfection at any cost
which Ruskin censures as the main mistake of the Renaissance in its
early stages, the workman losing his soul in exchange for consummate
finish. But, though they bear the impress of decadence, the products of
eastern Javanese constructive efforts are not wholly degenerate, never
coarse or vulgar and well worth looking at from more than one point of
view. The evolution of the ornament alone is exceedingly suggestive:
the “recalcitrant spiral” which in Central Java ascends, decking the
supports, topples, as it were, in East Java, losing its character and
becoming a meaningless adornment of the casements of, _e.g._, the
_chandi_ Panataran; the _kala_-heads remain but the _makaras_ change
into a flame-like embellishment; where they are altogether dissolved,
as in the _chandi_ Jago or Toompang, it is safe to conclude with Dr.
Brandes to late eastern Javanese influences.[88]

It has been conjectured that the migration of Hinduïsm to East Java was
the effect of Buddhism gaining ground in the central part of the island;
that the pronounced Sivaïte tendencies of Mojopahit were a reaction
against Buddhist innovations. But it remains still to be proved that
Mojopahit, though worshipping Siva as the supreme god of the Trimoorti,
adhered to his overlordship in all its orthodox purity. There are, on
the contrary, indications of Vishnuïte leanings, of Buddhist heresy, of
a syncretism no less pronounced than that of Prambanan and the Mendoot.
In the time of Old Mataram’s hegemony, Buddhism must have ingratiated
itself to some extent with her eastern vassals and, though not one of
the temples in East Java is Buddhist after the fashion of the _chandis_
Boro Budoor, Mendoot and Sewu, vestiges of the Bhagavat’s doctrine
are undeniable in Kediri, Southern Surabaya and Northern Pasuruan.
A fusion of Sivaïsm and Buddhism has continuously controlled the
construction of the larger temples of the later eastern Javanese period,
says Rouffaer. Statues found in many places, _e.g._ in the _chandi_
Toompang, are distinctly Buddhist and, what is most remarkable, though
of later workmanship than those of Central Java and of a different
style, tainted by decadent methods, they possess high merits as works
of art. In their Sivaïtic surroundings they confirm the statements of
the Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsiang who, perambulating India between 629
and 645, before the persecution of the Buddhists commenced, remarked
upon the tolerance of the brahmins and _vice versa_, a virtue the
Hindus carried with them to Java as already observed in the chapter on
Prambanan. The kings of Mojopahit followed the example set in those
regions: they were Saivas, Vaishnavas, Buddhists or followers of no
one creed in particular, ready to protect and prefer each of them
according to circumstances. In codes of law and poetry, Sivaïte priests
and _sugatas_, pious brethren on the Buddhist road to perfection, are
mentioned in one breath as conductors of the religious exercises on
festive occasions, invoking the blessings of heaven on harvests and
enterprises of peace and war; the poet Tantular calls the Buddha one
with the Trimoorti.[89]

The Muhammadans were not so indulgent when the Pangerans of Giri
increased in authority as spiritual leaders of their faith, successors
of Maulana Ibrahim, its first apostle in East Java. The hillock of Giri
became a centre of incitement to the holy war, particularly so under
Raden Ratu Paku or Sunan Prabu Satmoto, whose tomb is still an object
of Moslim pilgrimage.[90] With his approval, if not on his instigation,
the Muhammadan states on the north coast combined under Raden Patah of
Demak to compass the extermination of heathenism and he lived to see
the overthrow of Mojopahit, though dying shortly afterwards. If the
Moslemin yearned to gain Paradise, sword in hand, martyrs for their
Prophet’s dispensation, those of the old creed remembered the power of
_their_ gods, blowing the _sanka_, the war-shell of Vishnu, who proved
to Sugriva and Hanoman his superiority over Wali by shooting his arrow
through seven palm-trunks; who, in his fourth _avatar_, as _narasinha_,
the man-lion, ripped open the belly of the sacrilegious demon Hiranya
Kasipu. But Raden Patah, marching with his allies, marvellously helped
in the way of the Lord against the idolaters of Mojopahit, the swollen
with pride, proved to be the giant in the shape of a dwarf, Vamana,
known from their god’s fifth _avatar_, conqueror of the three worlds.
And Mojopahit, so great that the claims to the honour of her foundation,
forwarded by as many princely houses as existed in those days, were
fused in the tradition of her divine origin, her capital with its
hundred gates and shining streets and palaces, the like of which had
never been seen, having sprung from the earth in one night as a flower
at the call of the fragrant dawn,--Mojopahit was overthrown and, laments
the Javanese chronicle, the prosperity of the island disappeared. Not
the last but the strongest bulwark of Hinduïsm had ceased to exist,
bearing bitter fruit[91] of presumptuous pride indeed; the later Hindu
empires, even Balambangan, which gave so much trouble to New Mataram
and submitted only to the arms of the East India Company, leaving the
ancient creed to die of slow exhaustion in the Tengger mountains, were
nothing compared to her.

Like the remains, near the _dessa_ Galang, of the _kraton_ of the kings
of the older empire of Daha, what has escaped total destruction of the
capital of Mojopahit is constructed of brick. The ruins are situated
about eight miles to the southwest of Mojokerto[92] in the valley of
the Brantas; near Ngoomplak was the site of a royal residence in the
building of which stone seems also to have been used. Raffles, visiting
those heaps of debris scattered over quite a large area, found but
scanty evidence of the fact that he trod the spot where great rulers
had employed great architects, raising great structures for posterity
to remember their great deeds by; Wardenaar, whom he had taken with
him as a draughtsman, might have stayed at Batavia, though in his
_History of Java_ he gives an illustration of “one of the gateways” and
says that the marks of former grandeur there are more manifest than at
Pajajaran, which, well considered, is saying very little. Now, a century
later, a century of continued neglect, the general impression is still
less calculated to prompt a vision of heroes subjecting thrones and
dominions in the short space left them by their ancestor Ken Angrok’s
murderous kris, defying the grave, unmindful of Mpu Gandring’s curse.
Walking round in an effort to fit the scenery to historical dramas of
love, hate and ambition, extreme care is necessary to avoid stepping
on snakes coiled in dangerous repose or crawling among the brickbats
which represent the foundations of princely mansions, digesting their
last meal or hungry after the lizards that move restlessly in and out
of chinks and crannies, lively beasties, enjoying the sunshine until
snapped up, far more interesting really than the piles of rubbish
bearing meaningless names. The natives one meets, will spin yarns _ad
libitum_ anent the numerous graves and crumbling substructures, but few
have an intelligible tale to tell. Here are portions of the city-wall;
there the remnant of the gate Bajang Ratu; half a mile farther the
_aloon aloon_, the _taman_ or pleasance, the tanks for bathing. A road,
in great need of repair, leads through the Trowulan, the interior;
exterior roads may be taken through ricefields and teak-plantations
to the tomb of Ratu Champa, distinguished by curtains which once may
have been white. Before a small building, enclosed by a fence, lies a
stone supposed to cover the entrance to a subterranean apartment, the
hiding-place, it is said, of the last king of Mojopahit when his capital
was taken by the Moslim enemy. More graves surround that cache, graves
without and, to intimate the pre-eminent importance of the elect thus
honoured, graves _with_ dirty curtains, narrow strips of soiled cloth,
sad offerings to the dead sovereigns of an empire of celestial fame. One
feels almost inclined to refuse credence to the grand past this ragged
display tries to commemorate and, from sheer disappointment, to join the
ranks of the sceptics who doubt of the capital of Mojopahit ever having
amounted to much, and maintain that, in any case, it had come down and
was of no consequence compared with Tuban and Gresik, already in 1416, a
century before its falling into the hands of the Muhammadans.

At Mojopahit it is the same old story of quarrying for building
material: several sugar-mills in the neighbourhood with the dwellings
of managers and employees, have been wholly or partly constructed of
Mojopahit bricks. In 1887 I saw them used for the abutments of bridges,
foremen of the Department of Public Works superintending. A short
time before, twelve copper plates had been found with inscriptions in
ancient characters, which disappeared in a mysterious way. The _rechos_
of Mojopahit were mostly left alone, a respectful treatment they owed
to their general clumsiness. Some two or three miles from the ruins
of the capital, a goodly number stand or lie together fair samples of
statuary of the first eastern Javanese period, in its extravagance and
exaggeration a travesty of the classic art of Central Java, crudity of
conception floundering in a redundancy of form also observable at the
_chandis_ Suku and Cheto; after the fall of Mojopahit, in the second
period, the sculptor reverted to a close study of nature as manifested
at the _chandis_ Toompang and Panataran; in the third, Hindu methods
getting crowded within ever narrower limits, his fancy betrayed him
again into lavish detail as exemplified in old Balinese imagery. At the
gradual extinction of Hindu ideals of beauty, realised in decaying stone
and brick, in statues defaced and vanishing like dwindling phantoms,
a growing sensation of emptiness, emphasised by vague reminiscences
of the artistic fullness of the _jaman buda_, claiming amends from
succeeding creeds, received little from Islām and absolutely nothing
from Christianity. Under Dutch rule very few attempts at style in Java
and the other islands of the Malay Archipelago have been made at all,
and of these few only one has resulted in an achievement not altogether
ridiculous, namely the old town-hall, begun in 1707 and finished in
1710, of old Batavia, where the Resident has his office, by the natives
very appropriately called _rumah bichara_, _i.e._ “house of talk”. With
one or two utterly tasteless exceptions, the rest of the Government and
private buildings, including the palaces of the Governor-General at
Weltevreden and Buitenzorg, descend in their architecture to the lowest
grade of the commonplace. To his Excellency’s ill-kept country-seat
in the Preanger subverted Mojopahit seems almost preferable,
notwithstanding the squalor of its threadbare _kaïn klambu_ decoration;
the meanness of the viceregal reception- and living-rooms at Chipanas is
not even picturesque and surely some of the public money regularly paid
out for the maintenance of the “Government hotels” might be profitably
expended on the improvement of the surroundings of Her Majesty the Queen
of the Netherlands’ representative in the Dutch East Indies, including
the rickety furniture, shabby napery, etc., which has a pitiful tale of
unseemly parsimony to tell: the superiority of high rank needs decorum
and nowhere more than in oriental countries, a truth lately too much
lost sight of by officials, high and low, who, following the example set
at Buitenzorg, hoarding against the hour of their demission, presume on
their “prestige” without anything to back it.

Mojopahit had ceased to exist and the Muhammadans with the Christians in
their wake overran Java, despoiling the land in which toleration and art
could no more flourish, but dissension throve as the tree prophetically
imaged at the Boro Budoor, whose branches bear swords and daggers
instead of wholesome, luscious fruit. The old quarrels over political
supremacy were surpassed in violence by religious strife, and fanaticism
is still held responsible in our day for disturbances conveniently
ascribed to Moslim cussedness when the acknowledgment of the real cause,
discontent born from over-taxation, would be tantamount to a confession
of administrative impotence. It was not Hanoman, the deliverer of
Sita, who troubled the repose of Ravana’s garden, but the _raksasas_
and _raksasis_ who kept her in bonds, and there are two solutions of
the Dutch East Indian problem, independent of the issue celebrated in
the _Ramayana_ and both suggested in the ornament of Java’s temples:
the devourer Time destroying all with his sharp teeth, and the lion,
or tiger, to preserve the local colour, master of the fleeting moment,
with a garland of flowers in his mouth, image of the clouded present
holding out the promise of a brighter future. The two auguries, dark yet
hopeful, belong to one old order of ideas, prefiguring things to come
in dubious language, after the wont of oracles, ancient and modern, and
we can choose the forecast which likes us best. So did the princes of
Daha, Tumapel and Mojopahit, not to mention the lesser fry, creatures of
a breath as we deem them now, doughty warriors and far-seeing statesmen
to their contemporaries, who consulted their soothsayers before treading
the fields of fame and blood whence they were carried to their graves,
admiring nations rearing the mausoleums which now constitute the
greater part of the historic monuments of East Java. The _Pararaton_
mentions no fewer than seventy-three structures of that description.
Such as have been left are, for various reasons, hard to classify,
the greatest difficulty arising from their bad state of preservation,
though deciphered dates furnish important clues, for instance regarding
some _chandis_ in Kediri: Papoh (1301), Tagal Sari (1309), Kali Chilik
(1349), Panataran (1319-1375),[93] the last named being probably
the principal tomb of the dynasty of Mojopahit. Springing from the
soil in amazing dissimilitude, their architects seeking new modes of
expression in new forms and never hesitating at any oddity, at any
audacity to proclaim the message of artistic freedom from convention,
they struggled free from the sober lines and harmonious distribution
of spaces always maintained in Central Java, to run riot in fantastic
innovations. Yet, they held communion with nature and neither shirked
their responsibility nor sinned against the proper relations between
their purpose and the visible consummation of their task as those of
our modern master-builders do who contrive churches like barns or
cattle-sheds, stables like gothic chapels, prisons like halls of fame
and cottages like mediaeval donjons. From such architectural absurdities
it is pleasant to turn, _e.g._, to the _chandi_ Papoh, a temple whose
corner-shrines might pass for daintily wrought golden reliquaries inlaid
with jewels, when the minute detail of their exquisite decoration
is shone upon by the setting sun; or to the _chandi_ Sangrahan,
when warmed to life from death and fearful decay, by the blue of a
measureless sky, again budding from the earth, lovely as the lotus
in the bliss bestowing hand of one of the five finely chiselled but
headless statues near by.

[Illustration: XV. _CHANDI_ PAPOH

(Archaeological Service through Charls and van Es.)]

Holiness in East Java, as everywhere in the island, took naturally
to bathing. The retreat Bookti in the district Rembes, set apart for
that pastime, according to the legend by Semu Mangaran, first king of
Ngarawan (the later Bowerno and still later Rembang), had and has many
rivals, nearly all in possession of antiquities to show their sacred
character and the regard in which they were held. Some, like Bookti
and Banyu Biru, the deservedly popular “blue water” of Pasuruan, are
enlivened by colonies of monkeys, descendants of the apes kept there in
Hindu times, beggars by profession, whose antics reap a rich reward.
Sarangan in Madioon, Trawulan and Jalatoonda in Surabaya, Jati Kuwoong
and Panataran in Kediri, Ngaglik and Balahan in Pasuruan, shared in
olden times the renown which now is principally divided between Banyu
Biru and Wendit, not to forget Oombulan, delightful spots, typical of a
land where life is a continuous caress. Ngaglik has a beautiful female
statue, evidently destined to do service as a fountain-figure after
the manner of the nymphs which grace John the Fleming’s[94] Fontana
del Nettuno in Bologna and countless other waterworks of his and the
succeeding period. Wendit has Sivaïte remains: the prime god’s _nandi_,
statues of Doorga, Ganesa, etc.; most of the _lingas_ and _yonis_ that
used to keep them company as reminders of their inmost nature, have been
carried off. Banyu Biru has a statue of Doorga, _raksasas_, fragments
of Banaspatis, etc., and a very remarkable image of Ganesa with female
aspect, an object of veneration, especially on Friday evenings when
flowers and copper, even silver coins are strewn round to propitiate
his dual spirit, candles are lighted and sweetmeats offered to the
ancient deities taken collectively. The _chandis_ Jalatoonda and Putri
Jawa served a double purpose: devotion and ablution, facilities for an
invigorating bath playing a prominent part. The former, in the district
Mojokerto, residency Surabaya, is the mausoleum of King Udayana, father
of King Erlangga, and one of the oldest monuments in East Java; the
latter, in the district Pandakan, residency Pasuruan, has much in
common, as to ornament, with the _chandi_ Surawana of the year 1365 and
belongs on the contrary to the younger products of Hindu architecture.
_Chandi_ Putri Jawa means “temple of the Javanese princesses”, and
Ratu Kenya, the Virgin Queen of Mojopahit (1328-1353), who spoiled her
reputation for chastity by losing her heart to a groom in her stables
and making him share her throne, as the _Damar Wulan_ informs us, may
have repaired thither with her ladies-in-waiting to sacrifice and
disport in the swimming-tank which is still replenished with water from
the neighbouring river, flowing through the cleverly devised conduits;
or the women of her luckless last successor, King Bra Wijaya, may have
taken their pleasure there along with their devotional exercises before
the Moslim torrent swamped their lord and master’s high estate, harem
and all.

Cave temples have been found in Surabaya (Jedoong), in Besuki (Salak)
and in Kediri (Jurang Limas and Sela Mangleng). The latter, of greatest
interest and Buddhist in character, can be divided into pairs: Sela
Baleh and Guwa Tritis, Joonjoong and Jajar. They are easily reached
from Tuloong Agoong and, though the removable statuary is gone,
except the heavy _raksasas_, defaced figures on pedestals, etc., the
sculpture of the interior walls of the caves remained in a tolerable
state of preservation. Above on the ridge is a spot much resorted to
for meditation and prayer, where the view of the charming valley of
the Brantas, bounded by the beetling cliffs of the south coast, the
treacherous Keloot to the northeast and the majestic Wilis[95] to the
northwest, prepares the soul for communion with the Spirit of the
Universe. Remains of brick structures abound in East Java; besides the
ruins of Daha and Mojopahit we have, for instance, the walls of the Guwa
Tritis under the jutting Gunoong Budek, the _chandis_ Ngetos at the foot
of the Wilis, Kali Chilik near Panataran, Jaboong in Probolinggo and
Derma in Pasuruan. The _chandi_ Jaboong presents a remarkable instance
of tower-construction applied to religious buildings in Java as further
exemplified, conjointly with terraces, in the _chandi_ Toompang. The
surprises offered by the _chandi_ Derma are no less gratifying, firstly
to travellers in general who visit Bangil and, approaching the temple,
which remains hidden to the last moment, suddenly come upon it in an
open space adapted to full examination; secondly to archaeologists in
particular because, dating from the reign of Mpu Sindok (850 Saka or
before) and therefore one of the oldest monuments in East Java, if not
the oldest in a recognisable state of preservation, it must be accepted
as the prototype of Javanese architecture bequeathed by Old Mataram and
is a valuable help to the study of the ancient builders’ technique,
showing, among other things, says Dr. Brandes, that the larger
ornamental units are of one piece of terra-cotta, joined to the masonry
by means of tenons and mortises.

About a mile to the southeast of Malang, on the top of a hill near the
_kampong_ Bureng, are traces of more buildings constructed in brick,
the ruins of Kota Bedah. The foundation of that city is attributed to
a son of Gajah Mada, chief minister of the last king of Mojopahit who,
after his master’s fall, fled eastward and, subjecting Singosari with
adjoining territories, became the progenitor of the dynasty of Supit
Urang. The Moslemin pushing on and harassing the Saivas wherever met,
invested Kota Bedah but, not prevailing against the strong defence of
its commander Ronga Parmana, they caught the citizens’ pigeons which
flew over their camp and, attaching pieces of burning match-rope to
the birds’ wings and tail-feathers, they set fire to the thatch of
the houses within the walls and so gained their end. Thereupon they
destroyed the royal residence Gedondong, to the east of Malang, and
those of Supit Urang took refuge in the Tengger mountains. This is
one of several traditions explaining the existence of Sivaïte remains
scattered in that neighbourhood: at Dinoyo, Karanglo, Singoro, Katu,
Pakentan, etc. On the road to Toompang stands the _chandi_ Kidal, one
of the best preserved in Java, only the upper part of the roof having
fallen down. It is the mausoleum of Anusapati, the Hamlet of Javanese
history, referred to in the preceding chapter, who was killed in 1249
by his step-brother. His likeness has been sought in an image of Siva,
on the supposition that some statues of deities there erected, which
point to the use of living models, represent the features of exalted
personages. An enormous Banaspati over the entrance with smaller ones
over the niches, _garudas_ and lions form the principal decoration in
frames of highly finished ornament. Dr. Brandes remarks that in contrast
to the decoration of the temples in Central Java, the heavy ornament
of the relief-tableaux is here distributed over the parts which carry
the weight of the superstructure, while the lighter ornament finds
employment on the panels and facings. The methods of construction
and the treatment of details mark clearly a transition to the younger
period of eastern Javanese architecture best illustrated by the _chandi_

[Illustration: XVI. _CHANDI_ SINGOSARI

(Archaeological Service through Charls and van Es.)]

Somewhat older, built in 1278 as a mausoleum for Kertanegara, the
last king of Tumapel, who reigned from 1264 to 1292 and was killed in
battle by Jaya Katong, King of Daha, is the _chandi_ Singosari, near
the railway station of that name, an excellent starting-point for an
ascension of the fire-mountain Arjuno or Widadaren. It has been called
one of the most unfortunate monuments in the island; not, presumably,
because it shared the common lot, being gradually deprived of its finest
ornament while its stones were freely disposed of for building material
without the local authorities minding in the least, but because the
spoliation could be watched by a comparatively large number of planters
and industrials, settled in the neighbourhood, none of them interfering
unless to its detriment. Insurmountable difficulties of transportation
opposed the removal of the colossal _raksasas_ and so they were left
with a _nandi_, a sun-carriage and, among fragments too defaced for
recognition, a Ganesa and a female Buddhist saint, for this temple-tomb
is of a mixed character in its religious aspect. A Javanese chronicle
relates that Kertanegara was buried at Singosari in 1295, three years
after his death, in the guise of Siva-Buddha, and at Sakala conformably
to a more pronounced Buddhist rite. He was considered a wise ruler,
notwithstanding his abusive attitude towards China, which had such
dire results. He built an edifice, continues the _babad_, divided into
two parts, the lower one Sivaïtic, the upper one Buddhistic, because
in his life he prided himself on being a Saiva as well as a Buddhist.
A richly ornamented _kala_-head in eastern Javanese style testifies to
the admirable technique of the builders and decorators. According to
popular belief a subterranean passage leads from Singosari to Polaman,
about six miles away, a place of sacrifice in Hindu days, and another
to Mondoroko, close by, the site of a ruin with a graceful statue of a
female deity, two smaller ones which remind the beholder of Siva’s and
Doorga’s creative faculties, and sadly damaged bas-reliefs. In 1904
an inscribed stone was recovered, at the intimation of a native, from
a pond near Singosari. Confirming the data furnished by the Javanese
chronicles, the inscription states that in 1351 Gajah Mada, the Prime
Minister of Mojopahit, acting for King Wisnuwardhani, founded a
temple-tomb, sacred to the memory of the priests, Saivas and Buddhists,
who, in the year 1292, had followed their King Kertanegara in death, and
of the old Prime Minister who had been killed at his feet.... “See here
the foundation of the most honourable Prime Minister of Java’s sea-girt

[Illustration: XVII. _CHANDI_ TOOMPANG

(Archaeological Service through Charls and van Es.)]

Finest and most interesting of the Malang complex is the
_chandi_ Jago, about twelve miles to the east of the capital of the
assistant-residency, in the _aloon aloon_ of Toompang and hence more
commonly named _chandi_ Toompang. It was the first taken in hand by
the Commission appointed in 1901 and we owe most of the information,
summarised in the following lines, to Dr. Brandes’ reports on this
archaeological debut. A rare example of tower-construction of the kind
also observed in the _chandi_ Jaboong, superposed on a raised level
reached by terraces like those of the _chandis_ Panataran and Boro
Budoor, the extraordinary Javanese mixture of Sivaïsm and Buddhism
with a dash of Vishnuïsm has affected it to such a degree that even
a recent description declares it to be a Buddhist pit-temple--a
contradiction in terms. Begun in the middle of the thirteenth century,
_i.e._ in the time of Tumapel’s political ascendency when Sivaïsm
was the state religion, if we may speak of a state religion among
peoples and princes whose predominant article of faith was tolerance
and concession of equal rights to all religions, some of the learned
investigators suppose with Professor Speyer that the Buddhist note was
a consequence of the persecution of the adherents of Gautama’s creed
in India and the hospitality extended to the emigrants all over the
island Java. However this may be, syncretism became rampant in both the
ground-plan and the decoration of the _chandi_ Toompang, conceived as
an elevated dodecagonal structure on the highest of three irregularly
shaped terraces, something quite exceptional in Javanese architecture.
Apparently while the building was in progress, remarks Rouffaer, changes
were made in the original project, and the more is the pity that the
temple proper has fallen into almost complete ruin: not only that the
roof is lacking, but the toppling back wall has dragged the greater
part of the north and south walls down with it. The front or west wall
has held out to a certain extent with the gateway, the chief entrance,
a lofty, rectangular, monumental passage, ornamented on both sides and
locked with a key-stone whose smooth middle space was destined, in the
opinion of Dr. Brandes, to receive, but never did receive, the date of
completion. Heaps of debris round about lead to the conjecture that the
whole was encircled by a wall of brick and that the dwellings of the
keepers or officiating priests were composed of the same material.

Several of the bas-reliefs fortunately escaped destruction and found
an interpreter in Dr. Brandes, to whom we also owe explanations of
the stereotyped decorative scrolls and flourishes. Though inferior in
workmanship to the reliefs of Panataran, those of Toompang, “speaking”
reliefs as he called them, are vigorously animated, gaining in interest
to the devotee as he ascends the terraces, their masterly treatment
culminating in what has been preserved on the portion still standing of
the temple-walls. No better illustration of high and low life, of the
nobility and the riff-raff portrayed in classic Javanese literature,
could be imagined; the typical perfect knights and sly buffoons
are there in crowds, princes and courtiers, warriors and peasants,
gallivanting beaux and love-sick maidens, jealous husbands and frisky
wives, worldwise sages and babbling fools, Javanese Don Quijotes riding
out with their trusty squires of the Sancho Panza species, go-betweens
neither better nor worse than Celestina, entangling dusky Melibeas.
Every honourable soul is set off by his or her vulgar counterpart, of
the earth earthy: the _panakawan_ (page) and the _inya_ (nurse) play
most important rôles, almost equally important with those of the hero
and heroine, and their characters are, conformably to the requirements
of Javanese literature, clumsy and coarse but droll; their actions,
whether they accomplish or fail to accomplish their tasks, reflect the
performances of the born ladies and gentlemen whom they accompany, who
lose each other and are reunited, who quarrel and make up, always in a
comely, stately way, proud and sensitive, expressing their feelings in
graceful gestures corresponding with the choicest words. When treating
of Panataran, the ornamentation of the ancient monuments of East Java
in its relation to Javanese literature will be more fully discussed.
Here, however, belongs a reference to Dr. Brandes’ ingenious explanation
of the slanting stripes or bars, left uncarved at irregular intervals
on the narrow tiers of bas-reliefs at the _chandi_ Toompang; comparing
those sculptured bands with the _lontar_[96] leaves on which the tales,
whose illustration they furnish, were originally written, he saw in them
the finishing strokes of the different chapters.

The statuary of the _chandi_ Toompang has been removed, for the greater
part, to the Museum at Batavia and, possibly, one or two images, with
Professor Reinwardt’s invoice of 1820, to that of Leyden. The deities
are brilliantly executed, of idealistic design, to borrow Rouffaer’s
words, exuberant to the point of effeminacy. Some of them show the
conventional Hindu type and we can imagine the wonderful effect they
produced among the essentially Javanese scenes chiselled on the
walls. For their inscriptions Nagari characters have been used, a
circumstance adduced to prove the predominant Buddhist significance of
this temple. The principal statue seems to have been the decapitated
and otherwise damaged, eight-armed,[97] colossal Amoghapasa, Lord of
the World, reproduced by Raffles, including the head, “carried to
Malang some years ago by a Dutchman,” he informs us, which, symbolic
of unity with Padmapani, displays Amitabha, the Dhyani Buddha of the
West, the Buddha of Endless Light, in the manner of a frontal. The
goddess Mamakhi, scarcely less beautifully cut and also reproduced by
Raffles in his _History of Java_, was carried to England _in tota_ by
himself. Efforts to trace her whereabouts have not met with success;
she remains more securely hidden, probably in one of the store-rooms
of the British Museum, than the stone with inscription recording
an endowment, transported from Java to the grounds of Minto House
near Hassendean, Scotland. Talking of carrying away: a little to the
southeast of the _chandi_ Toompang stood a temple of which hardly a
stone has been left; a little to the south of the _chandi_ Singosari
another is visibly melting into air. The Chinese community at Malang, as
Dr. Brandes informed the Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences, boast
of a permanent exhibition of Hindu statuary and ornament, consisting of
more than 160 numbers, gathered together in the neighbourhood and on
view in their cemetery. Baba collects Sivaïte and Buddhist antiquities
with great impartiality, subordinating religious scruples to practical
considerations, as when he lights his long-stemmed pipe at one of
the votive candles on the altars in his places of worship. Excellent
opportunities for the study of Chinese influences on Javanese art are
offered by the decoration of his temple in Malang with its motives
derived from creeping, fluttering, running, pursuing and fleeing
things: tigers, deer, dragons, bats, especially bats, shooting up and
down, flitting off, swiftly turning back, circling and scudding. The
mural paintings of a good many other _klentengs_, too, are of more
than passing interest since they promote a right understanding of the
development of the Greater Vehicle of the Law, which in Java exchanged
fancies and notions with both Chinese Buddhism and Taoïsm, discarded
the classic for the romantic, if the expression be permissible in this
connection, and still continues to live among the island’s inhabitants
of Mongolian extraction, as Sivaïsm among the Balinese, their creative
thought moulding old fundamental ideas in unexpected new forms. If
Buddhism brought new elements into Chinese art, stimulating ideals and
religious imagery, as the Count de Soissons remarks,[98] leading, for
instance, to sublime personifications of Mercy, Tenderness and Love,
the debt is repaid and emigrating Chinese decorators shower the graces
of their benign goddess Kwan Yin on their labours in distant climes.
As to Java, with which China entertained relations from the remotest
Hindu period, they animated and reshaped in endless variation the
ornament they found, the _makaras_, the _kala_-heads, at last, in their
_saï-shiho_ tracery, being gradually supplanted by the bat-motive.


