Sunda Wiwitan

Sunda Wiwitan (Sundanese: ᮞᮥᮔ᮪ᮓ ᮝᮤᮝᮤᮒᮔ᮪, English: "early Sunda", "real Sunda", or "original Sunda") is a religious belief system of traditional Sundanese. It venerates the power of nature and the spirit of ancestors (animism and dynamism).[1]

The followers of this belief system can be found in some villages in western Java, such as Kanekes, Lebak, Banten; Ciptagelar Kasepuhan Banten Kidul, Cisolok, Sukabumi; Kampung Naga; and Cigugur, Kuningan Regency. In Carita Parahyangan this faith is called Jatisunda. Its practitioners assert that Sunda Wiwitan has been part of their way of life since ancient times, before the arrival of Hinduism and Islam.

The sacred book of Sunda Wiwitan is called Sanghyang siksakanda ng karesian, it is a didactic text of religious and moral guidance, rules and lessons. The text is identified as Kropak 630 by National Library of Indonesia. According to a kokolot (elder) of Cikeusik village, the people of Kanekes are not adherents to Hindu or Buddhist faiths; they follow an animistic system of belief that venerates and worships the spirits of ancestors. However, over the course of time Sunda Wiwitan has been influenced by and incorporated Hindu, and to some extent, Islamic elements.[2]

Ontology and belief system

The highest spiritual power in Sunda Wiwitan is Sang Hyang Kersa ("The Powerful") or Nu Ngersakeun ("He Who has the Will"). This supreme being is also referred to by several names or divine titles, such as Batara Tunggal ("The One"), Batara Jagat ("Ruler of Universe"), and Batara Seda Niskala ("The Unseen"). Sang Hyang Kersa resides in the highest and most sacred realm called Buana Nyungcung (Sundanese, lit: "Pointy Realm"). The Hindu gods (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Indra, Yama, and so on) are considered subordinates of Sang Hyang Kersa.[3]

According to Sunda Wiwitan ontology, the universe consists of three realms:

  1. Buana Nyungcung ("The Pointy Realm" or "Peak Realm"): the uppermost realm; the abode of the supreme highest Sang Hyang Kersa.
  2. Buana Panca Tengah ("The Middle World"): earth, the realm of human beings and animals, with five cardinal directions: east, west, north, south, and center/zenith.
  3. Buana Larang ("The Forbidden World"): hell, the realm of demons and lowly spirits, the lowermost realm.

Between Buana Nyungcung (the peak realm) and Buana Panca Tengah (earth), there are 18 layers of realms, arranged in decreasing order of sacredness from top to bottom. The uppermost of these heavenly realms is called Bumi Suci Alam Padang, or according to Kropak 630 (Sanghyang siksakanda ng karesian), Alam Kahyangan or Mandala Hyang. This second-highest realm is the abode of Nyi Pohaci Sanghyang Asri and Sunan Ambu.

Sang Hyang Kersa created seven bataras in Sasaka Pusaka Buana (The Sacred Place on Earth). The oldest of these bataras is called Batara Cikal and is considered to be the ancestor of the Kanekes people. Other bataras ruled various locations in Sunda lands.

Value system

The value system of Sunda Wiwitan is based on written and unwritten (internalized) norms. The written norms are rules and taboos that govern the way of life of adherents, while the unwritten norms are internal and individual understandings of the faith.

Sunda Wiwitan's basic and principle concepts are based on two things: Cara Ciri Manusia and Cara Ciri Bangsa." These two principles are mentioned by Sunda Wiwitan elders, yet are not explicitly mentioned in the Siksa Kanda-ng Karesian," the sacred text of Sunda Wiwitan.

Cara Ciri Manusia comprises the basic elements of human life. It consists of five fundamentals:

  • Welas asih: love and compassion
  • Undak usuk: social and family order
  • Tata krama: behavior order and rules of conduct, such as politeness and courteousness
  • Budi bahasa dan budaya: language and culture
  • Wiwaha yudha naradha: "yudha," meaning war or battle. This principle refers to the essential human characteristic of always being wary or suspicious of foreign or unknown influences. This reflects an inherent conservatism and resistance to change in traditional village life. It implies that influences incompatible with tradition must be rejected.

