3. Jayabaya Prophecies (Chapter 6 Appendix)




1. Outline

The first Jayabaya prophecy that I read about twenty years ago was such that

A white buffalo will come to rule Java, and will remain for a long time; he will be supplanted by a yellow monkey, who will remain only for the lifetime of the maize plant; then, after a period of chaos, Java will come back to its own people[1].

   Although this and other similar prophecies must be taken with a pinch of salt[2], they seem to have been significantly popular at the time of the Second World War, as elderly people in Indonesia told me they remembered such a story. At the same time, I learnt what was more talked about among Indonesian people was the advent of Sultan Herucakra, a certain Ratu Adil (Just King), who would be expected prior to the realisation of “Java of Javanese people”, and that the name of Prince Dioponegoro who had waged a guerrilla war against the Dutch East Indies government in the early 19th century[3] had been argued in the past, and those of Soekarno and Suharto, the first and the second presidents of Indonesia, respectively, were rumoured after the independence of the country.

   Then, what was the original source of the Jayabaya Prophecies? According to reliable books[4], they were first incorporated in the Centhini Story (Serat Centhini) compiled in the early 19th century in the court of Solo, and became popular after the later stage of the same century, expatiated by Solonese poets, especially by Ronggawarsita III (1802–73), the last great court poet, who authored The Book of Kings: Jayabaya (Serat pustaka Raja Madya: Jayabaya) and The Interpretation of the Book of Musarar (Koal saking Kitab Musarar).

   Below is an epitomised translation of the section on “The core of Jayabaya prophecies” in a book, Kebudayaan Jawa, perpaduannya dengan Islam (The Culture of Java, Influence of Islam) authored by Kamajaya[5].


   “King Jayabaya of Kediri had once received a guest from the Rum Empire (Turkey), a priest named Maulana Ali Samsujen, who was highly respected for his ability to predict things before they happened, and became his disciple. According to Kitab Musarar (Book of Musarar) lectured by the priest, the peopling of Java Island began with the settlement of 20,000 families despatched by Sultan Galbah of Rum. The immigrants were placed in the mountainous district of Kendeng and worked to open forests, but many of them died, being disturbed by spirits and demons, in the 437th Rum year[6]. The Sultan of Rum again ordered the settlement of people from India, Keling, Kandi and Siam in Java and other islands. The time of the second settlers commenced in the first year of Saka Calendar (78 AD) and would continue until the Day of Judgement for 2,100 solar years (or 2,163 lunar years.)

   “Several days later King Jayabaya wrote up a forecast on the Island of Java, in which the 2,100-year period was divided into three large ages of 700 years each, i.e. the Beginning, the Middle and the Ending ages, and each large age into seven 100-year periods, or centuries. The divination was approved by Ali Samsujen. After that, the honourable priest returned to his country, seen off at the border by King Jayabaya and his son, Crown Prince Amijaya.

   “Accompanying his son, Jayabaya went to Mount Padang to visit a recluse, Sang Ajar Subrata[7], who was another disciple of Ali Samsujen in Java. Having ushered the visitors into his meditation room, Sang Ajar, who wished to examine whether the king was the real reincarnation of God Vishnu, ordered his maid to serve a dinner, the menu of which consisted of seven items. They were one piece of kunir (turmeric) root, one banana-leaf-tray of juadah (rice cake), one bowl of geti (sugary sesame seeds), one piece of kajar (a bitter and intoxicating local root vegetable), one tray of garlic, one tray of Jasmine flowers and one tray of chrysanthemum flowers. As soon as Sang Ajar offered the dishes, Jayabaya drew out his keris (short sword) and stabbed him to death.

   “To Amijaya who was astonished, Jayabaya said, ‘My son, Crown Prince, do not be saddened by the death of your father‑in‑law, because he was really guilty against the palace. He intended to accelerate the expiration of the kings (kingdoms) in Java. The dishes of Ajar symbolised the things which are yet to happen. For the sake of those dishes, the empire will perish and a certain priest will be the person to be respected by people. According to my teacher, Baginda Ali Samsujen, his wisdom was equal to that of mine.’ When Amijaya asked about the relation between the dishes and the future kingdoms, King Jayabaya continued, ‘You know, my son, I am the incarnation of God Vishnu who had an obligation to bring prosperity to the world. In this incarnated form, I shall revive twice more in Malawapati and Janggala, after now in Kediri. After that I shall never incarnate in Java, because the situation of this island will no longer be of my concern. I shall not be involved in the welfare or the damage of the earth, and my existence will be hidden, being united only in my mind with that of my teacher. The occurrence of future events are symbolised by the dishes of the late Sang Ajar. The kingdom will change seven times with different rulers[8]. The testament in the present situation is for your descendants.’ Then, Jayabaya explained the details of his time prediction, starting from Kala-wisesa (The Century of Rulers, 1201–1300 Saka) and ending in Kala-surasa (The Century of Peace, 2001–2100 Saka).”[9]


   Although it was written that Sultan Herucakra (Ratu Adil) would emerge in Kala-suba (The Century of Tranquillity, 1801–1900 Saka), which would come after Kala-bendu (The Century of Wrath, 1701–1800), no description to suggest the arrival of a white buffalo (white man) or a yellow monkey (yellow man) was found in the Kamajaya’s book or in various other books available. The books of Ronggawarsita III were hardly accessible to the public and, even if possible, the works written in Javanese language would not be comprehensible at all for me. While I had no hope to see the Indonesian translations of Serat Centhini, because they were neither found in Internet bookstores nor held in libraries in Bogor and Bandung, one day I luckily discovered a set of the first four volumes[10] in the antiquarian market in Taman Pintar, Yogyakarta. The descriptions relevant to my questions were found in the beginning part of volume 4. It was written as follows:

   “The fifth period was called Kalasakti. In this period, religion and state power began to act. People’s tax was determined to be paid in the form of reyal silver coins. Not long after then, a war occurred and the country became chaotic. The battle was put down by the help of nakhoda [=nakoda, captain] with white skin who was wealthy, powerful for battle and fully equipped. The kingdom was damaged opposed by the king’s son who first associated with and eventually became enemies.