(Archaeological Service through Charls and van Es.)]

The _chandi_ Panataran is the most beautiful, for many reasons also
the most remarkable temple in East Java and, with the exception of the
Boro Budoor, the largest in the whole island. It was discovered by the
American explorer Thomas Horsfield. Its foundations and the interior
of its sepulchral pit are constructed in brick; its terraces are in
general design not unlike those of the _chandi_ Toompang; among its
statues, stolen and scattered far and wide, it may have contained images
of Buddhist purport and inspiration. Sivaïtic in aspect, however, as it
stands now, it is the only one of the monuments in Kediri sufficiently
preserved to determine its religious origin. Fergusson classes
the _chandi_ Panataran with the tree- and serpent-temples whose most
peculiar feature in the residencies Malang and Kediri consists in having
“a well-hole in the centre of their upper platform, extending apparently
to their basement,” and the suggestion occurring to him “as at all
likely to meet the case, (is) that they were tree-temples, that a sacred
tree was planted in these well-holes, either in the virgin soil, or that
they were wholly or partially filled with earth and the tree planted
in them.” He compares the _chandi_ Panataran with the Naha Vihara or
Temple of the Bo-tree in Ceylon and bases its claim to being called a
serpent-temple on the fact that “the whole of the basement moulding
is made up of eight great serpents, two on each face, whose upraised
breasts in the centre form the side-pieces of the steps that lead up
to the central building, whatever that was. These serpents are not,
however, our familiar seven-headed Nagas that we meet with everywhere
in India and Cambodja, but more like the fierce, crested serpents of
Central America.” So far Fergusson; but the well or pit, notwithstanding
the veneration of which the bo-tree was the object, seems rather to have
been a receptacle for the ashes of the princes of Mojopahit whose memory
the founder of this mausoleum, probably Queen Jayavisnuvardhani,
the above-mentioned Ratu Kenya, immortalised in the _Damar Wulan_,
intended to perpetuate. The _raksasas_, guardians of the ruins of the
principal structure, bear the date 1242 Saka (A.D. 1320); a minor
temple and terrace give the dates 1369 and 1375, from which it has been
concluded that they were added in the reign of Ratu Kenya’s son Hayam

The edifice rose from a square base and large statues of Siva as Kala
adorn the feet of the staircases which lead to the first and second
terrace. Of the temple proper not a stone is left; the walls of pit and
terraces are covered with sculpture, a sort of griffins on the highest,
scenes from the _Ramayana_ and illustrations of other popular poems and
fables on the lower ones, beautiful work but irreparably damaged by
official bungling. As if the apathy which suffered this noble monument
to be despoiled and the providentially undemolished parts to crumble
away, had not done enough harm, an amateur invested with local authority
conceived a plan of restoration and preservation on official lines,
that beat even the methods of the art-connoisseurs of the chain-gang
to whom the care for the antiquities at Jogjakarta is entrusted,
which would make reconstruction impossible for all time to come and
deface the ornament in the thoroughest possible way. In obedience to a
Government resolution of June 22, 1900, Nr. 18, the Batavian Society
of Arts and Sciences having been consulted with a view to save the
_chandi_ Panataran from further decay, the Contrôleur in charge of the
administrative division within whose boundaries it is situated, engaged
native masons who, following their instructions, cemented, plastered and
whitewashed to the tune of fl. 989.10 (about £82) with the magnificent
result that the upper terrace has been transformed into a thickly
plastered reception-bower for picnic parties; that everything has
received a neat coat of whitewash to rejoice the hearts of housewives
out for the day with their husbands, little family and friends; that the
architectural detail has been hidden under solid layers of mortar and
cement. Plaster, whitewash and cement everywhere: the noses and other
extremities of the scanty statuary still in place but injured by time
and hand of man, have been touched up with it; from top to bottom it
has been smeared over whatever could be reached, making the venerable
old temple hideously ridiculous--an orgy of “conservation” in the
pernicious official acceptance of the word, hoary age being ravaged by
cheap, destructive “tidying up”. This is how the theory of Government
solicitude for the ancient monuments of Java works out in practice.

It must be considered a miracle or evidence of the native masons
possessing a higher developed artistic sense than their employer, that
the bas-reliefs have suffered less than this extraordinary process of
restoration and preservation portended, though much detail has been
destroyed, thanks to their vandalism under orders from Batavia as
understood by the Philistine of Blitar. In the first place we find
again, divided by medallions with representations of animal life, a
sculptural delineation of the _Ramayana_, the artist’s buoyant fancy,
blending the celestial with the human, shedding a divine light on acts
of most common daily occurrence by making gods and semi-gods partake
of man’s estate in deeds sublimely natural. The _Ramayana_ was a great
favourite for the decoration of temples, as proved by the _chandis_
Panataran, Toompang, Surawana and Prambanan; the _Mahabharata_ or,
rather, its Javanese version, the _Brata Yuda_, came as a good second;
the _Arjuno Wiwaha_ of the poet Mpu Kanwa has been put to use for the
embellishment of the _chandis_ Surawana and Toompang; the _Kersnayana_
for that of the _chandis_ Toompang and Panataran. We might do worse and,
in fact, we are doing worse with our insipid epitaphs and tasteless
lapidary pomposity in our cemeteries, than adorn the tombs of our great
departed with imagery taken from our poets, tellers of good tales and
fabulists, the life they knew so well aiding us to fathom death with
its mysteries and promises. The promise most cherished by the Hindu
Javanese was that personified in Siva: death to make new life grow and
increase in beauty among mortals feeding on happiness, by reason of
Kala’s breath destroying the misery of tottering old age, raising man to
equality with the gods. That is what the people, for whom the marvellous
ancient monuments of Java were built, loved to read in the masterpieces
of their literature, carved for their benefit on the mausoleums of their
kings, heeding the wise lessons for whoso chooses to reflect, of their
_Canterbury Tales_, _Faerie Queene_, _Paradise Lost_ and _Paradise
Regained_; their _Narrenschiff_, _Dil Ulenspigel_ and _Faust_; their
_Divina Commedia_ and _Decameron_; their _Romancero del Cid_ and _Conde
Lucanor_; their _nouvelles_ and _joyeux devis_, their _vies très
horrifiques_ of their Gargantuas and Pantagruels. Life in their thought
being intimately connected with death, which consequently inspired
nothing of the abject terror the practice of western Christianity
clothes it with, in curious contrast to the saving hope of its eastern
origin, we discern cheerfulness, the effect of serene meditation, the
true _amrita_, the rejuvenating nectar of self-existent immortality,
as the keynote also to sensible earthly existence in the infinitely
varied forms inviting our examination on the walls of the _chandi_
Panataran. _Greift nur hinein ins volle Menschenleben!_ If the beholder
be a philosopher or an artist, or both, desirous to grasp the full life
of man, he will receive rare instruction; and if a _lustige Person_ as
well, joy will accrue to him from the sempiternal relevancy of Javanese
allegorical humour, at times almost prophetic: the sculptor of the
pigheaded but self-satisfied peasant who cultivates his land with a
plow drawn by crabs,[99] must have had a vision of the Dutch Government
endeavouring, after periodical visitations of worse than customary want,
misery and famine, to secure progress and prosperity in the island by
appointing long commissions with long names, toiling long years over
long reports that leave matters exactly where they were.

The skies in the scenery of the bas-reliefs on the lowest terrace of
the _chandi_ Panataran have something very peculiar, termed cloud-faces
by Dr. Brandes, who recognised in the fantastic forms of the floating
vapour as reproduced in the hard stone, demons and animals to which he
drew special attention: a _kala_-head, a furious elephant threatening
to charge, etc. The figures of all bas-reliefs, mostly perhaps those of
the second tier from below, are notable for their departure from the
smooth treatment generally accorded to Javanese sculpture of the period
and best defined perhaps in the phrase of one of Canova’s critics when
he derided that artist’s “peeled-radish” style. Angular and flat, they
remind one of the _wayang_-puppets, and the obvious correspondence
between the manner in which the _chandi_ Panataran illustrates some
of the chief productions of Javanese literature and the performances
of the Javanese national theatre, has been cleverly insisted upon by
Rouffaer. The _wayang_, _i.e._ the dramatic art of the island, sprang
probably from religious observances of pre-Hindu origin. Dr. G. A.
J. Hazeu[100] is of opinion that it formed part of the ritual of the
ancient faith, and even now the _hadat_ requires a sacrifice, the
burning of incense, etc., before the play commences. The Javanese word
_lakon_, a derivation from _laku_, which signifies both “to run” and “to
act”, applied to stage composition, is the exact etymological equivalent
of our “drama”; the _lakon yèyèr_ (_layer_ or _lugu_) confines itself
to tradition, the _lakon karangan_ to subjects taken from tradition but
freely handled, the _lakon sempalan_ to episodes from works otherwise
unsuitable because of their length. The _wayang_ appears, according to
means of interpretation, as _wayang poorwa_ or _kulit_,[101] _gedog_,
_kelitik_ or _karucil_, _golek_, _topeng_, _wong_ and _bèbèr_, of which
the _wayang poorwa_ holds the oldest title to direct descent from the
ancestral habit of invocation of the spirits of the dead. The epithet
_poorwa_ has been derived from the _parwas_ of the _Mahabharata_
which, together with the _Ramayana_ and similar sources, offered an
abundant supply of dramatic material; it is from the _wayang poorwa_
that the Javanese people derive their notions of past events, as the
inhabitants of another island did theirs from their poet and playwright
Shakespeare’s histories before eminent actor-managers set to “improve”
upon his work, mutilating him on his country’s stage in the evolution
of a (fortunately more textual) interpretation, pointedly designated as
Shakespearian post-impressionism.

A _wayang poorwa_ performance knows nothing of the showy accessories
devised by and for our histrions to hide poverty of mentality and
poorness of acting, futile attempts to make up in settings, properties,
costumes and trappings, tailoring, millinery and disproportionate
finery what they lack in essentials. The performer sits under his lamp
behind a white, generally red-bordered piece of cloth stretched over a
wooden frame on which he projects the figures. He speaks for them and
intersperses explanations and descriptions, directing the musicians with
his gavel of wood or horn, striking disks of copper or brass to intimate
alarums, excursions, etc. Formerly all the spectators were seated
before the screen, as they still are in West Java, Bali and Lombok, but
gradually the men, separating from the women and children, moved behind,
so that in Central and East Java they see both the puppets and their
shadows. The _wayang gedog_, much less popular than the _wayang poorwa_,
evolved from it in the days of Mojopahit as Dr. L. Serrurier informs us;
while the latter draws its repertory principally from Indian epics, the
former with Raden Panji, Prince of Jenggala, for leading hero, is more
exclusively Javanese and prefers the low metallic music of the _gamelan
pelog_[102] to that of the _gamelan salendro_[102] with its high notes
as of ringing glass. In the _wayang kelitik_ or _karucil_, of later
invention and never of a religious character, the puppets themselves are
shown: since _wayang_ means “shadow”, the use of that word is here, for
that reason, less correct, and the same applies to the _wayang golek_
in which the marionettes lose their spare dimensions and become stout
and podgy; to the _wayang topeng_[103] and _wong_[104] in which living
actors perform, an innovation not countenanced by the orthodox, who
are afraid that such deviations from the _hadat_ may result in dread
calamities; and to the _wayang bèbèr_ which consists in displaying the
scenes otherwise enacted, in the form of pictures. Every one finds
in the _wayang_, of whatever description, an echo of his innermost
self: the high-born, smarting under a foreign yoke, in the _penantang_
(challenge and defiance), the lowly in the _banolan_ (farce), the fair
ones of all classes in the _prenesan_ (sentimental, gushing, spoony
speech). It is a treat to look at the natives, squatted motionless for
hours and hours together, their eyes riveted on the screen, listening
to the voice of the invisible performer, marvelling at the adventures
of the men and women who peopled the _negri jawa_ before them and
faded into nothingness, even the mightiest among them, whose mausolea
at Prambanan, Toompang, Panataran, bear witness to the truth of those
amazing deeds of derring-do, love and hate, which will remain the wonder
of the world. To them the phantom-shadows are reality of happiness in a
dull, vexatious life which is but the veil of death.

From Java, says Dr. Juynboll, the _wayang poorwa_ was transplanted to
Bali, where it is still called _wayang parwa_ and the puppets present
a more human appearance. Beside it thrives, especially in Karang Asam,
the _wayang sasak_, introduced from Lombok and more Muhammadan in
character, whose puppets have longer necks after the later Javanese
fashion. Apart from such influences, Balinese art, however, does not
disown its Hindu-Javanese origin. The inhabitants of the island, with
the exception of the _Bali aga_, the aborigines in the mountains,
different in many respects, pride themselves on the name of _wong_ (men
of) Mojopahit and adhere to the Brahman religion, though here and there
a few Buddhists may be encountered. They are divided into castes and
Sivaïte rites play an important part in the religious ceremonial of the
upper classes. The common people have adopted a sort of pantheism which
makes them sacrifice in the family circle to benevolent and malevolent
spirits of land and water, domiciled in the sea, rivers, hills, valleys,
cemeteries, etc. The village temples are more specifically resorted to
for propitiation of the _jero taktu_, a superior being entrusted with
the guidance of commercial affairs and best approached through the
guardian of his shrine, who is held in greater respect than the real
priests. Every village has also a house of the dead, consecrated to
Doorga, a goddess in high repute with those desirous to dispel illness,
to secure a favourable issue of some enterprise, to learn the trend of
coming events; the heavenly lady enjoys in Bali a far wider _renommée_
than her lord and master Siva, who is honoured in six comparatively
little-frequented temples. As to the decadent architecture and excessive
ornamentation[105] of the Balinese houses of worship, Dr. Brandes
considers both the one and the other a direct outcome of the decay of
the eastern Javanese style, exemplified in the _chandis_ Kedaton (1292),
Machan Puti,[106] Surawana and Tegawangi. The leading ideas of the
_chandi bentar_ or entrance gate, and of the _paduraksa_ or middle gate,
adduces Rouffaer, are related respectively to those of the gate Wringin
Lawang at Mojopahit and of what the present day Javanese call _gapura_
in sacred edifices as old _kratons_, old burial-grounds, etc.; and to
those of the gate Bajang Ratu, also at Mojopahit. These gates Wringin
Lawang and Bajang Ratu, states the same authority further, can teach us
moreover a few things anent the architecture of the _puris_ (palaces).
The temples and princely dwellings of Mataram in Lombok were completely
destroyed during the inglorious war of 1894; the country-seat of
Narmada, however, a fine specimen of an eastern pleasance, has escaped
demolition. For how long?

In this respect it seems relevant to point to the circumstance that the
monuments of the smaller Soonda islands, much more conveniently placed
for the unscrupulous spoiler because under less constant observation
of the general public, are exposed to even greater danger than those
in Java, Government supervision counting for worse than nothing. A
Batavia paper denounced quite recently a traveller who had been visiting
the Dutch East Indies and, armed with letters of recommendation from
personages of the highest rank and title in the Netherlands, had been
collecting curiosa and antiquities on a vast scale only to advertise his
collection for sale as soon as unpacked after his return to Europe. It
contained carved ornament from temples, sacrificial vessels and statuary
from Bali, besides woven goods, implements used in _batikking_, musical
instruments, _wayang_-puppets, etc. The profit attached to this sort of
globe-trotting is enormous, since the coveted objects can be acquired
for a mere song by taking advantage of the influential assistance
secured through letters of recommendation over high-sounding names.
A hint from those in authority goes a very long way with the docile
native, in fact goes the whole way of appropriation at a nominal value,
and the big official who left his post in the exterior possessions,
bound for home, also quite recently, with fifty boxes of antique ware of
a different kind, collected in his residency, made certainly as good a
haul as the distinguished, brilliantly recommended tourist.




    So from the bones of those inhumed sing
    The germs of life and of the spirits.

[88] Cf. Miss MARTINE TONNET’S article in the _Bulletin of the
Dutch Archaeological Society_, 1908, on the work of the Archaeological

[89] Cf. Professor J. H. C. KERN’S paper on Sivaïsm and
Buddhism in Java apropos of the old Javanese poem _Sutasoma_, Amsterdam,

[90] The Pangerans of Giri continued for almost two centuries to
exercise their spiritual authority, opposing the supremacy of the
Princes of New Mataram until the Susuhunan Mangku Buwono II. had the
last of them assassinated with all the male members of his family

[91] _Mojo_ means “fruit”, _pahit_ means “_bitter_”.

[92] _Kerto_ means “shining, glittering”.

[93] These dates are taken from Miss MARTINE TONNET’S paper in
the _Bulletin of the Dutch Archaeological Society_ already cited, where
she calls attention to the ardent religious life in that region at that
time, as also attested to by the zodiac-beakers, mostly unearthed in
Kediri and bearing dates between 1321 and 1369.

[94] More generally known as Giovanni da Bologna, though a native of

[95] On the summit of the Wilis are four heaps of debris and two
enclosed terraces; on its eastern slope is a place of prayer, consisting
of three terraces with bas-reliefs and called Penampihan, where the
natives still congregate for sacrifice.

[96] _Borassus flabelliformis_ of the palm family, which, though hardly
used in these times of cheap paper as a provider of writing material,
serves the natives for a hundred other purposes.

[97] Two of the eight arms were already missing in 1815 to judge from
Raffles’ reproduction.

[98] See his article, _Pictorial Art in Asia_, in the _Contemporary
Review_ of May, 1911.

[99] Bas-relief on the remains of a small building detached from the
_chandi_ Panataran proper.

[100] _Bijdrage tot de Kennis van het Javaansche Tooneel._

[101] _Kulit_ means leather, the material of which the puppets are made.

[102] The _gamelan_, as already remarked, is the Javanese orchestra, and
besides the _gamelan salendro_ and the _gamelan pelog_, the _gamelan
miring_ should be mentioned, which varies from the former in the higher
pitch of one of the five notes as produced by some of the instruments.
The Kiahi Moonggang, a relic of mighty Mojopahit, the oldest, most
sacred and least melodious of the royal sets of _gamelan_ instruments,
is played every Saturday evening and so long as its tones fill the air,
all other _gamelans_ must remain silent. Cf. Dr. J. GRONEMAN,
_De Gamelan te Jogjakarta_.

[103] The _topeng_ actors are masked conformably to the meaning of the
word. Masques and masquerades seem to be of high antiquity in Java; the
_Malat_ of the _Panji_-cycle already mentions that kind of dramatic

[104] Utilised for prose works in the _langen driya_, devised by
Pangeran Arya Mangku Negara IV., and in the _langen asmara_, devised by
Prabu Widaya, a son of Paku Buwono IX.

[105] In Balinese decoration, writes Miss MARTINE TONNET (see
her article already cited), the _naga_- (or _kala-naga_-) seems to
flourish beside the _makara_-ornament.

[106] Lit. “white tiger”, situated in Banyuwangi.




    Was ist das Heiligste? Das was heut’ und ewig die Geister
    Tief und tiefer gefühlt, immer nur einiger macht.[107]

    WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, _Vier Jahreszeiten (Herbst)._

Although the theory of Gautama the Sugata’s life-story being only a
repolished solar myth has broken down, its vital element of emancipation
from Brahmanic bonds is certainly much older than Buddhism and the
traditional Buddha but an incarnation of ideas long germinating and
attaining fruition in his teachings, precisely as happened with other
religious reformers who came and went before and after. The thirty-three
gods of the three worlds, “eleven in heaven, eleven on earth and eleven
dwelling in glory in mid-air,” with their three supreme shining ones,
Brahma, Vishnu and Siva, creating, maintaining, destroying and creating
anew, began to pall on the human _trimoorti_ of brain, heart and
bodily wants; the moral dispensation on which the social edifice was
founded, began to need revision. Neither did the orthodox, at first,
refuse admittance to the spirit of emendation. At the _sangharama_[108]
of Nalanda the Vedas were taught together with the Buddhist doctrine
according to the tenets of the Greater and the Lesser Vehicle _à choix_.
The Buddha had to be accepted and was accepted equally by eastern
tolerance and western necessity; while ranking as a divine teacher among
his followers in the legendary development of his precepts, he received
honour as an incarnation of Vishnu among the Hindus, says Sir William
W. Hunter,[109] and as a Saint of the Christian Church, with a day
assigned to him in both the Greek and Roman calendars. Truly, the Hindus
regarded him as the ninth and hitherto last incarnation of Vishnu, the
Lying Spirit let loose to deceive man until the tenth and final descent
of the god, on the white horse, with a flaming sword like a comet in
his hand, for the destruction of the wicked and the renovation of the
world, but he was reckoned with and acknowledged in their mythology,
and the remarkable conformity between Prince Sarvarthasiddha’s lineage,
adventures and achievements, and those of the seventh _avatar_ of the
Hindu deity in the _Ramayana_ are certainly more than accidental. The
law of mercy to all, preached by the blissful Bhagavat, the Buddha, the
Saviour, affected the Brahman creed profoundly; so profoundly in its
deductions, that apprehensive priests resolved to extirpate Buddhist
heresy. But since religious persecution always defeats its purpose,
Buddhism throve with oppression and holds fully its own against the two
other great religions of the present day, al-Islām and Christianity.

To define the Buddhism which, parallel and entwined with Hinduïsm,
preceded the Muhammadanism of Java, is no easy matter, if it is possible
at all. For the sake of convenience Javanese Buddhism may be classified
as _mahayanistic_, conformable to the northern canon or doctrine of
the Greater Vehicle, versus _hinayanistic_, _i.e._ conformable to
the southern canon or the doctrine of the Lesser Vehicle. But the
geographical division proposed by Burnouf, hardly meets the case of
our more advanced knowledge, which points rather to chronological
distinctions. Javanese Buddhism of the younger growth was strongly
impregnated with modified Brahmanic conceits,[110] in fact a compromise
between the hopeful expectation of the Metteya Buddha, the Messiah
promised by Bhagavat, and resignation to the decrees of the Jagad Guru
whom the Saivas of Hindu Java had chosen for their _ishta-devata_,
the fittest form in which to adore the Ruler of the Universe, Param
Esvara. Siva lost under Buddhist influences his terrorising aspect as
Kala, and the two creeds, giving and taking, lived in perfect concord.
The statues of the Dhyani Buddhas partook of Siva’s attributes; those
of their sons, the Bodhisatvas, the Buddhas in evolution, and of their
_saktis_, showed the characteristics of other Hindu gods and goddesses;
Siva, conversely, assumed the features of Avalokitesvara or Padmapani,
the Buddhist lord of the world that is now. I have already spoken of the
enthroned Bodhisatvas represented at the Sivaïte temples of Prambanan
and the more or less Sivaïte exterior of the Buddhist _chandi_ Mendoot.
Also of this remarkable syncretism, born from inbred tolerance, leading
to new transactions with the Islām, exacting as it may be everywhere
else; of the deference still shown to deities of the Hindu pantheon
in the shape of _jinn_; of the adjustment of Muhammadan institutions
to usages of Hindu origin; etc. And Buddhism, doubtless, prepared the
mystically inclined mind of the Javanese Moslim for the acceptance of
the mild Sufism of the school of Gazali, which guides him in submission
of will to _ma’ripat_, full knowledge, and _hakakat_, most hidden truth,
while he lacks the conviction, to quote Professor L. W. C. van den Berg,
that his neglect of the prescribed daily prayers will make him lose his
status as a true believer.

[Illustration: XIX. _CHANDI_ KALASAN

(C. Nieuwenhuis.)]

Central Java is richer yet in the quality than in the quantity of its
Buddhist monuments, whose builders and decorators, like the true
artists they were, told what they knew and believed, nothing but that,
and therefore told it so well.[111] To examine their work, beautiful
even in decay, beginning with the smaller structures, we wend our way
again to the plain of Prambanan. Travelling from Jogjakarta to Surakarta
by rail, the first stopping-place, reached in about twenty minutes, is
Kalasan, the _chandi_ of that name, otherwise called Kali Bening, being
visible from the train. Once it must have been one of the finest and
most elaborately wrought in the island; now only the south front, nearly
tumbling down, witnesses to its former splendour. It was built in 700
Saka (A.D. 778), a date preserved in a Nagari inscription which
settles that point,[112] and names a Shailandra prince as its founder in
honour of his _guru_ (teacher), doing homage to Tara[113] who, seeing
the destruction of men in the sea of life, which is full of incalculable
misery, saves them by three means ...; it speaks of a grant of land to
the monks of a neighbouring monastery, contains several particulars of
practical value with an admonition to keep a bridge or dam in repair,
etc. The building, in the form of a Greek cross, had four apartments,
reached by a terrace and four staircases, the stones of which have been
carried away long ago. The four gates, judging by the little left on
one of them, were profusely decorated with the _kala-makara_ motive
dominating the ornament. The roof bore images of Dhyani Buddhas in 44
niches and was crowned with 16 dagobs so called, the principal one
rising probably to a great height. Time and rapine have reduced this
magnificent realisation of a glorious conception, this masterpiece of
measured luxury, as Rouffaer styles it justly, to a melancholy heap of
debris. The statuary which adorned the exterior is gone, save three
images in their niches, examples of the gorgeous but never too florid
ornamentation; the interior pictures desolation, ruin within ruin! A
disfigured elephant, driven by a horned monster, its mahout, protrudes
from the wall above the throne it protects, but the cushioned seat is
empty. The statue taken from it was presumably a representation of the
beatific Tara glorified in the inscription, the noble and venerable
one, whose smile made the sun to shine and whose frown made darkness to
envelop the terrestrial sphere. It has been surmised that the mysterious
female deity in the residency grounds at Jogjakarta originally filled
the throne of Kalasan, but the vanished Tara left her cushion behind
and the unknown goddess, whose lovely body rivals the lotus-flower in
august sweetness, holds firmly to her _padmasana_ in addition to her
attributes defying identification as the mother of the Buddha who is to

The short distance between the _chandi_ Kalasan or Kali Bening and the
_chandi_ Sari must have been often traversed by the seekers of the
noble eight-fold path, inquirers into the four truths and examiners
of the three signs, mortifiers of their flesh in the practice of the
ten repugnances. _Bikshus_, living on the alms they collected without
asking by word or gesture, without unduly attracting attention, passing
in silence those inclined and those not inclined to charity, avoiding
the houses and people dangerous to virtue, never tarrying anywhere and
never presenting themselves more than three times at the doors of the
uncharitable, eating the food received in solitude before noon, the only
meal allowed to them, they must have awakened a good deal of pity in
their tattered robes, but one suspects that the mendicant brethren of
Java, notwithstanding their individual vows of poverty, were exceedingly
wealthy as a community after the wont of their kind everywhere and of
whatever religious denomination. Their _viharas_ or monasteries, to
judge from the ruins, were well appointed and the inmates apparently
well provided for by princes who took a pride or found their interest
in befriending religion and the religious. If strictly adhering to
their monastic rules, the Buddhist monks had to live in the open,
but the wet monsoon is not a pleasant season in the woods without
adequate protection against storm and rain, and _avec le ciel il y a
des accommodements_, a motto acted upon long before le Sieur Poquelin
formulated it. The _chandi_ Sari is supposed to have been the main
structure of the residential quarter destined for the accommodation
of the clergy connected with the _chandi_ Kalasan, the abode of the
monks who knew the greater vehicle of discipline as the inscription has
it, the monastery built by command of the Shailendra king for their
venerable congregation and recommended to his successors in order
that all who followed their teachings might understand the cause and
effect of the positive condition of things and attain prosperity. The
rectangular building had a lower and an upper storey, both divided
into three rooms, lighted by windows; the absent roof had niches for
statuary, capped with diminutive domes in the manner of dagobs. In the
decoration extensive use has been made of the elephant and the _makara_,
the fabulous fish with an elephant’s head; images of saints with and
without aureoles, of celestial beings more suggestive of the Hindu
pantheon than of Buddhist atheism,[114] of the bird-people and divers
animals, enliven the rich, flowery ornament of the well proportioned
facings, cornices and window-frames. Rising gracefully from its solid
yet elegant base, the edifice creates an impression of airiness and
stability cleverly combined, the dark gray colour of the weatherbeaten
andesite blending harmoniously with the tender green of the bambu-stools
which transport our thoughts to the garden of Kalandra where the Buddha,
preaching the lotus of the good law, made converts foreordained to rank
among his most famous disciples: Sariputra, Maudgalyayana, Katyayana....
And the officially licensed sinners against the ancient monuments of
Java, hardened, habitual criminals in that respect, expressly appointed
to do their worst at the Paris Exhibition of 1900, pretended their
horrid botch in the Park of the Trocadéro to be a reproduction _d’une
pureté irréprochable_ of this rare gem of architectural workmanship, the
_chandi_ Sari!

