Origins of the Hindu Renaissance in Java: Monism in the Early Writings of W. Hardjanto Pradjapangarsa


  • Julia Howell


Movements to revitalize Indic religious traditions to meet the
challenge of Western culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are by now well documented for India, Sri Lanka, Japan, and mainland Southeast Asia.l Less well known are the movements to reform the Hindu and Buddhist traditions of Java and Bali along 'modernist' lines towards the end of the period of Dutch occupation and since independence (1949) under the banner of the Indonesian state. Like India and other Asian nations where traditions of Indian origin have for long been a part of the fabric of village and court life, Indonesians in rescuing their Indic heritage from the rubbish-heap of outmoded customs have in some instances chosen to emphasize ritual, moral codes and belief (on the Protestant and orthodox Islamic models) and in other cases have chosen to emphasize the occult and mystical
aspects of their heritage. The Balinese-based Hindu Council (Parisada Hindu Dharma) exemplifies Indonesian Indic reform that pushes to the fore exoteric traditions. In contrast the Javanese Hindu organization Sadhar Mapan, founded in 1971 in Surakarta, Central Java, by W. Hardjanto Pradjapangarsa, elevated Javanese mystical traditions to the position of greatest importance. The evolution of this variant of Javanese Hinduism through the founder's early pre-Hindu writings forms the subject of this study.