   “The sixth period was called Kalajaya, or Kuthila. In this period, egotistical desires dominated. The sign of desirous people was large, like that of monkeys, because food was very short at that time. People were taxed to pay by silver and copper reyal money. Within a short time, the palace was attacked and the throne was succeeded by a fellow who was a relative of the king’s own family. Not long after that, disasters started to come. Many people suffered from poverty, the earth deteriorated, and many people lived on streets and in markets. Damage to the kingdom occurred, opposed by yellow-skinned foreigners, and the royal flag was brought down.”

   Since no English (or Japanese) translation of Serat Centhini has been published to my knowledge, a trial translation of the whole text relevant to the Jayabaya traditions is given at the end of this appendix.

   Since the traditions of King Jayabaya, broadly called Jangka Jayabaya, written in ancient times were hard reading, containing ambiguous passages, they gave rise to various interpretations in later centuries, viz. from the late 19th to the early 20th century, among poets and Islamic scholars. Such a story as of “white buffalo and yellow monkey” was probably fabricated in the early stage of Japanese occupation by their secret service or their Indonesian collaborators, to make use of the name of King Jayabaya to justify their deeds and spread among people.

   Notwithstanding, some story of “a nakoda with white skin” such as found in Serat Centhini (edited in 1815) seems to have existed two centuries earlier during the time of Jan Pieterszoon Coen, the 4th Governor-General of VOC (1619–23), who constructed the fort and the city of Batavia. In 1619, he wrote in his report as follows[11]:

   “In these countries there is a prophecy from ancient time that some people with skin of white-colour, eyes similar to those of cat and a big nose like that of pig, dressed their whole body, even from their hands to feet, will come from some far away foreign country and dominate over these countries. Because of their fear that we [Netherlanders] are the one who will rule them now or tomorrow, the result will be the rise of general hatred which constantly disturbs the peace.”[12]

   Serat Centhini may be classified primarily as a travelogue of three siblings in the early 17th century who roamed a wide area in Java Island. When the palace of the Sunan Giri family in Gresik, East Java, was attacked by Raden Pekik of Surabaya under the command of Sultan Agung Hanyokrokusumo during his campaign to unify Java, and Sunan Giri Prapen (reigned 1548–1605 AD), his first wife and their children were captured and sent to Mataram; Sunan Prapen’s three children from his concubine escaped from the scene. The first son, Jayenresmi (ascetic name, Seh Amongraga), who later married Ken Tambangraras, set off on a journey, and the second son, Jayengsari (or Jayenggraga), and the daughter, Rancangkapti, followed but on a different way[13]. Mas Cebolang, an ascetic, who later became the husband of Rancangkapti, also went for a long journey. In Serat Centhini, the scenes of places around the Java Island where they visited and the words of conversations with many priests and scholars with whom they met were recorded to present encyclopaedic knowledge of contemporary Java to the future readers. Although the version of the book available today was the one compiled in 1815 in the court of Solo, it is highly probable that some original documents, or diaries, written during the journeys of Sunan Prapen’s children must have existed. The fact that the dates of their travel were not recorded in the book is a little disappointing, but it is perhaps an excessive desire of us who live today. As to the title of the book, although it is alternatively called Suluk Tambangraras–Amongraga (The song of Tambangraras–Amongraga), Serat Centhini named after the maid of Tambangraras is more common. The reason why the name of the lady who was not the main character was chosen for the title of the book has long been argued among experts.[14]

   Kitab Musarar (The book of Musarar) mentioned in Serat Centhini was supposed to have been written by Sunan Giri Prapen around the end of the 16th century or the beginning of the 17th century. Although its content found on the Internet[15] was hardly intelligible as reputed, forcing me to abandon reading the whole lines, such clauses as “Nakoda [captain] would come for trade,” “Nakoda would participate in the government. They would be rich and brave,” that suggested the arrival of white people were found. If these predictions were hinted by some experienced fact, the white men would have been the Portuguese who came to Java one century earlier than the Dutch. Whether Jan Pieterszoon Coen who wrote the aforementioned report in 1619 was aware of the Kitab Musarar or not, the possibility that some older document, which mentioned similar prophecies, had existed would not be deniable. In Kitab Musarar, there seems to be no phrase that suggests “The yellow-skinned foreigners” written in Serat Centhini. Whatever was the source document, such an idea might have occurred from the memory of the invasion of Khubilai Kahn’s army in the late 13th century. It was only after the Sino‐Japanese War (1894–5) or the Russo‐Japanese War (1904–5) that the existence of Japan, as a modern nation, became conscious among Javanese people.


   Let me add my personal opinion. Even today, more than sixty years after the Pacific War, some people in Japan still say that “Japanese armies which advanced to south-east Asia were welcomed by regional people. Although Japan lost, we had helped the independence of those people”[16], such a view is definitely unacceptable at least in Indonesia. That the occupation by the Japanese army had plunged the people into the depth of misery and put the then richest country in Asia down to the level of the poorest country is the common understanding of Indonesian people whom I know, and elderly people who remember the Dutch period feel nostalgic for that time. Much less, there is nobody who appreciates the past deeds of the Japanese.

    The fact that Indonesia is generally a friendly country to Japan is due to the tolerant nature of Indonesian people, as a friend of mine aptly and honestly said. It is very true even today that the people to whom they feel closest are the Dutch who had contributed to the modernisation and the development of the country as the suzerain before they became independent.



"Jayabaya" by Anka-Atjay. No response was obtained from the artist but dupricated from the following URL: https://anka-atjay.deviantart.com/art/Jayabaya-434188803




2. Time Divination of Java by King Jayabaya [17]



The beginning age, Kali-swara (Age of Sound)  1–700 Saka

In Java, there were many natural sounds, such as uproars, noises, thunderbolts and lightning, and many miraculous events. It was because many beings became gods and goddesses, and descended to the earth to become human beings.


The middle age, Kali-yoga (Age of Darkness)   701–1400 Saka

Many changes occurred on the earth and small islands emerged. Many creatures roamed around, as the dead were reincarnated.