[Illustration: XX. _CHANDI_ SARI

(C. Nieuwenhuis.)]

As in India, pious foundations for the benefit of those under bond to
serve religion, disregarding worldly considerations, must have been
numerous in Java, especially in the plain of Prambanan, once studded
with _viharas_ like Asoka’s kingdom, the “Behar” of to-day. Passing
over the monastic claims advanced for some ruins in the southern
mountains, those of Plahosan cannot be ignored. There we find the
remains of two buildings, formerly enclosed by a wall, portions of
which are recognisable, and surrounded by smaller structures arranged
in three rows, the inner ones reminding of the style conspicuous in the
_chandi_ Sewu, about a mile to the west-southwest. Close together,
but originally perhaps divided by a second wall, they are situated
due north and south from each other with their entrances to the west;
the roofs have succumbed; of the two storeys only the lower ones,
containing sufficient space for three rooms, are tolerably preserved.
Of a composite nature, the _chandi_ Plahosan was presumably rather a
_sangharama_ than a _vihara_ and the doorkeeper at the gate, when all
those scattered stones and the smashed, stolen or otherwise removed
statues were still in place, may have welcomed the wayfarer, seeking
shelter on a tempestuous night, with such difficult questions as barred
access to the hospitality of Silabhadra, the superior of Nalanda, and
his flock. Hiuen Tsiang, the Chinese pilgrim, who could answer them all
and a good many more, has left us a description of the _sangharama_,
the six consolidated _viharas_ of Nalanda with their towers, domes and
pavilions, embellished by the piety of the kings of the five Indies;
their gardens, splashing fountains and shady groves, where he spent
several years learning Sanskrit and the wisdom of the holy books, never
thinking the days too long; their life of ease, scarcely conducive
to the austere observance of pristine discipline by the ten thousand
brethren under vows and novices who crowded thither to seek purification
and deliverance from sin in study and meditation,--a description which,
for want of any better, our fancy takes leave to apply to Plahosan.
Though separated by months of travel from Bodhimanda, where Sakyamuni
entered the state of the perfect Buddha and the proximity of which
gave Nalanda its holy character, the zeal of its scholars and saints,
no less tolerant than Hiuen Tsiang’s temporary co-students, who sifted
with laudable impartiality the truth from the Vedas, from the doctrines
of the two vehicles and from the heresies of the eighteen schismatics,
undoubtedly stimulated religious life in the best sense of the word,
religion disposing the mind to kindliness and goodwill, as it should,
strengthening social ties, fostering science and art.

The walls of the _chandi_ Plahosan, in so far as preserved, are
beautifully decorated with sculpture in bas-relief. The delicate
tracery of the basement is divided by slender pilasters and the frieze
beneath the symmetric cornice is richly festooned, parrots nestling in
the foliage among the flowers. Bodhisatvas, standing between, formed
the principal ornament of panels bordered by garlands with pendent
prayer-bells; the remaining ones grasp lotus-stems springing up to their
left; _gandharvas_ (celestial singers) float over the _garuda_-heads of
the portals. The reliefs represent scenes familiar to the observer of
native life: here a couple of men seated under a bo-tree or _waringin_
and saluting a person of rank, raising their folded hands to perform
the _sembah_; there a _mās_[115] with his attendants, one of whom
holds the _payoong_ (sunshade) over his head while another carries
a _senteh_[116] leaf. Four stone figures guard the approaches to the
_viharas_, armed with cudgel and sword; in one hand they hold the snake
which, after the manner of their kind, should be worn over one shoulder
and across the breast, replacing the _upawita_. The statuary which
adorned the inner rooms, was of large dimensions, finely chiselled and
garnished with profuse detail, concluding from what we know of it. Part
has been removed to the “museum” at Jogja, part has been broken to
pieces by treasure-hunters who dug holes and sunk shafts, disturbing
the foundations of the _chandi_ Plahosan in their ignorance of the
difference between Buddhist monasteries and Hindu mausolea built round
funeral pits; the sorely damaged images of holiness which were suffered
to keep their stations by frankly destructive and even more pernicious
official or semi-official _soi-disant_ “preservation and conservation,”
are truly pitiful to behold. It seems, indeed, as if the monuments
specially recommended to official care, are singled out for the most
irreparable injury. On a par with the wild feast of plaster, cement
and whitewash at Panataran was the wonderful planning of a restoration
of the _chandi_ Plahosan after faulty drawings and the simultaneous
disappearance of the staircase and a portion of the substructure of the
northern _vihara_.

Less than a mile to the south of the stopping-place Prambanan on the
railroad from Jogja to Solo, are the ruins of a group of _chandis_
which may or may not have borne a monastic character,[117] Sajiwan and
Kalongan being the names connected with it. One of the structures was
cleared in 1893 by the Archaeological Society of Jogjakarta and to its
statuary applies what has been said of the atrocities perpetrated at
Plahosan: besides downright spoliation the same errors of omission and
commission. From Prambanan proper, _i.e._ from the Loro Jonggrang group,
it is a short walk to the _chandi_ Sewu, which means the “thousand
temples”. They are situated in Surakarta, the boundary between the
Susuhunan’s and the Sooltan’s domains, indicated by two white pillars,
running just behind the smaller structures which face the shrines of
Brahma and Vishnu flanking that of Siva. But, though the walk is short,
it may be a trifle too sunny for comfort even if it be morning and the
roads lively with the women returning from market, the surroundings
of the houses of prayer and death gladdening the eye, presenting a
spectacle full of colour and light, the matrons treading their way
statelily and steadily, the maidens, decorous and modest, gliding behind
their elders like the _devis_, the shining ones descended from the
_Ramayana_ reliefs, to exhibit their exquisite forms, bashful however
conscious of their worth in that golden, sweet-scented atmosphere.
They have no business at the _chandi_ Sewu and on the unfrequented
by-path thither we proceed alone, save for a few children with no more
to cover their nakedness than the loveliest innocence--a garment quite
different from the western _cache-misère_ of mawkish prudery--, curious
to find out what the strangers are about. Under their escort we reach
the _chandi_ Loomboong (_padi_-shed), thus called from the size and form
of the ruins which compose it. They are sixteen in number, arranged in
a square round the principal structure, its once octagonal roof, shaped
like a dagob, attesting to its Buddhist character, though it is not
unmixed with Sivaïte elements as the funeral pits plainly indicate. They
were already empty when examined some years ago and the fine statues
tradition speaks of, can nowhere be found. The little ornament left in
place and one single fragment of a bas-relief give a high idea of the
decoration when the beauty of these temples had not yet faded away,
exactly as in the case of the _chandi_ Bubrah,[118] another shrine on
the _via sacra_ which connects the Loro Jonggrang and Sewu groups. To
quote Major van Erp again: The state of affairs here is very sad; of the
_chandis_ Ngaglik, Watu Gudik and Geblak, which the memory of the oldest
inhabitants puts somewhat farther north, even the site cannot now be



By the time we reach the thousand temples, Surya, the sun-god, has
driven his fiery carriage to the zenith of his daily course through
the air and the fire-eyed _raksasas_, who guard the enclosure of
holiness; two for each of the four entrances, stretch their gigantic
limbs with dreadful menace in the warm brilliancy of indefinite space,
tangible terror. Down on one knee to strike, snakes hanging from their
left shoulders as poisonous baldrics, they seem to mark the transition
between the worship of Kala, quickening destruction personified, and
the creed which hails in death the portal to nirvanic nothingness,
the liberation from life’s miseries. Behind them reigns the stillness
of a tropical noon, subduing heaven and earth to silent but intensely
passionate day-dreams. The kingly sun, the sun of Java, wide-skirted
Jagannath, having mounted to the summit of the fleckless sky, pauses
a moment before descending, he, the light of the world, exciting to
generative emotion all that dwells below. The fructifying charm of his
touch is manifest in the exuberant fertility of this island fortunate;
in the vitality of its people, unrestrained in creative capacity by
centuries of spoliation; in their mental make-up, revealed in their
history, their beliefs, traditions and legends. The legend of the
_chandi_ Sewu may be adduced as an instance in point, though nothing
but a different version of the legend of the _chandi_ Loro Jonggrang.
One ancient effort to account for architectural wonders deemed of
supernatural origin, by an explanation whose Indian basic idea was
transplanted from the fields of eastern to those of western folk-lore
too, serving at first, perhaps, for all the monuments in the plains
of Prambanan and Soro Gedoog, became the framework of different tales
adapted to the requirements of different localities. Here it is the
story of Mboq Loro Jonggrang repeated, and her lover Raden Bandoong
Bondowoso is the son of the beautiful Devi Darma Wati, daughter of Prabu
Darmo Moyo, king of the mighty empire of Pengging, whose two brothers,
Prabu Darmo Haji and Prabu Darmo Noto, were kings respectively of
Slembri and Sudhimoro.

The _babad chandi Sewu_ describes a public function at the Court of
Prabu Darmo Moyo, who sits on his throne of ivory, inlaid with the
rarest gems. The _aloon aloon_ outside swarms with his warriors and
while he pronounces judgment and invests and displaces, ambassadors from
Prambanan are announced. They deliver a letter from Prabu Karoong Kolo,
in which the Boko, the giant-king, asks Prabu Darmo Moyo’s daughter,
Devi Darma Wati, in marriage. The Princess, acquainted with his suit,
declares that she will marry no one but the man, be he king or beggar,
able to rede a riddle which is given, written on a _lontar_-leaf, to
the ambassadors who thereupon depart. On their arrival at Prambanan,
Prabu Karoong Kolo breaks impatiently the seal of the communication;
learning its meaning, his eyes dart flames, his mouth foams and,
tearing the _lontar_-leaf into pieces and trampling upon it, making the
earth tremble and disturbing the sky with his noisy wrath, he collects
his army and marches against Pengging to raze the _kraton_ of Prabu
Darmo Moyo and carry Darma Wati off. The King of Pengging, warned
of the approaching danger, implores his brother Darmo Noto, King of
Sudhimoro, to assist him; with his brother Darmo Haji, King of Slembri,
an odious tyrant, he has broken long ago. Prabu Darmo Noto orders his
son, the Crown Prince Raden Damar Moyo, to lead his troops against the
giant-king. Traversing the woods at the head of his men, scaling cliffs
and climbing mountains, crossing rivers and ravines, attacked by evil
spirits and wild animals, Damar Moyo, strenuous in the cause of his
uncle and his fair cousin, hastens to their defence but, leaving every
one behind, he loses his way and, tired out at last, falls asleep. A
strange sensation of heavenly joy awakens him and, opening his eyes,
he beholds the supreme god, Bathara Naradha, who presents him with the
celestial weapons of the abode of the immortals, Jonggring Saloko,
salves his forehead with the divine spittle to make him invulnerable and
invincible, and puts into his hand the flower Sekar Joyo Kusumo which
will enable him to rede Devi Darma Wati’s riddle. Strengthened and more
enthusiastic than ever, Raden Damar Moyo, having rejoined his army,
engages the giants of Prambanan and defeats them, astonishing friend and
foe with his acts of superhuman prowess. He redes the riddle, marries
Darma Wati, and his father-in-law, Prabu Darmo Moyo, appoints him
_senapati_, _i.e._ commander-in-chief of the forces of Pengging.

The legend being too long for insertion in full, besides its containing
details too candidly illustrative of the generative emotion engendered
by the wide-skirted Jagannath, a summary of the events which led to the
foundation of the _chandi_ Sewu must suffice. Boko Prabu Karoong Kolo,
King of Prambanan, loses his life in another attempt at the subjugation
of Pengging, and Raden Damar Moyo, having nothing more to fear from
that side, but naturally inclined to strife and contest, resolves to
take part in the wars then raging among the kings of the Thousand
Empires, Sewu Negoro. So he leaves his wife and the son born to them,
Raden Bandoong, who grows into a comely youth. Arriving at manhood and
still in complete ignorance of his sire’s name and lineage, the prince
questions his mother on that subject but, in obedience to an express
order from the gods, she refuses to tell him. Vexed and suspicious, he
equips himself from the armoury of his grandfather, Prabu Darmo Moyo,
and eludes maternal vigilance, escaping from the _kraton_ in search of
his father. After many adventures, culminating in a conflict with his
parent in the Sewu Negoro, the two meeting and exchanging hard blows and
parting as strangers, he reaches Prambanan, kills Tumenggoong Bondowoso,
left in charge of that realm, and falls in love with Devi Loro
Jonggrang, daughter of the late Boko Prabu Karoong Kolo. But he has been
forestalled in her favour by his cousin Raden Boko, who is to become
her husband on condition of the overthrow of Pengging and Sudhimoro.
Suspecting a rival while maturing his plans for conquest, this Raden
Boko takes a mean advantage of the lady by a trick learnt from a recluse
who lends him a _tesbeh_ (string of prayer-beads) which possesses the
power of transforming its temporary owner into a white turtle-dove.
So disguised, he flies to the women’s quarter of the _kraton_ of
Prambanan and attracts the attention of Loro Jonggrang, who responds to
the lovely bird’s advances, puts it in her bosom and pets and fondles
it to her heart’s content until, alas! it is killed by an arrow sped
from the never erring bow of Raden Bandoong, thanks to the busybodies
of the palace having informed him of the idyllic progressive cooing.
Woman-like, the bereaved Devi submits to the inevitable after a period
of passionate mourning, and promises her heart and hand to the stronger
if not more dexterous suitor on condition of his building a thousand
temples in one night between the first crowing of the cock and daybreak.
With the help of the gods of Jonggring Saloko he accomplishes the task,
but at the moment that he whispers _astaga[119] chandi Sewu_, struck by
the sight of the moonlit plain blossoming into a city of holiness, the
immortals change him for his arrogant prayer into a monster of horrible
aspect. Woman-like again, the Devi declines to keep her promise,
pleading that she engaged herself to a man and not to a brute, and seeks
refuge on the banks of the river Opak. Frightened by the persecution of
Raden Bandoong, who tracks her from cave to cave, she gives untimely
birth to a daughter, the fruit of her affection for turtle-doves, and
dies. The brutal, baffled lover still haunts the neighbourhood, which
therefore native mothers-to-be scrupulously avoid, though it is not
observed that the virgins derive much instruction from the legend as far
as concerns the consequences of Devi or Mboq Loro Jonggrang’s _amours_
at an earlier stage.

From legendary lore we return to fact in the matter of the foundation of
the _chandi_ Sewu by taking cognisance of an inscription, _mahaprattaya
sangra granting_ or _sang rangga anting_, unearthed near one of its
246 (not thousand) temples,[120] extolling the munificence of the
magnanimous Granting or Anting. The style of writing justifies the
conjecture that the buildings date from about the year 800 and are
consequently of one age with the Boro Budoor. If not erected by one
architect at the command of one bounteous prince, and the gifts of
several pious souls who possessed the wherewithal for devotional works,
they were at least constructed according to one plan steadily kept in
view, a good deal more than can be said of many religious edifices in
western climes, which owe their existence less to co-operative than to
contentious piety. In respect of area the largest of the temple groups
in Java, the first impression received from it is that of a chaos of
ruins, confusion being worse confounded by the quarries opened here
and there, and partly filled again with earth and rubbish, while a
luxuriant vegetation, regaining on the inroads of mattock and pickaxe,
quickly covers what they disturbed. Looking closer, the separate
shrines with their elaborate tracery appear in the fiery embrace of
the sun like sparkling jewels, trembling with delight in the luminous
atmosphere beneath the immaculate sky; the very marks of decay and
ravaging time are beautiful; the weeds clustering round the broken
ornament, the toppling walls, rouse to fanciful thought. No sound is
heard; nothing stirs while we make our way to the principal structure,
once lording it over the smaller ones which stood squarely in four
lines, 28 for the inner, 44 for the next, 80 for the third, 88 for
the outer circumvallation. Excepting those of the second row, their
entrances faced inward and amidst their scanty remains the foundations
have been uncovered of five somewhat larger ones: two to the east, two
to the west and one to the north; like the outlying buildings, these
are, with regard to their superstructures, as if they never existed. Of
the terraces and staircases no other trace is left than the telltale
unevenness of the ground. The resemblance in constructive methods
between the _chandi_ Sewu and the _chandi_ Prambanan strikes one at the
first glance; the same builders, it is surmised, strove here to do for
the Triratna[121] what there they did for the Trimoorti; and if not the
same, they discerned equally the one truth bound up in the old creed and
the new, and expressed it with equal skill and conviction in these twin
litanies of stone--so the workers wrought and the work was perfected by

The decorators in charge of the finishing touches, embellished this
city of temples with a wealth of ornament which in the quivering glare
of day, despite ravage of time and pillage, clothes sanctity in robes
of encrusted winsomeness. The sculpture of the _chandi_ Sewu, says a
visitor of a century ago, is tasteful, delicate and chaste. Much of what
he based his judgment on, has since been carried off or demolished,
but what remains fully bears him out: foliage and festoons, garlands
and clustered flowers, distributed over facings divided into lozenges
and circles by pilasters and fantastically curved lines, with lions,
tigers, cattle and deer in ever varying abundance, awaken reminiscences
of the carvings which excited our admiration at Prambanan and lead
to the question: Did the richly framed panellings of the twenty-four
external wall-spaces of the central temple exhibit scenes from the
epics and fable-books, besides this sumptuous adornment, to match the
almost uniform bas-reliefs of the lesser structures? If so, they must
have rivalled the artistic excellence of the _Ramayana_ reliefs which
beautify the shrines of Siva, Brahma and Vishnu. And a second question
arises: Was the central temple the depository of a relic? In connection
with this query it deserves to be noticed that, generally speaking
and excepting statuary, the internal wall-spaces of the _chandi_
Sewu lack ornament, evince a soberness in marked contrast to the
extravagant representations of the abode of bitterness, as if sign-
or house-painters had been entrusted with the illustration of Dante’s
_Inferno_, repulsive attempts à la Wiertz minus the talent to be admired
in the Rue Vautier at Brussels, nightmares of crude drawing and cruder
colouring to depict perverse torture, I found in eastern edifices raised
to satisfy priestly conventions, even in Ceylon, the island of the
doctrine that the Buddha next to dwell on earth is the Metteya Buddha,
the Buddha of Kindness. More in harmony with the soul’s yearning for his
kingdom to come, is the lotus motive happily adapted to the decoration
of the _chandi_ Sewu, especially in one of the partially preserved small
temples of the outer file, to the east of the southern entrance: from a
strong stem which separates into three branches, on three of the sides,
the entrance taking up the fourth, three lotus-flowers spring from the
soil to carry, in a finely chiselled niche, the (vanished) image of the
expected one, the gone-before and coming-after. A few of the outlying
buildings have plain facings without any ornament at all, from which it
has been concluded that here too something happened to stop the labour
in progress. Where completed, the plump-bellied flowerpot, a familiar
feature in Javanese ornament, enters largely into the decorative design
and its frequent repetition bestows on the sculpture of the _chandi_
Sewu, otherwise so very similar to that of Prambanan, a character all
its own.


(Archaeological Service through Charls and van Es.)]

It has already been remarked that the interiors of the structures which
together form this group, are almost bare of decoration. The recesses
of the central temple, whose external ornament surpasses in luxuriance
everything met elsewhere in Java, three small interconnected apartments
projecting on the west, north and south, while the eastern front is
broken by the porch, have only empty niches[122] framed by pilasters
with flowery capitals. The inner chamber, no less soberly decorated and
stripped of the statuary it possessed, _en négligé_ as it were,

    _Belle sans ornement, dans le simple appareil
    D’une beauté qu’on vient d’arracher au sommeil,_

has on its western side a raised throne of ample dimensions, once
perhaps occupied by the large image without head and right hand, dug
out of the debris and carried off to the “museum” at Jogja. It still
awaits identification and the difficulty is increased by the impropriety
of speculating on the likelihood that representations of the universal
spirit were admitted in a temple built for the ritual of a creed which
acknowledges neither a god nor a soul aspiring to communion with the
divine essence in prayer, desiring nothing but annihilation. Yet the
Buddhists did learn to pray and to give transcendental ideas a tangible
expression in human shape, though they never sank to idolatry. And in
Java, mixing freely with Brahmanism, not impermeable to the Sankhya
doctrine, Buddhism seems to have swerved occasionally from its longings
for extermination in the Nirvana to entertain vague, confused notions
of something more hopeful, witness the oft repeated Banaspatis. Herein
lies, perhaps, the explanation of otherwise embarrassing peculiarities
observed in the conception, the attributes and attitudes of many
Buddhist statues in the island which, for the rest, are distinguished by
great simplicity of execution. So is the throne which extends over half
the floor of the inner room of the central temple of the _chandi_ Sewu,
and the same applies to the few headless Dhyani Buddhas lying round,
sundered from their stations where they faced the cardinal points, the
four quarters of the world, and the first of them, the very elevated,
facing the sky. A gigantic finger of bronze, found in the chapel of
the throne, supports the theory that the principal statue was of that
alloy, an additional incentive to plunder--ancient images of bronze have
become scarce indeed: the form of the cushioned pedestal in the _chandi_
Kalasan too betokens a captured metallic Tara, to the further detriment
of the domiciliary rights there claimed for the homeless Lady of Mystery
in the residency grounds at Jogja.

Although the bulky _raksasas_ which keep her company in that place of
exile, prove that official vandalism did not hesitate to avail itself of
facilities of transportation afforded by forced labour, the uncommonly
heavy guardians of the _chandi_ Sewu balked even the absolute decrees
of local despotism. Everything desirable that could be detached and
removed, is, however, gone. Those in authority having exercised their
privilege by helping themselves, mere private individuals gleaned after
their reaping, with or without permission, and exceedingly interesting
collections of antiquities were formed by owners of neighbouring
sugar-mills. What they appropriated, did, at least, remain in the
country, but, among other sculpture, the lion-fighting elephants which
lined the fourteen staircases, ten feet high and eight feet wide, still
in place as late as 1841, cannot even be traced--they are dissolved,
battling animals, staircases and all. It is always and everywhere the
same story: statuary and ornament are stolen, treasure-seekers smash
the rest, the stones are prime building material and who cares for
the preservation of worthless, because already looted and demolished,
tumble-down temples? The monuments in the plain of Soro Gedoog have
suffered exceptional outrages; at this moment hardly anything is left
because there exists absolutely no control, says Major van Erp. His
investigations disclosed that stones taken from the _chandi_ Prambanan
and, when this was stopped, from the _chandi_ Sewu, were used for the
building of a dam in the river Opak. Had not public opinion made itself
heard, both these temples might have shared the fate of the _chandi_
Singo, once one of the finest in that region, whose gracefully decorated
walls excited the admiration of Brumund in 1845, whose substructure
with damaged ornament still held out until 1886, while now the
ground-plan cannot even be guessed at and deep holes, dug to get at the
foundations, are the only indications of the razed building’s site. To
give an idea of the quantity of material used for the dam in the river
Opak, I transcribe the measurements of its revetments: 35 metres on the
left and from 50 to 60 metres on the right bank; the facings, running
up to a height of 6 metres, make it evident beyond doubt where the
stone for that work was quarried. Neither are we quite sure that such
frightful spoliation belongs wholly to the past. The value of Government
solicitude, so eloquently paraded in circulars and colonial reports,
can be gauged from the fact, stated by Mr. L. Serrurier, that, during
officially sanctioned excavations among the ruins of the _chandis_
Plahosan and Sewu, the stones brought to the surface were simply thrown
pell-mell on a heap without their being marked as to locality and
position, quite in keeping, it should be added, with the prevailing

This accounts for the sad desolation, more pitiful since _soi-disant_
archaeologists got their hands in, shone upon at the _chandi_ Sewu as at
the _chandis_ Plahosan, Sari, Kalasan, Panataran, to restrict myself to
one name from East Java,--shone upon by the sun, the egg of the world,
whose yolk holds the germ of creation, Surya, the solar orb personified,
is a companion wonderfully, grandly suggestive among the “thousand
temples” of life accomplished, decaying into new birth, whether he
scorches the earth and withers the drooping flowers, or climbs a dim,
hazy sky to attract the vapours that descend again in precious showers
when the clouds collect and cover the stars, charming from darkness the
lovely dawn and budding day. The meditations he disposes the mind to
are mostly directed to the future, dreams of coming happiness, and even
the contemplative Buddhist images under the Banaspatis seem agitated
by their knowledge of a promise excelling the hope of Nirvana, which
cannot satisfy the aspirations of the children of this island, full of
the joy of existence. What will the future bring to them, the people
cradled in tempest, who were taught forbearance by a creed profoundly
imbued with the inner nature of things, and submission when misery of
war and pestilence came as the harbingers of bondage to an alien race?
Too trustful, they sacrificed their birthright for a mess of pottage
and after the encroachments of the Company, past ages crowding on their
memory, the felicity of the _jaman buda_ assumes to their imagination a
tangible shape in the ancient monuments founded by the rulers of their
own flesh and blood, edifices so widely different from the meretricious
Government opium-dens and Government pawn-shops in which the predatory
instinct of the present masters manifests itself--_layin dahulu, layin
sekarang_.[123] Resigned to fate, which wills the mutability of earthly
relations, the Javanese philosopher--and all Javanese are philosophers
in their way--takes the practical view of the Vedantins, considering
that calamities mean purification to the victor in moral contest, and
looking for a serene morning after a night of distress. He has more
beliefs than one to draw upon when seeking refuge in his cherished
maxim, his phlegmatic _apa boleh buwat_,[124] and doubts not the
possibility of obtaining a Moslim equivalent for the Buddhist _arahat_,
the perfect state, irrespective of outward conditions, by the help of
a Hindu deity, Ganesa, who knows what is to happen and, as Vinayaka,
the guide, conquers obstacles hurtful to his votaries in the course
of events preordained according to their Islāmic doctrine--syncretism
yet more complex than that of their forefathers of Old Mataram!
Watch well the heart, commanded the master. As to the watched heart
dominating the senses, the Javanese, rather a mystic than an ascetic,
and predominantly a child of nature, whence he proceeds and whither he
returns in his search of the divine, prefers enjoyment of the world’s
fullness to mortification of the flesh. He feels much more closely drawn
to Padmapani, the lord of the world that is, than to any other of the
emanations of the essence of the Universe, be it Diansh Pitar or the
One, the Eternal, who sent Muhammad as a mercy to all creatures, or the
Adi-Buddha, the primitive, the primordial, the incarnate denial of god
and soul together. Whatever he prays by, the deity involved is one of
overflowing gladness, who presents a flower with each hand, like Surya
when circling land and sea and air in three steps; and, notwithstanding
his sorrows, he rests content with his portion for, though the light of
day sets, it will rise again in glory.




    What is Holiest? That which now and ever the souls of men
    Have felt deep and deeper, will always more unite them.

[108] An endowed convent whose inmates spent their lives in studious

[109] _The Indian Empire: its Peoples, History and Products._

[110] After this was written a remarkable article by Dr. L. A.
WADDELL in _The Imperial and Asiatic Quarterly Review_ (January,
1912), insisting upon the theistic nature of Buddhism and speaking of
the profound theistic development which had taken place--about 100
B.C.--in the direction of the Mahayana form of that faith, pointed
to the fact of Brahmanic gods being also conspicuous in the earliest
Buddhist sculptures of India, adorning, _e.g._, the stupa of Bharhoot.

[111] On rereading this sentence, I see that in writing it I was with
Ruskin at the Shepherd’s Tower. No harm done! His observations bear
repetition, notwithstanding the present fashion of pooh-poohing him, and
setting myself in the pillory as a plagiarist, I improve the opportunity
by making _amende_ (_honorable_, I hope) also for what this book owes to
many other lovers of and thinkers on art, not scrupulously acknowledged
in every instance because I compose without the help of numbered and
dated notes, and memory, though not failing in the essence of what has
been stored from their treasures, disappoints at times in the matter of
chapter and verse.

[112] The _chandi_ Kalasan is the only one in Central Java of which we
possess the exact date.