The second concept of Cara Ciri Bangsa states that people have universals or similarities in basic human traits, yet express diversity from one individual or community to another. These elements are the source of variety among human beings:

  • Rupa: looks
  • Adat: customs and rules
  • Bahasa: language
  • Aksara: letters
  • Budaya: culture

The philosophy and value system emphasizes the internal or spiritual elements of human life, indicating that humans need spiritual guidance and wisdom in their lives.

Originally Sunda Wiwitan did not incorporate many taboos or prohibitions. The core rules of conduct consist of just two elements:

  • "Do not do something not to the taste of others" (something that others dislike), and do no harm to others
  • "Do not do something to harm yourself"

However, to honor sacred places (Kabuyutan, Sasaka Pusaka Buana or Sasaka Domas) and follow certain traditions in rice farming, Sunda Wiwitan elaborated on many restrictions and taboos. The most numerous taboos (called Buyut by Kanekes people) are applied to those living within the most sacred place on earth—the people of Baduy Dalam that inhabit Sasaka Pusaka Buana (Sacred Place on Earth).

Traditions and ceremonies

In Sunda Wiwitan tradition, prayer and ritual is performed through songs and chant of pantun Sunda and kidung dances. These ritual practices can be observed during the rice harvest ceremony and the annual new year festival called Seren Taun. These customary ceremonies are still performed annually by the more traditional Sundanese communities in Kanekes, Lebak, Banten; Ciptagelar Kasepuhan Banten Kidul, Cisolok, Sukabumi; Kampung Naga; and Cigugur, Kuningan.

Although modern Sundanese people may practice Islam or adhere to other faiths, influences and value systems, certain elements of traditional customs, beliefs, and culture of Sunda Wiwitan still survive into contemporary times. In terms of influence on their social values and cultural mores, Sundanese people have never abandoned traditional Sundanese beliefs.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Ekadjati, Edi S, "Kebudayaan Sunda, Suatu Pendekatan Sejarah", Pustaka Jaya, Jakarta, 1995, halaman 72-73
  2. ^ Djajadiningrat, 1936: 11-12
  3. ^ Ekadjati, Edi S, "Kebudayaan Sunda, Suatu Pendekatan Sejarah", Pustaka Jaya, Jakarta, 1995, halaman 73
  4. ^ Rama Jati
Aliran kepercayaan

Aliran Kepercayaan is an official cover term for various, partly syncretic forms of mysticism in Indonesia. It includes kebatinan, kejiwan, and kerohanian.

Baduy Indigenous Ban

Pikukuh Baduy is a customary prohibition that guide the activities of the Baduy people which is based on the teachings of Sunda Wiwitan. Baduy society should not change and does not may violate everything in your life is already determined.All activities must be based Baduy Sundanese Wiwitan religious pillars (pillars Baduy) which is a religion that is ngukus Wiwitan Sundanese, ngawalu, revere ngalaksa, ngalanjak, ngapundayan and ngareksakeun Sasaka heritage. The Doctrine must be adhered to by traditional leaders that Pu'un. Pu'un must be respected and followed the rules because Pu'un segalan are descendants Batara.

Baduy people

The Baduy (or Badui) are a traditional Bantenese community living in the southeastern part of the Indonesian province of Banten, near Rangkasbitung. They are considered an uncontacted people, a group who are almost completely isolated from the outside world.

Dewi Sri

Dewi Sri, or Shridevi (Dewi literally means goddess) (Javanese: ꦢꦺꦮꦶꦱꦿꦶ), Nyai Pohaci Sanghyang Asri (Sundanese) is the Javanese, Sundanese, and Balinese pre-Hindu and pre-Islam era goddess of rice and fertility, still widely worshipped on the islands of Bali and Java. Despite her mythology being native to the island of Java, after the adoption of Hinduism in Java as early as first century, the goddess is associated with the Hindu goddess Lakshmi as both are attributed to wealth and family prosperity.

Galuh Kingdom

Kingdom of Galuh was an ancient Hindu kingdom located in the eastern part of Tatar Pasundan (now West Java province and Banyumasan region of Central Java province), present-day Indonesia. It was established following the end of the Tarumanagara kingdom around the 7th century. Traditionally the kingdom was associated with Eastern Priangan cultural region, around the Citanduy and Cimanuk rivers, with territory spanned from Citarum river on the west, Pamali and Serayu river on the east. Its capital was first located in Karangkamulyan, Ciamis Regency, then Saunggalah, Kuningan, and Kawali, near today Ciamis City. The etymology of "galuh" is Old Sundanese and Old Javanese word for "gemstone".