The last age, Kali-sangara (Age of Downfall) 1401–2100 Saka

Lots of rain would fall and many rivers and streams swell. The earth would lose its beneficial state, postponing the arrival of happiness and depleting the sense of gratitude of people. Many people would hold knowledge and die.



  1. Kali-swara (Age of Sound)


Kala-kukila (Century of Birds)  1–100 Saka

People's lives were like that of birds and the stronger were the winners. Since there were no kings, there were no people who were ruled or governed.


Kala-buddha (Century of Buddha)   101–200 Saka

Javanese people came to believe in Buddhism following the law of Hyang Jagadnata (Indian teacher).


Kala-brawa (Century of Light) 201–300 Saka

People in Java set up their worship to (Hindu) Gods who had descended to the Earth and spread knowledge.


Kala-tirta (Century of Water)    301–400 Saka

Big flooding occurred. The sea water overflowed on the land and the earth became split in two. The west part was called the Island of Sumatra. A lot of water sources such as springs, lakes, etc. emerged.


Kala-swabara (Century of Eccentricity) 401–500 Saka

Many strange phenomena happened on human beings.


Kala-rebawa (Century of Bustling) 501–600 Saka

People in Java created activity in arts, etc.


Kala-purwa (Century of Beginning) 601–700 Saka

Many plants grew. Descendants of giants who had turned to ordinary people started to become big again.


2 Kali-yoga (Age of Darkness)


Kala‑brata (Century of Asceticism) 701–800 Saka

People experienced to live as hermits.


Kala‑drawa (Century of Door) 801–900 Saka

Many people were inspired and became clever to explain invisible things.


Kala‑dwapara (Century of Miracle) 901–1000 Saka

Many impossible things happened.


Kala‑praniti (Century of Checking) 1001–1100 Saka

Many people emphasised study.


Kala‑teteka (Century of Immigrants) 1101–1200 Saka

Many immigrants would come from other countries.


Kala‑wisesa (Century of Ruler) 1201–1300 Saka

Many people would be punished.


Kala‑wisaya (Century of Slander)    1301–1400 Saka

Many people would slander each other.


3 Kali sangara (Age of Downfall)


Kala-jangga (Century of Poet)   1401–1500 Saka

Many people would aim at greatness.


Kala‑sakti (Century of Magic)   1501–1600 Saka

Many people would aim at supernatural power.


Kala‑jaya (Century of Glory)     1601–1700 Saka

Many people would aim at power for the backbone of their life.


Kala-bendu (Century of Wrath) 1701–1800 Saka

Many people would like arguments and eventually harbour hostile feelings.


Kala-suba (Century of Happiness)   1801–1900 Saka

The island of Java would begin to prosper without difficulties and many people would be in a good mood.

   (*)Adil (just king) would advent.


Kala-sumbaga (Century of Fame)    1901–2000 Saka

Many people would become famous, clever and great.


Kala-surasa (Century of Gentleness)    2001–2100 Saka

The island of Java would be peaceful, prosperous, and ordered. Many people would be warmhearted.

   (*)The Dooms Day would come.



3.Paragraphs on the Jayabaya Prophecies in Serat Centhini [18] (Trial translation)


(Volume 3, pages 312–18)


9.1 Mas Cebolang Met Ki Antyanta and Ki Sali

 Feeling happy in his heart, Ki Mas Cebolang listened to the explanation of Ki Mastuti and said gently, “Is it not prohibited if I made a pilgrimage to him who, according to the will of the Sultan of Mataram, was buried in Nglawean? Who is the one who was asked to live there as the keeper?”

   “My son, to my knowledge, there should be no obstacle for visiting a deceased person, as long as you are permitted by the keeper of the tomb, named Ki Ngabdul Antyanta, the elder brother of the King of Mataram. His younger brother, Ki Ngabdul Julur, also called Ki Sali, lives in the countryside of Sala as the village head. He is a descendant of Sesela, a grandson of Ki Ageng Anis. They both are descendants of Pagerarga and called jalmalim (the learned). If you are willing to go to Nglawean, I will guide you there. Now the bedug [a large suspended drum used to signal the time for Islamic prayers to begin] has almost finished. We must go to the mesjid [mosque] for noon prayer.” [255: 17–20]

   Cebolang was very happy. “Yes, please, I will follow you from behind.”

   They immediately started together, headed by Ki Mastuti. When the noble sound of gong was heard, they reached a river and performed ablutions. Then, they all went forward to the mosque. After Ki Antyanta completed “the beginning part of the prayer”, all of the congregation followed. They were deeply moved because the person who became the prayer leader had noble insight, was eloquent, spoke regular words, was consistent, steadfast, faithful to rules and convincing. After being devout to glorify the names Holy God and the last Prophet, they shook hands. Ki Mastuti said, “Ah, brother. You know, I have brought a guest named Ki Mas Cebolang for you.”

   Then, he gave the full particulars at length from the start to the end, and told also about Cebolang’s wish to make this pilgrimage. Ki Antyanta looked very pleased in his heart. He observed Cebolang for a long while to put him into his mind. “Hi Cebolang, a very good wish it is, but later, after tahlil [an expression of praise the God]. Rest in my house, be comfortable as if you were in Mataram, to your lover in the city, but actually it does not fit[19]. In a large city, all things are available, whereas here it is surely quiet and desolate.”

   Mas Cebolang bowed and said, “As you said, if I live a luxury life, I will be easily fallen to be proud and hence, can’t find the truth.”

   Ki Ngabdul Antyanta laughed and said, “Come on, my son, let us go to the tomb first.”

   Then he grasped the hands of Cebolang. Ki Mastuti and four santri [Islamic student], along with Ki Sali Sala who happened to be visiting there, followed from the back toward the cemetery located behind the mosque. [255: 21–27]

   The incense of aloe wood was spread there. They began tahlil, humming continuously. The prayer was completed and they withdrew from the tomb. Kiai Ngabdul returned home with the guests. The hall was already matted and dishes were ready. Arriving at the house, Mas Cebolang, Ki Sali and Ki Mastuti put themselves to sit in the hall. The students sat in the front porch. Dishes were served in front of them. There was tobacco and betel along with drinks and snacks. After they relaxed, the host invited them, “Please, smoke or chew betel nut, as you like. Just take drinks to wet your throats. Any snacks, okay. You should not feel hungry at all.”

