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The Bibliotheca Indonesica is a series published by the Koninklijk Instituut

voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde (Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast
Asian and Caribbean Studies), Leiden. The series contains critical editions of
texts in various Indonesian languages, together with a translation and comr-
nentary in English.
Cover: Lithograph, F.W. Junghuhn, Telaga Patengan, 1853, Collection KITLV,
publ i shed by the

edited and translated by
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Preface vii
I Introduction 1
II Linguistic and poetical form 29
III Content and analysis 113
Texts ond translations
IV The som of Rama and Rawana 179
V The ascension of Cri Ajnyana 217
VI The story of Bujangga Manik: a pilgrims progress 241
VII Concluding remarks 277
VIII Notes to h e texts and translations 285
IX Glossary 331
1 Palmleaf 431
2 Old Sundanese script 433
3 J. Noorduyn, Bujangga Maniks journeys through Java;
Topographical data from an Old Cundanese source 437
Bibliography 467
Index to Chapters I, 11, 111 and V11 481
Index to Chapter N The sons of Rama and Rawana 483
Index to Chapter V The ascension of Cri Ajnyana 487
Index to Chapter V1 The story of Bujangga Manik:
a pilgrims progress 489

The core of this book consists of the edition and translation of three Old
Sundanese poems, as presented in Chapters n/, V and VI. This material is pub-
lished here as it had been prepared by J. Noorduyn, with oniy minor changes
and adaptations. These have mostly been accounted for in the Notes. Of these
Notes, those on the Rama text had been drafted by Noorduyn; they also have
been kept here, with some changes and additions. A further important con-
tribution by Noorduyn was a draft glossary to the Rama text. This has been
incorporated in the comprehensive Glossary which now covers al1 three texts
as wel1 as incidental materials from other texts, in particular from the Swaka
Darma. The section on personal pronouns in Chapter II is another contribu-
tion largely based on a draft by Noorduyn; his materials were mainly limited
to the Rama poem; data from the other texts have been added. Further loose
notes and fragmentary comments by Noorduyn have been included wher-
ever possible, with due mention of his name. In the Introduction a detailed
survey of Noorduyns work on Old Sundanese, in particular his occupation
with the three poems published hese, is given.
When Noorduyns fatal illness prevented him from further occupation
with this material, he asked me to prepare his work for publication. As a
friend and colleague of long standing I considered it not only an utang budi,
a mora1 responsibility, to comply with his request; it has also been a pleasure
and an honour to carry out the research necessary for this job, which kept
me busy for most of thee years. I am fuiiy aware that the final result of my
efforts, presented in this book, in many ways may be different from what
Noorduyn had in mind when working on these texts. For one thing, my
knowledge in the field of Sundanese language, literature and culture falls far
short compared to his expertise of long standing. Noorduyn would certainly
also have emphasized other aspects and elements of the texts, for example
the historica1 aspects and their relationship with pantun and other early
(archaic) specimens of Sundanese literature.
A development unforeseen when I started on this work was that in recent
years, thanks to a variety of research projects carried out by a group of schol-
ars in Bandung, much more textual material in Old Sundanese has become
Preface viii
available. I am particularly grateful to Edi S. Ekadjati, at the time dean of
the Faculty of Arts of the Padjadjaran University, for graciously making avail-
able many new publications in this field. Altogether these texts and studies
put the poems studied by Noorduyn in a much broader historical, cultural
and literary framework In the Introduction I have tried to render account of
wliat has become known to me, by presenting a short state of the art of Old
Sundanese studies. I hope this may be useful in particular to scholars abroad,
many of whom may.not be aware of this fascinating branch of Indonesian
In working on this publication I was constantly made aware of my short-
comings in Sundanese language and literature, and ever stronger I felt the
need to have some form of cooperation with an expert in this field from
Bandung. At my request Ekadjati agreed to send one of the younger staff
members for a period of four months to Leiden. The person he suggested was
the lektor mndya at the Department of Sundanese studies Undang A. Darsa,
who has specialized in Old Sundanese, in particular its palaeography. To this
purpose the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek
(NWO, Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research) granted a four
months visiting scholarship to Undang Darsa who stayed in Leiden from
August til1 November 2000. During this period the two of US together
worked through the whole draft of the book. The text greatly profited from
the expert comments and suggestions by Undang Darsa. He also checked
Noorduyns transliteration of the Bujangga Manik manuscript, a microfilm
of which was kindly made available by the keeper of the manuscripts of the
Bodleian Library in Oxford, through the good services of H. van de Velde of
the Oriental Department of the Library of Leiden Univenity Undang Darsa
also provided the table here printed of the Old Sundanese script which is
employed in the manuscripts. I am pleased to express my appreciation both
to Ekadjati and to Undang Darsa for this invaluable collaboration.