[113] The _taras_ are the _saktis_ of the five Dhyani Buddhas that
occupy a place in Javanese speculative philosophy, Vajradhatvisvari
pairing with Vajrochana, Lotchana with Akshobhya, Mamaki with
Ratnasambhava, Pandara with Amitabha, and Tara _par excellence_ with
Amoghasiddha, these unions being responsible for the Bodhisatvas
Samantabhadra, Vajrapani, Ratnapani, Padmapani and the coming

[114] Here another quotation may be permitted from Dr. L. A.
WADDELL’S article, _Evolution of the Buddhist Cult, its Gods,
Images and Art_ (_The Imperial and Asiatic Quarterly Review_, January,
1912): And notwithstanding that the Mahayana was primarily a nihilistic
mysticism, with a polytheism only in the background, the latter soon
came to the front and has contributed more than anything else to the
materialising and popularity of Buddhism.

[115] _Mās_, meaning “gold”, is used as a predicate of nobility and also
as a title conferred in polite address on persons of lower birth.

[116] _Alocasia macrorrhiza Schott_ of the _Aracaceae_ family; the
leaf, which once betokened dignity, is still used to protect the head
and upper part of the body against rain; other parts of the plant serve
sometimes as food.

[117] The pit there discovered makes the monastic character more than
doubtful while it accentuates the syncretism in which also the ornament
of these _chandis_ does not differ from all Central Javanese religious
structures of the period, except those on the Diëng plateau.

[118] Best translated by “ruin”.

[119] An exclamation of wonder and surprise.

[120] And removed to the “museum” at Jogjakarta.

[121] The three gems: the Buddha, the law and the congregation.

[122] Offering accommodation, inclusive of the holy of holies, for 42
statues, which had already flown in 1812.

[123] Different of yore, different now.

[124] There is no help for it; lit. “what can be done?”




    The goodly works, and stones of rich assay,
    Cast into sundry shapes by wondrous skill,
    That like on earth no where I reckon may;

    EDMUND SPENSER, _Faerie Queene_, Canto X.

Among the ancient monuments of Insulinde[125] the _chandi_ Boro
Budoor stands _facile princeps_. Situated in the Kadu, it is easily
reached from Jogjakarta, about twenty-five miles, or from Magelang,
about eighteen miles distant, by carriage or, still more easily, by
taking the steam-tram which connects those two provincial capitals and
leaving the cars at Moontilan where an enterprising Chinaman provides
vehicles, at short notice, for the rest of the journey via the _chandi_
Mendoot on the left bank of the Ello, just above its confluence with
the Progo. No better approach to the most consummate achievement of
Buddhist architecture in the island or in the whole world, can be
imagined than this one, which leads past the smaller but scarcely less
nobly conceived and conscientiously executed temple, a commensurate
introduction to the wonderful, crowning edifice across the waters,
portal to the holiest in gradation of majestic beauty. The Kadu has been
well styled the garden of Java, as Java the pleasance of the East, full
of natural charms which captivate the senses, abounding in amenities
soothing to body and soul; but if it had nothing more to offer than
the Boro Budoor and the Mendoot, it would reward the visitor to those
central shrines of Buddhism far beyond expectation.

Behind the horses, a mental recapitulation of the characteristics of
Hindu and Buddhist architecture in the golden age of Javanese art
will not come amiss, and there may be some wonder that with so much
veneration for the Bhagavat in friendly competition with the Jagad
Guru, nowhere in the _negri Jawa_ an imprint is shown of the blessed
foot of promise, with the deliverer’s thirty-first sign, the wheel of
the law on the sole. If, in explanation, it should be adduced that he
never travelled to those distant shores, what does that matter? Has he
been in Ceylon? And how then about the _sripada_, the record left there
as in so many other countries, with the sixty-five hints at good luck?
While we revolve such questions, our carriage rolls on; the coachman
cracks his whip, evidently proud of his skill in turning sharp corners
without reining in; the runners jump with amazing agility off and on the
foot-board and crack _their_ whips, rush to the front to encourage the
leaders of the team up steep inclines, fall again to the rear when it
goes down hill in full gallop. The exhilarating motion makes the blood
tingle in the veins. How lovely the landscape, the valley shining in the
brilliant light reflected from the mountain slopes, ...

Another turn and we dash like a whirlwind past the _kachang_-oil[126]
and _boongkil_[127] mill of Mendoot; still another turn and, with a
magnificent display of his dexterity in pulling up, our Jehu brings us
to a sudden standstill before the temple. Opposite is a mission-school
conducted for many years, with marked success, by Father P. J.
Hoevenaars, in his leisure hours an ardent student of Java’s history and
antiquities, ever ready to apply the vast amount of learning accumulated
in his comprehensive reading on a solid classical basis, to the clearing
up of disputed points, though his modesty suffered the honours of
discovery to go to the noisy players of the archaeological big drum. His
large stock of information was and is always at the disposal of whoever
may choose to avail himself of it and, writing of the _chandis_ Mendoot
and Boro Budoor, I acknowledge gratefully the benefit derived from
my intercourse with this accomplished scholar, lately transferred to

The exact date of the birth of the _chandi_ Mendoot is unknown but
there are reasons for believing that it was built shortly after the
_chandi_ Boro Budoor, at some time between 700 and 850 Saka (778 and 928
of the Christian era), in the glorious period of Javanese architecture
to which we owe also the Prambanan group, the _chandis_ Kalasan, Sewu
and whatever is of the best in the island. There are additional reasons
for believing that the splendour loving prince who ordered the Boro
Budoor to be raised and under whose reign the work on that stupendous
monument was begun, founded the Mendoot too as a mausoleum to perpetuate
his memory, and that his ashes were deposited in the royal tomb of his
own designing before its completion. If so, he was one of the most
prolific and liberal builders we have cognisance of; but his memory
is nameless and all we know of him personally, besides the imposing
evidence to his Augustan disposition contained in the superb structures
he left, rests upon two pieces of sculpture at the entrance to the
inner chamber of the mortuary chapel, if such it be, which represent a
royal couple with a round dozen of children, just as we find in some
old western churches the carved or painted images of their founders’
families.[128] We are perhaps indebted for the preservation of these
suggestive reliefs to the circumstance of the _chandi_ Mendoot having
been covered, hidden from view during centuries and to a certain extent
protected against sacrilegious hands by volcanic sand, earth and
vegetation. Almost forgotten, its slumbers were, however, not wholly
undisturbed for, when Resident Hartman, his curiosity being excited by
wild tales, began to clear it in 1836, he found that treasure-seekers,
out for plunder, had pierced the wall above the porch and that by way
of consolation or out of vexation at missing the untold wealth reported
to be buried inside, they had carried off or smashed the smaller, free
standing statuary. The process of cleaning up rather stimulated than
prevented new outrages: stripped of its covering of detritus, which
had shielded it at least against petty, casual pilfering, the _chandi_
Mendoot excited by its helpless beauty the most injurious enthusiasm.
Fortunately, the statues which formed its chief attraction were too big
for the attentions of the long-fingered gentry whose peculiar methods in
dealing with native art strongly needed but never experienced repression
by the local authorities.


(Cephas Sr.)]

Speaking of the statuary and comparing it with Indian models, more
particularly a four-armed image, seated cross-legged on a lotus, the
stem of which is supported by two figures with seven-headed snake-hoods,
Fergusson says: The curious part of the matter is, that the Mendoot
example is so very much more refined and perfect than that at Karli.
The one seems the feeble effort of an expiring art, the Javan example
is as refined and elegant as anything in the best age of Indian
sculpture. Of the Mendoot carvings, however, more anon. I shall first
endeavour to give a general idea of this temple which, according to
the same writer, though small, is of extreme interest for the history
of Javanese architecture. Rouffaer calls it the classic model of a
central shrine with substructure and churchyard, while observing that
the principal statue of the Boro Budoor, the rest of whose statues
are turned either towards one of the cardinal points or towards the
zenith, faces the east and the Mendoot opens to the west, the two
temples therefore fronting each other. Closely observed, the latter
proved of double design since it consists of a stone outer sheath,
built round an older structure of brick, the original form with its
panellings, horizontal and perpendicular projections, having been
scrupulously followed. The neatly fitting joints, both of the hewn
stones and of the bricks of the interior filling, show a mastery of
constructive detail rarely met with at the present day and certainly
not in Java. To this wonderful technique, adding solidity to a graceful
execution of the ground-plan, belongs all the credit for the Mendoot
holding out, notwithstanding persistent ill-usage. An ecstatic thought
brightly bodied forth by a daring imagination and astonishing skill,
a charming act of devotion blossoming from the flower-decked soil as
the lotus of the good law did from the garden of wisdom and universal
love, it must have looked grandly beautiful in its profuse ornament,
which taught how to be precise without pettiness, how to attain the
utmost finish without sacrificing the ensemble to trivial elaboration.
Yet this gem of Javanese architecture seemed destined to complete
destruction. Its pitiful decay did not touch the successors of Resident
Hartman. When, in 1895, after several years’ absence from the island,
I came to renew acquaintance, it had visibly crumbled away; official
interference with “collectors” limited itself to notices, stuck up on a
bambu fence, warning them of the danger they ran from the roof falling
in. It needed two years more of demolition, the walls bulging out, the
copings tumbling down, before the correspondence, opened in 1882 anent
a desirable restoration, produced some result; before the Mendoot, the
jewelled clasp of that string of pearls, the Buddhist _chandis_ pendent
on the breast of Java from the Boro Budoor, her diamond tiara, was going
to be refitted.

And how? It is an unpleasant tale to tell: after two decades of
consideration and reconsideration, in the fourth year of the preliminary
labours of restoration, the local representative of the Department of
Public Works, put in charge of the job as a side issue of his already
sufficiently exacting normal duties, aroused suspicions concerning his
competency in the archaeological line. An altercation with Dr. Brandes,
followed by more controversy _de viva voce_, in writing and in print,
led to compliance with his request that it might please his superiors to
relieve him from his additional and subordinate task as reconstructor
of ancient monuments. From that moment, January 2, 1901, until May 1,
1908, absolutely nothing was done and the scaffoldings erected all round
the building were suffered to rot away, symbolic of the extravagant
impecuniosity of a Government which never cares how money is wasted but
always postpones needful and urgent improvements till the Greek Kalends
on the plea of its chronic state of _kurang wang_.[129] When most of
the fl. 8600, fl. 7235, fl. 25142 and fl. 4274, successively wrung from
Parliament for excavations and restoration, had been squandered on
what Dr. Brandes considered to be bungling patchwork, the expensive,
useless scaffoldings, becoming dangerous to the passers-by in their
neglected state, necessitated the disbursement, in 1906, of fl. 350
for their removal. On the continuation of the work, in 1908, by other
hands, of course a new one, also of teak-wood, had to be erected. And,
the restoration once more being under way on the strength of fl. 6800
grudgingly allotted, Parliament decided finally that no sufficient
cause had been shown to burden the colonial budget with the sum which,
according to an estimate of 1910, was required to bring it to an end!
The profligately penurious mandarins of an exchequer exhausted by
almost limitless liberality in the matter of high bounties, subsidies,
allowances, grants for experiments which never lead to anything of
practical value; in the matter of schemes which cost millions and
millions only to prove their utter worthlessness,--the penny-wise,
pound-foolish heads refused, after an expenditure of fl. 52401 to
little purpose, to disburse fl. 21700 or even fl. 7000 more for the
completion of the work commenced, this time under guarantee of success.
Arguments advanced to make them revoke their decision, were met with the
statement that the Government did not intend to deviate from the line
of conduct, adopted after mature deliberation in regard to the ancient
monuments of Java, restricting its care to preservation of the remains
... a characteristic sample of Governmental cant in the face of grossest
carelessness and the kind of preservation inflicted on the _chandi_
Panataran or wherever its officials felt constrained by public opinion
to act upon make-believe circulars from Batavia and Buitenzorg before
pigeon-holing them. And so the perplexing inconsistencies of Dutch East
Indian finance, parsimony playing _chassez-croisez_ with boundless
prodigality, are faithfully mirrored in the tribulations of the _chandi_
Mendoot: the reauthorised work of restoration was stopped again, on the
usual progress killing plea of _kurang wang_, after the adjustment of
the first tier above the cornice, and the temple, bereft of its crowning
roof in dagob style, calculated to fix the basic conception in the
beholder’s mind, has in its stunted condition been aptly compared to a
bird of gorgeous plumage, all ruffled and with the crest-feathers pulled


(Archaeological Service.)]

The operations were hampered by still other contrarieties. A tremendous
battle was waged apropos of the question whether or not gaps in the
layers of stones of the front wall above the porch pointed to the
existence of a passage or passages for the admittance of air and light
to the inner chamber; if so, whether or not those passages inclined
at an angle sufficient to let the sun’s rays illumine the head of
the principal statue in that inner chamber. To rehearse the heated
dispute is not profitable: as usual, after the _chandi_ had fallen
into ruin and an endless official correspondence had lifted its ruin
into prominence, archaeological faddists of every description tried to
acquire fame with absurd suggestions and crazy speculations. Leaving
their theories regarding the inclinations of the axes of probable or
possible transmural apertures for what they are, more instruction is to
be derived from the decorative arrangements. The inherent beauty of the
ornament survived happily the injurious effects of changing monsoons,
of ruthless robbery, of preservation in the Government sense of the
word. When the sun caresses it, the Friendly Day, under the blue vault
of the all-compassing sky, smiling at this gem of human art, offered
in conjugal obedience by the earth, which trembles at his touch, it
seems a sacrificial gift of reflowering mortality to heaven. In art,
said Lessing, the privilege of the ancients was to give no thing either
too much or too little, and the remark of the great critic, as here
we can see, applies to a wider range of classic activity than he had
in mind. Wherever the ancient artist wrought, in Greece or in Java,
we find moreover that he drew his inspiration directly from nature;
that his handiwork reflects his consciousness of the moving soul of the
world; that the secret of its imperishable charm lies pre-eminently in
his keenness of observation. To Javanese sculpture in this period may
be applied what Fergusson remarked of Hindu sculpture some thousand
years older in date: It is thoroughly original, absolutely without a
trace of foreign influence, but quite capable of expressing its ideas
and of telling its story with a distinction that never was surpassed,
at least in India. Some animals, such as elephants, deer and monkeys,
are better represented there than in any sculptures known in any part
of the world; so, too, are some trees and the architectural details are
cut with an elegance and precision which are very admirable. Turning to
the Mendoot we notice how the sculptors charged with its decoration,
always truthful and singularly accurate in the expression of their
thoughts and feelings, portrayed their surroundings in outline and
detail, wrote in bas-reliefs, ornament and statuary the history, the
ethics, the philosophy, the religion of the people they belonged to and
materialised their splendid dreams for. What conveys a better knowledge
of the Tripitaka, the Buddhist system of rules for the conduct of life,
discipline and metaphysics, than their imagery, coloured by the very
hue of kindliness and effacement of self in daily intercourse; what
inculcates better the _paramitas_, the six virtues, and charity the
first of them, than their carved mementos of the reverence we owe to
the life of all sentient creatures, our poor relations the animals,
striving on lower planes to obtain ultimate delivery from sin and pain
but no less entitled to benevolence than man?

As in the decoration of the younger _chandis_ Panataran and Toompang,
fables occupy a prominent position in that of the _chandi_ Mendoot.
Among the twenty-two scenes spread over the nearly triangular spaces
to the right and left of the staircase which ascends to the entrance,
eleven on each side, partly lost and wholly damaged, are, for instance,
reliefs illustrative of the popular stories of the tortoise and the
geese, of the brahman, the crab, the crow and the serpents, etc. Of one
of them only a small fragment is left, representing a turtle with its
head turned upward, gazing at something in the air, whence Dr. Brandes
infers its connection with the following tale, inserted in the account
of the concerted action of the animals which conspired to kill the
elephant, as rendered in the _Tantri_, an old Javanese collection of
fables: Once upon a time there were turtles who took counsel together
about the depredations of a ravenous vulture and their _kabayan_ (chief
of the community) asked:--What do you intend to do to escape being
eaten by that bird? Accept my advice and lay him a wager that you can
cross the sea quicker than he; if he laughs at your conceit, you must
crawl into the sea where the big waves are, except two of you, one who
stays to start on the race when he begins to fly, and one who swims
across the day before and waits for him at the other side. What do you
think, turtles? You cannot lose if you manage this well.--Your advice is
excellent, answered they, and while the _kabayan_ was still instructing
them, the vulture arrived and demanded a turtle to eat.--What is your
hurry, spoke the _kabayan_ for them all; I bet you that any one of us
can swim quicker across the sea than you can fly.--I take that bet,
replied the vulture, but what shall I have if I win?--If you win,
you will be at liberty to eat me and my people and our children and
grandchildren and great-grandchildren and so on and so on to the end of
time; but you must pledge your word that if you lose, you will move from
here and seek your food elsewhere. It is now rather late but to-morrow
morning you can choose any one of my people you please to match your
swift flight with.--All right, said the vulture and he went to his nest
to sleep, but the _kabayan_ sent one of his turtle-people across the
sea. The vulture showed himself again a little after dawn, not to waste
time, for he felt pretty hungry and the sooner he could win the race,
the sooner he would have breakfast. He did not even take the precaution
to select an adversary among the decrepit and slow, so sure was he of
his superiority, and, besides, all the turtles were so much alike. The
_kabayan_ counted one, two, three, go! and the vulture heard one of
them plunge into the water and he unfolded his wings and alighted at
the other side in an instant, when, lo! there he saw the beast calmly
waiting for him. The vulture felt ashamed and moved to a distant
country for he did not know that he had been cheated. And there was only
one vulture but there were many turtles. And the boar told this event to
his friends, exactly as the reverend Basubarga saw it happen.

Another fable, still more widely distributed and clinching the same
moral, is that of the _kanchil_ (a small, extremely fleet species of
deer) and the snail; travelling to Europe, it is there best known in its
German form recorded by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm. Of its many variants
in the Malay Archipelago we may mention the wager between a snail and a
tiger as to which could most easily jump a river; the snail, attaching
herself to one of her big competitor’s paws, wins, of course, and
convinces the terror of the woods by means of his hairs adhering to her
body, that she is accustomed to feed on his kind, two or three per diem,
freshly killed, whereupon the tiger leaves off blustering and sneaks
away.[130] The prose version of the _Tantri_ which, somewhat different
from the two metrical readings known to us, contains the vulture and
turtle incident, dates probably from the last half of the Mojopahit
period and is therefore at least four centuries younger than the
_chandi_ Mendoot, so that its author and the sculptors of the scenes
from popular beast-stories on the temple’s walls, must have had access
to a common stock of ancient fables. All turned it to best advantage
and the decorators of this splendid edifice seized their opportunity to
let the men and animals they carved in illustration of their national
literature, express what they had to say in their passionate overflow of
the creative instinct. They gave their narrative a frame in ornament of
dazzling beauty, sweetly harmonious with the moral of the lessons they
taught, stirring to deepest emotion; they cased thoughts of happiest
purport in shrines embossed and laced with fretwork more suggestive
of ivory than of stone. They adorned the Mendoot as a bride, to be
displayed before her husband, the Boro Budoor, revelling in the fanciful
idea which makes the _saktis_ of the Dhyani Buddhas carry budding
flowers to honour incarnate love. The wealth of statuary, while orthodox
Buddhism did not admit the worship of images either of a saintly founder
of temples or of his saintly followers; the deities with the attributes
of Doorga, Siva and Brahma, who diversify the ornament of the exterior
walls, from which right distribution of lines and surfaces may be learnt
in rhythmical relation to contour and dimension, are further indications
of the syncretism signalising the tolerance, the fraternal mingling of
different creeds in the distant age of Mataram’s vigour and artistic

The religious principles underlying that empire’s greatness and
providing a basis for a firm sense of duty to guide a temperament of
fire, are nobly embodied in the three gigantic statues placed in the
inner chamber of the Mendoot or, to be quite exact, round which that
_chandi_ was reared, for the entrance is too small to let them through,
especially the largest of them which, miraculously undamaged save one
missing finger-tip, has slid down from its pedestal and consequently
occupies a lower station between the subordinate figures than originally
intended. All three are seated and the first in rank, of one piece
with his unembellished throne, measures fourteen feet; the two to his
right and left, of less grave aspect, wearing richly wrought necklaces,
armlets, wristbands, anklets and tiaras, measure eight feet each. If the
_oorna_[131] more excellent than a crown, identifies the master among
them, the position of whose fingers reminds of Vajrochana, the first
Dhyani Buddha, the others have been taken respectively for a Bodhisatva
and for a devotee who attained by his meritorious life a high degree
of saintliness but whose Brahmanic adornment flatly contradicts the
Buddhist character of such perfection. This explanation is therefore
considered unsatisfactory and unacceptable by many, as, for instance,
his Majesty Somdetch Phra Paramindr Chulalongkorn, the late King of
Siam, who, by the way, when visiting the _chandis_ Mendoot and Boro
Budoor in 1896, claimed those masterpieces of _mahayanistic_ art for
his own, the southern church, to use the incorrect but convenient
distinction. According to this royal interpreter, the idea was to
represent the Buddha in the act of blessing the Buddhist prince who
ordered the Boro Budoor to be built, here placed at his right with an
image of the deliverer in his _makuta_ and carrying no _upawita_ but
a monk’s robe under the insignia of his dignity; the third statue,
directly opposite, at the Buddha’s left, without Buddhist accessories
but with an _upawita_ hanging down from its left shoulder, might
impersonate him again in his state before conversion, or his unconverted
father on whom, after death, he wished to bestow a share in the
deliverer’s benediction. However this may be, there is no doubt of the
Enlightened One’s identity in one of his many personifications and,
leaving the eighty secondary marks unexplored (three for the nails,
three for the fingers, three for the palms of the hands, three for the
forty evenly set teeth, one for the nose, six for the piercing eyes,
five for the eyebrows, three for the cheeks, nine for the hair, ten
for the lower members in general,--without our entering into further
detail!), the thirty-two primary signs are all present: the protuberance
on the top of the skull; the crisped hair (of a glossy black which the
sculptor could not reproduce) curling towards the right;[132] the ample
forehead; the _oorna_, which sheds a white light (also unsculpturable)
as the sheen of polished silver or snow smiled upon by the sun; etc.
Though the colossal statue of the welcome redeemer, like those of the
worshipping kings, does not recommend itself by faultless modelling,
it breathes the spirit which sustains the _arahat_, him who becomes
worthy; it radiates the tranquil felicity of annihilation of existence,
sin, sorrow and pain; it promises the final blowing out of life’s
candle, the Nirvana, when the understanding will be reached of the
Adi-Buddha, the primitive, primordial, immeasurable. And the lowest of
the four degrees of the Nirvana, it seems to say, is already attainable
on earth by emancipation from the bondage of fleshly desire and vice,
by avoidance of that which taints and corrupts.... The noonday glare,
subdued by the heavy shadow of the porch, fills the sanctuary with a
golden haze and upon its dimly gleaming wings a faint music descends,
a song of deliverance. The psalmist’s visions of the covering of
iniquity compass us about and invite to recognition of a common source
of divine inspiration in mankind of whatever creed. The scent of the
_melati_ and _champaka_ flowers, strewn at the feet and in the lap of
the deity--the image of him who taught that there is none such, and
revered by professed believers in the Book which consigns idolaters
to hell-fire!--mingles with the pungent odour of the droppings of the
bats, fluttering and screeching things in the dark recesses of the roof,
disturbed in their sleep. Truly there ought to be a limit to syncretism
and this last mentioned mixture of heterogeneous elements soon affects
the visitor in a manner so offensive that retreat becomes a matter of


(Cephas Sr.)]

As we step outside, our eyes are blinded by the burning light inundating
the valley, the fiery furnace ablaze at the foot of mountains flaming up
to the sky, a terror of beauty: Think of the fire that shall consume all
creation and early seek your rescue, said the Buddha. It speaks to us of
the cataclysm which shook Java on her foundation in the waters and upset
the work of man, killing him in his thousands and burying his temples,
the Mendoot and many, many more, under the ashes of her volcanoes, some
such upheaval as when the conflict began between the Saviour of the
World and the Great Enemy, to quote from the sacred scriptures; when
the earth was convulsed, the sea uprose from its bed, the rivers turned
back to their sources, the hill-tops fell crashing to the plains; when
the day at length was darkened and a host of headless spirits rode upon
the tempest. Though the ground has also been raised by the drift down
the slopes of the Merapi, by the overflowing runnels discharging their
load of mud into the Ello and the Progo, the magnitude of volcanic
devastation can be gauged from the difference in level between the base
of the _chandi_ and the site of the _kampong_ higher up, under which the
platform extends whereon its subsidiary buildings stood. Excavations
in the detritus have already resulted in the discovery of portions
of a brick parapet once enclosing the temple grounds; of vestiges of
smaller shrines in the east corner of the terrace and of a cruciform
brick substructure to the northeast with fragments of bell-shaped
_chaityas_;[133] of a Banaspati, probably from the balustrade of the
staircase, and detached stones with and without sculptured ornament,
which revealed the former existence of several miniature temples
surrounding the central one. At the time of my last visit (which came
near terminating my career in my present earthly frame, through the
rotten scaffolding giving way under my feet when ascending to the roof),
more than half of the space conjecturally encompassed by the parapet,
still awaited exploration, and since then restoration, within the limits
of the scanty sums allowed, seems to have superseded excavation. In
connection with both, the names should be mentioned of P. H. van der
Ham, who did wonders with the little means at his disposal, and C.
den Hamer, who showed that the decoration of the Mendoot too was not
completed before the great catastrophe which devastated Central Java and
stopped architectural pursuits.[134]

Reviewing the history of the ancient monuments of the island, not one
can pass without a repetition of the sad tale of spoliation. However
unpleasant it be to record in every single instance the culpable
negligence of a Government stiffening general indifference and almost
encouraging downright robbery, the rapid deterioration of those
splendid edifices allows no alternative in the matter of explanation.
When officials and private individuals of the ruling race set the
example, the natives saw no harm in quarrying building material on
their own account for their own houses, and they had no time to lose in
the rapid process of the razing of their _chandis_ for the adornment
of residency and assistant-residency gardens, the construction of
dams, sugar-mills and indigo factories. Temple stones have been found
in many villages round the Mendoot and particularly in Ngrajeg, about
two miles distant on the main road, there is no native dwelling in the
substructure of which they have not been used.[135] Though the wealth of
the _dessa_ Ngrajeg in this respect may be explained by its once having
boasted its own _chandi_, of which nothing remains but the foundations,
there is abundant proof that the chief quarry of the neighbourhood on
this side of the river was the Mendoot as the Boro Budoor on the other.
From a juridical standpoint, the natives in possession of such spoil,
acquired by their fathers or grandfathers, have a prescriptive right on
it not disputable in law, averred the administration at Batavia, and
so whatever the architects in charge of the restoration needed, had
to be bought back and diminished still further the disposable funds.
Leaving the doubtful points of this legal question and the enforcement
in practice of the theoretical decision for what they are worth to
Kromo or Wongso, ordered to part with his doorstep or coinings, there is
_no_ doubt that it is illegal and highly censurable to demolish temples,
and temples like the Mendoot at that, to secure building material for
Government dams and bridges. What happened in Mojokerto with the bricks
of Mojopahit and has been complained of elsewhere, I saw happen in
1885 with Mendoot stones, freely used for abutments, piers, spandrel
fillings, etc., when near by the spanning of the Progo was in progress.
That bridge has since succumbed like the railway bridge then in course
of construction farther down the Progo, a warning which, if heeded,
might have prevented, for instance, the chronic misfortunes of the
railway bridge in the Anei gorge, West Coast of Sumatra.