   The invitees talked and soon sat close [to the dishes] and ate. Ki Ngabdul Antyanta was busy serving food. The sand mat was covered with white cloth. Rice smelled fragrant and deep-fried chicken, spinach with corn, and vegetables surrounded the rice in the middle. Bananas, kepel fruit, star fruit were on the left and right sides, surrounded by side dishes, such as various meats, small red onion, white garlic, young cucumber, fresh basil leaves, bean sprouts, chilli paste and deep-fried chicken. [255: 28–32]

   Soon after the preparation was completed, they were notified. Kiai Wisma and three guests, four of them, ate together. Everything tasted good, so that they ate voraciously. Having taken fruits, they returned to the centre of the hall. Some of them smoked and some others chewed betel. Ki Mastuti apologised softly, “Because I was full, and I did not let Nyai [wife] know beforehand, I shall return to Mutihan. Please, stay here relaxed. Brothers, may you be safe.”

   They shook hands. Ki Mastuti went out. Thus, the group of students was given foods that were not different from that of gentlemen. Ki Wisma was generous serving food and full of attention. He said gently, “You are my sons and friends, have a rest in the surau [small mosque], relax your body.”

   Mas Cebolang and the four students saluted and withdrew to the room of the lodge house. [255: 33–36]

   All dishes were tasty and reasonable, and were not disappointing, matching the moment of the reception. In addition, at the moment of every prayer, the person who became the priest was Ki Wisma. His brother Ki Sali from the village of Sala was not allowed to go home. After the night prayer, they sat in the hall of the mosque and met their guests. Cebolang was always asked when he met Ki Wanakarta as it was explained. Finally, he asked softly, “There is one thing which interests me. According to Ki Wanakarta, my prediction about the Mataram Kingdom will not be eternal.

   “On the contrary, one day the kingdom would be broken, the centre of Java’s palace Java would move from Mataram to Wanakarta, where light shines. Therefore I was very surprised, disappointed, lost my mind, felt sad and seriously thought of it. Eventually, I prayed to the God Almighty, even if the Javanese court really moves, it will hopefully last forever until the end of time.”

   Antyanta smiled and said softly, “I agree with your hope, but according to an already ascertained story, the Javanese court is forecast to move around by the will of God. My brother Sali, you know about the prophecy on the land of Java. Please shortly explain, so that the sorrow of your child Ki Cebolang disappears and he can finally accept the reality.” [255:37–42]

   Ki Sali told as follows.


   It was during the reign of King Jayabaya in Kediri that he was visited by a noble priest from the country of Rum [Turkey], named Molana Ngalimu Samsujen. Having mastered all knowledge, he was very good at science and famous in fortune-telling. He was able to predict things, clearly, precisely and correctly, before he actually heard or witnessed them.

   The king was much interested in the knowledge of the priest and asked the latter’s favour. Immediately, the priest taught the meaning of high science, revealed the mysteriousness of gods, the secrecy of Hyang Agung and secret ideas, sasmita [Skt. sign], which all had been mentioned in Kitab Musarar [Book of Musarar], especially the long “prediction” of future events.

   King Jayabaya’s heart shone brightly with the teaching. Everything was perfectly absorbed in his brain. Then, King Jayabaya configured jangka tanah Jawa [the time phases on the soil of Java], which would be realised. [256: 1–6]

   It covered the span of a period starting from the time of the settlement of people from Ngerum and ending by the coming of the Day of Judgement.

   It was divided into three major eras. The first era was called kali-swara, i.e. in reality, the time of the creation of sound. The length was 700 solar years, or lunar 721 years. In this era, there were a lot of strange sounds. The souls of the world often heard or saw thunder, noise, fear, darkness, the roaring storm and thunderbolts. Since faithful, noble people respectfully meditated, many gods embodied themselves and descended to the human world to become kings, or sometimes Brahmans, for the salvation of all people. [256: 7–11]

   The middle age was called kali-yoga, which meant the emergence of the plants. The length was solar 700 years, or 721 lunar years. In this era, natural changes occurred. The earth split and sometimes soil scattered to form islands. Dead noble people were incarnated in the human world. [256: 12–14]

   The description was changed to the last period called kali-sangara, which meant heavy water. The length was 700 solar years, or 721 lunar years.

   In those days, the land of Java had a lot of heavy rain and noise, and the time was not fitting for the land, as great floods came and the course of rivers meandered, indicating that the blessing of the land was decreasing. The more people pursued their material needs, the more they forewent their acceptance to inner happiness, because all people who were studying knowledge all their life always kept their own perception as a guide. [256: 15–18]

   Each of the three ages was divided into seven periods called sapta manggala, which meant seven smaller periods. The movement of the island of Java had already been settled. Each period calculated according to the solar year was more or less one hundred years. Time changes occurring three times in each hundred-year period were called mangsakala, or called the ngayah-ngayuh period (doing two or three jobs at the same time). One stage of the event was thirty-three years or thirty-four years. Such is the divination of King Jayabaya, which told the course of human life and everything in Java that had already been described long before they happened, or that were yet to be explained and settled. [256: 19–23]

   Now, the age of kali-swara was told to be subdivided into seven smaller periods. So, the details of each period. The earliest was the kala-kukila period, which meant the period of peksi [birds], all men were confused, went to and fro, because of the confusion, like birds that were looking for a place. The second was called kala-buddha period, which meant the period of nungkul “subject or submission”. In this period many people were submissive to God and praised as a sign of worshipping God. The third, called kala-brawa period, meaning the period of murub “lit”. That meant many people were greedy, according to the will of their own hearts, with no feeling of acceptance in their hearts. The fourth was named the period of kala-tirta, which meant the period of toya “water”. There were lots of heavy rains and floods that overflowed like oceans. The fifth period was called kala-dwabara, meaning the period of weird [beautiful]. It meant that there were a lot of elegant happenings in that era. The sixth was called kala-swabawa, meaning the period of crowd. Thus, all over the world was really a sort of lively situation. Kala-purwa, the seventh period, was the period of iwitan “start”. The meaning was that everywhere all over the earth were many things which grew. [256: 24–31]

