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Javanese saivism-1

What is Javanese Saivism?  It is a system of philosophy and religion of Saivism of ancient Java different from those schools of Saivism flourished in India. It is a theistic philosophy postulating Parama Siva is regarded as the highest or ultimate reality as the origin and final destination of all. It has a significant contribution to fields of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics,  religion, and culture as revealed by researches. Despite of some differences from those sects prevalent in India, there are still some similarities in many aspects, which cause it is still under the generic term of Saivism. Among schools of Saivism, it is a distinctive system of Saivism with its culture and grenduer labored by stalwarts of Javanese. Its principles contain in its sources written in Sanskrit-Old Javanese, and in later period in post Majapahit era of 15th century A.D. they were in Balinese with significant numbers of loan words derived from both of Old Javanese and Sanskrit. Some texts are written in Sundanese and Buddha or Gunung scripts for a class of text known as Merapi-Merbabu textual traditions in central Java. The imprints of this Saivism, in addition to textual tradition, are also in the forms of temple (called candi in Java), statue, bathing place, cave, arts, theater, drama; and the most important one is living tradition.  The structure of Javanese Saivism as a system of thought covers metaphysics, ethics, and rituals as testified by its genre of literature. In the course of time it developed into its advanced form of Saivism interacting with various ideas or thoughts of Indian origin and indigenous ones as well, especially with Mahayana sect of Buddhism, Javanese and Balinese cultures. It is well preserved in Bali Island next to Java in the post Majapahit Kingdom of 15th century A.D up to now. It has  developed into its present form accommodating various current thoughts. It is still a living system of philosophy and religion professed by masses giving enlightenment and guidance in empirical and spiritual lives.It emphasizes bringing together the greater Yoga tradition in an integral manner with regard to its Vedic, Saivism, and Buddhism origins.

Text of Aji Saraswati of Merapi Merbabu collection of Museum National, Jakarta


Canggal Inscription, the earliest document testifying about Siva worship in ancient Java


Siwa Mahadeva statue in Prambanan temple, Central Java

Statue of Mahisasuramardhini in Prambanan temple, Central Java



Agastya sage in India


Statue of Sage Agastya in Prambanan temple, central Java.


Ida Bagus Putu Suamba is a distinguished scholar and teacher of Javanese Saivism. Graduated from Udayana University (Drs. in teacher training and education in English in 1987) Denpasar-Bali, Delhi University (MA. in philosophy in 2001) and Pune University (Ph.D. in philosophy in 2011), India; he started promoting research and education of Saivism of ancient Java. He was working on Javanese Saivism as revealed in tattva/tutur texts under the guidance of Prof. Mangala R. Chinchore of Department of Philosophy, University of Pune, Maharashtra, India. He teaches English in the Polytechnic State of Bali and Indian Philosophy in the University of Hindu Indonesia in Bali. He writes and publishes research articles and books on this field of research, Hinduism, and Buddhism in general, in addition to giving social services connecting with religion and philosophy of Javanese Saivism as preserved in Bali. He often reads his research papers on national and international forums. At present he is also working on Balinese tutur texts in cooperation with Collaborative Research Center 933 “Material Text Culture” of Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat Heidelberg, Germany.


The Javanese Saivism:  History, Culture, Religion, and Philosophy is web-based center founded by him in 2016 to promote awareness, research, culture, and education of Javanese Saivism. It is a non profit organization.

Ida Ayu Made Sukmawati Keniten is a yoga practitioner integrating Patanjali system of Yoga, Javanese Saivism system of Yoga, and Ayur Veda. He has received training in Yoga and Ayur Veda from Indian and Balinese gurus. “Ibu Dayu is an Ayurveda Therapist as well as a yoga teacher. She studied with a traditional lineage of Indian Yoga Master… She helps her students see the healing aspect of yoga practice and  her classes focus on pranayama (breathing techniques) as well as traditional yoga asana (poses)” (R. Mann, Healing in Bali: Transform Your Life, Gateways Books, 2015, p. 83).


Course: It provides courses on Javanese Saivism, which covers history, culture, text, philosophy, ethics, and ritual in addition to Balinese yoga healing system. It also provides course on Old Javanese (Kawi), Balinese Language, and Balinese Culture for Indonesian and foreign students.

Yoga Retreat & Wellness Programs: It informs about discussion, workshop, yoga retreat and wellness programs.

Articles: There are numbers of articles published or presented in various academic sessions connecting different aspects of Javanese Saivism, Tantrism, Yoga, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The topics cover a wide range of discussion on Javanese Saivism, viz. philosophy, ethics, ritual, culture, and history. The articles are in English and bahasa Indonesia.

Javanese Wisdom: It also provides wisdom of Javanese Saivism based on texts of ethics. Some slokas, from texts e.g. Sarasamuccaya are transliterated and commented for the benefit of wide range of audiences.

Books Published : It gives information about books written by I.B. Putu Suamba, Ph. D and other authors both in English and Indonesian connected with various aspects of Javanese Saivism, Hinduism, and Buddhism.

Photo Galleries/Videos: It consists of photos/videos about activities conducted or participated or connected to promote Javanese Saivism, Yoga, Hinduism, and Buddhism in general.

These all  can be viewed in the related categories.