With Government bridges lacking the strength to resist the impetuosity
of more than ordinarily boisterous freshets, there may always be a
surprise in store for the pilgrim to the Boro Budoor who has arrived
at the first station, the Mendoot: will he or will he not find the
means to cross? For, in time of _banjir_, _i.e._ when the river is in
spate, the primitive ferry which maintains the communication in lieu
of better, a bambu raft or two frail barges fastened together, fails
as to both comfort and safety, and after heavy rains large groups of
men and women can often be seen waiting for the turbulent waters to
quiet down a bit. Lord Kitchener visited the Mendoot in December,
1909, during a bridgeless spell and conditions generally inauspicious
to his proceeding a mile and a half farther to the Boro Budoor.
Otherwise the being ferried over in company of gaily dressed people
going to or coming from market with fruit, garden produce and all
sorts of merchandise for sale or bought, has its compensations; rocked
by the eddying stream which glides swiftly between its steep banks,
our dominating sensation is one of joy in the splendour of unstinted
light, of freedom from the petty torments of everyday routine,--and let
worry take care of itself! As we climb the opposite shore, comes the
mysteriously grateful feeling of being enveloped in the soil’s genial
exhalation of warm contentment, the fertile earth’s response to the
passionate embrace of the sun. Their espousal, their connubial ardour
appears incorporate in the _chandi_ Dapoor,[136] a petrified spark of
universal love, a wonder of structural and decorative skill in a shady
grove some hundred paces to the right of the road.[137] And again the
_spiritus mundi_ is symbolically interpreted in the story of yond temple
betrothed and wedded to the tree. They were very much smitten with each
other, the _chandi_ Pawon and a _randu alas_[138] living in the hamlet
Brajanala. They married and the pretty comedy of affection turned into
tragedy: as chances very often in the case of a weaker and a stronger
partner in the matrimonial game, the latter throve and prospered at the
expense of the former. Now of his brothers there were and still are many
exactly like him, but of her sisters there were only few and none of
her peculiar kind of beauty, and since it seemed a pity that she should
waste her singular comeliness in supporting a husband of no particular
worth for all his bigness and parade of protecting her, a divorce was
resolved upon which meant his sentence of death. Voices in favour of
reprieve or commutation of the penalty were disregarded: what did one
_randu alas_ more or less matter compared with the preservation of the
exquisite _chandi_ Pawon, sole surviving representative of her class? So
the tree was cut down and she escaped happily the fate which overtook
the _chandis_ Perot and Pringapoos. The _chandi_ Pawon was even wholly
restored; its foundations, sapped by a tangle of roots, relaid; its roof
reconstructed.[139] In its graceful proportions a striking illustration
of the truth that a great architect can show the vast range of his art
in a very small building, may it stand many centuries longer between
Mendoot and Boro Budoor as the typical expression of Javanese thought in
Dravidian style!


(C. Nieuwenhuis.)]

All is quiet and still in the stately avenue of _kanaris_[140] and few
wayfarers are likely to be met, except after _puasa_.[141] “Than longen
folke to gon on pilgrimages,” and the Boro Budoor attracts a goodly
crowd bent on sacrifice to the statue in the crowning dagob or to lesser
images held in special veneration. Such travelling companions, merrily
but sedately intent on devotional exercise conformable to ancestral
custom, notwithstanding Moslim doctrine, their forefathers’ imaginations
tingeing their conceptions of life seen and unseen because of their
forefathers’ blood running in their veins, increase the cheery solace
of abandon to nature, facilitate the attainment of a higher sublime
condition than reached as yet, the third Brahma Vihara improved upon by
the Buddha, joy in the joy of others while earth and vapoury atmosphere
mingle in fullness of delight,



    ... _in un tepor di sole occiduo
    ridente a le cerulee solitudini_.[142]

We turn a corner and the road winds up a hill. That hill is the base
of the Boro Budoor, the long desired, suddenly extending his welcome,
majestic, overwhelmingly beautiful. It is a repetition on a much grander
scale, much more magical, of the effect produced by the _chandi_
Derma bursting upon our view in its sylvan frame, reality taking the
semblance of a glorious dream. In the waning light of evening the
polygonous pyramid of dark trachyte appears as a powerful vision of
the mystery of existence shining through a veil of translucent gold.
Gray cupolas, raised on jutting walls and projecting cornices, a forest
of pinnacles pointing to heaven, gilded by the setting sun, reveal
perspectives of boundless immensity, vistas of infinite distance. The
brilliancy of heaven, reflected by this mass of forceful imagery, this
conquering thought worked in solid stone, receives new lustre from the
dome-encircled fundamental idea so mightily expressed. Nowhere has
art more ably availed herself of the possibilities of site and more
felicitously combined with natural scenery, created a more harmonious
ensemble than in the amazingly original design and delicate execution of
this puissant temple, this gift of the Javanese Buddhists to posterity,
a source of spiritual quickening to whoso tries to understand.



[125] The very appropriate name bestowed on the Dutch East Indies by
EDUARD DOUWES DEKKER (MULTATULI), Holland’s greatest writer of the
preceding century.

[126] General name given to various plants of the bean family; the
_kackang_ here meant, is the _kackang china_ or _tanah_ (_Arachis
kypogaea_) the oil of which is used as a substitute for olive-oil.

[127] The beans or nuts pressed into cakes and used as manure,
especially in the cultivation of sugar-cane.

[128] According to another explanation they represent King Sudhodana and
Queen Maya with Siddhartha, the future Buddha, as a baby in her arms,
which leaves us in the dark about the other children.

[129] Lacking money and wanting money, always more money: a summary of
Dutch colonial policy as it strikes the native.

[130] The influence of eastern fables on western literature and art in
all its branches cannot be overestimated as exemplified for instance,
with special relevance to the one just referred to, by the late
EMM. POIRÉ (CARAN D’ACHE) when he made our old friend Marius imitate
the snail’s braggadocio in his delightful cartoon _Les Pantoufles en
peau de tigre_ (_Lundis du Figaro_). And the story of the vulture and
the turtles found its way, via American plantation legends, into J. C.
HARRIS’ tales of Uncle Remus. Concerning the manner of the “Migration of
Fables” from East to West, most interesting particulars can be found in
MAX MÜLLER’S _Chips from a German Workshop_, iv., p. 145 ff.

[131] The Buddha’s characteristic tuft or bunch of hairs between the

[132] In consequence of the young enthusiast Sarvarthasiddha cutting
his long locks with his sword when leaving his father’s palace to adopt
the life of a recluse as Sakyamuni, the solitary one of the Sakyas, and
meditate upon the redemption of the world.

[133] The words _chaitya_ and _dagob_ are often used indiscriminately
and every _dagob_ is, in fact, a _chaitya_, but a _chaitya_ is a _dagob_
only if it contains a relic.

[134] _De Tjandi Mendoet vóór de Restauratie_, publication of the
_Bataviaasch Genootschap_, 1903.

[135] Major VAN ERP, in the _Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal-,
Land- en Volkenkunde_, 1909.

[136] _Dapoor_ means “a producer of heat”, “a place where things are
produced by heat”, hence an oven, a kitchen, the priming-hole of a gun.

[137] Before the road was relocated to correspond with the relocation
of yet another new bridge after the last but one’s tumbling down, the
_chandi_ Dapoor stood almost at the wayside; its having been smuggled
out of sight has not improved its chances of preservation.

[138] _Bombax malabaricum_ of the numerous _Malvaceae_ family.

[139] By the architect VAN DER HAM.

[140] _Canarium commune_, fam. _Burceraceae_.

[141] Or _ramelan_ (_ramadhan_), the great yearly fast.


    ... in the soft rays of the setting sun
    Smiling at the cerulean solitudes.




    ... la vérité rendue expressive et parlante, élevée à la hauteur
    d’une idée. ERNEST RENAN, _Vie de Jésus_ (_Introduction_).

The _pasangrahan_, built for the convenience of visitors to the
Boro Budoor, offers fair accommodation to the student of oriental
architecture and lover of art in whatever form. Also to a good many
who feel it incumbent on them to be able to say: “I have taken
everything in,” or who have quite other ends in view than communion
with the thought of distant ages: foreign tourists whose principal
care is to exhibit trunks and travelling-bags covered with labels of
out-of-the-beaten-track hotels while their brains remain hopelessly
empty; junketers of domestic growth, often in couples whose irregular
relations seek shelter behind the excuse of “doing” the island, and
heartily disinclined to practise the virtues preached in the reliefs
of the shrine of shrines, particularly down on continence. So even the
Philistines derive advantage, after the notions of their kind, from the
ramshackle fabric of vile heathenism, as this magnificent temple has
been called by one of their number, and its visitors’ book tells a sorry
tale of irreclaimable vulgarity; the wit, laboriously aimed at in many
entries, but widely missed, partakes altogether too much (minus the
element of _badinage_) of the answer given by a young naval officer to
an old aunt when she asked him where, in his opinion, the most striking
natural scenery of Java was to be found: At Petit Trouville,[143] said
he, on Sunday in the dry season.

The _pasangrahan’s_ guests of that ilk are generally no early risers and
their company is therefore not likely to mar the impression received
of the Boro Budoor at second sight after supper, supplied by the army
pensioner in charge of the place, and a night’s sound rest. Looking
tranquillity itself, the vast pile charms and soothes the heart,
notwithstanding its enormous size, before the intellect, scrutinising
its outline, begins to marvel at the unaccustomed form the builder has
chosen to proclaim his idea. Save one or two temples in _hinayanistic_
Burmah, which present a faint resemblance, nothing else can be named as
producing the same effect, but then, wrote Fergusson for the land where
the creed was born that inspired its founder, it must be remembered that
not a single structural Buddhist building now exists within the cave
region of Western India. Rising light and airy for all its grandeur, it
expresses more strength than a mere massing together of the ponderous
material in huge walls and buttresses and towers could have done; its
quiet consciousness of power is enhanced by its strange beauty of
contour in perfect harmony with its setting of living colour. There it
lies, clasping together the sapphire sky and the emerald garden of Java.

The _mahayanistic_ character of the Boro Budoor is well attested by
the Dhyani Buddhas among its statuary, despite the opinion of Siamese
connoisseurs, and by its further ornamental sculpture, of which more
anon. Meant for a reliquary, it may or may not be, in the absence of
historical proof pro or contra, one of the 84,000 _stupas_ consecrated
to receive and hold a fractional portion of the Indian Saviour’s remains
after King Asoka had opened seven of the depositories of his ashes in
the eight towns among which his remains were originally divided, to
make the whole world share in their blessed possession. Who has not
heard of the transfer, in the ninth year of the reign of Sirimeghavanna,
A.D. 310, of the Dathadathu, the holy tooth, from Dantapura to Ceylon,
where it became the _mascotte_, so to speak, the pledge of undisturbed
dominion to the rulers of the island who should control its guardians.
The sacrosanct yellow piece of dentin, about the length of the little
finger,[144] enclosed in nine concentric cases of gold, inlaid with
diamonds, rubies and pearls, is but rarely shown, far more rarely than
even the seamless coat at Treves, and then under conditions of excessive
adoration. But, notwithstanding all this pomp and circumstance, who that
has visited the Dalada Malagawa at Kandy and the Boro Budoor in Java,
can fail to prefer the latter, though sacrilegious robbers have carried
off its relic, leaving the desecrated shrine to decay.

The wordy war waged around the etymology of the name Boro Budoor, did
not solve the mystery of its origin; all derivations thus far suggested
are mere guess-work and unsatisfactory, whatever reasons be adduced for
Roorda van Eysinga’s explanation that it means an enclosed space, or
Raffles’ surmise that it is a corruption of Bara (the great) Buddha,
or the late King of Siam’s that it refers to the (spiritual) army of
the Buddha, if not to the several Buddhas, as alleged by others. One
of the oldest existing monuments in the island, the foundation of the
_chandi_ Boro Budoor has been attributed by native tradition to Raden
Bandoong, already known from the legends connected with the _chandis_
Prambanan and Sewu, who, as King of Pengging, assumed the name of
Handayaningrat. Professor Kern[145] puts the date of the substructure
at about 850, allowing several years for its completion--if ever it
was fully completed, for this temple, like the _chandi_ Mendoot near
by, the _chandi_ Bimo on the Diëng plateau and so many more, shows
traces of the work having been suspended before the decoration was quite
finished. Sculpture just commenced or little further advanced than the
bare outlining, found on the walls, especially of the covered base;
divers blocks of stone half transformed into ornament and statuary,
Dhyani Buddhas and lions, very illustrative of the methods followed at
different stages of the carving, lying forsaken on the slope and summit
of a neighbouring hillock, disclose an interruption of the labour by
some event of tremendous consequence.[146] Rather than accept the theory
that the ancient temples of Java were left intentionally defective from
religious motives, viz. to emphasise the sense of human imperfection
as an incentive to humility and prostration before the divine, we may
believe in the Merapi, that wicked old giant, having asserted himself in
one of his destructive moods, belching forth flames and ashes, shaking
and burying the handiwork of Hindu and Buddhist pygmies with strictest
impartiality. Standing on the first of the highest terraces on the south
side, says an article[147] in the _Javapost_ of December 5, 1903, one
observes a bulging out of the lower terraces, best accounted for by a
violent earthquake in a southerly direction. When the galleries were
cleared in 1814 and 1834, the volcanic character of the detritus which
filled them (ashes from the Merapi, wrote Roorda van Eysinga in 1850)
and also forms the substratum of the rubbish still unremoved from the
once enclosed grounds of the _chandi_ Mendoot, furnished strong evidence
in support of an eruption of the nearest fire-mountain having been the
cause of the precipitate flight, perhaps the death in harness, of the
builders. Of the preservation of their work too, in so far as finished,
for, to speak again with the writer in the _Javapost_, the very fact
of its having been embedded has saved much of its artistic detail;
and the reason why some of the sculptured parts are damaged to a far
greater extent than others adjoining, is probably that they were exposed
earlier and longer. Deterioration and demolition set in rapidly when
wind and weather began to ravage the wholly unprotected edifice, when
unscrupulous collectors wrought havoc unchecked.

The Boro Budoor was never hidden from view to the point of blotting
out its existence from memory. I shall have occasion to refer to
native chronicles mentioning it in the eighteenth century. To speak
of its rediscovery by Cornelius is therefore inaccurate though we owe
to that clever Lieutenant of Engineers, purposely sent to the Kadu by
Raffles, in 1814, the first scientific survey and description with
elucidating drawings. Except for the publication, in 1873, of Dr. C.
Leemans’ book with an atlas containing illustrations after drawings
by F. C. Wilsen, and the mission of I. van Kinsbergen to obtain
photographic reproductions of the reliefs, the Dutch Government left the
matchless temple entirely to its fate until very recently. An official
correspondence, kept trailing indefinitely to invest ministerial
promises regarding the antiquities of Java with a semblance of
sincerity, had the usual negative effect. Whenever a colonial Excellency
declared with unctuous pomposity that the most conscientious care would
be taken of the Boro Budoor, a monument of incalculable value considered
from the standpoint of science and art, most brilliant memento of the
island’s historic past, etc., etc., those versed in the phraseology
of Plein and Binnenhof at the Hague trembled in expectation of bad
news of criminal negligence, theft and mutilation to follow. The later
history of the “brilliant memento” agrees but too well with the ominous
prognostics derived from such dismal parliamentary fustian. A great
poet sang of things of beauty scarce visible from extreme loveliness:
the readily movable things of beauty constituting the loveliness of the
Boro Budoor, became invisible _sans phrase_. We are told in legendary
lore of statues which flew through the air to take domicile at enormous
distances from their proper homes, or vanished altogether, dissolving
into space: the statues of the Boro Budoor developed that faculty in an
astonishing degree; if handicapped by great weight or solid attachment
to the main structure, bent on travelling _à tout travers_, they sent
their heads alone to seek recreation and instruction in the varying ways
of the world, and their heads did never return, either because they
were amusing themselves too jollily away from the austerities of the
eight-fold path or because they found themselves unavoidably detained in
durance vile.

The remaining, mostly headless statues are sad to behold, and the fishy
account given of their defective condition, that, namely, the Buddhists,
beleaguered in the sanctuary by the Muhammadans, battling _pro aris
et focis_, drove the enemies off by bombarding them with the Lord of
Victory’s noble features, hewn in stone, smacks of a too ingenious
evasion of the disgraceful facts.[148] The chronicles are silent on such
a desperate struggle in that locality between the conquering hosts of
Islām and the followers of him who pleaded peace, love and goodwill,
whose doctrine and example alike forbade strife and armed resistance.
Not that there has been no fighting round and even within the walls of
the Boro Budoor among the Javanese engaged in internecine warfare and
during the insurrection of Dipo Negoro,[149] but the story of the using
up of the statuary in the shape of missiles, has no leg to stand on. In
the Java War (1825-1830) the Dutch troops erected a temporary fort near
the temple, but it is improbable that _chandi_ material entered into
its construction, not because the warriors of the Government would have
scrupled to destroy any ancient monument, but because the Boro Budoor
stones are exceedingly heavy and earthen fortifications amply sufficed
against native bands without artillery. Though cavalry in particular
never enjoyed a high reputation in respect of their relations to
art,[150] there does not seem to be any more substance in the confession
of a _ci-devant_ commander of a squadron of hussars, cited by Brumund,
that his men used to try the temper of their swords on the ears and
noses of the silent host of Dhyani Buddhas when the rebels of Sentot and
Kiahi Maja were not available.

The true misfortune of the Boro Budoor was official indifference and
negligence; and far more injurious than the fretting tooth of time or
even the merciless hand of the spoiler combined with the provoking
_laissez aller_ yawned in periodical circulars from the central
administration, from Sleepy Hollow at Batavia, was the dabbling in
archaeology of ambitious persons who posed as discoverers, the less
their aptitude to digest their desultory reading, the more arrogant
their cock-sureness where famous scholars reserved _their_ conclusions.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing and might have proved disastrous
to the venerable temple in combination with one of their vaunted
discoveries, which established beyond doubt what not a few knew well
enough and never had doubted of, viz. that there was a gallery lower
than its lowest uncovered terrace, wisely filled up to increase the
stability of the building, very probably soon after or even before the
erection of the upper storeys. The removal of the supporting layers of
stone impaired, of course, the general condition of the structure and
the good news of its being again in its former state, was received by
many with a sigh of relief. This happened in 1885 with great flourish
of trumpets, and the only benefit derived, certainly not of sufficient
importance to balance the inevitable weakening of the foundations
attendant on such excavations, consisted in the bringing to light of
rude, scarcely decipherable inscriptions or rather scratchings,[151] and
the intelligence that of the photographed sculptures, in which, so far,
no representation of connected events has been recognised, twenty-four
are unfinished and thirteen damaged--six wholly smashed. In 1900 new
shafts were sunk for new discoveries of the long and widely known, and
while this pernicious dilettantism was going on, pseudo-archaeologists
vying with professed iconoclasts who should do most harm to the Boro
Budoor, the Government confined itself to antiquarian pyrotechnics at
the yearly debates on the colonial budget in Parliament.


(C. Nieuwenhuis.)]

The Boro Budoor being undermined and gradually scattered to the four
winds, it was but natural that the natives, following the example set
by the elect, even by the elect of the elect acting in this or that
official capacity, who used, for instance, _chandi_ stones for the
flooring of the Government _pasangrahan_,--that the inhabitants of the
neighbouring _kampongs_ should carry off what appeared suitable for
their own ends, and the least heavy _jataka_ reliefs claimed their first
attention. So things went from bad to worse and the most disastrous
year, a veritable _annus calamitatis_ for the Boro Budoor, arrived with
1896, when the late King of Siam paid his second visit to Java. Much
interested, as was to be expected of a ruler of a Buddhist country,
in the Buddhist monuments of the island, so interested, in fact, that
his Majesty tried to put the _mahayanistic_ temples of the Kadu to the
credit of his own, the _hinayanistic_ church, his endeavours in this
kind of mental annexation inspired authorities, eager to share in the
honours of Siamese Knighthood (White Elephant, Crown of Siam, etc.)
distributed with right royal generosity, to urge him to annexation
in deed. If foreign visitors of little account had been permitted to
help themselves in a small way to “souvenirs” for a consideration to
keepers’ underlings left without control, why should foreign visitors
of distinction not be served wholesale? His Majesty Chulalongkorn, to
whom no blame attaches for gratifying his desire where he found Dutch
functionaries, high and low, more than willing to oblige, was invited to
make his choice and we must still thank him for his moderation, which
limited the quantity of sculpture selected to eight cart-loads: there is
scarcely a doubt that if he had requested them to pull part of the Boro
Budoor down in consideration of Knight Commander- or Grand Masterships
in this or that Order, the official conscience would have raised no
objection. This came to pass, of course, after a more than usually
fine flow, at the Hague, of ministerial rhetoric anent the priceless
heritage Holland has to protect in the “brilliant mementos of Java’s
historic past,” and the lover of ancient Buddhist architecture who wants
to make a study of its acknowledged masterpiece, must now of necessity
travel on to the banks of the Meynam to get an idea of some of its
most characteristic imagery, not to speak of fragments of ornament and
statuary removed by tourists of commoner complexion and dispersed heaven
knows where.


(C. Nieuwenhuis.)]

This instance of the ancient monuments of Java being officially
despoiled to please crowned heads and other visitors in exalted
stations, _pour le bon motif_, seemed so incredible that, when
I censured it in the Dutch East Indian Press, the Dutch Press,
over-zealous in hiding colonial enormities, also _pour le bon motif_,
considered it an easy task to deny, waxing eloquently indignant at the
denunciation until in regular, normal sequence, always observable
in the perennial case of Dutch whitewashing versus colonial boldness
of speech, the correctness of the statement could no longer be
assailed, new evidence accumulating steadily, Mr. J. A. N. Patijn,
for one, describing, in the _Kroniek_ and the _Tijdschrift voor
Nederlandsch Indië_, a collection displayed near the Wat Pra Keo at
Bangkok and brought thither from Java in 1896.[152] The frolicking
monkeys doubtless, the people of the large cheek-bones, represented
on some reliefs thus transferred, prompted an enthusiastic, genuine
archaeologist’s imprecation on the heads of the guilty official
and non-official toadies, inasmuch as he wished them, if there be
anything in the dogma of Karma, which provides for our sins being
visited on us in lives to come, that their least punishment might be
their transformation, when called to new birth, into apes abandoned
to ceaseless squabbles over their _kanari_-nuts (honours, dignities,
preferment with big salaries, fat pensions, etc.), clawing one another
with their sharp nails, to find at last that all the shells are
empty. Desisting from a profitless discussion on the possibilities of
retribution in a future existence, it requires to be stated that the
official mind needed several years’ reflection in this before reaching
the conclusion that really, in the matter of the conservation of the
Boro Budoor something more was wanted than the periodical outbursts of
gushing sentiment, grossly disregarded in practice, which are _le moyen
de parvenir_ of Dutch colonial politicians. The independents of the
colonial Press, however, had at last the satisfaction that Captain T.
van Erp of the Engineers was detailed to take the work of restoration in
hand, building himself a house in the shadow of the _chandi_ confided to
his care, anxious to direct the necessary labours on the spot. Stationed
there since August, 1907, his promotion to the rank of Major fortunately
did not result in the withdrawal of his services from the archaeological
field and, the climax of laxness with regard to the Boro Budoor having
been capped in the Siamese episode, brighter days may dawn for that
venerable edifice.


(C. Nieuwenhuis.)]

One of the rooms of the _pasangrahan_, reserved, under the old
dispensation, for the storing of detached pieces of sculpture, was
called the sample-room because, according to current report, orders
were taken there for the delivery of such still undetached ornament
and statuary as might have struck the visitors’ fancy. Other images
lined the path from the _pasangrahan_ to the temple, among them two
Dhyani Buddhas, a fine Akshobhya and a still finer Amitabha, and lions,
the poor remainder of those which once adorned the steps leading to
the raised level of the building, whence the name: Avenue of Lions.
Seemingly commanded to descend from the places where they kept guard as
solitary sentinels, and to unite for defence at the point of greatest
danger, terrible havoc was wrought in their ranks by the onslaught
of souvenir-hunters, and one of their large-limbed, beautifully
chiselled chiefs, who himself watched the entrance with a vauntful air
as if proclaiming to foe and friend alike: _Et s’il n’en reste qu’un,
moi je serai celui-là_, had to suffer the ignominy of being captured
and carried off to Siam--which proves his Majesty Chulalongkorn’s good
taste: it was the best specimen of animal carving on that scale in
Java. These are no cheerful reflections when approaching the eminence
skillfully converted into a _stupa_ whose equal, both in originality
of design and cleverness of execution, can nowhere be found. Though
India furnished its prototype, the style here evolved baffles, on close
examination, all comparison. The only building it can be likened to is
the Taj Mahal at Agra, and only in this single respect while differing
in all others, that, conceived by a titanic intellect, the delicate
decoration suggests the minute precision of the jeweller’s craft.
Opening and closing a distinct chapter in architecture, this admirable
production rises in terraces which form galleries round the hill-top,
enclosed by walls, spaced on the outside by 432 niches for statues of
the Buddha with _prabha_ (aureole) and _padmasana_ (lotus cushion), on
the inside with representations illustrating sacred and profane writings
in bas-relief; the galleries of the superstructure raised on the
square ground-plan, become circular and are bounded by 72 bell-shaped
_chaityas_ containing statues of the Buddha without either _prabha_ or
_padmasana_, or any ornament whatever. The profuse decoration of their
surroundings never detracts from the powerfully expressed central
idea of praise to the Enlightened One, the one who has fulfilled his
end; the repetition of the motives manifesting the religious purpose,
directs rather than confuses the attention of the worshipper in their
multiformity of application. The spiritual father of the Boro Budoor
must have been a man of strong mental grasp, of honest masculine
endeavour stimulated by a highly sensitive temperament; his work, “a
goodly heap for to behold,” growing in dignity and beauty the closer
it is observed, a realisation of the sublimest aspirations of Buddhist
Java, will perpetuate also, as long as it can endure, the memory of his
own superior mind.



The constructive ability of this gifted builder was no less wonderful
than his mastery of detail in aid of his main intent. A clever
system of drainage attests to the foresight of his workmanship; but
the gutters remaining filled up and the gargoyles (open-mouthed
_nagas_) choked after the excavation of the galleries in 1814 and
1834, without any one thinking of clearing them too, the water had to
flow off as best it could in the torrential rains of successive west
monsoons, filtering through the fissures between the stones, passing
down to the foundations and adding, in oozing out, to the causes of
decay by washing the supporting layers of earth and gravel away. The
staircases and passageways to the different terraces and galleries
are constructed with the accurate sense of right proportion which
distinguishes the natives of the island up to this day, and their
_naga_- and _kala-makara_ ornament belongs to the most impressive part
of the graceful decoration. In our ascent from lower to higher planes
of understanding, increasing in perception of the mysteries of life
and death, the Banaspati shows the road, the Hindu-Javanese Gorgon’s
head as Horsfield called it, appropriated by Buddhist architecture,
figurating the terrors of error it faces while budding forth in the
promise of further guidance for whoso shall leave the world’s delusions,
a loved wife, a young-born son, to seek the truth in pursuance of the
Buddha’s ordinance: no intimidation which threatens with the pains of
hell all who dare to disobey the dictates of priestly ambition, but an
assurance of beatitude gained by self-purification. The staircases of
the superstructure correspond with the four approaches leading up the
hillock to the temple-yard; in the course of the excavations, undertaken
to facilitate the work of restoration, one of them, very much out of
repair, has been laid bare. The reconstruction of the lower principal
staircase, whose original position has now been determined, will
result, it is hoped, in the removal of the unsightly flight of uneven
steps masquerading as the main entrance at the corner opposite the
_pasangrahan_; and, perhaps, to provide one worthy of site and building,
the Government will not haggle over the modest sum required for the
re-erection of the monumental gate whose remains were discovered
adjoining the balustrade of the spacious elevated platform.

On entering the galleries, establishing contact with this symmetrical
embodiment of highly spiritualised thought in the strongly knit language
of chiselled stone, to mount to the state of the perfect disciple,
spurred by the figured evolution of the four degrees of Dhyana which
lead to supreme happiness, the pilgrim must have experienced, as we do,
the sensation of physical well-being imparted by the splendour of nature
wrapping human longings in sunshine and the delicious odour exhaled
by mother earth. The luxurious emotion increases, despite nirvanic
chastening, and among the serene images of the higher terraces, who
can remain unmoved in contemplation of the ancient temple lifting its
dagob to the blue heaven, of its hoary walls touched by the golden
light, quivering in desire of sacred communion! Nor do we cease to
marvel when turning from the general idea of universal solidarity,
enunciated in an irreproachable architectural form, to the expository
details of decoration. The ornament accommodates itself with amazing
facility to the characteristic tendencies of the ground-plan, never
perverting the central purpose, which dominates in a most felicitous
combination of the two principles separately developed for western ends
in the classic and gothic styles: the horizontal expansion to allow
thinking space to the brain and the mystic pointing upward to satisfy
the cravings of the heart. Both found application in the Boro Budoor,
their unity of thought in diversity of expression being consolidated by
an inexhaustible wealth of imagery, elucidating accessories, filled as
it is “with sculptures rarest, of forms most beautiful and strange.”
Faithful in choice of subject and manner of representation to the
notions of its time, bodying forth things unknown to our age, the
ornament surprises by its fanciful invention and peculiar treatment,
though always in the best of taste. The heavy cornice which protects
the lowest uncovered tier of external, so far not yet satisfactorily
explained reliefs, carries the niches for the statues already mentioned.
The shape of these niches and of the temples delineated in the scenery
of the carved tales and legends, here as at Prambanan, Toompang, etc.,
afford us material assistance in determining after what model _chandis_,
long fallen into ruin, were built; they are especially helpful in
explaining the often puzzling arrangement of the superstructures, hardly
one being found, even among those best preserved, with the roof still
intact. Leaving archaeological problems alone, modern architects and
decorators can further derive a good deal of profit from a study of the
gradation observed in the downward radiation of both the architectural
and decorative conceit centred in the crowning dagob, or, rather, the
upward convergence in a nobly devised distribution of spaces connected
and entwined by cunning ornament, the luxuriant fantasy of the sculptor
being unerringly controlled by the staid design of the builder. A
fervent imagination may revel in miles of bas-reliefs without surfeit,
the salutary restraint of a sober outline and a proportional disposition
of the component parts being such that the eye never gets tired or the
faculty of perception cloyed.