   The subject of the story is changed. The age of kali-yoga was also divided into seven smaller periods. The names were as follows. The first period, kala-brata, meant the period of behaviour. As to this period, many people manungku [mobilised mind to a goal], performed asceticism to become a better person. The second, the name being kala-dupara period, meant the period of corridor. Many people obtained an open heart from God. The third period, kala-dwapara, meant the period of impossibleness in which many highly improbable events originally happened. Similarly, the fourth kala-pranika, which meant the period of setia [faithful], was the time when many people tried to make the best efforts not in silence. The name of the fifth period was kala-teteka, or the period of tigas, in which many foreign people came from other islands. The sixth was named kala-wisesa, which meant the period of treatment, as many people were punished by the authority of the king. The seventh kala-wisaya was the period of sikara as many people slandered against each other. [256: 32–39]

   The subject of the story is changed. The age of kali-sangara was also divided into seven short periods. The details of each period were as follows. The first, kala-jangga period, meant the period of false flower, when many noble people performed high deeds for the sake of greatness. The second, kala-sekti, meant the period of kawasa, when many people got surplus, dexterity and patience. The third, kala-jaya, meant the period of superiority in which more people exercised power to be strong. The fourth, kala-bendu, was the period of bebendu in which people had disagreeable opinions, resulting in external battle, although it was spiritual. The fifth, named the period of kala-suba, meant the time when many people found happiness, everyone was content and joyous. The sixth, kala-sumbaga, was the period of misuwur, which meant that many people got fame and were well known in the course of their life. Kala-surata, the seventh, was the period of alus, which meant that many people assisted with each other in peaceful mind. [256: 40–47]

   Ah, my son, the explanation of the phases of “time forecast” is now finished. The will of Sri Jayabaya in Kediri is hopefully added with knowledge with real pasemon [parables]. I did not tell you the details in the form of parables. Each of the seven phases occurred in the era of the Javanese court government system.



(Volume 4, pages 1–11)


1.1 Ki Sali explains the term of Seven Periods

The seven kingdoms would begin with the kingdom of Pajajaran and persisted until the end of time. The names of the other six kingdoms and kings reigning were not properly explained in the conversation or extended to a reasonable understanding level. When one faces the reality, one will surely accept God’s will. Finally, we do not mutually slander, criticise or excessively praise others, as well as the country’s wheel spins. Let you be aware and alert. [257: 1–3]

   In the Age of Kala-wisesa, there would be a period called Anderpati. The kingdom’s named would be Pajajaran. The administration would not be based on laws and there would be no regulations. People paid tax in the form of gold.

   The kingdom would be damaged due to the hostility of the king’s own brother. The strong people would act arbitrarily. A war would last for 100 years. The kingdom would be damaged and would be moved to another place. [257: 4–6]

   The second period in the same age would be called Kala-raja and the governor would be Dewaraja. Regulations would start to be acted. People would be burdened with tax in the form of white silver for 100 years. The religion of Buddhism would be over. The religion would be broken because of [the governor’s] enmity against his own son. [257: 7–9]

   The third period in the Age of Kala-wisaya would be called Adiyati period. In this period, law, justice and rules would start. The Islamic religion and state administration would begin to develop. Tax on people would be imposed in the form of labour. The kingdom would be damaged because the king’s confidence was opposed in the court. [257: 10–12]

   The fourth period would be Kala-jangga. In this period, discussion would be held to resolve problems. People’s tax would be paid by the harvest from land. The kingdom would be damaged due to the conflict with the king’s adopted son. [257: 13–14]

   The fifth period would be called Kala-sakti. In this period religion and state power would begin to act. People’s tax would be determined to be paid in the form of a silver reyal. Not long after then, a war would occur and the country would become chaotic. The battle would be put down by the help of a nakhoda [captain] with white skin who was wealthy, powerful for battle and fully equipped. The kingdom would be damaged opposed by the king’s son who first would associate with and eventually become the enemy. [257: 15–18]

   The sixth would be called the period of Kala-jaya, or Kuthila, in which egotistical desires dominated. The sign would be people’s large desire, like that of monkeys, because food was very short at that time. People would be taxed by silver and copper reyal coins. Within a short time, the palace would be attacked and the throne would be succeeded by a fellow who was a relative of the king’s own family. Not long after then, disaster would start to come. Many people would suffer from poverty, the earth would be deteriorated, and many people would live on the streets and in markets. Damage to the kingdom would occur, opposed by the yellow-skinned foreigners and the bringing down of the royal flag would be marked. [257: 19–23]

   The seventh would be the period of Kala-bendu, also called Hartati, in which what everyone thought about was nothing but money. At that time, there would be twin kingdoms in the land of Java. People would be burdened with all kinds of tax, in the form of silver and copper. Not long after then, people’s tax would be added on crops and livestock, i.e. chickens, ducks, goats, cows or buffalos. The more the country’s difficulty would grow, the more justice would be lost, resulting in that people would become insolent. The officials liked to slander and were less thoughtful, the kings did not pay attention to the people’s needs and they had no true revelation. What came would be the revelation of the devil. The behaviour of people would change, many women having no longer the feeling of shame. Caring for relatives would vanish, no true news would be heard, many people would stray and their hearts would suffer. Clever people would be cunning to stay far to follow evil people, evil people would increase, many thieves and robbers would be on the streets. Leaders of crimes would be safe and even become conspicuously stronger. Often, there would be solar eclipses, lunar eclipses, ash falls, earthquakes, thunder, rain, wind, storms, and heavy rain occurring in one season. Continual battles and riots would be there, but the enemy would not appear. Internal peace would be impossible to be available. The control of government would break up with no directives and admirable personalities would vanish, forming a sign that the country would be empty. Wise men would be lost in the period of Kala-tidha. There would be no good signs of life as the hearts [of people] were filled with many obstacles. [257: 24–35]

   The king and the king’s relatives would be intelligent and glorious, the prime minister would be perfect, ministers would have honest character, and the state leaders would be good and have attractive appearances, but these conditions would not hinder the coming of the Kala-bendu period. These situations would be even enhanced. Many disquieting obstacles would be there, because the desires of people in one country were various. [257: 36–37]