I also want to thank Wim Stokhof, Director of the International Institute
of Asian Studies (IIAS) and his staff. They not only took care of al1 the admin-
istrative matters connected witli Uiidang Darsas visit to Leiden; they also
were helpful in finding him suitable accommodation and making available
office space with the necessary facilities. In this connection I am also grateful
to Christi Donker, who efficiently helped Undang Darsa to fee1 himself at
home in Leiden.
A special word of thanks is due to my good friend and colleague Stuart
Robson, who was willing to correct the English of my manuscript. He is an
ideal corrector: he works fast; he himself is an expert in Old Javanese and
related fields; he is accurate, thorough and efficient, and, best of all, he shows
respect for the text which he deals with; after he has gone through it I still fee1
I am reading my own text.
Preface ix
Several colleagues gave valuable comments on specific aspects of the
texts: I. Kuntara Wiryamartana (Sanata Dharma University, Yogyakarta);
Wim van Zanten (Department of Anthropology, Leiden University); Willem
van der Molen (Department of Indonesian Languages and Cultures, Leiden
University) and Tom van den Berge. I appreciate their help and interest.
I am also much obliged to the KITLV and its staff: the personell of the
reading room, helpful as always. I fee1 particularly grateful to the staff mem-
bers of KITLV Press and its director Harry Poeze for their concerted efforts
to publish this voluminous work in an adequate and attractive form. Sirtjo
Koolhof was always available for advise and assistance, finding solutions for
technica1 problems beyond my capacity. Marjan Groen recreated my ama-
teurish computer manuscript into a professional publication.
Earlier publications on Old Sundanese
Compared to Old Javanese our knowledge of Old Sundanese is quite limited.
So far no clear linguistic or historica1 demarcation of materials which could
be called Old Sundanese in contradistinction to Modern Sundanese has been
established. Basically three types of material can be distinguished which pro-
vide texts in Sundanese of a relatively old date: inscriptions; manuscripts;
In contrast with the situation in Old Javanese, the number of inscriptions
from West Java which are written in (a form of) Sundanese is quite limited;
moreover, most of them contain only brief texts; they are not easy to read, and
difficult to interpret, due to our insufficient knowledge of the history of West
Java. The earliest inscriptions from West Java are in Sanskrit, the most impor-
tant one being the Prnawarman stone from the fifth century (H. Kern 1917;
Vogel 1925; Krom 1931:77-81; Noorduyn 1971); next there are a few inscrip-
tions of a somewhat later date in some kind of Old Javanese, for example, one
from 932 ad (Krom 1931:211) and, more importantly, the one dated 1030 ad
published by Pleyte (1916c:201-18). It mentions the name of a Sundanese king
(prahajian Sunda) named Jayabhpati (Krom 1931:260).
From a later date a number of inscriptions have come to light which use a
form of Sundanese or show clear Sundanese influence:
The Batu Tulis inscription, engraved on a large stone still found south-
east of Bogor. The date has been much debated (see, for example, Pleyte
1911; Djajadiningrat 1913:139-44; Poerbatjaraka 1919-21; Krom 1931:405-8;
Noorduyn 1959). The most probable date is aka 1255 = ad 1333, but the
chronogram word representing the numeral of the century is not clear.