Fergusson, pointing to the identity of workmen and workmanship in the
sculpture and details of ornamentation at the Boro Budoor and at Ajunta
(cave 26), Nassick (cave 17), the later caves at Salsette, Kondoty,
Montpezir and other places in that neighbourhood, computes that at the
former the decoration extends to nearly 5000 feet, almost an English
mile, and, as there are sculptures on both faces, we have nearly 10,000
lineal feet of reliefs. They numbered 2141 in all, counting what
is damaged and altogether lost, but omitting the decoration of the
ornamental niches: on the lowest wall 408 in the upper and 160 in the
lower tier outside, 568 inside; on the second wall, 240 outside and 192
inside; on the third wall, 108 outside and 165 inside; on the fourth
wall, 88 outside and 140 inside; on the fifth wall, 72 inside. Regarding
their noble qualities of style and decorative value as a component
of the general project, the opinion of a writer in the _Quarterly
Review_[153] may be quoted, who discusses the Boro Budoor’s straight
lines, its untroubled spaces of flat stone, its mouldings of classic
simplicity, its intricate and elaborate bands of ornament, held in place
by the nice choice of relief, being low and unaccented, in opposition
to the deep cutting and full modelling of the panels they surround; and
in these panels, he continues, in spite of the full roundness of the
modelling and the wealth of ornamental detail, the unity is maintained
by a fine sense of rhythm and discreet massing and spacing. The upper
tier of carvings on the inner wall of the first gallery, haut-reliefs
in contradistinction to the rest, represents the life of the Buddha
from his birth until his death and is the best preserved. Many of the
others have suffered so badly that they baffle explanation; taken on
the whole, they treat of traditional occurrences in connection with
the Buddha himself or his predecessors, of gatherings under bo-trees,
pilgrimages to reliquaries, alms-giving, exhortations to observe the
law, admonitions to virtue: abstinence, tolerance and charity. Animal
fables are interwoven with _jataka_-tales, _i.e._ narratives concerning
the Buddha before he appeared as the perfect man, tracing his path to
holiness in his adventures as a hare, a fish, a quail, a swan, a deer,
the king of monkeys, an elephant, a bull, a wood-pecker, a tortoise,
the horse Balaha, every metamorphosis serving to illustrate his zeal
to sacrifice himself for his fellow-creatures and, incidentally,
stimulating the kindness we owe to our poor relations without the
power of speech. Professor Speyer’s translation of legends collected
in the _Jatakamala_ (wreath of _jatakas_) enables us to recognise in a
good many of the reliefs of the Boro Budoor the successive stages of
the Buddha on the road to supreme excellence, the figuration of his
progress being largely influenced by ancient Hindu folk-lore.


(C. Nieuwenhuis.)]

If Ruskin compared St. Mark’s at Venice so aptly with a vast illuminated
missal, bound with alabaster instead of parchment, studded with porphyry
pillars instead of jewels, and written within and without in letters of
enamel and gold, in the Boro Budoor, a sacred book of volcanic stone,
the life of the Buddha, before and after he became a son of man and
man’s saviour, lies opened before us: the flowery earth and the shining
heaven are its binding; Surya, the sun himself, gilds and enamels the
letters, the images which, in their sculptured frame, not too deeply
cut and not too rich for a setting, but precisely adequate, tell to all
creatures the story of wisdom and elevation of spirit. The illustration
of the _Lalita Vistara_ occupies, as already mentioned, the upper tier
of the inner wall of the first open gallery. Walking round in the proper
direction, _i.e._ keeping the dagob to the right while moving with the
sun, we have first a few introductory scenes, leading up to the Buddha’s
advent and preparing us for the mystic teachings of an imagery which
expands simply and naturally between the flowing lines of harmonious
ornament and speaks to the heart as does the sound of running water or
the soughing of the wind in the tree-tops. Immediately after his birth,
rising from the white lotus-flower which has sprung from the earth at
the place touched by his feet, Siddhartha, in token of his power over
the several worlds, paces seven steps to each of the cardinal points
and to the abode of sin, announcing his mission: I shall conquer the
Prince of Darkness and the army of the Prince of Darkness; to save those
plunged into hell, I shall cause rain to descend from the huge cloud
of the law and they will be filled with joy and happiness. He grows
and marries and leaves his father’s palace, moved by the misery of the
lowly and lost, to gather knowledge as Sakyamuni, until, compassing
all wisdom, he becomes impersonated truth and the great renunciation
takes place. The closing scene refers to his death, to the adoration of
the mortal remains of the immortal Tathagata, symbolising his course
among men not as a succession of past acts but as a constant one to
be imitated by whoso desires the reward. Increasing in excellence of
design and execution the nearer we approach the Holy of Holies, the
touching tale of a life of sacrifice is told with that straightforward
simplicity of which only the consummate artist possesses the secret.
All appears so human and real, so inspiringly animated by the extreme
of vital motion, to use an oriental expression, the individuality of
the figures being always preserved in minutest personal detail without
the least affectation. Plastic triumphs, emphasising the lessons of the
sacred books, bring up unto us the people of _jaman buda_, heroes tall
and strong as palm-trees, virgins lithe and slender as bambu-stems,
with drooping eyes, shrinking from a too inquisitive gaze, with limbs
modelled as if they would tremble under the pressure of a caressing


(C. Nieuwenhuis.)]

The statues, watching the ascent of the seeker of purification, second
the impulse received from the reliefs by their tranquil composure,
that is in so far as they remained at their stations, for their ranks
are sadly thinned. Aspiring to the holiness figured in the images of
the higher terraces, to the priceless boon of the Nirvana as final
blessing, the Dhyani Buddhas, sunk in meditation, girding themselves
with virtue, longing for the ecstasies vouchsafed to the Adi-Buddha’s
meditation, reflect the five salient features of his understanding, as
indicated by their gestures. Divided into three or twice three groups,
according to the position of their hands, and in intimate relationship
with their Bodhisatvas, Vajrochana, Akshobhya and Ratnasambhava are
supposed to have swayed, during thousands of years, the three worlds
which successively disappeared, as Amitabha, whose Bodhisatva is
Padmapani, sways since twenty-four centuries the present world, in
closest spiritual union with the historical Buddha, to be succeeded
by Amoghasiddha, whose Bodhisatva is Vishvapani, the ultimate Buddha,
the Buddha of universal love. Facing the four cardinal points and
the zenith, they sit with crossed legs,[154] clothed in a thin robe
which leaves the right shoulder and arm bare, and have the distinctive
protuberance of the skull, generally also the _oorna_, the symbol of
light, be it then produced by the sun or by lightning. A sixth Buddha,
represented by the statues of the fifth and highest wall, is supposed
to refer to a power which dominates the other five, swaying in last
resort the destinies of all worlds without exception; but this theory
still needs confirmation. The statues of the circular terraces stood, or
rather sat, in bell-shaped _chaityas_, four to five feet high, capped
with tapering key-stones which carry conical pinnacles--no _lingas_,
though this oft recurring motive of Hindu decoration may have suggested
the idea. These _chaityas_, 72 in number[155] and for the greater part
in ruin, shattered shells of sanctity, were closed all round and the
images inside, without aureoles, like the Buddhas lower down, only
visible through openings in the form of lozenges. Their peculiar contour
has led to the conjecture that they were constructed after the holy
_padma_ or lotus-flower, a hypothesis to which their _padmasana_-like
bases and the numerous peepholes, which might figurate empty seed-lobes,
lend some colour. Of the 72 Buddhas they protected, eighteen are wholly
lost and no more than ten escaped grievous hurt.


(Cephas Sr.)]

Winding our way upward, passing through the galleries whose profound
silence, imbued with the intensely religious spirit radiating from their
sculptured walls, becomes more and more eloquent; circling the terraces
where the attitude of ecstatic elation of the world’s pre-eminently
venerable ones in their _chaityas_ exalts the mind in tremulous
expectation, we arrive at the dagob, the shrine of shrines, the temple’s
coronet, glittering in the bright glow of day. This is the reliquary
proper, the centre into which the holiness of the hallowed building
converges. It rises, similar to the smaller cupolas, but perpendicular
to a height of several feet, from a substructure in the guise of a
lotus cushion; it was also closed round about, without any aperture
so far as can be concluded from its present state, for a portion of
it has tumbled down and the base of the crowning pinnacle, reached by
ill-matched, rickety steps, a recent, outrageously discordant addition,
serves for a bench, the whole, about 25 feet above the topmost terrace,
having been transformed into a crude belvedere, enabling visitors to
enjoy the magnificent view. The interior space seems originally to
have been divided into an upper and a lower chamber; there is nothing
deserving mention in the matter of decoration save an inscription to
remind posterity of the late King of Siam’s visit in the disastrous year
1896--a delicious memorial, at the same time, of official vandalism and
servility. The golden letters affect one unpleasantly in the spoliated
sanctum, whose ruinous condition dates from a previous call, some
sixty or seventy years ago, permitted if not encouraged by previous
authorities, when looting pseudo-archaeologists broke into it and
carried off the relic, which consisted, assuming the credibility of
local reports regarding their disappointment, in a small quantity of
ashy substance, enclosed in a metal urn with lid; furthermore in a
small image of metal and a few coins. The large statue they unearthed
too, would have impeded the movements of the marauders on their return
voyage and so it remained in place, half hidden in the hole they had
dug, undisturbed, for the same reason, by subsequent collectors. Left
unfinished by its sculptor, designedly or not,[156] resembling in the
position of its hands the Dhyani Buddhas which face the East, does it
personify the Adi-Buddha, a purely abstract entity, a metaphysical
conception hitherto defying even symbolic utterance? The learned and
especially the quasi-learned never lacked weighty arguments pro or
contra, and, without prejudice to all they proved and disproved,[157] it
does not appear improbable that the lively imagination of the Javanese
artist aimed at a tangible expression of him who ran his course as the
spirit and source of the Buddhist conception of happiness, resuscitated
from his ashes, dominating East and West, North and South, the blissful
abode of those progressing in self-negation and the infernal regions
of prolonged earthly existence, by the strength of the divine rays
proceeding from the _oorna_, illumining the path trodden by the virtuous
toward annihilation, terrifying the children of darkness, dwellers in
passion and sin, pervading all creation with his saintliness, the one of
the Paranirvana whose essence flowers in the beauty of the Boro Budoor.
And the Moslim native worships him as the god of his ancestors, caught
in stone; smears him with _boreh_ and performs acts of sacrifice before
him in spite of the Book fulminating against idolaters and of the almost
contemptuous familiarity intimated by the otherwise very appropriate
nickname bestowed on this heterodox deity, namely _recho belèq_, which
means “statue in the mud”.


(C. Nieuwenhuis.)]

The work of restoration, started with excavations and the removal of
heaps of accumulated debris, has led to important discoveries, also in
relation to the dagob. Among shattered _naga_-gargoyles, antefixes,
carved detail of every description, fragments have been found of a
triple _payoong_, an ornament in the form of a sunshade which capped
it; of a statuette supposed to have adorned its second storey, the
upper compartment of the cella. To quote from Major van Erp’s last
published report,[158] the excavations shed new light on the design
of some minor parts of the building, the decoration, _e.g._, of the
lowest three staircases on each of the four sides; notwithstanding the
existing drawings, the _kala-makara_ motive seems to have entered into
the ornament of the entrance gate in the principal outer wall; the
design of the balustrade which enclosed the platform of the temple
and disappeared altogether, has been determined and a portion of it
will be rebuilt to show how things must have looked; slabs belonging to
the different series of bas-reliefs, mostly of the _jataka_ variety,
have been unearthed or detected in neighbouring _kampongs_. Especial
care is taken to retrieve those missing from the upper tier in the
first gallery: if the recovered reliefs are not always complete, the
recognisable principal figure explains generally the idea which the
sculptor intended to convey, with sufficient clearness to be grasped by
the trained archaeologist. And as to the rest of the detached pieces of
architectural value, dug up or otherwise revealed to the searching eye,
the symmetric unity of the Boro Budoor is such that place and position
of each component part, however subordinate in the mighty fabric, are
easily ascertained. Every new find discloses new excellence, so far
undreamt of, in the constructive ability of the master-builder whose
illuminated brain conceived the idea of this temple wherein he wrote the
history of a religion,

    _Whose goodly workmanship far past all other,
    That ever were on earth, all were they set together._

His name is unknown, though native fancy, descrying his likeness in the
profile of the Minoreh mountains, a fine conceit worthy of his genius,
has baptised him Kiahi Guna Darma. Another tradition calls him Kiahi
Oondagi and makes him chisel the statue which, up to the time of the
late King of Siam’s visit in 1896, stood near the _pasangrahan_, facing
a damaged Amitabha and seemingly heartening the diminishing ranks of the
lions mounting guard. It had been brought thither from a place known
as Topog, about a mile distant, and was certainly a portrait-statue,
beautifully cut and with its extraordinarily clever features a rare
work of art. The story goes that, like Busketus, the architect (with
Rainaldus) of the Duomo at Pisa, his dearest wish was to have his
remains carried to rest under the stones of the edifice he had raised to
the honour of the unseen; that, baffled in his hopes and reincarnated
after his death because of some venial offence which made him fail in
attaining the Nirvana too, he fashioned this effigy to be set up at
the entrance of his _magnum opus_, anticipating an idea of the equally
nameless artist who put the Byzantine stamp on San Marco in Venice. It
is an additional proof of the late King Chulalongkorn’s discrimination
in favour of the very best that, making the permitted choice, his
Majesty included Kiahi Oondagi, but O! the official cringing and the
little piety shown to the memory of the illustrious labourer who wrought
this wonderful monument.


(Cephas Sr.)]

On the hillock of Topog, the _deva agoong’s_ primitive home, two
wash-basins in the form of _yonis_, one of them of colossal dimensions
and resting on a crouched figure, testify to the worship of Siva’s
_sakti_, the female principle of life personified in the Mahadeva’s
Devi. Hindu motives in the ornament of the Boro Budoor avouch syncretism
having influenced the highest expression of Buddhism itself: there is
a four-armed image with _padmasana_ and _prabha_, which, carrying a
Buddha in its _makuta_, may hint at Vishnu’s ninth _avatar_; there is a
four-armed figure seated on a throne supported by Siva’s _vahana_, the
bull; there is a goddess crowned with five _trishulas_; etc. All this
illustrates again native tolerance in matters of religion as in other
respects, a result of the ancient habit of the Javanese in particular,
to meet widely different races and civilisations half-way, which has
preserved them from the narrow-mindedness consequent on isolation, as
observed by a scholar who knows them well and whose study of special
subjects has in nowise impaired his breadth of vision.[159] The
modification of this easy-going temperament in contact with western
greed, offers abundant food for thought when we return to the cool
cave of refuge from passion where the _recho belèq_ symbolises deep
contemplation and meditation terminating in absorption of self by
participation of the Spirit of the Universe, under the gaudy memorial
tablet, _Koning van Siam: 1896_, which, in its glaring incongruity,
symbolises the inverted process.[160] The feeling of annoyance it
produces, soon passes when the mind begins to expand with admiration of
the scene of calm splendour beheld from the dagob containing the pollen
of the lotus of the law. The hues and harmonies of evening dispose to a
quietude nowhere else experienced or enjoyed in that measure. The only
sound heard is a faint humming of insects circling the pinnacles of the
_chaityas_ which divide the panorama of the plain below into views of
separate interest and beauty, bounded by the graceful outline of the
terraces and the distant hills. Ricefields and palmgroves stretch as
far as the eye can reach, with villages between, sheltered by their
orchards, earth’s tapestry, embroidered in all gradations of green from
that of the sprouting _bibit padi_ of the young plantations to that of
the thick foliage of centenarian _kanaris_. The shadow of the temple,
kissing the drowsy eyelids of the Kadu, lengthens towards the Merapi
over whose crater, gilt by the setting sun, hangs a cloud of dark smoke
which drifts slowly in the direction of the Merbabu, while the Soombing,
to the northeast, looks tranquilly on. The darkness, ushered by the
smoke of the ill-tempered old fire-mountain, mingling with the pink and
purple of the western sky, spreads over the land, envelops forests and
gardens in gray, hushing all that breathes to sleep. One parting smile
of the sun’s gladness and night descends in her sable robes. Nothing
stirs; the toils of day are forgotten in wholesome repose; it is the
hour of Amitabha, ruler of the region of sunset and spiritual father
of the present world’s ruler, the one whose hands rest in his lap
after the completion of a laborious task. Morning will come and in time
the creation of a new world, the world of loving-kindness, Vishvapani’s,
the Metteya Buddha’s own--in time, long time! A _gardu_[161] strikes
seven; another answers immediately with eight strokes on the
_beloq_;[161] far away no more than six respond,--what is time to the
native! Silence reigns again, silence emphasised by the high-pitched
notes of a _suling_,[162] quavering indistinctly as the evening breeze
speeds the lover’s complaint or refuses its aid. A noise of revelry in
the _pasangrahan_ distracts the attention from this tuneful courtship;
the visionary beings that were taking life from the germ of thought
hidden in its shrine, petrify into mute statues or vanish altogether:
the spell of the Boro Budoor is broken.


(Cephas Sr.)]



[143] Such is the name given to a stretch of beach, not far from
Tanjoong Priok, the harbour of Batavia, much resorted to, for bathing
and advertisement, by that city’s frail sisterhood, and Batavians will
appreciate the young naval officer’s _bon mot_ better than did his aunt,
a provincial spinster, when at length she fathomed it.

[144] A description, dated October 12, 1858, informs us that the piece
of ivory, supposed to have garnished the jaw of Gautama, is about the
size of the little finger, of a rich yellow colour, slightly curved in
the middle and tapering. The thickest end, taken for the crown, has a
hole into which a pin can be introduced; the thinnest end, taken for the
root, looks as if worn away or tampered with to distribute fragments of
the relic.

[145] Reports and Communications of the Dutch Royal Academy, 1895.

[146] According to another explanation these incompleted pieces of
sculpture, found lying about, were rejected in the building because they
did not come up to the architect’s requirements.

[147] _The Ruin of the Boro Budoor or Vandalism_, signed GOENA DARMA.
It is no indiscretion, I believe, to reveal behind this significant
pseudonym Father P. J. HOEVENAARS, of whose sagacious observations
I shall avail myself repeatedly in the following account of the
temple’s history.

[148] Invention being stimulated by quasi-historical novels like
GRAMBERG’S _Mojopahit_.

[149] Vide _De Java-Oorlog_, commenced by Captain P. J. F. LOUW,
continued by Captain E. S. DE KLERCK and published under the auspices
of the _Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences_, vols. i. and ii.

[150] This holds good for western as well as eastern lands and,
whether true or false, the story of Napoleon’s dragoons converting the
refectorium of Santa Maria delle Grazie at Milan into a stable and
adjusting their horses’ mangers against da Vinci’s _Cena_, expresses
very well what cavalry on the warpath are capable of.

[151] The form of the characters, etc., according to Professor
KERN, points to about the year 800 Saka (A.D. 878).

[152] See also the _Westminster Review_ of May and _The Antiquary_ of
August, 1912.

[153] ROGER FRY on _Oriental Art_, January, 1910.

[154] In the position called _silo_ by the natives, but with the body
straight, not bent forward.

[155] The lowest circular terrace has or ought to have 32, the second or
middle one 24, the highest and last 16 of them.

[156] M. A. FOUCHER points out in the _Bulletin de l’Ecole
Française d’Extrême Orient_, iii., that the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen
Tsiang found another unfinished statue in the Mahabodhi temple near the
Bo-tree of Enlightenment, a statue which, according to the description,
represented the Buddha in the same position, his left hand resting in
his lap, his right hand hanging down, etc.

[157] The literature concerning this statue, says GOENA DARMA
in the _Javapost_ of December 5, 1903, is extensive and rich in curious
conjectures but poor as to scientific value.

[158] Proceedings of the _Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences_,
January 11, 1910.

[159] Professor Dr. C. SNOUCK HURGRONJE, _Nederland en de

[160] Since this was written, the information reached me that the _recho
belèq_ has been taken out of its hole to give it a place somewhere
in the temple grounds where it will be open to inspection, which the
reconstruction of the dagob would have made impossible if left in its
original station. The sacrilege may be condoned to a certain extent if
it implies the disappearance of the tablet intended to keep alive the
memory of the disastrous royal visit.

The illustration opposite page 280 shows the upper terraces and the
dagob after their restoration: the pinnacle of the dagob having been
reconstructed with its crowning ornament, this was afterwards taken away
because of some uncertainty as to its original arrangement.

[161] _Gardus_ are guard-houses erected for the accommodation of the men
who take their turn in watching the roads at night; near the entrance of
each hangs the _beloq_ (block), a piece of wood which, being hollow, is
beaten with a stick to proclaim the hour or to signal fire, amok, the
appearance of _kechus_ (armed thieves), etc.

[162] The Javanese reed-pipe.




    Ciò ch’io vedeva, mi sembrava un riso
          Dell’universo; ...[163]

    DANTE ALIGHIERI’S _Commedia_ (_Paradiso_, Canto 27).

It has already been remarked that the natives knew of the existence of
the _chandi_ Boro Budoor long before Cornelius’ discoveries or, rather,
that they never lost sight of it, and the place it occupies in the
Javanese chronicles appears from the _Babad Tanah Jawa_.[164] In the
early years of the eighteenth century Ki Mas Dana, son-in-law of Ki
Gedeh Pasukilan, incited the people of Mataram to a rebellion, which
broke out in the _dessa_ Enta Enta, a centre of sedition it seems, since
only a short time before a certain Raden Suryakusumo, son of Pangeran
Puger, had chosen the same village for his headquarters when rising
against Mangku Rat II., who captured him and put him in an iron cage
without, however, killing him, because the omens were unfavourable.[165]
Ki Mas Dana had many followers and appointed _bupatis_ and _mantris_. Ki
Yagawinata, _bupati_ of Mataram, marched against him but was defeated
and fled to Kartasura, acquainting his Majesty with what had happened.
Thereupon Pangeran Pringgalaya was sent to suppress Ki Mas Dana’s
revolt, with instructions to capture him alive because his Majesty had
made a vow that he would exhibit him publicly as an example to the
inhabitants of Kartasura and let him be _rampokked_[166] with needles.
Pangeran Pringgalaya departed and with him half of the _bupatis_ of
Kartasura. When he arrived at Enta Enta the battle began. Many rebels
were killed. Ki Mas Dana fled to the mountain Boro Budoor. He was
surrounded by the troops of Pangeran Pringgalaya and made a prisoner.
Then they brought him to his Majesty at Kartasura, who ordered all
the inhabitants of the town to assemble in the _aloon aloon_, each of
them with a needle. It lasted three days before all the inhabitants
of Kartasura had had their turn. When he was dead, his head was cut
off and exhibited on a pole. After the execution of Ki Mas Dana, the
news was received that his father-in-law Ki Gedeh Pasukilan had also
revolted. His Majesty ordered the repression of that revolt too. Ki
Gedeh Pasukilan was defeated and killed.

Dr. Brandes, observing that the _chandi_ Boro Budoor must have been
meant because there is no other place known of the same name and its
strategical value, given ancient modes of warfare, is obvious, puts
the date of its investment by Pangeran Pringgalaya to seize Ki Mas
Dana, at 1709 or 1710. A native reference to the Boro Budoor of half a
century later, is found in a Javanese manuscript, used by Professor C.
Poensen for a paper on Mangku Bumi, first Sooltan of Jogjakarta.[167]
The conduct of the Pangeran Adipati, son of that Sooltan, grieved his
father very much. Besides his ignorance in literary matters, he was
proud and arrogant; he disdained his father’s advice and associated with
the women of the toll-gate, which caused all sorts of annoyance. He went
also to the Boro Budoor to see the thousand statues, notwithstanding
an old prediction that misfortune would befall the prince who beheld
those images, for one of them represented a _satrya_ (a noble knight)
imprisoned in a cage; but it was the Prince’s fate that he wished to see
the statue of the _satrya_. Having gratified his desire, he remained in
the Kadu, where he led a most dissolute life. This gave great sorrow
to his father, the Sooltan, because the scandal reached such dimensions
that the (Dutch) Governor at Samarang heard of it and reprimanded him.
Ashamed and angry, he sent a few _bupatis_ with armed men to order the
Pangeran Adipati to return to Ngajogja (Jogjakarta); if he refused, they
had to use violence and were even authorised to kill him. The Pangeran
Adipati obeyed and was kindly received by his father, but soon after
he fell ill, spat blood and died. A letter of the Governor-General
J. Mossel, dated December 30, 1758,[168] contains the passage: “His
Highness’ eldest son, the pangerang Adipatty Hamancoenagara, having
departed this life, ...” and the profligate Crown Prince’s visit to the
Boro Budoor may therefore be put at a few years less than fifty after Ki
Mas Dana’s rebellion.

It is clear, says Dr. Brandes, that at the time referred to in this
second record, the Boro Budoor was something more to the natives than
simply a hill; they knew of the building with the thousand statues--a
round number like that of the _chandi_ Sewu, the “thousand temples”--and
they knew of the images in the bell-shaped _chaityas_ on the circular
terraces. And though any one of those 72 statues or even the principal
statue in the central dagob may have been meant, in which last case,
however, another expression than _kuroongan_ (cage) would appear more
appropriate, we think involuntarily of the Sang Bimo or Kaki Bimo
so-called, a statue of the Buddha promoted or degraded by popular
superstition to the rank of a Pandawa, Arjuno’s chivalrous brother,
seated in the _chaitya_ of the lowest circular terrace, next to and
south of the eastern staircase, still venerated by the natives, by the
Chinese community and by more women and men of European extraction than
are willing to confess it. Bimo or Wergodoro, to use the name given to
him in the _wayang lakons_ when they extol his youthful exploits, is
the archetype of the _satrya_, the pattern of ancestral knighthood.
Most probably it was Sang Bimo who, conformably to the _ilaila_ or
ancient prediction, executed the decree of fate on Pangeran Adipati
Hamangkunagara. Disregarding the example set by the invisible power
which resides in the Boro Budoor, a later Crown Prince of Jogjakarta
visited that temple in 1900 without, so far, coming to grief. Has then
the _ilaila_ under special consideration lost its efficacy? We must
presume so, notwithstanding that the occult forces identified with Sang
Bimo and other statues of the ancient fane, are affirmed still to work
miracles in plenty when propitiated by adequate sacrifice.


(Cephas Sr.)]

The greatest miracle of all is the elation of man’s thought by the
irresistible charm which goes out from it. A night with the Boro Budoor
is a night of purification, when Amitabha offers the lotus of the good
law and the gift is accepted; when the wonderful edifice, rising to
the star-spangled sky, unfolds terrace after terrace and gallery
after gallery between the domed and pinnacled walls, as his flower of
ecstatic meditation spreads its petals, opens its heart of beauty to the
fructifying touch of heaven; when tranquil love descends in waves of
contentment, unspeakable satisfaction. The dagob loses its sharp, bold
outline and melts into boundless space, a vision of fading existence in
consummation of wisdom. A mysterious voice, proceeding from the shrine,
urges to search out the secret it hides. The summons cannot be resisted
and going up, trusting to the murky night, mounting the steps to the
first gate as in a somnambulistic trance, the seeker of enlightenment
discerns the path, guided by his quickened perception when the voice
dies of its own sweetness, the fragrant stillness appeasing the mind and
extending promise of pity for passion and fleshly desire, the garment
of sin left behind. Surely, it was the supreme wisdom, forgiving all
things because it understands, which inspired a human intellect to
devise, directed human hands to achieve in the delineation of mercy such
powerful architectural unity, sustained by such sublimely beauteous
ornament. Aided from above, the spirituality of the builder, creating
this masterpiece, needed not the laborious tricks passed off on us in
our days of feverish _effect-hascherei_ by artists who dispense with
the rudiments of their art to strive after the sensational. Neither
was his originality of the cheap kind which tries to cloak crass
technical ignorance and hopeless general ineptitude with paltry though
pretentious artifices, displaying a deplorable lack of the conceptive
faculty into the bargain. Proclaiming the doctrine glorious in veracity
of thought and utterance, the Boro Budoor typifies honest endeavour and
sincerity of purpose.