   Aroused by the cry, their hearts would be saddened for embarrassment. While comforting their hearts, they would begin to go in the wrong direction, driven by greed to own the results for themselves. Finally, their objectives would become disorientated due to their vigilance. [257: 38–39]

   A doctrine in Paniti Sastra [Literature Committee] would caution that, in this accursed period, people who had good personalities would be defeated. Thus would be the responsiveness and attention to the events that have occurred. For those who would undergo the period of Gemblung or Edan [crazy times], hearts were very unpleasant and confused. If one wants to do something crazy, the heart cannot bear this action, but if one does not participate in it, one will surely not get worldly wealth and will eventually starve. As it had become the will of God, those who forgot [about wealth] would be lucky, but it was actually more fortunate for those who recalled and were cautious. At the time, it was nearing the end of the Kala-duka period. The destruction of the kingdom was due to disagreement with [the king’s] concubine. [257: 40–44]

   They who listened to the story would shiver in their hearts, gasping until their throats ran dry, nodding their heads and shaking heads from side to side. [257: 45)]

   Mas Cebolang falteringly asked, “The period of gudubilah, is it over or is there some more time?”

   Ki Sali replied, “No, it is not the last period, there is still another period that does not make hearts shudder.” [257: 46–47]

   By the will of God, the Kala-bendu Period would be gone and the time would be changed. The glory of the monarch would bring about the peace of the kingdom in the land of Java. Wrath would subside, pain would disappear, because of the arrival of an invisible king. He would come from a noble ancestry, with the title of “The First King”, because he reigns without any facility, reigns temporarily and the kingdom is quiet. It means that quiet with no means was not an obstacle, that is, the time was still under the secret of God, while many people did not know. By the will of God, the period of the world would be made changed. [258: 1–3]

   The king would reign with more justice and graciousness, and have no wishes for worldly wealth. He was Sultan Erucakra [Ratu Adil]. He would not know his origin and had no followers. Soldiers would be only sirrulah [or God’s secret], with the flag of Koran recitation, and subject all enemies to surrender. Enemies would vanish and there would be nobody who was brave to oppose. [258: 3–5]

   The king always would promote the welfare of the people and, for this, the king would restrict himself in terms of eating as to be not more than seven reyal a year. Land tax for one junk (28,386 m) would be only one dinar per year. For one field, which produced one thousand money, the tax would be one money per day, being free from any other tax. Thus, people's hearts would find rest for cheap food and clothing, and there would be no criminal acts. All criminals would repent, fearing the curse of the king who was just and compassionate. [258: 5–7]

   The king made a royal city in Bumipethik, adjacent to the River Katangga, in a forest that was being worked on. The king’s line would reign only up to the second descendant. During the third descendant, the capital would be moved to the area of Katangga and then his son would be killed by his own lust. [258: 7–8]

   Soon, there would come a replacement king who would not have a disappointing appearance. He would be named Asmarakingkin. He would be very handsome, so that he would become worshipped by the public. He would be enthroned in Kadhiri and his third descendant would move to Mandura. Soon the kingdom would perish due to the war against the king’s lover. [258: 8–9]

   Soon there would be three united kings, the first king with his capital of the kingdom in the land of Kapanasan, and the second and the third kings in Gegelang and Tembelang, respectively. After thirty years, the third kingdom would have a legal dispute and be eventually destroyed, so that there would be no king in the area. Then a group of regents would act like kings, because there was no one who should be respected. [258: 10–11]

   A few years later, there would be a foreign king from Nungswa Srenggi. He would be enthroned in Java and would find the kingdom in the northeast of Mount Drekila, at the foot of Mount Candramuka. Within several years, soldiers would come from the kingdom of Rum to attack King Nungsa Srenggi. The king [Nungsa Srenggi] and his soldiers would be defeated. [258: 11–13]

   The officers of the Rum Kingdom would raise a descendant of Sultan Erucakra as king and the king would reign in the area to the east of River Opak. The kingdom would be very prosperous and named Amartalaya. The administration of the third offspring would fall on the Doomsday, i.e. the age of the land of Java, being two thousand one hundred years, counted in the solar year. The story was now completed. Only the God knows. [258: 13–14]


With his relieved heart, Mas Cebolang then saluted and said, “Sorry, the servant was bold and did not know the customs, because the servant was bored in his/her heart. What period does today belong to?”

   “According to my guess, maybe the present period is the time that is sought in connection with the period of Kala-sakti that is still far from the arrival of unfixed time [the era of incertitude]. Anyway, it’s enough, it is not worth extending the discussion,” answered Ki Sali. [258: 15–16]

   Ki Antyanta smiling said, “After listening to the story of Ki Sali, I am immediately reminded of the Prophet Muhammad’s sayings that the uncertain Doomsday would occur if there were forty signs.” [258: 17]

   “Please explain them so that later we feel there is time-matching with the above story,” continued Ki Sali.

   Mas Cebolang was very happy when he heard them. [258: 18]


1.2 Ki Antyanta describes the Variety of Ages

The Prophet said to his companions, “Look carefully at the arrival of doomsday that will come after the appearance of forty kinds of the sign of times. Regarding details, you should know the following:



Many big and small mosques that are used for talking about world issues.


Many scholarly Islamic teachers who do not carry out responsible tasks.


Many people who neglect Islamic daily prayers and belittle the worship time.


Many people who do not perform religious alms giving because they expect that there is no law.


Within the fasting month, many people who do not fast but eat at an open place, with no fear and shame. [259: 1–7]


Many people who stay away from goodness and go through criminal acts.


Many people who talk about the faults of others in meetings openly and prolongedly.


Many people dare to build houses and the likes in the cemetery.


Many men act like women, wearing gold, silver, and silk, while the women resemble men.


Many people who do not have a sense of brotherhood and many people are hurtful to others. [259: 8–12]


Many people who are pompous and arrogant in worship forget that worship is an obligation, eventually becoming conceited.


Many people who are wicked do not believe in the conditional instruction of the Prophet but consider themselves just.


Many witnesses who lie and many people who actually witnessed something claim that they do not know.