A Hyang (Kawi, Javanese, Sundanese, and Balinese) is an unseen spiritual entity that has supernatural power in ancient Indonesian mythology. This spirit can be either divine or ancestral. The reverence for this spiritual entity can be found in Sunda Wiwitan, Kejawen, and Balinese Hinduism. In the modern Indonesian this term tends to be associated with gods, devata, or God. The realm where the hyangs reside is called kahyangan; the abode of gods, now a synonym for svarga or heaven in modern Indonesian.Hindu Balinese spiritualism describes hyang as a venerated spiritual existence, that deserves a special reverence. Hyang is commonly described as a sacred and luminous personal form. It is the name for a spiritual existence that has supernatural powers, portrayed like the sun in a dream. His arrival in a person's life gives contentment without a pause for a long time, which is indistinguishable between dream and reality. Indonesians generally recognize this term to refer the cause of beauty, the cause of all existence (creator), or simply to refer God.


The Kasepuhan or Kasepuhan Banten Kidul are a traditional Sundanese community of approximately 5,300 people, who live in the southern part of Gunung Halimun National Park, in the Indonesian province of West Java. Gunung Halimun National Park is located within the borders of the Sukabumi Regency, Bogor and southern Banten province. The Kasepuhan is called "Kasepuhan Banten Kidul" (Kasepuhan of Southern Banten), their main village is Ciptagelar in the Cisolok subdistrict (kecamatan) in the western part of the Sukabumi Regency. The current head of the community, Abah Ugih, inherited the position of leader when his father, Abah Anom, died at the age of 54.


Kejawèn or Javanism, also called Kebatinan, Agama Jawa, and Kepercayaan, is a Javanese religious tradition, consisting of an amalgam of animistic, Buddhist,and Hindu . It is rooted in Javanese history and religiosity, syncretizing aspects of different religions.


A kyai (kyaa-ee) is a (Javanese) expert in Islam.

List of Hindu temples in Indonesia

This is a list of Hindu temples and their remains in Indonesia. Indonesia has been part of Indosphere of Greater India where sanskritization and Hinduism spread across Indonesia. Hindus in Indonesia are a multi-ethnic society consisting of different Indonesian ethnicities, such as Balinese, Javanese, Indian and other ethnic groups. Majority of Indonesian Hindus are Balinese that inhabit the volcanic island of Bali and out of them some have migrated to other parts of Indonesia. There is also a significant Indonesian Indian Hindu minority settled in large cities. Numbers of Indonesian natives that adhere to a form of native Austronesian ancestral and natural worship might also be categorized as Hindus, such as Dayaks, Kaharingan, Karo, Parmalim and Sundanese, Sunda Wiwitan. Hindu Dayak and Kaharingan groups are concentrated in Central Kalimantan.

List of Indonesian deities

Indonesia is home to over 300 ethnic groups, some who have their own belief system and mythology. The following is a list of Indonesian deities.

List of ethnic religions

Ethnic religions (also "indigenous religions") are generally defined as religions which are related to a particular ethnic group, and often seen as a defining part of that ethnicity's culture, language, and customs.

Mythology of Indonesia

The mythology of Indonesia is very diverse, the Indonesian people consisting of hundreds of ethnic groups, each with their own myths and legends that explain the origin of their people, the tales of their ancestors and the demons or deities in their belief systems. The tendency to syncretize by overlying older traditions with newer foreign ideas has occurred. For example, the older ancestral mythology might be merged with foreign mythology, such as Hindu, Islam, or Christian biblical mythology.


Parahyangan or Priangan or Preanger is a cultural and mountainous region in West Java province on the island of Java in Indonesia. The total surface area of this area is approximately a little less than 1/6 of Java. Parahyangan is bordered in the West by the province of Banten, in the North by the northern coast region of Subang, Cirebon and Indramayu (former residencies of Batavia and Cheribon), in the east by the province of Central Java (former residencies of Banyumas and Pekalongan), in the south by the Indian Ocean.The area of Priangan Tengah (Central Priangan) covers the regencies (kabupaten) of:


West Bandung (Bandung Barat)

Subang (southern part)

Garut (northern part)


Sumedangtogether with the independent cities of Bandung and Cimahi, which are geographically within these regencies although administratively independent.