Entering the first of the porches through which from four sides the
successive galleries and terraces are reached, we come under the
spell of the rapture symbolised by those vaulted staircases, leading
upward from reason to faith, constructed, it seems, to match the
“evident portals” of the perfect state: composure, kindness, modesty,
self-knowledge. The Banaspati, terrifier of the evil spirits, shelters
him who proceeds on the path they indicate in clemency and charity. As
we pass on, confiding in his protection, the sculptured walls gleam
softly, impregnated by the sun’s light embedded in the stones, and
the germ of truth, treasured in the dagob, radiates down in luminous
substantiation of the word, making the invisible visible by degrees. The
air hangs heavy and warm in the galleries and throbs with the emotion
excited by the lustrous reliefs which picture the life of the Buddha.
A flush of indescribable splendour, clear exhalation of his virtue and
holiness, lifts veil after veil from the bliss this initiation portends.
The transparent atmosphere lends new significance to the gestures of the
Dhyani Buddhas, seated on their lotus cushions as stars half quenched
in golden mist, while we feel more than see the serene calmness of
their features still wrapped in obscurity. Their contemplation is the
beginning of the highest; their ecstasy pierces eternity, opens the
regions of infinite intelligence, complete self-effacement, absolute
nothingness. Too much absorbed in abstract cogitation to occupy
themselves with matters of mundane interest, they leave the government
of the created worlds to their spiritual sons, and Padmapani is the
Mahasatva on whom our age depends. Out-topping human knowledge, they
teach the meaning of the universe: the Buddha of the East dreaming his
dreams as the sun rises, the Buddha of the South blessing the day, the
Buddha of the West unfolding the secret of the all-spirit as the sun
sets, the Buddha of the North pointing the way from darkness to light,
the Buddha of the Zenith lifting his hands to turn the wheel of the law.
The statues smile beatitude in happiness at losing the consciousness
of existence when they will be worthy of the Nirvana, the solution of
life in non-being, death which disclaims resurrection in any form. And
the highest attainable blessing, the Paranirvana, the Nirvana Absolute,
is signified in the image of the central dagob: however interpreted as
solitary indweller of the shrine of shrines built over the remains of
the flesh which embodied the word, the Tathagata, the self-subsisting,
preceded and to be succeeded in fullness of time, it figures the
immanence in bodily imperfection of the energy for good which sanctified
Ayushmat Gautama, who modified his carnality by dominating his senses;
who, when questioned by his first disciples, could declare that he was
the expected teacher of lucid perception and replete comprehension,
the discerning monitor, the destroyer of error, the spotless counsellor
impelled to release them from the bonds of sin and make them deserve the
manifest favour of annihilation.

The rudely interrupted sleep of the _recho bèlèt_ formulated,
intentionally or not, a confession of faith in the reward of
righteousness by complete dissolution, cessation of continuance, eternal
rest undisturbed by gods or men, by feeling or thought. The pilgrim
to the Boro Budoor, longing for the _arahat_ship, accomplished in the
science of conducting himself, must have hesitated before ascending to
the highest terrace and seeking direct communion with the pure spirit
of the son of virtue, born of a woman truly, but whose mother died
seven days after his birth, in token of his eminence; the venerable one
whose moral strength stands paramount, overcometh even the innate fear
of extinction. The essence of the Triratna lies here within the grasp
of the earnest inquirer, the precious pearl whose lustre divulges the
principle of causation, the beginning and the end of all things, the
primary source of what is and shall be. How to obtain it? By offerings
to the symbolic stone? Not so, but by good works and self-examination
which excels prayer and makes any place a Bodhimanda, a seat of
intelligence. The Buddha was a man, no god surpassing the limits of
humanity, who has to be propitiated by adoration. Whoso wishes the
Rescuer’s saving grace, should remember the story of Upagoopta and the
courtesan Vasavadatta, and ask: Has my hour arrived?[169] Penance for
errors committed, not by fasting and self-torture, but by persevering
in the eight-fold path of right views, right aspirations, right speech,
right behaviour, right search of sustenance, right effort, right
mindfulness of our fellow-creatures, right exultation, should ward off
the dire punishment of remorse which in well-balanced spirits cannot
dwell. Self-restraint, uprightness, control of the organs of sense,
makes the fell fire of the three deadly sins--sensuality, ill-will and
moral sluggishness--die out in the heart by a proper arrangement of
the precious vestments, the six cardinal virtues: charity, cleanness,
patience, courage, contemplative sympathy with all creation and
discrimination of good and evil. This leads to perfection, advancement
to the highest of the four sublime conditions, the Brahma Viharas on
which Buddhism improved by making equanimity with regard to one’s own
joys and sorrows the test of progress on the road which leads to bliss
in extermination of pain. Loosen the shackles of worldly existence by
constant application to escape from the fatal thraldom imposed by birth
and rebirth! Life is continued misery; no salvation from the distress
caused by passion and sin is possible except by cessation of self, by
merging individual in universal vacancy, mounting the four steps of the
Dhyana in contemplative evolution of the Nirvana, refining perception
and speculation to total impassibility, extinguishing reason itself in
eternal voidness, where we have nothing to fear and nothing to hope
for, taking refuge in non-existence, the only conceivable verity.


(C. Nieuwenhuis.)]

Heart and head rebel against such a religion, which considers conscious
life the great enemy to be destroyed, seeks life’s meed in dissolution
of energy, man’s best part flickering out as the flame of a spent
candle. With the gladdening odour of the garden of Java in our nostrils,
rational instinct struggles free from the torment of imposed passivity
and we rather take a more militant stand concordant with the Buddha’s
dying words: Work out your salvation with diligence. How is it to be
done? Shall we turn for guidance to the creed of the men of power and
pelf, who seem to think that their best recommendation to divine favour
is the defacement, in their western theological mill, of the gospel they
received from the East; whose mouths are filled with promises while
their hands sow calamity; whose moral superiority is but a delusion;
who mar impiously what they pretend to improve; who boast of investing
their moral surplus in political efficiency, as King Siladitiya did, for
the benefit of their wards, but whose greedy immorality spoils even the
reckoning of their own selfishness! Not so: their deeds giving the lie
to their words, their iniquities increasing, their trespasses growing
up into the heavens, who can wonder that the glory of the deity they
profess to worship, suffers in the estimation of the native? And yet,
how might Christianity thrive in a soil prepared by the doctrine of
elimination of self, by adherence to the three duties Buddhism laid down
as far more important than Brahmanic sacrifice: continence, kindness,
reverence for the life of all creatures. Insisting on man’s obligations
to his fellow-men, the Buddha anticipated by six centuries the precept:
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. If he did not match it with
the first and greater commandment of the Christian dispensation, his
atheism, to quote Hunter, was a philosophical tenet which, so far from
weakening the sanctions of right and wrong, gave them new strength from
the doctrine of Karma or the metempsychosis of character. Teaching that
sin, sorrow and deliverance, the state of a man in this life, in all
previous and all future lives, is the inevitable result of his own acts,
the Buddha applied the inexorable law of cause and effect to the soul:
What we sow, we must reap. “All spirits are enslaved which serve things
evil,” as redemption flowers from straight vision, straight thought,
straight exertion in truthful endeavour. The lesson might be profitably
taken to heart in furtherance of a nation’s Karma by statesmen who have
no explanation for the unsatisfactory condition of dependencies oversea
but evasive oratory backed by a dexterous shuffling of cooked colonial
reports and doctored colonial statistics when the sinister farce of
the colonial budget is on the boards. And each of us, however limited
his sphere, finds his own opportunities for individual transition to a
higher state: like Gautama we meet every day the poor and needy, the old
and decrepit in want of assistance, the prostrate sufferer in agony of

And, like Gautama, each one who strives for enfranchisement, must have
his struggle with Mara, the Prince of Darkness. After the first watch
on the Boro Budoor, night thickens and covers the earth as a pall; the
wan stars glimmer weakly, shining on the misery of deficient fulfilment
of intention. Reflecting on our errors of commission and omission,
seeing our deeds laid bare and their why and wherefore, dejection
masters hope, though steadfast determination might take an example at
the Buddha wrestling with the Enemy, who offered him the kingdom of
the four worlds; though we know that the giving or withholding of the
fifth, the world of glory, is beyond the Enemy’s power. We see the
contest re-enacted before us and tremble. Appearing bodily, horrible to
behold, Mara, the god of carnal love, passion and sin, Papiyan, the very
vicious, besets the incarnate word, surrounded by his demons of ever
changing gruesome aspect, barking dogs with enormous fangs and lolling
tongues; roaring tigers with sharp, murderous claws and bloodshot eyes;
hissing serpents, darting forward to strike and crush their prey. While
we fancy the contest raging hottest round valiant patience, personified
in the image of the dagob, the maimed statues of the _chaityas_ and
lower niches join in the dire battle as the headless spirits that rode
upon the tempest when Evil assailed the elect’s purity. Papiyan cannot
prevail and seeing the futility of violence, he has recourse to his
daughters, the winsome _apsaras_, who dance and provoke to lascivious
commerce by their seductive arts. But they make no more impression than
their brutish brothers and, in spite of themselves, they are compelled
to praise the fortitude of a virtue which will not succumb even when
one of them assumes the shape of a beloved youthful spouse. The baffled
_apsaras_ dissolve in floating vapour, and Papiyan, in despair, traces
flaming characters on the dome of the dagob with his last arrow: My
empire is ended. The stars resume their brightness and a sense of coming
light pervades the gloom of despondency. It is borne toward us in the
flower tendered by Chandra, the deity of the chaste radiance proceeding
from the conqueror’s crest. Lo, his crown is transferred to the sky and,
climbing slowly, the cusped moon invests the moulders of past and future
worlds with halos of liquid silver.

This is the time, the stilly hour before dawn, the last watch before
morning, the chosen moment of the Buddha’s attainment to the summit
of the triple science, wherein the supernatural beauty of the Boro
Budoor, cleansed and reconsecrated after the white man’s profanation,
by the burning fire of day and the mellow touch of night, helps us to
penetrate the meaning of his promise. He who holds fast to the law and
discipline and faints not, he shall cross the ocean of life and make an
end of sorrow. The blitheness of spirit which consists, because of that
whereby the sun riseth and setteth, and the moon waxeth and waneth, in
discarding the ignorance engendered by conceding to this world a reality
it does not possess, regarding as constant that which changes with
every wind that blows,--the exaltation born from silent contemplation,
loses its vagueness in the manifestation of the godhead in ourselves.
For contemplation becomes seeded and blooms in the triad of meditation,
the recognition of the entities of time and space, and connecting
thought as the unity of universal relationship. The Dhyani Buddhas,
wrapped in the shadows from which dawn will deliver them, seek to
comprehend, and our mentality expanding with theirs, looking down upon
the gray waves of mist that break on the old temple as on a rock of ages
in a stormy sea, we feel the dagob rise to meet the moonbeams and soar
to unutterable delight. Presently the first smile of day salutes and
awakens mother earth; a murmur of contentment thrills the air in harmony
of praise: the dimming, quivering stars, the crimson mountain-tops,
the purple and azure perspective between, all creation combines in a
song of thanksgiving. The mystic planetary music, the singing together
of earth and heaven in melody of colour and sound, welcomes the bright
morning. Dawn, with blushing face and heart of gold, bewrays the glory
of her eternal abode to the world of man, sending her outriders before,
the Asvins, the lords of lustre, whose shining armour, forged of the
sun’s rays, illumines the pearly sky with dazzling splendour. They roll
the billowy vapours together and chase them up the hill-side “like wool
of divers changing colours carded,” that the eye of the life-giver may
rest on the plain where the palm-groves rise in the hazy dew as emerald
islands in an opalescent lake. The Merbabu and the Soombing are still
half in darkness when the Merapi, flecked with orange and violet, blazes
in reflection of aërial effulgence, soon to commingle the smoke of its
fiery crater with the clouds mounting its slopes. The fire-mountains
keep a good watch on the garden of Java, than which Jatawana, the famous
pleasance where the Buddha enounced the substance of his teachings
preserved in the Sutras, cannot have been more delicious; and the Merapi
in particular makes the land pass under the rod when sacred covenants
are broken.


(Archaeological Service.)]

The heart too is illuminated as thoughts take their hues from the skies,
knowledge clearing up the anarchy of conflicting creeds which exercised
and exercise their sway over Java. Brahmanic terrorism and Buddhist
despondency, Moslim fanaticism and Christian dissensions vanish before
her unsophisticated children’s delight in life for its own sake, as the
morning dew before the warmth of the sun. Twining memories of the _jaman
buda_ with current happenings, they take their spiritual nourishment
directly from nature and the symbolic form of their natural religion
from everywhere. Without troubling about erudite dissertations regarding
the legend of the Buddha as the development of an ancient solar myth,
or Buddhism as a development of the Sankhya system of Kapila; without
going into abstruse speculations anent the evolution of the universe
from primordial matter, they are in constant intercourse with the
surrounding worlds, seen and unseen. The virile Surya, impregnating
air and earth, unfailing source of plenty, enters deep into their
metaphysics as the cosmic pivot of faith. When high-born dawn rouses
the tillers of the soil to go forth to their work and the eye of day
showers benediction, the solar word, spoken from the eternal throne and
descending on wings of happiness, the living word, is found emblazoned
on the sea of light which floods the Kadu just as the fertilising water
of the mountain-rills floods the _sawahs_;[170] is found embodied in
that superb temple, the Boro Budoor, whose soul, the soul of humanity
in communion with the all-soul, is the soul of Java. Adorned with that
priceless jewel of sanctity, the plain lifts its sensuous loveliness to
heaven as the bride meets the caresses of her wedded spouse, trembling
with love. They obey the divine law which bids them follow nature in
drinking the _amrita_, gaining immortality like the gods in creation
of life, which may change, yet never dies, aging but reviving, the
mystery of the Trimoorti. Clothed with the resplendent atmosphere,
touched by the beams of the rising sun, its effulgent dagob a mountain
of gold, the Boro Budoor bursts out in the bloom of excellence, not the
sepulchre of a discarded religion, of a fallen nation’s dreams, but a
token of the germinal truth of all religion, a prophetic expression of
things to be. The tide of destiny runs not always in the same channel
and there is promise in the joy of day, promise of a slaking of the
thirst for freedom, an abatement of the fever engendered by doubt of
enfranchisement always deferred. If hope endures in the battle with
darkness, patient fortitude will lead to victory. It baulked the power
of Mara and blunted the weapons of the demons who assailed the Buddha
and turned aside the missiles which did not harm him but changed into
flowers before his feet, into garlands suspended over his head. When
knowledge shall cover the world at the advent of Vishvapani, deceit and
avarice will cease tormenting and glad content will dwell in the _negri
jawa_ for ever.

So be it!




    That which I saw, seemed to me
          A smile of all creation; ...

[164] J. J. MEINSMA, _Babad Tanah Jawa_, text and notes,
1874-1877, commented upon by Dr. J. L. A. BRANDES in _Het
Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 1901_.

[165] The insurrection headed by Raden Suryakusumo broke out in 1703
and, according to letters from the Governor-General then in function
at Batavia, to the Honourable Seventeen at home, this Javanese Hotspur
gave a good deal of trouble. Having regained his liberty, he rebelled
again at Tagal, was captured once more and brought to Batavia, whence
the Dutch authorities sent him into banishment at the Cape of Good
Hope, agreeably to the request of Mangku Rat IV. Cf. J. K. J. DE
JONGE, _De Opkomst van het Nederlandsche Gezag over Java_, vol.

[166] To _rampok_ is to attack one, crowding on him, generally with
lances. The _rampokking_ of tigers after they are caught and again set
free in a square formed by rows of men with pikes, is still a favourite

[167] _Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde van Nederlandsch
Indië_, vi., 1 and 2.

[168] J. K. J. DE JONGE, _Op. cit._, vol. x., p. 329.

[169] The story points a moral not less relevant to western than to
eastern ethics and runs as follows:

Once upon a time there lived in Mathura a courtesan renowned for
her beauty and her name was Vasavadatta. On a certain day her maid,
having been sent to buy perfume at a merchant’s, who had a son called
Upagoopta, and having stayed out rather long, she said:

--It appears, my dear, that this youth Upagoopta pleases you exceedingly
well, since you never buy in any shop but his father’s.

--Daughter of my master, answered the maid, besides being comely, clever
and polite, Upagoopta, the son of the merchant, passes his life in
observing the law.

These words awakened in Vasavadatta’s heart a desire to meet Upagoopta
and she bade her maid go back and make an appointment with him. But the
youth vouchsafed no other reply than:--My sister, the hour has not yet

Vasavadatta thought that Upagoopta refused because he could not afford
to pay the high price she demanded for her favours, and she bade her
maid tell him that she did not intend to charge him a single cowry if
only he would come. But Upagoopta replied in the same words:--My sister,
the hour has not yet arrived.

Shortly after, the courtesan Vasavadatta, annoyed by the jealousy of
one of her lovers, who objected to her selling herself to a wealthy old
voluptuary, ordered her servants to kill the troublesome fellow. They
did so without taking sufficient precautions against discovery; the
crime became known and the King of Mathura commanded the executioner to
cut off her hands, feet and nose, and abandon her thus mutilated among
the graves of the dead.

Upagoopta hearing of it, said to himself: When she was arrayed in fine
clothes and no jewels were rare and costly enough to adorn her body,
it was a counsel of wisdom for those who aspire to liberation from the
bondage of sin to avoid her; with her beauty, however, she has certainly
lost her pride and lustfulness, and this is the hour.

Accordingly, Upagoopta went up to the cemetery where the executioner
had left Vasavadatta maimed and disfigured. The maid, having remained
faithful, saw him approach and informed her mistress who, in a last
effort at coquetterie, told her to cover the hideous wounds with a piece
of cloth. Then, bowing her head before her visitor, Vasavadatta spoke:

--My master, when my body was sweet as a flower, clothed in rich
garments and decked with pearls and rubies; when I was goodly to behold,
you made me unhappy by refusing to meet me. Why do you come now to look
at one from whom all charm and pleasure has fled, a frightful wreck,
soiled with blood and filth?

--My sister, answered Upagoopta, the attraction of your charms and the
love of the pleasures they held out, could not move me; but the delights
of this world having revealed their hollowness, here I am to bring the
consolation of the lotus of the law.

So the son of the merchant comforted the courtesan doing penance for her
transgressions, and she died in a confession of faith to the word of the
Buddha, hopeful of rebirth on a plane of chastened existence.

[170] _Sawahs_ are ricefields, terraced and diked for the purpose of
copious irrigation, in contradistinction to _ladangs_ (Jav. _gagas_,
Soond. _humas_) without artificial water-supply.


It has been suggested that the practical value of this volume might be
enhanced by the addition of a short bibliography indicating the works
to which students, who wish to go deeper into the subjects touched
upon, could turn for more ample information. _Il y a l’embarras du
choix_ and, always abreast with latest research, particularly the
publications of learned societies as the Royal Institute of the Dutch
East Indies, the Royal Geographical Society of the Netherlands, the
Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences, are rich depositories of Dutch
East Indian lore, many of the most important monographs they contain,
being available in book or pamphlet form. Not to speak of the specific
knowledge derivable from such sources as the official Reports of the
Archaeological Commission for Java and Madura, the Bulletins of the
Colonial Museum at Haarlem, etc., from periodicals as _Het Tijdschrift
voor Binnenlandsch Bestuur_ (organ of the Dutch East Indian Civil
Service), _Het Indisch Militair Tijdschrift_, etc., less scientifically
or professionally dressed but just as weighty observations on different
aspects of Dutch rule in the Malay Archipelago can be found in monthlies
like _De Gids_, _De Tijdspiegel_ and, of course, _De Indische Gids_ in
which _Het Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië_, founded by W. R. Baron
van Hoëvell, has been incorporated. The _Encyclopaedie van Nederlandsch
Indië_ is a very serviceable storehouse of general intelligence, though
new discoveries made and old theories exploded since its appearance,
emphasise more forcibly with every year, the necessity of its usefulness
being sustained if not by occasional new editions, revised and brought
up to date, then at least by frequent supplements. The _Daghregisters_
of the Castle of Batavia, the _Nederlandsch Indisch Plakaatboek_
(1602-1811), the _Realia_, a register of the General Resolutions from
1632 to 1805, offer almost inexhaustible material for the history of
Java and the other islands in the days of the Dutch East India Company.
J. C. Hooykaas’ _Repertorium_ (1595-1816), continued by A. Hartmann
up to 1893, and by W. J. P. J. Schalker and W. C. Muller up to 1910,
furnishes an excellent index to Dutch colonial literature; C. M. Kan’s
_Proeve eener Geographische Bibliographie van Nederlandsch Oost-Indië_
(1865-1880) and Martinus Nijhoff’s _Bibliotheca Neerlando-Indica_,
1893, should also be mentioned. The following miscellaneous list is an
attempt briefly to enumerate the works, apart from papers accessible
only in serial publications, which seem specially adapted (allowing
a good deal in not a few of them for mutual admiration and all too
courteous, excessive panegyric) to give interested readers further
particulars, according to each one’s individual line of investigation,
with regard to various matters treated of or alluded to in Monumental

    A. BASTIAN. _Indonesien oder die Insel des malayischen
    Archipel._ 1884-9.

    J. G. A. VAN BERCKEL. _Bijdrage tot de Geschiedenis van
    het Europeesch Opperbestuur over Nederlandsch Indië_ (1780-1806).

    N. P. VAN DEN BERG. _Debet of Credit._ 1885.

    N. P. VAN DEN BERG. _The Financial and Economical
    Progress and Condition of Netherlands India during the last fifteen
    years and the Effect of the present Currency System._ 1887.

    L. W. C. VAN DEN BERG. _De Mohammedaansche
    Geestelijkheid en de Geestelijke Goederen op Java en Madoera._ 1882.

    L. W. C. VAN DEN BERG. _De Inlandsche Rangen en Titels
    op Java en Madoera._ 1887.

    H. BOREL. _De Chineezen in Nederlandsch Indië._ 1900.

    J. L. A. BRANDES. _Pararaton (Ken Arok) of het Boek der
    Koningen van Toemapèl en van Madjapaït._ 1896.

    A. CABATON. _Les Indes Néerlandaises._ 1910.

    J. CHAILLEY BERT. _Java et ses habitants._ 1907 (new

    J. A. VAN DER CHIJS. _De Nederlanders te Jakatra._ 1860.

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    in Java._ 1904.

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    (Of the words here explained, only the meaning or meanings are
    given, attached to them in this book.)

_agama buda_--lit. Buddhist creed; in native parlance, however, the word
includes every pre-Muhammadan religion.

_aksara_--character representing a Javanese consonant.

_aloon aloon_--square or outer court before the dwelling of a native
prince or chief.

_ampilan_--articles of virtu belonging to a royal family, emblems of

_amrita_--immortality, all-light; rejuvenating nectar of the gods.


_apsara_--heavenly nymph, produced by the churning of the ocean and
living in the sky; spouse of a _gandharva_.

_arahat_--he who has become worthy.

_astana_--abode of some exalted personage.

_avatar_--descent of a deity from heaven to assume a visible form on
earth; incarnation of a god, especially of Vishnu.


_banaspati_ (_wanaspati_)--conventional lion’s (or tiger’s) head, a
frequently occurring motive in the ornament of Javanese temples.


_batik_--the art of dyeing woven goods by dipping them in successive
baths of the required colour, the parts to be left undyed being
protected by applying a mixture of beeswax and resin.

_batu_ (_watu_)--stone.

_bedoyo_--young female or male dancer of noble birth at the Courts of
Surakarta and Jogjakarta.

_bikshu_--Buddhist mendicant monk.

_bolook_--squirrel of the _Pteromys nitidus_ and _Pteromys elegans_

_boreh_--preparation of turmeric and coconut-oil used in sacrifice and
acts of adoration.


_chaitya_--place deserving worship or reverence.

_chakra_--disk, wheel.

_champaka_--tree, _Michelia Champaca L._, fam. _Magnoliaceae_, with
sweet-smelling flowers.

_chandi_--any monument of Hindu or Buddhist origin.

_dagob_--structure raised over a relic of the Buddha or a Buddhist

_dalam_--lit. inside; private apartments of a royal palace or the
dwelling of a chief.


_dzikr_--lit. remembrance; invocation of God.

_gamelan_--native orchestra.

_gandharva_--heavenly singer, whose especial duty it is to guard the
_soma_, to regulate the course of the sun’s horses, etc.


_garebeg besar_--feast of the sacrifice (_id al-qorban_).

_garebeg mulood_--feast of the Prophet’s birth (_maulid_).

_garebeg puasa_--feast of the breaking of the fast (_id al-fitr_).

_garuda_--mythical monster-bird, enemy of the serpent-race; bearer of




_hadat_--usage, traditional custom.

_haji_--one who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca.

_hinayanistic_--pertaining to the canon of the southern Buddhist church
or doctrine of the Lesser Vehicle.

_inya_--nurse, maid, waiting-woman.

_ishta devata_--pre-eminent god chosen for particular worship.

_jaman (zaman) buda_--lit. the time of the Buddha, pre-Muhammadan days.

_jataka_--birth, nativity; _jataka_-tales: stories connected with the
birth and life of the Buddha in one of his successive existences on

_kabayan_--chief of a community.

_kakèh_--old man, grandfather.

_kala_--time as the destroyer of all things, the bringer of death;


_kamboja_--tree, _Plumeria acutifolia Poir._, fam. _Apocynaceae_, often
found in cemeteries, the sweet-smelling flowers of which are much used
in funeral rites.

_kampong_--group of native dwellings.

_kananga_--tree, _Cananga odorata Hook. f. et Th._, fam. _Anonaceae_,
with sweet-smelling flowers.

_kanari_--tree, _Canarium commune L._, fam. _Burseraceae_, frequently
met in gardens and planted along roads for its shade.

_kanjeng goosti_--a high title of honour.

_kantil_--flower of the _champaka_.

_kedaton_--that part of a princely residence occupied by its owner, his
wives, concubines and children.

_kembang telon_--flowers of sacrifice, especially _melati_, _kananga_
and _kantil_.





_klenteng_--Chinese temple, joss-house.

_krakal_ (_ngrakal_)--hard labour in the chain-gang.

_kramat_--holy grave.

_kraton_--residence of a reigning native prince.


_kurang wang_--lacking money.

_lakon_--Javanese drama.

_legèn_--a liquor prepared by fermentation of the sap drawn from some
trees of the palm family.

_linga_--male organ of generation, emblem of Siva’s fructifying power.

_lontar_--high-growing tree, _Borassus flabelliformis L._, fam.
_Palmae_, with large fan-like leaves.


_loro_--a title designating a lady of very high birth.


_mahayanistic_--pertaining to the canon of the northern Buddhist church
or doctrine of the Greater Vehicle.

_makara_--a mythical sea-monster.

_makuta_--head-dress, crown, crest.

_mantri_--in Malay countries a native official of high rank; minister of
state, councillor; in Java a native official of lower rank.


_mās_--lit. gold; title given to native noblemen and also, in courteous
address, to commoners.

_mboq_--title given to women in courteous address.

_melati_--shrub, _Jasminum Sambac Ait._, fam. _Oleaceae_, with sweet-
and rather strong-smelling flowers.

_meliwis_--a kind of duck.





_negri jawa_--country of the Javanese, Java.

_nirvana_--extinction of existence, the highest aim and highest good.

_oombool_--source, well.

_oorna_--tuft or bunch of hair between the Buddha’s eyebrows.

_orang kechil_--lit. the little men, the lower classes.

_orang slam_--Muhammadan.

_orang wolanda_--Hollander.

_padi_--rice in the hull.

_padmasana_--lotus cushion or seat.

_padri_--one of a sect which, in the manner of the Wahabites, tried
to rouse the Muhammadans of the Padang Highlands in Sumatra to more
orthodox zeal.

_paman_--uncle on the father’s side; appellation used in respectful
address of any senior in years.

_panakawan_--page, follower, retainer.



_pantoon_--old and still very popular form of native poetry.

_pasangan_--character representing a Javanese consonant in the place
or (generally modified) form which marks the vowelless sound of the
preceding one.

_pasangrahan_--rest-house for officials on their tours of inspection.



_pendopo_--open audience-hall in the dwellings of the great.

_prabha_--light, radiance, aureole.


_puri_--name of the princely residences in Bali and Lombok.


_raden_--title of nobility.

_raksasa_--evil spirit, ogre, generally of hideous appearance though the
female (_raksasi_) sometimes allures man by her beauty; _raksasas_ do
service as doorkeepers at the entrances of some Javanese _chandis_.

_ratu_--title for royal personages; king, queen.

_recho_ (_rejo_)--any sort of statue.

_sakti_--personification of the energy or active power of a deity as his
spouse; a god’s female complement.