Many people do not act wholeheartedly, make more lies and even keep false oaths. [259: 13–16]


Many people who do not honour their parents and many people who do not want to learn to read Al-Qur’an. There are many who go as they like to learn, singing various songs at any time.


Many men are subjected to his wife and wives do not respect husbands.


Many wealthy people who are not just, hate poor people, and the law courts exactly ask rewards.


Many kings are cruel, have wrong motivation, especially taking the wealth of people, so there is no peace.


Many people praise wicked people because they fear them, but they do not like to praise good and kind people, pious scholars, good scientists and other people.


Many people who are not able to keep the deposits of others and even dare to lie to refuse to return. [259: 17–24]


Many people are dishonest to the wife or husband of another person openly and do not feel ashamed.


Many people kill other people and conduct persecution, and many people who do magic spells.


Many people who drink wine or anything intoxicating that should be avoided.


Many people conduct evil deeds, being not ashamed to others and having no fear of God.


Many people take the money of orphans and the property of poor people without mercy and without hesitation.


Many people do all sorts of crimes without worry and doubt.


Many children before the age of twenty years have grey hair.


Many people who have consideration to commit adultery with people who have good behaviour.


Many people who intentionally commit adultery and many men do a kind of love.


Many people go to the expert of calculation to practise as medicine man to take uncommon drugs used by infidel people and many people are subject to the devil. [259: 25–34]


Few people love each other and many people are hostile towards each other.


Lots of rain falls in the wrong season, dry seasons being like wet seasons, and rainy seasons being like droughts.


Many people are not faithful to glorify Qur’an, and the Qur’an is even used to search for food.


At the same time, the beginning of the fasting month falls on a Friday, so that the day of Idur Fitr is on Friday.


Many young, beautiful people are not shamed by doing evil and insulting work.


Inappropriate acts become increased and likewise crimes and immorality spread. [259: 35–40]


There is a king from the country of Ngajerah, named Sri Ashab who was very wicked.

   Then there is the king from Yahman, who is truly sturdy, named Kahani. He is very strong and exceeds others and subdues many people and even oppresses them. There is also a famous king named Juhemi from Damsik. Then there is a king, named Malnguna Ibn Ngasiah, a narrow-faced and long-nosed man, whose voice is loud and his right eye is damaged like that of a blind man. This king acts like a hermit and is generous to all people, so that he is respected. He considered that all poor people and the priests were the utmost charities of the king.[20] Then the king Malnguna dies. [260: 1–4]


There is a king named Malngun Assia who has no religion and no shame. This king kills scholars and monks, and damages the Islamic religion. King Malngun Ngasiyah then attacks the countries of Rum, Sam, Ngarag and Karsani. [260: 5–6]

   At that time the country of Rum is ruled by King Kapti. He goes to war and is defeated and dies. God wrathfully descends to King Malngun and his soldiers kill them all. Accordingly, Muslims are born. [260: 6–7]


There is a king named Sri Karames. He is naked and only his face is covered. He attacks the kingdom of Islam and maltreats it. Sri Karames marries a Muslim woman. Muslim women who are pregnant are dragged in the streets and tortured. If the baby in the womb is alive, it means the beginning of lasting happiness. If the baby is dead, it means the beginning of harm. Any other pregnant woman is dissected and the baby that comes out is to be alive along with his/her mother. [260: 8–10]

   At that time many Muslims gathered, fled to Kumpah country, which was an Islamic empire with the king named King Kes and his son Ki Abas.

   All people who believed in Islam were accepted by the king. Then, they prepared to attack the infidel community. [260: 10–11]

   When Sri Karames heard that his country would be attacked, he soon deployed as many as thirty thousand soldiers. The journey of the expedition was not told. On arrival in Kumpah, they were faced by Islamic people.

   The battle raged, the Muslims were being pushed by the enemy and ran away in disorder. The soldiers of Karames saw that the enemy had gone and then went to Medina with an aim to destroy the tomb in Medina. [260: 12–14]

   Sri Kes together with his soldiers was much concerned and petitioned God that the soldiers who would come to destroy the tomb at Medina shall be destroyed. Thanks to the grace of God, the soldiers of Karames were extinct, swallowed in the earth, except only two men who did not die in order to report to their king.

   At the time, King Kes heard about the extinction of the enemy. He was very happy and prayed to give thanks to the love of God. [260: 14–16]


The last and fortieth sign was the reign of King Sri Imam Mahdi. This event took place when, in the fasting month, the eclipse occurred three times on the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth days.

   Imam Mahdi fell between a pillar and the tomb of Abraham in Mecca, at the age of forty years old. The one who became head of the soldiers was Malaikat Jibril and the one who followed behind him was Malaikat Mikhail. Imam Mahdi was enthroned like Prophet Sulaiman and like Zulkarnaen. [260: 17–19]


   “So, this story is hopefully enough to consider the predictions of the state. Hopefully each should give priority to the properties mentioned in the Prophet Muhammad’s deeds and forecast, all who lived in those days are hoped to be aware and alert.” [260: 20–21]

   Ki Antyanta said again, “Come on, I should go on to another story, which can be used as a good model. Under the rule of the king who reigned in Ngeksiganda, which was the king of Java, which was Kalifatollah [a royal king blessed by God], it is worth finding a companion[21]. The king was very respectful to Sayid Markaban from the country of Egypt.” [260: 21–23]

   All who listened saluted and bowed. Mas Cebolang said, “That’s nice. May you please describe the main story which is inserted in the sheets of the book?”

   Ki Antyanta said in his mind, “This kid, it is already apparent that he is rather good at ranges of knowledge. His behaviour comes close to the heart and can satisfy the heart.”

   Then Ki Antyanta smiled and gently said, “Your wish to be told of the excellent Sayid Markaban is really enjoyable.” [260: 23–25]




[1] Bruce Grant, Indonesia, Melbourne University Press 1996.

[2] One questionable point to the present writer was that maize, the indigenous plant from Central and South America, must not have existed in 13th-century Java, i.e. long before Christopher Columbus’s expedition. Cf. Herman J. Viola and Carolyn Margolis, Seeds of Change: Five Hundred Years Since Columbus, Smithsonian, 1991, etc.