The language as wel1 as the spelling represent a kind of Old Javanese with
a strong mixture of Sundanese; Krom described it as a kind of chancellery
Three Old Sundanese poems 2
language' used at the Sundanese court of Pajajaran. The inscription com-
memorates the foundation of the kingdom of Pajajaran.
Three short copper-plate inscriptions from Kabantenan, apparently
belonging to the Same period in the history of Pajajaran (for a discussion
see Pleyte 1911; Poerbatjaraka 1921; Krom 1931:406).
The inscription of Kawali (southern part of Cirebon, in the region of
Galuh). Language and script are undoubtedly Old Sundanese. It has
been discussed by Pleyte (1911), Krom (1931:406-7), and most recently by
T.S. Nastiti (1996; she made use of a transliteration by Hasan Djafar in a
paper dated November 1995, with a bibliography of recent publications
on ancient Cundanese history).
For a more general discussion of the period covered by these inscriptions the
reader is referred to Atja and Danasasmita (1981b:43-55, 1981c:39-49).
There are a number of manuscripts containing texts which apparently origi-
nated in an early period and which are written in a language which shows
more or less clear characteristics distinguishing it from Modern Sundanese.
The most important ones which have been made available in print are partly
written in prose, partly in a typically Sundanese type of poetry. Most of these
manuscripts have been preserved in manuscripts which were not engraved on
lontar leaves but written with ink or engraved on leaves of the nipah palm.
Prose texts
The main prose texts published so far are:
Carita Parahyangan. This text is contained in a single manuscript, registered
as kropak 406 from the former collection of the Bataviaasch Genootschap voor
Kunsten en Wetenschappen (Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences), now in
the Perpustakaan Nasional (National Library) in Jakarta. It was identified
as early as 1882 by Holle as the Carita Parahyangan and ever since that time
it has received much scholarly attention. In fact this manuscript consists of
two parts. The largest part, the Carita Parahyangan proper, is a text on West
Javanese kings and kingdoms from the pre-Islamic period. After earlier pub-
lications by Holle (1882a) and Pleyte (1914a) it was Poerbatjaraka (1919-21)
who gave a complete transliteration of the manuscript; later on Noorduyn
(1962a, 1962b) devoted two important papers to this text; in the fist he man-
aged to restore the order of the folia of the manuscript which were in disar-
ray; in the second he gave an annotated transliteration and translation of the
first part of the text. In a third paper Noorduyn (1966) published a number
I Introduction 3
of additions and corrections to the earlier text edition, which were based on
a careful rereading of the original manuscript. Based on Noorduyns resto-
ration of the order of the leaves in the major part of the manuscript, a new
transliteration, with a translation in Indonesian and notes, was published
by Atja and Danasasmita (1981c). In 1995 Darsa and Ekadjati presented a
new edition and translation of the manuscript. In this work the other part
of the manuscript, called by the editors Fragmen Carita Parahyangan, was
published for the first time. This is a text found on 13 leaves (lempir) or 25
pages; graphically the two texts are different insofar as the Fragmen has an
irregular number of lines (3-6) per page, unlike the Carita Parahyanpan proper
which consistently has four lines writing per page. Moreover, there are minor
scriptural differences between the two parts of the manuscript. The Fragmen
contains tiga kisah utama para penguasa kerajaan Sunda yang berpusat di Pakuan
Pajajarali. Especially its second, largest part is quite interesting from the
viewpoint of social and economic history (Darsa and Ekadjati 1995:6). In a
more recent paper Darsa (1999) has discussed in some more detail the rela-
tion between the two texts in kropak 406; it is clear that at an early stage the
two texts must have been brought together in a single manuscript.
Sanghyang siksakanda ng karesian. This is a didactic text, providing the reader
with all kinds of religious and moralistic rules, prescriptions and lessons.