_sangharama_--endowed convent.

_sanka_--conch-shell blown as a horn.

_sankara_--auspicious; causation of happiness.

_saptaratna_--the seven treasures.


_satrya_--noble knight.

_sawah_--watered ricefield.

_selir_--wife of lower degree than the _padmi_ or first legitimate

_sembah_--v. salute; n. (_persembah’an_) salutation.

_slamat_ (_salamat_)--success, blessing, prosperity.

_soma_--beverage of the gods.

_srimpi_--young female dancer of noble birth at the Courts of Surakarta
and Jogjakarta.

_stupa_--mound, tumulus; edifice raised to commemorate some event in the
life of a Buddhist saint or to mark a sacred spot.

_sugata_--pious brother on the road to Buddhist perfection.

_suling_--native reed-pipe.

_sumoor_--source, spring.



_tara_--spouse of a Dhyani Buddha.


_tempo dahulu_--olden time.

_tengger_--pieces of wood or stone posts set up at the head- and
foot-end of graves.

_tesbeh_--string of prayer-beads.

_trimoorti_--(Hindu) trinity.


_tumenggoong_--regent in an official capacity somewhat different from
that of a _bupati_.

_upachara_--royal heirloom.

_upawita_--thread or cord worn by high-caste Hindus over the left
shoulder and passing under the right arm.

_vahana_--any vehicle or means of conveyance; animal carrying a deity,
representative of his characteristic qualities.

_vihara_--monastery; Brahma Viharas: sublime conditions of perfection.

_wali_--governor or administrator of a province; name given to those who
introduced the Muhammadan religion in the island.

_waringin_ (_beringin_)--tree of the genus _Ficus_ of which the most
frequent types in Java are the _F. consociata Bl._, the _F. stupenda
Miq._, the _F. Benjaminea L._ and the _F. elastica Roxb._

_wayang_--lit. shadow; the Javanese national theatre, which seems
to have a religious origin: the invocation of the shades of deified

_wedono_--native chief of a district.


_yoni_--female organ of generation, emblem of the fecundity of Siva’s
_sakti_ or female complement.



  Abool Karim, 32

  Acheh, 6-7

  Adi-Buddha, 256, 259

  Adityawarman, King, 13

  Ageng, Sooltan, 115-116

  Ageng Pamanahan, Kiahi, 115, 124

  Aji Saka, 122

  Ajunta, 252

  Akshobhya, 181 (note), 246, 273

  Ali Moghayat Shah, Sooltan, 7

  Amitabha, 162, 181 (note), 246, 256, 264, 270, 273

  Amoghasiddha, 181 (note), 256

  Anasupati, Prince, 111, 156

  ancestor-worship, 84, 125

  Angka Wijaya, King, 7

  Angkor-Vat, 2-3

  Anyer, 10, 52

  apes, descendants of sacred, 44, 152

  apsaras, 85, 95-96, 279-280

  Arabs, 6-7

  archadomas, 37

  Archaeological Commission, x-xi, 16-17, 62, 159

  Archaeological Society of Jogjakarta, 77-78, 189

  Arjuno, 45, 49, 58

  Arjuno (Widadaren), volcano, 157

  Arjuno temple group, 47, 49, 55-58, 59

  Arjuno Wiwaha, 168

  arts, crafts and industries, 14, 17, 100, 135

  Asoka, King, 185, 235


  babads, 4 (note), 70-75, 108, 157-158, 192-196, 266-270

  Badooy, 24

  Bagelen, 40, 50, 66, 123 (note)

  Baker, Captain, 55

  Balambangan, 13, 113, 115, 116, 145

  Bali, 3, 13, 113, 148, 164, 172, 173-176

  Banaspati, 39, 134, 153, 156, 201, 204, 226, 249

  Bandoong, 122

  Bantam, 9-12, 24-27, 29-32, 115-116, 145

  Banyu Biru, 130, 152-153

  Banyumas, 40, 66, 123 (note)

  Barudin, Prince, 24

  Batalha, 80

  Batavia, 9-12, 116-119, 148

  Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences, 61 (note), 76 (note), 163,
        166, 226 (note), 260 (note)

  bathing, 34, 130, 132, 136, 152-154

  Batoor, 41-42, 50

  Batu Tulis, 23, 36-37

  Berg, Prof. L. W. C. van den, 180

  Besuki, 123 (note), 141

  Bimo, 45, 60 (note), 270

  Bodhisatvas, 83-84, 101, 180, 181 (note), 187, 256, 273

  Bogor (Buitenzorg), 23, 35-37

  Bondowoso, Raden Bandoong, 70-75, 192-196, 236

  Borneo, 17, 113, 116

  Bosboom, H. D. H., 131 (note)

  Brahma, 82, 101, 177, 189, 198, 221

  Brahmanism, 5, 176-177, 200, 282

  Brandes, Dr. J. L. A., x, 4 (note), 17, 19, 142, 155, 156, 159-161,
        163, 175, 213-214, 218, 266 (note), 268-9

  Brandstetter, Prof. R., 24 (note)

  Brata Yuda, 45, 88, 108, 110, 124, 168

  Brumund, J. F. G., 15, 202, 241

  Buddha, 88, 104, 130, 177-180, 183, 208, 210, 222-225, 235 (note),
        247-248, 253-257, 263, 270, 272-274, 276-280, 282, 284

  Buddha-fort, 49

  Buddha-roads, 50-51

  Buddhism and Buddhists, 5, 6, 12-13, 69-70, 101, 113, 125, 142-143,
        157, 159, 162, 163-164, 177-180, 183-188, 200-201, 217-218,
        241, 259-260, 274, 276-280, 282

  Bukit Tronggool, 36

  Burnouf, Eugène, 123, 179


  cave temples, 105, 154

    Andorowati, 55, 61
    Arjuno with house of Samār, 49, 55-58
    Bimo (Wergodoro), 47, 49, 55, 59-61, 237
    Boro Budoor, xii, 5, 13, 14, 17, 18-19, 35, 37, 55, 61, 70, 88,
        106, 141, 142, 149, 159, 164, 196, 207, 210, 212, 213, 221,
        222, 223, 230-232, 233-265, 266-284
    Bubrah, 190
    Cheto, 100, 105-108, 141, 148
    Chupuwatu, 101
    Dapoor, 229
    Darawati, 104
    Derma, 155, 231
    Gatot Kocho, 55, 61
    Geblak, 190
    Ijo, 105
    Jaboong, 154-155, 159
    Jalatoonda, 153
    Kalasan (Kali Bening), 6, 100, 181-184, 203, 210
    Kali Chilik, 151, 154
    Kalongan, 189
    Kedaton, 175
    Kidal, 156-157
    Loomboong, 190
    Loro Jonggrang, 13, 70-75, 79, 107, 137
    Machan Puti, 175
    Mendoot, xii, 17, 18, 37, 70, 84, 101, 141, 142, 180, 207-228, 237
    Ngaglik, 190
    Ngetos, 154
    Ngrajeg, 227
    Panataran, 142, 148, 151, 157, 159, 160, 164-170, 173, 188, 203, 215
    Papoh, 151-152
    Parikesit, 61
    Pawon, xii, 18 (note), 229-230
    Perot, 43, 230
    Plahosan, 64, 185-188, 203
    Poontadewa, 57-58
    Pringapoos, 43, 230
    Putri Jawa, 153
    Sajiwan, 189
    Sari, 26, 184-185, 203
    Sembrada, 57-58
    Sewu, 36, 64, 76, 142, 185, 189-203, 210, 269
    Singo, 202-203
    Singosari, 157-158, 162
    Srikandi, 56-58
    Suku, 100, 105-108, 141
    Surawana, 153, 168, 175
    Tagal Sari, 151
    Tegawangi, 175
    Toompang (Jago), 17, 142, 143, 148, 155, 158-163, 164, 168, 173, 251
    Watu Gudik, 190

  cemeteries and holy graves, 29-32, 124-127, 147

  Central Java, 5, 8, 11, 13, 17, 25-27, 31-32, 35, 37, 78, 99-139, 140,
        141, 142, 145, 148, 151, 172, 177-206, 207-232, 233-265, 266-284

  Ceram, 113

  Ceylon, 199, 208, 235-236

  Chandra, 83, 280

  Cheribon, 4-8, 14, 25-27, 32-34, 115-116, 123 (note)

  Cheringin, 10, 52

  Chilegon, massacre at, 32

  China and Chinese influences, 33-34, 111-112, 134, 158, 163-164

  Chinese temples, 33-34, 163

  Chipanas, 149

  Chondro di Muka, 51

  Christianity, 6, 8, 12, 38, 102, 148-150, 169, 179, 277-278, 282

  Chulalongkorn, Somdetch Phra Paramindr, late King of Siam, 222-223,
        236, 243-245, 247, 256, 261-262, 263

  cloud-faces, 170

  Coen, Jan Pietersz, 27-29

  Cohen Stuart, Dr. A. B., 15, 40 (note)

  Cornelius, H. C., 15, 54, 76, 238, 266

  country-seats, 129-130, 149

  crater-lakes, 50, 52

  Crawfurd, John, 15


  Daendels, Governor-General H. W., 33 (note), 118-119

  Daha, 109-112, 141, 145, 150, 154, 157

  Damar Wulan, 123, 153, 165

  dancing, 85, 95-96, 132-133, 136, 279

  Demak, 8, 25-26, 31-32, 106, 114-115

  Dhyana Buddhas, 162, 180, 181 (note), 182, 201, 221, 235, 237, 246,
        259, 272-274, 281

  Diëng plateau, 5, 40-68, 107, 109

  dilettantism, 14, 16-18, 78, 166-167, 216, 241-242

  Dinoyo, 156

  Dipo Negoro (Pangeran Anta Wiria), 119-120, 121, 240

  Doorga (Kali, Parvati, Uma), 6 (note), 28, 56, 80-82, 89-91, 108,
        153, 158, 174, 221, 262

  Douwes Dekker, Eduard, (Multatuli), 207 (note)

  Drajat, 8

  Dravidian style, 55, 60, 230

  Duomo at Pisa, 262


  East India Company (Dutch), 9, 27-29,
  38, 115-119, 145

  East Java, 7-8, 17, 23, 26, 99, 106, 108-117, 123, 140-176

  eastern empires, 7-8, 23, 99, 106, 109-115, 123, 140-150, 154, 155,
        157, 159

  Engelhard, Nicolaus, 20

  English trading relations and British Interregnum, 8, 14-15, 27, 54,
        76, 119

  Erlangga, King, 153

  Erp, Major T. van, xii, 19 (note), 61-62, 76-77, 190, 202, 227 (note),
        246, 260


  fables, 166, 198, 218-221, 253

  Fa Hien, 5

  Fergusson, James, 5, 15, 55-56, 60, 100, 105, 106, 165, 211, 217,
        234, 252

  Foucher, A., 259 (note)

  Friedrich, R. H. Th., 15

  Fry, Roger, 252


  Gajah Mada, 114, 155, 158

  gandharvas, 96, 187

  Ganesa, ix, 28, 43, 56, 80-82, 107, 153, 157, 205

  Gazali, 180

  Giri, 7-8, 13, 26, 144

  Girilaya, Panambahan, 26-27

  Goram islands, 113

  Gresik, 7, 114, 115

  Grimm, Jakob and Wilhelm, 220

  Groneman, Dr. J., 136 (note), 172 (note)

  Guna Darma (Oondagi), Kiahi, 248, 261-262

  Gunoong Jati, 33, 35


  Ham, P. H. van der, 226, 230

  Hamer, C. den, 226

  hanasima inscription, 55

  Hanoman, 44, 88, 144, 150

  Harris, J. C., 220 (note)

  Hartingh, Nicolaas, 131

  Hartman, Resident, 211

  Hasan ad-Din, Maulana, 25-26, 29-32

  Hazeu, Dr. G. A. J., 170

  Hayam Wurook, 113, 166

  Hinduïsm and Hindus, 5, 12-13, 23, 33, 35, 99-101, 115, 125, 137,
        144-145, 179-180

  Hiuen Tsiang, 143, 186-187, 259

  Hoevenaars, Father P. J., 209, 237, 259 (note)

  Hollander, Dr. J. J. de, 24 (note)

  Hopkins, Prof. E. Washburn, 126 (note)

  Horsfield, Thomas, 54, 105, 164, 249

  horticulture, 134

  Houtman, Cornelis, 9

  Hunter, Sir William W., 178, 278


  Ibn Batutah, 7

  Imhoff, Governor-General G. W. Baron van, 76

  Imogiri, 125, 127

  inscriptions, 5, 35 (note), 41, 64-65, 91-95, 100, 101, 105, 108,
        158, 182, 196

  Islām in Java, 6-8, 12-14, 23-26, 30-33, 35, 38, 68, 102, 106,
        110-111, 113-116, 124, 125, 144-145, 148-150, 154, 155-156,
        179, 180, 241, 282

  Islām in Sumatra, 6-7, 13


  Jambi, 17

  jataka tales and reliefs, 123, 243, 253, 255, 261, 272

  Java War, 119-120, 240-241

  Jayabaya, King, 110

  Jimboon, Panambahan, 32

  Jipang, 26 (note), 115

  Jogjakarta, 13, 98, 102-103, 120, 181, 182, 207, 270

  Johnson, Resident, 105

  Jonge, J. K. J. de, 267 (note), 269 (note)

  Jonggrang, Loro, 70-75, 89-91, 105, 106, 192-195

  Joomprit, 44

  Junghuhn, F. W., x, 15, 48, 55, 59, 64, 67, 107

  Juynboll, Dr. H. H., 101 (note), 173


  Kadu, 5, 40, 50, 66, 123 (note), 207-232, 233-265, 266-284

  Kahuripan, 110

  kala-makara motive, x, 57, 60, 249, 260

  Kalayalang, Prince, 24

  Kalinga, 35 (note)

  Kalinjamat, 8

  Karang Antu, 10-12, 28 (note)

  Karanglo, 156

  Kartawijaya, Pangeran, later Sooltan Anom, 26

  Katu, 156

  Kawa Kidang, 47, 51-52, 61, 67

  Kawit Paru, 28 (note)

  Kediri, 109-110, 115, 120, 123, 140-141, 143, 151, 164

  Keloot (volcano), 154

  Ken Angrok, King, 110-111, 113, 141, 146

  Kenya, Ratu, 153, 165-166

  Kern, Prof. J. H. C., 4, 143 (note), 236

  Kersnayana, 168

  Kertanegara, King, 111-112, 157-158

  Kertarajasa (Raden Wijaya), King, 111-113

  Kidangpenanjong, 37

  Kinsbergen, I. van, 64, 239

  Kitab Ambia, 124

  Kitab Papakan, 33

  Kitchener, Lord, 228

  Klerck, Captain E. S. de, 240

  Kondoty, 252

  Koomba-rawa and Koomba-rawi, 11

  Kota Batu, 35-36

  Kota Bedah, 155-156

  Kraëng Galesoong, 116

  Krakatoa, 10, 52

  Krom, Dr. N. J., xi, xii

  Kutara Manawa, 33


  Lady of Mystery, 103, 182-183, 201

  Lakshmi, 83

  Lalita Vistara, 254

  Lampongs, 25

  language, 122-124

  Leemans, Dr. C., 15, 239

  legend of the _chandi_ Loro Jonggrang, 70-75

  legend of the _chandi_ Sewu, 191-196

  legend of the Guwa Aswotomo, 58-59

  Lessing, Gotthold Ephr., 81, 216

  Leyden, Dr. J., 15

  Libro del Principe, a Hindu-Javanese, 91-95

  linga and linga-worship, 5, 13-14, 56, 59, 100, 101, 106, 153, 257

  literature, 122-124, 140, 161, 168-171

  Lombok, 172, 174-175

  Lons, 76

  Lotchana, 181 (note)

  Louw, Captain P. J. F., 240

  Luar Batang, 31


  Mackenzie, Colonel, 15

  Madioon, 105, 123 (note), 141

  Madura, 3, 8, 115, 116, 141

  Magna Graecia, 2

  Mahabharata, 45 (note), 88, 110, 168, 171

  Maheso, 81

  Maja, Kiahi, 119, 241

  Malacca, 7, 113, 116

  Malang, 114, 155-156, 158, 162, 163, 165

  Malik Ibrahim, Maulana, 7, 114, 144

  Mamakhi, 162, 181 (note)

  Mangku Buwono I. (Mangku Bumi), 118, 131, 133, 135, 268-269

  Mangku Buwono II., 119, 120 (note), 144 (note)

  Mangku Buwono III., 119

  Mangku Negara I., 118

  Mangku Rat I., 116, 128

  Mangku Rat II., 267-268

  Mangku Rat IV., 267 (note)

  Manik Maya, 122

  Mara (Papiyan), 255, 279-280, 284

  Marco Polo, 7

  Marco, San, at Venice, 254, 262

  Marduki, 32

  Marsden, W., 15

  Martawijaya, Pangeran, later Sooltan Sepooh, 14, 26

  Mataram, 8, 26-27, 78, 108-109, 116-119, 125, 142, 144 (note), 145,
        155, 205, 266-270

  mausolea, 29, 77-78, 150-151, 153, 156, 157-158, 165, 173, 190, 210

  Medang, 109

  Meinsma, J. J., 266 (note)

  Menak- (Hamza-) cycle, 122

  Menangkaban, 7, 13, 113

  Merapi (volcano), 69, 225, 237-238, 264, 282

  Merbabu, 264, 282

  Metteya Buddha, 199, 265

  middle empires, 8, 25-27, 31-32, 78, 106, 108-109, 114-120, 142,
        144 (note), 145, 155, 205, 266-270

  Minahassa, 20

  miraculous voices, 61, 66, 271

  miraculous wells, 31

  Mojokerto, 111, 145, 153, 228

  Mojopahit, 7-8, 23, 99, 106, 110-114, 123, 140, 141, 142-149, 154,
        155, 172, 174, 175, 228

  Moluccos, 27

  monasteries, 26, 102, 183-188

  Mondoroko, 158

  monkey-stone, 64-66

  Montpezir, 252

  Moonding Wangi, 36

  Mossel, Governor-General J., 269

  Mpu Gandring’s kris, 110-111, 113, 146

  Mpu Kanwa, 168

  Mpu Panulooh, 110

  Mpu Sedah, 110

  Mpu Sindok, 155

  Muhammad, Pangeran, 29, 30

  Muhammad Ali, Pangeran, 30

  Müller, Prof. Max, 220 (note)

  museum of antiquities at Leyden, 21, 55, 162

  museum at Batavia, 162

  “museum” at Jogjakarta, 77, 104, 188, 196, 200

  music, 85, 132-133, 172 (note)


  Nalanda, 186-187

  native courts, 127-129, 132-139

  Ngampel, 8

  nirvana, 201, 204, 260, 273, 276-277

  Noor ad-Din Ibrahim bin Maulana Israïl, Sunan Gunoong Jati, 8, 25,
        32-33, 34

  Noro Pati, King, 35


  opium, 42, 204

  ornament, 3, 38, 57, 60, 70, 83-88, 105-107, 141-142, 150, 153,
        155, 156-157, 164, 166-170, 175, 182, 184-185, 187-188, 190,
        198-203, 217, 221, 237, 247-248, 249, 250, 251-255, 260, 262


  Padang Highlands, 7, 13

  Padmapani (Avalokitesvara), 180, 181 (note), 256, 273

  padris, 7

  Pagar Rujoong, 7

  Pajajaran, 7, 23, 27, 28, 35-37, 111, 146

  Pajang, 8, 11, 26, 115

  Pakaraman (valley of death), 42, 51, 52 (note)

  Pakentan, 156

  Paku, Raden (Sunan Prabu Satmoto), 7, 144

  Paku Buwono I., 117-118

  Paku Buwono II., 118

  Paku Buwono III., 118-119

  Paku Buwono IV., 122

  Palembang, 7, 13, 113

  Pandara, 181 (note), 273

  pandavas, 58, 270

  Panji-cycle, 110, 122

  Pararaton, 4 (note), 108, 150

  Pasar Gedeh, 124-127

  Pasei, 6

  Pasuruan, 110, 115, 123 (note), 140-141, 143, 152, 153, 155

  Patah, Raden, 26, 114, 144

  Pekalongan, 40, 41, 51, 66, 123 (note)

  Pinang gate, 9

  Poensen, Prof. C., 268

  poetry, 24, 110, 122, 160-161, 168-169

  Poiré, Emm., (Caran d’Ache), 220 (note)

  Pondok Gedeh, 37

  Poorwa, Haji, 7

  Poorwakali, 36-37

  Portuguese, 8, 25-26

  Prambanan temple group, 13, 55, 60, 69-98, 101, 106, 109, 141, 142,
        168, 173, 180, 189, 197-198, 202, 210, 251

  pre-Hindu times, 4-12, 84, 125

  Priangan (Preanger Regencies), 24, 35, 41, 120

  Principalities, 11, 13, 66, 99, 119-139, 177-206

  Probolinggo, 123 (note), 141, 154

  public works, department of, 21, 147-149

  Purana, Parabu Raja, 23

  Pururava, King, 17


  Qorān, 13, 91, 260


  Raffles, Sir Thomas Stamford, 14-15, 54, 76, 119, 145-146, 162,
        236, 238

  Rahmat, Raden, 7

  Raja Pirongan, 124

  raksasas, 126, 153, 154, 157, 165, 188, 191, 201

  Ramayana, 83, 86-87, 88, 107, 124, 150, 166, 167-168, 171, 178,
        189, 198

  Ratnapani, 181 (note)

  Ratnasambhava, 181 (note), 256, 273

  Rawa Baleh Kambang, 48, 56, 58-59

  Rawa Glonggong, 48, 60

  recalcitrant spiral, 142

  Reimer, Lieutenant-Colonel C. F., 131-132

  Reinwardt, Prof. C. G. C., 162

  Rembang, 123 (note), 141, 152

  restoration, 18, 19, 213-215, 226, 246, 260-261, 263 (note)

  Retna Sakar Mandhapa, Princess, 28

  rock carving, 4

  Roorda van Eysinga, P. P., 236, 238

  Rouffaer, G. P., x, 100, 104, 143, 159, 162, 170, 175, 182, 212

  Ruskin, John, 18, 141, 181 (note)


  Sabrang Lor, Pangeran, 32

  sacrifice to the old gods, 43, 61, 89-91, 224, 230-231, 270

  Salsette, 252

  Samantabhadra, 181 (note)

  Samār, 45, 55-57

  Samarang, 40, 66, 123 (note), 141

  San-bo-tsaï, 13

  Sanjaya, King, 100

  Satomi, Niahi, 9-12, 28 (note)

  Satomo, Kiahi, 9-12, 28 (note)

  Scheltema, Dr. M. W., 125 (note)

  sculpture, 37, 57, 60, 83-84, 85-88, 102-103, 105-107, 142, 148,
        152-153, 157-158, 162, 163, 166-170, 182, 184-185, 187-188,
        189 (note), 190, 198, 203, 211, 217, 221-224, 235, 237, 244,
        246-247, 252-257, 259-260, 262-263

  Selo, 125, 127

  Sentot (Ali Bassa Prawira Dirja), 119, 241

  Serat Baron Sakendher, 28-29

  Serrurier, Dr. L., 172, 203

  Shafei (Muhammad Ibn Edris al-), 30

  Sicily, 12

  Siladitiya, King, 277

  Sili Wangi, Prince, 26

  Simboongan, 49-50

  Sindoro (volcano), 43, 56

  Singoro, 156

  Sita, 88, 150

  Siva (Kala, the Mahadava, the Bhatara Guru, etc.), 5, 6, 28, 43, 51,
        56, 61, 68, 78-79, 80-84, 88, 92-95, 101, 102, 107, 108, 137,
        153, 156, 157-158, 166, 168, 174, 177, 179, 189, 198, 208,
        221, 263

  Sivaïsm and Saivas, 5, 13, 49, 69-70, 92-95, 100-101, 113, 114-115,
        125-126, 142-143, 155-156, 157-158, 159, 164, 174, 179-180

  Skanda (Kartikeya), 9, 28, 108

  Snouck Hurgronje, Prof. C., 263

  Soissons, Count de, 164

  Sookmool, Baron, 28, 38

  Soombawa, 17, 113

  Soombing (volcano), 43, 50, 71-72, 74, 264, 282

  Soonda Kalapa, 25

  Speelwijck (fort), 29

  Speyer, Prof. J. S., 159, 253

  spoliation and neglect, ix-xii, 14-16, 19-21, 43, 55, 58, 61-64,
        76-78, 102-104, 147, 162-163, 166-167, 176, 182, 186,
        188-190, 196-197, 200-203, 210, 213-216, 226, 228, 238-247,

  statue in the mud, 259-260, 263, 269

  Sugriva, King, 44, 88, 144

  Sumatra, 7, 13, 17, 25, 113, 228

  Sumedang, 116

  Sunyaragi, 34

  Surabaya, 26, 110, 115, 123 (note), 140-141, 143, 152, 153

  Surakarta, 11, 13, 98, 120, 127 (note), 141, 181, 189

  Surya, 83, 190-191, 203, 206, 254, 283

  Suta Wijaya, 115, 124, 126

  syncretism, 39, 68, 84, 113, 124, 125, 134, 138, 142-143, 157-158,
        159, 178-180, 182, 190, 205, 222-224, 260, 262-263, 282-284


  Tagal, 34, 123 (note)

  Tanaruga, Princess, 28

  Tanduran, Raden, 111

  Tara, 181, 201

  Taruna Jaya, 116

  Temanggoong, 42-43, 44

  Tengger and Tenggerese, 13, 115, 145, 156

  terraces, 33, 35, 86, 106, 155, 159, 160, 166, 197, 238, 247,
        252-257, 269

  theatre, 53-54, 170-174

  Tingkir, Sooltan, 115

  Tirtayasa, Sooltan, 27

  tolerance, 84, 113, 124, 159, 263

  Tonnet, Miss Martine, 142 (note), 151 (note), 175 (note)

  tower-construction, 155, 159

  Tranggana, Pangeran, 26, 32, 114-115

  treasure-hunting, 57-58, 77-78, 108, 188, 190, 202, 211, 258-259

  trimoorti, 70, 79, 84, 101, 107, 142-143, 177, 197, 283

  Trunajaya, 12, 27

  Tubagoos Ismaïl, 32

  Tuban, 8, 147

  Tumapel, 23, 110-112, 141, 150, 157, 159


  Udayana, King, 153

  Upagoopta, 274-275


  Vajradhatvisvari, 181 (note)

  Vajrapani, 181 (note)

  Vajrochana, 181 (note), 222, 256, 273

  Vasavadatta, the courtesan, 274-275

  Venggi inscriptions, 5, 35 (note), 41, 100

  Vishnu (Rama, etc.), 83, 85-87, 100, 106, 137, 177-178, 189,
        198, 263

  Vishnuïsm and Vaishnavas, 4, 100-101, 106, 113, 142-143, 159

  Vishvapani, 181 (note), 256, 265, 284

  Vlis, C. J. van der, 105-106

  volcanic activity, 47-49, 52-53, 61, 69, 225, 237-238, 282


  Waddell, Dr. L. A., 179 (note), 184 (note)

  Wangsakarta, Pangeran, later Panambahan, 27

  Wardenaar, H. B. W., 15, 76, 146

  Wasid, 32

  West Java, 5, 8, 23-39, 107, 111, 115-117, 123 (note), 172

  western empires, 4-8, 23-37, 111, 115-116, 146

  Wielandt family, 46, 62

  Wilis (volcano), 154

  Wilsen, F. C., 15, 239

  Wonosobo, 42, 44, 62, 63

  Wretta-Sansaya, 110

  Wulang Reh, 122


  Yacatra (Jakarta, Jayakarta), 24, 27, 28 (note), 115

  Yapara, 123 (note)

  yoni, 6, 56, 153, 262


  zodiac-beakers, 151 (note)


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Transcriber’s Note

Illustrations have been moved to avoid breaking paragraphs, and may not
match the page numbers in the list of illustrations.

Printing errors have been corrected as follows:

Frontispiece “THE BORO BUDOOR” changed to “I. THE BORO BUDOOR”

Illustration after p. 70 “EAST FRONT” changed to “V. EAST FRONT”

Illustration after p. 78 “SIVA (LORO JONGGRANG)” changed to “VI. SIVA

p. 172 (note) “silent. Cf” changed to “silent. Cf.”

p. 286 “1907 (new. ed.).” changed to “1907 (new ed.).”

p. 286 “1910 (new. ed.).” changed to “1910 (new ed.).”

The following are used inconsistently in the text:

début and debut

firstborn and first-born

folklore and folk-lore

kachang and kackang

kakèh and kakeh

palmgroves and palm-groves

peepholes and peep-holes

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