A long long time ago in the island of Java there was a kingdom of Medang Kamulan. The land of Java was very fertile and productive. Most of the island of Java are arable. And water are abundant. Java was very rich with plants. They had almost all fruits in the world. All year long the weather is always sunny. As a result farmers can grow any kinds of fruits, vegetable and all kinds of plant all year long. The land of Java was also very rich with gold and many kinds of mineral. Many people earned their living by working on gold mine. Since Java was also rich with mine they also made weapons like sword, lance, trident etc. They sold those weapons to China, India and many other countries. But if you think that the Javanese people were prosperous you are wrong.
At the time Java was ruled by a monster. His name was King Dewata Cengkar. He was a very cruel king. He ordered his people to pay tax on everything they had. Farmers had to pay tax on their land. Merchant had to pay high tax for their profit. Workers had to pay tax on their salary and wages. Even poor people had to pay tax. And if they had no money to pay tax then they had to work for the king without any payment. The money was not for the welfare of the people for for the king’s private matters. Worse still, the king’s official were very corrupt. When they took one hundred from the people then they gave only eighty for the king. They took it for themselves. As a result the king was very very rich while his people were very poor. Besides that the king also like to eat the flesh of human being! This habit started when he was a child. One day his mother made a mistake while she was cooking. She accidentally cut her thumb and blood spit on the food. Her maid then continue cooking without knowing that blood and a small piece of her mother’s flesh was in the food. When Dewata Cengkar ate the food he really like it. Then he found out the reason. Since that day he demanded the flesh of human being as part of his food. So his army killed people every day for his food. When he was adult and became king this habit grew. He ordered every chief of a district to sacrifice young and healthy people for the king to consume. Consequently the people of Java diminished. The people were restless but they did not dare to rebel because the king was very cruel and his army was very strong.
Until one day someone named Aji Saka came to Java. He had two guards. Their name were Dora and Sembada. Before coming to Java they landed in a small island in the north of Java, called Pulau Majeti. After several days there Aji Saka decided to go to Java. Aji Saka left his weapon, a powerful traditional dagger called Kris there. He told Dora to stay in the island of Majeti to guard his Kris. And he told Dora not to give it to any body else. After that he went to Java with Sembada.
Then he settled in Java as a merchant. The people of Java told him about his sorrow because of Dewata Cengkar’s cruelty and injustice rule. Aji Saka was very concerned to the sorrow of Javanese people. He told the chief of the district where he settled to send him as sacrifice when the king wanted to eat people. So the chief send him to king Dewata Cengkar.
As his turn came to became sacrifice, Aji Saka asked to say his last words to the king. The king granted him opportunity to speak.
‘O, great king of Java. The father of development of Java. The one who make people live prosperous life. The richest man in the world. I am honored to demand your Majesty one last wish before I die’
‘Tell me what you want’
“Your Majesty the great king of Java, I just want a piece of land, the same size as my turban’
‘I grant it. Just spread your turban’
Then Aji Saka put off his turban and put it on the ground. Aji Saka hold one side of it and asked the king to hold the other side. Amazingly it became larger so Dewata Cengkar had to step back. And everytime it became larger and larger so Dewata Cengkar finally stood at a beach. Aji Saka kincked him to the sea and and he died. The Javanese people were very happy to hear the cruel king had died. They were very thankful to Aji Saka and elected him as the new king of Java.
Aji Saka remembered that one of his guard, Dora was still in the island of Majeti. As he was a king, it was impossible for him to go there. So he told Sembada to go there and bring his kris back. So Sembada went to Majeti island. As he got there he told Dora that Aji Saka asked him to take the kris.
‘His Majesty King Aji Saka ordered me to take the kris to Java’
‘Maybe you make mistake. Aji Saka is our superiot but he is not a king. And he told me not to give his kris to any boldy else. It is my duty to guard it here until he came back and take it’
‘It is my duty to take the kris’.
‘It is my duty to guard it’
The dialogue came to a dead lock so the tension grew. Then it became on armed conflict. Finally both of them were killed. Several days later Aji Saka was shocked to hear the news that they both died. Since that day he created an alphabet, a Javanese alphabeth based on their story. Here is the alphabeth. It is like a poem. The poem consist of four lines. Each line consist of one sentence. Each sentence consist of a combination of characters. All characters are pronounced like hall. Here is the poem.
Ho (h) , No (n), co (c), ro (r) ko (k).
Do (d) to (t) so (s) wo (w) lo (l)
Po (p) do (d) jo (j) yo (y) nyo (ny)
Mo (m) go (g) bo (b) to (t) ngo (ng)
Hono = there is / there are in English, coroko = envoy
Do to so wolo = bring a letter / matter
Po do jo yo nyo = they are equally powerful
Mogo botongo = they are killed.
These characters are used widely by the Javanese, Sundanese, Balinese and Madurese. But today only very few people can read it. That’s why in the province of Yogyakarta it is taught at schools.