The title means something like Book of rules for the state of resi (wise or holy
man). This text is contained in kropak 630 of the National Library in Jakarta;
it consists of 30 nipuh leaves. The manuscript is dated in a chronogram nora
catur sagara wulan (0-4-4-11, that is aka 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
stencilled work by Atja and Danasasmita (1981a). It has been republished in
book-form in Danasasmita et al. (1987:73-118).
Arnaliat dari Galunggung. This is kropak 632 hom the Batavian collection. It is
incomplete, a date is lacking, but according to the editors there is good reason
to assume that it dates back to the fifteenth century, like other manuscripts
from the Same collection. The part which has been preserved consists of six
leaves only. It originates from a kabuyutan, a religious centre named Ciburuy,
in Bayongbong, in the Garut area (the southeastern part of West Java), appar-
ently an ancient centre of Sundanese religous and literary studies and also an
imporant scriptorium from which several of the manuscripts to be mentioned
below hail. The text received earlier attention by Holle, Brandes, Pleyte and
Poerbatjaraka; a complete edition with translation and extensive commentary
was given by Atja and Danasasmita (1981b, which also gives the earlier refer-
ences). It has been republished in book-form in Danasasmita et al. (1987:119-
Three Old Sundanese poems 4
32). Pleyte (1914a) had called the text a pseudo-Padjadjaransche Kroniek;
the Indonesian scholars pointed out that the historical data contained in the in-
itia1 part are only an introduction to the real function of the text, the religious
lessons given by the teacher Rakyan Darmasiksa; therefore they gave this
text the Indonesian name of amanat (a word of Arabic origin, not found in the
text itself) dari Galunggung, that is instructions or message from Galunggung.
Galunggung is the well-known volcano in the Garut area; the text speaks about
Darmasiksa and those who opened up the Galunggung area (nya nyusuk na
Kawik Paningkes (or Panikis?). This is a kropak engraved with a pangot, a
special knife, on 40 nipah leaves, preserved in the Jakarta collection of the
National Library as no. 419. The manuscript was collected in the nineteenth
century by the famous Indonesian painter Raden Saleh; this too originates
from the kabuyntan Ciburuy. Essentially it is a didactic text, containing all
kinds of speculations on religious matters. At the end the bumi kancana,
the golden house which we know from The ascension of Sri Ajnyana and
the Swaka Darma texts, crops up (folio 36-39), in combination with geo-
graphical names such as Gunung Jati, Bukit Palasari, Gunung Cupu and
the names of at least two mandala, religious centres, namely Pasekulan
and Pangarbuhan. In this connection we also encounter, for example, the
celestial figure Pwah Wirumananggay (folio 39b) whose name is also famil-
iar from The ascension of Sri Ajnyana and Swaka Darma. The text is in Old
Sundanese, but with a strong admixture of Old Javanese, not only in its
vocabulary, but also in sentence structure. Together with the following text
it has been transliterated and provided with a provisional translation by
Ayatrohadi et al. (1987).
Jatiniskala. This kropak 422 is from the same collection and provenance as the
previous one; it consists of 14 incised palm leaves, lempir. To the text a later
label was added on which it is called Jatiraga, but this word does not occur
in the text itself. It has been transliterated and translated in one volume with
the Kawih Paningkes (Ayatrohadi et al. 1987). The editors provided it with
the title latiniskala, a word which occurs several times in the text, and which
seems to fit its content; it consists of lessons, given by various heavenly fig-
ures bagaimana caranya agar manusia mencapai kelanggengan yang sejati (jatini-
skala) (how a man can reach the true state of immateriality, Ayatrohadi et
al. 19873); a prominent place is taken by speculations about the triplet bayu,
sabda, hdap (hidep) which can also be found in other Old Sundanese texts such
as the waka Darma and the Sanghyang siksakanda ng karesian.
Ratu Pakuan. The Kings of Pakuan is another historica1 text handed down
I Introduction 5
in a lontar manuscript, inscribed with Old Sundanese characters. The text has
been published by Atja (1970). The manuscript was acquired by Raden Saleh
and presented to the Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences (Pleyte 1914b:371).