Other than Parahyangan, there is also the area known as Priangan Timur (Eastern Priangan) which cover the regencies of:






Pangandarantogether with the independent cities of Tasikmalaya and Banjar, which are geographically within these regencies although administratively independent.

While in the west, the area known as Priangan Barat (Western Priangan) covers:

Cianjur Regency

Sukabumi Regency and City of SukabumiThe Western Priangan area is occasionally mentioned as Bogor Raya (Greater Bogor) if grouped together with Bogor Regency and City of Bogor.

Parwati Soepangat

Parwati Soepangat (1 May 1932 – 24 July 2016), also known as Maha Upasaka Pandita Metta Pannakusuma Parwati Soepangat Soemarto, was an Indonesian Buddhist figure who established Wanita Buddhis Indonesia (WBI) in 1973 and became the first chairman of WBI.

Parwati was born in

Keraton Surakarta from Kanjeng Raden Tumenggung (KRT) Widyonagoro, Regent of Keraton and Raden Ajeng Soewiyah, a teacher in Sekolah Keraton.In 1958, she graduated from Gajah Mada University. Parwati continued her study in United States. Back to Indonesia, she became a lecturer in Faculty of Psychology in Padjadjaran University and Maranatha Christian University, which located in Bandung.

Religious symbol

A religious symbol is an iconic representation intended to represent a specific religion, or a specific concept within a given religion.

Religious symbols have been used in the military in many different countries, such as the United States military chaplain symbols. Similarly, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs emblems for headstones and markers recognize 57 symbols (including a number of symbols expressing non-religiosity).

Sanghyang Siksa Kandang Karesian

Sanghyang Siksa Kandang Karesian is a didactic text, providing the reader with religious and moralistic rules, prescriptions and lessons. The title means something like “the book of rules with guidance to be a resi (wise or holy man)”. This text is preserved in the National Library in Jakarta and identified as kropak 630; it consist of 30 gebang leaves (formerly identified as nipah) and in the lontar manuscript L624.The gebang manuscript is dated in a chronogram nora catur sagara wulan (0-4-4-1), that is Saka 1440 or 1518 AD. It had already been referred to in earlier publications by Holle and Noorduyn. A complete edition with translation, introduction, commentary and glossary was presented in a stenciled work by Atja and Danasasmita (1981a). It has been republished in book-form in Danasasmita et al. (1987:73-118).

Text edition of the lontar manuscript has been done by Nurwansah, published in journal of Sundalana (2013). The text is from Galuh (a capital city of the Sunda Kingdom).

Sunda Kingdom

The Sunda Kingdom (Sundanese: ᮊᮛᮏᮃᮔ᮪ ᮞᮥᮔ᮪ᮓ Karajaan Sunda) was a Sundanese Hindu kingdom located in the western portion of the island of Java from 669 to around 1579, covering the area of present-day Banten, Jakarta, West Java, and the western part of Central Java. The capital of Sunda Kingdom has moved for several times during its history; shifted between Galuh (Kawali) area in the east and Pakuan Pajajaran in the west.According to primary historical records, the Bujangga Manik manuscript, the eastern border of the kingdom was the Pamali River (Ci Pamali, the present day Brebes River) and the Serayu River (Ci Sarayu) in Central Java. Most accounts of the Sunda Kingdom come from primary historical records from the 16th century. Its inhabitants were primarily the eponymous ethnic Sundanese, while the majority religion was Hinduism.

Sundanese people

The Sundanese (Sundanese: ᮅᮛᮀ ᮞᮥᮔ᮪ᮓ, Urang Sunda) are an Austronesian ethnic group native to the western part of the Indonesian island of Java. They number approximately 40 million, and form Indonesia's second most populous ethnic group, after the neighboring Javanese. In their language, Sundanese, the Sundanese refer to themselves as Urang Sunda (Sundanese: Sunda people), while Orang Sunda or Suku Sunda is its Indonesian equivalent.

The Sundanese have traditionally been concentrated in the provinces of West Java, Banten, Jakarta, and the western part of Central Java. Sundanese migrants can also be found in Lampung and South Sumatra, and to lesser extent in Central Java and East Java.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.