Mythical Wanderer

A journal documenting Pikukuh Sunda Seminar 18-21 March, 2013 in Bali

We have so many journeys in our lives but I have to say that this might be one of the highlights of my cultural & spiritual journeys this year . I had the privilege to travel half of Bali with my friends from Bumi Dega, a Sunda community based in Bandung, West Java for a seminar discussing Pikukuh Sunda.

Pikukuh means way of life.

Sunda derived from the adjoining word :

Su ( Sejati/ Abadi = primary / true / eternal )

Na ( Geni/ Agni/ Api = Fire  )

Da ( Agung/ Besar/ Raya = majestic/ grand / glorious ).

Sunada or Sunda in a way means ” the true grand fire ” or ” the majestic eternal fire ” which means the sun and later on also known as Sang Hyang Siwa ( Shiva in hindusim ) or Batara Guru (the great teacher or giver of enlightenment).


Pikukuh Sunda Seminar travel map in Bali


I arrived to the campus alone slightly clueless because I have no idea of the schedule but this doesn’t bother me. Deep down I knew that I will learn so much and I have the time to float. At this point I was up for any journey =) I was so fixated on listening the seminar that I didn’t get to record anything on the first day although we received one important lesson at the seminar opening.

The seminar was opened with Ngarajah ( a form of  Sunda prayer/invocation )  and Karinding ( traditional bamboo mouth harp ) which is very powerful but after the ritual the audience applaud. This was pretty awkward and upsetting because what we regard as a sacred invocation became a musical performance to others. The speaker politely convey this cultural misunderstanding.

This shows our ignorance towards traditional culture & rituals. This is also why we are here…to share our culture & traditions with our extended family in Bali.





Few hours drive from Mengwi, we arrived to a huge campus surrounded by lots of trees and empty fields…sorta felt like a dream campus =)  We went straight to the waiting room as preparations are still being made for the open air seminar stage.





Everyday we prepare Sajen ( offerings  ) on the front stage, this picture below if the quick version …like a travel kit version but has all the essentials =) We don’t literally offer these to the gods but it is a symbol of our gratitude to our creator, our ancestors, the universe and life.  On top of the coconut is a precious relic called Kujang. It is an important symbol of Sunda and it’s NOT a weapon like most publications will tell you. It looks sharp like a weapon but it is not used as a weapon.

Here’s a pretty good reference in bahasa Indonesia regarding Kujang :


The seminar was opened by Tarawangsa played by Kang Erwin & Kang Teguh while the Rajah sung by Tri Utami. The ambiance was pretty amazing as Tarawangsa is best played in the open…it’s not just music…it’s an actual prayer or invocation in the form of sound therefor it is best when connected to nature’s elements.


This is the live recording of the ritual.

In this particular seminar, we meet an amazing lady with such a strong and charismatic aura. She is Ibu Cok Sawitri, a writter, poet, activist and has been a keen observer as well as researcher in culture and history.


Ibu Cok Sawitri

Ibu Cok Sawitri collaborated with Ayu Laksi on a beautiful song inspired by poetry and ancient scripture. Listen below :

The speakers on this day was the most intriguing and fascinating. Four amazing people with such different journeys and background on the stage together with the same vision. Epic !


Left to right : Tri Utami , Ngurah Harta, Cok Sawitri , Lucky Hendrawan


I made a live recording of the seminar but it’s in Indonesian =)

It was a long day, on our way to Pemuteran we stop by Mount Batur for coffee and casual discussion…I soon realized that being with these people we never really discuss casual daily things  hahahhaaha ! It’s either culturally serious or casual cultural & historical talk or just plain silly jokes ! Every moment is fascinating =)



Even on our coffee break we’re still discussing and contemplating on this mountain. Once long ago the ancient Mt.Batur was massive, even bigger than Mt.Agung. The way it exploded and created the lake is similar to that of Mt.Sunda Purba in West Java that eventually created a ” bowl ” shaped area we now call Bandung.




On last day of the seminar we received so much spirit from the students. It was also the longest seminar sessions.


Here’s the live recording for the seminar in bahasa Indonesia.

Here’s the live recording for the opening ritual Karinding & Rajah.

Here’s the live recording of Tarawangsa.


We also had the privilege to meet a poet and writer from Buleleng who is famous for his monologues Putu Satria Kusuma.


Lucky Hendrawan dan Putu Satria Kusuma

To remind myself that we are in an extraordinary campus, I came across this awesome poster regarding an open discussion about Leak Bali ! Leak is a form of magick in Bali and it has gained a bad reputation as black magick . I believe what impact does when one gains higher knowledge truly depends on the person.


The last day of our seminar is closed with so many durian fruits ! apparently it’s in season ! I don’t really like durian but for this occasion I consider it a blessing to be able to enjoy this fruit together =)





It has been an amazing journey of learning and understanding my own culture and heritage. Spiritually energized and my mind fractalizing with energies =)


My gratitude &  love towards these amazing lovely people =) Rahayu … Rahayu … Rahayu



2 Responses to “Pikukuh Sunda”

  1. Nusantara

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