[3] The so-called Java War (1825–30).

[4] Nancy Florida, Writing Traditions in Colonial Java: The Question of Islam; in Sarah C. Humphreys, Cultures of Scholarship, University of Michigan Press, 1997; Nancy K. Florida, Introduction and manuscripts of the Karaton Surakarta: Javanese literature in Surakarta manuscripts Vol. 1, Cornell University SEAP Publications, 1993; Kamajaya, Kebudayaan Jawa, perpaduannya dengan Islam, Ikatan Penerbit Indonesia, Cabang Yogyakarta 1995, etc. The description in, K. Tsuchiya, T. Kato, S. Fukai (Ed.), Indonesia Encyclopaedia, Dohosha Publishing), 1991 (土屋 健治,  深見 純生,  加藤 剛  (編),  「インドネシアの事典 」,  同朋舎出版), under the headword of “Jayabaya Traditions”, that “The Bharata Yuddha written by Mpu Sedah and Mpu Banuru by order of King Jayabaya contained prophecies, called Jayabaya Prophecies, and gave rise to various versions in the later time” is not understandable to the present writer. Primarily, Bharata Yuddha is an epic on the war between the Pandawa and the Korawa families.

[5] Kamajaya, Kebudayaan Jawa, perpaduannya dengan Islam, Ikatan Penerbit Indonesia, Cabang Yogyakarta 1995.

[6] The definition of the Rum Year is unknown to the present writer.

[7] According to a tradition, Ajar Subrata was a son of Mpu Sedah who was executed by King Jayabaya who became enraged at certain lines in Bharata Yuddha, which was his writing. Ali Samsujen gave knowledge to him, before he was invited by the king. Ali Samsujen was the father-in-law of Amijaya (Prabu Anom Jaya Amijaya) as the latter’s wife was Dewi Sulastri, the former’s daughter.

[8] In another interpretation, the number of kingdoms was eight, adding the servant to Sang Ajar’s seven dishes. Ranggasutrasna (Ki Ngabei.), Ranggasutrasna (Raden Ngabei.), Paku Buwana IV (Sunan of Surakarta), Darusuprapta, Tim Penyadur, Centhini, Tambangraras‑ Amongraga, Balai Pustaka, Jilid 4 (1999).

[9] The fact that the term of Jayabaya’s divination started in the 13th century does not conflict with the historical fact that the king’s reign was 1135–57 AD (1213–35 Saka). The details of the seven or eight kingdoms are found in the “Translation of Jayabaya traditions in Serat Centhini” given at the end of this appendix.

[10] Ranggasutrasna (Ki Ngabei.), Ranggasutrasna (Raden Ngabei.), Paku Buwana IV (Sunan of Surakarta), Darusuprapta, Tim Penyadur, Centhini, Tambangraras‑ Amongraga, Balai Pustaka, Jilid 1 (1991), Jilid2 (1992), Jilid3 (1994/2008), Jilid 4 (1999). Serat Centhini consists of 12 volumes. Indonesian translation of volumes 5–12 was published from Gajah Mada University Press in 2005–10.

[11] R. B. Cribb, Audrey Kahin, Historical dictionary of Indonesia, Scarecrow Press, 2004; Raharjo Suwandi, A quest for justice: The millenary aspirations of a contemporary Javanese wali, KITLV Press, 2000; Norman G. Owen, The emergence of modern Southeast Asia: A new history, University of Hawaii Press, 2005, etc.

[12] Kamajaya, Kebudayaan Jawa, perpaduannya dengan Islam, Ikatan Penerbit Indonesia, Cabang Yogyakarta 1995; Johannes Jacobus Meinsma, J. W. G. van Haarst, De Opkomst van het Nederlandsch gezag in Oost‑Indie, M. Nijhoff 1869.

[13] Written in: Ranggasutrasna (Ki Ngabei), Ranggasutrasna (Raden Ngabei), Paku Buwana IV (Sunan of Surakarta), Darusuprapta, Tim Penyadur, Centhini, Tambangraras‑Amongraga, Balai Pustaka, Jilid 3 (2008). The year of their departure is written as 1635 in Suwito Santoso, Kestity Pringgoharjono, The Centhini story: The Javanese journey of life: based on the original Serat Centhini, Marshall Cavendish, 2006, the reign of Sunan Prapen is generally known as 1548–1605 (e.g. Taufik Abdullah, Sharon Siddique, Islam and society in Southeast Asia, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 1986 (Google Books)).

[14] Suwito Santoso, Kestity Pringgoharjono, The Centhini story: The Javanese journey of life: based on the original Serat Centhini, Marshall Cavendish, 2006.

[15] “Jalan Setapak Menuju Nusantara Jaya: Bedah telisik spiritual wasiat nenek moyang, Kitab Musarar Jayabaya (Footpath toward the Jayanese Archiperago: Surgical survey of an ancestor’s spiritual testament, Book of Musarar Jayabaya)”, http://nurahmad.wordpress.com/wasiat-nusantara/kitab-musarar-jayabaya/

[16] For instance, a novel by Hideaki Kase, Merdeka 17805, Kyobundo 2001 (加瀬英明「ムルデカ17805」, 教文堂 2001) gives an impression in which the Japanese occupation is beautified. The film made on the same novel was not very successful and probably not screened in Indonesia.

[17] From: Kamajaya, Kebudayaan Jawa, perpaduannya dengan Islam, Ikatan Penerbit, Cabang Yogyakarta, 1995.

[18] Source: Ranggasutrasna (Ki Ngabei), Ranggasutrasna (Raden Ngabei.), Paku Buwana IV (Sunan of Surakarta), Darusuprapta, Tim Penyadur, Centhini, Tambangraras‑Amongraga Jilid 3, Balai Pustaka, (1994), Jilid 4, Balai Pustaka, (1999) Indonesian Edition.

[19] Hard to understand. The original text: “kepada kekasihmu di kota, tetapi sesungguhnya sangling (sangli ‘tidak cocok’?)”

[20] Hard to understand. The original text: “para ulama itu amal raja yang paling baik”.

[21]” Hard to understand. The original text: “baiknya mencari seorang pendamping”.