The Tatwa Brata Merapi-Merbau Text: A Study of Javanese Wisdom and Its Relevance with Social Harmony

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This paper examines lakubrata (vow) and upawasa (fasting) in Javanese religious traditions based on the Tatwa Brata Merapi-Merbabu text. The text is written in »Buda» or Merbabu script and compiled in the Dharma Paolih (L 69) manuscript, a collection of the National Library of Jakarta. The methods applied to examine and understand the text are textual criticism and semiotics, as well as a religious approach. The text mentions various types of laku brata and upawāsa, namely: (1) brata haapatrahara, (2) brata haekadasi, (3) brata upawāsa, (4) brata umbhakarna, (5) brata hamaawa, (6) brata mancamona, and other braa. The conclusions are: (1) in one of the Javanese attitudes, tapa and samādhi are vital elements associated with the practices, (2) lakubrata and upawāsa are generally intended to: (a) maintain physical and spiritual health, (b) maintain harmony with the universe and the Creator, and (c) foster social harmony with fellow human beings, and (3) the Tatwa Brata Merapi-Merbabu text is a document of knowledge that describes Javanese wisdom (kawicakanan) and the way of life which refers to the social harmony system of the sixteenth century.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012117
JournalIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2018
EventInternational Conference on Industrial Technology for Sustainable Development 2017, ICon-ITSD 2017 - Makassar, Indonesia
Duration: 25 Oct 201726 Oct 2017


  • Javanese wisdom
  • social harmony
  • Tatwa Brata
  • upawasa


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