It belongs to the manuscript collection of the National Library in Jakarta as
kropak 410. The writer of the manuscript is mentioned as Kyai Raga, digu-
nung larang Srimanganti; he was the grandson of an ascetic on the mountain
Cikuray (see p. 7 for more particulars on this person).
The poetical texts contained in several manuscripts are all written in octosyl-
labic verses. Under this heading come first of all the three texts studied by
Noorduyn and published in the present book: The sons of Rama and Rawana,
The ascension of Sri Ajnyana and The story of Bujangga Manik: a pilgrims
progress. They will be discussed in some detail.
In addition in recent years the following poems have been made available
by a group of scholars from Bandung in transliteration and translation:
Swaka Darma. This text is preserved in a manuscript, inscribed with a knife
(pangot) on lontar leaves; it is registered as kropak 408 of the collection in the
National Library in Jakarta and has been published by Danasasmita et al.
(1987). The manuscript consists of 37 leaves (74 pages), of which only 67
were inscribed. As the writer of the text (or manuscript?) is mentioned a lady
called Buyut Ni Dawit, who lived in the hermitage (batur) of Ni Teja Puru
Bancana. No name of the text is mentioned, but the editors chose Swaka
Darma (Servant of the Law) as an appropriate title; it is the name of the
protagonist, a religious student, who is taught the way for a human being to
reach liberation (kaleupasan) from the sufferings of the earthly existence by
fulfilling the requirements of the Law (Darma) and keeping to the rules. It
consists of two parts, the first one describing how the soul should prepare for
death, which is the gateway to liberation; the second part evokes the journey
of the soul to the highest heaven, the golden house (bumi kancana) where it
will reach the jati niskala (true state of immateriality).
Ciburuy I. The Swaka Darma is also contained in another manuscript pub-
lished by the Bandung group. This manuscript belongs to a group of ten
manuscripts recently found in the kabuyutan Ciburuy, already mentioned
above; two of these have been published by Partini Sardjono, Edi S. Ekadjati
and E. Kalsum (1986-87). The transliteration of the manuscripts was made
from photographs. The first of the two texts, called Ciburuy I consists of 92
stanzas (called bait by the editors; see p. 24 about the use of this term), each
stanza in the form in which it has been printed numbering some 12-16 verses.
A remarkable fact about this manuscript is that it shows four somewhat dif-
Three Old Sundanese poems 6
ferent types of writing; in an appendix to the edition samples of these four
types have been presented. An Indonesian translation of the text has been
added. Ciburuy I consists of two parts: the first 30 stanzas contain religio-
philosophical speculations and lessons about the spiritual liberation from
the bonds of earthly existence (kalepasan, kamoksan). The second part, stanza
31-92, is another version of the Swaka Darma. Essentially the metre of the
second part is the same as that found in the other poetical texts, each verse
consisting of eight syllables, although in many lines there are irregularities or
corruptions; it is not quite certain whether the first part of the text employs
the same metre throughout.
Ciburuy II. This manuscript is only a diplomatic transliteration and is pre-
sented without translation added. The text is in many respects defective,
large parts are illegible, from the microfilm it is not clear how many lontar
leaves it contains, and it may consist of fragments from various texts, as the
editors suggest. From a cursory reading it is clear that this too is a religious
text; many names of gods and heavenly beings occur, some local (Sundanese),
others belonging to medieval Shiwaism as was popular in Java. It is remark-
able that in the final part of the text we encounter some of the names from the
Rama story which is published in the present volume: prabu Manabaya, puun
Bibisana, and also sang prebu Rama resi (103-104,125). But the material is too
slight and uncertain to draw any conclusions about the nature of this text.
Among these texts in particular the Swaka Darma is of immediate rel-
evance for the study of the texts which form the subject of the present study.
It shows remarkable correspondences with the Sri Ajnyana poem published
here, in its religious content and its description of the souls journey through
the heavens to attain final release as well as in its lexical particularities.
Moreover a large number of identical verses are found in the two texts, sug-
gesting that these are formulaic elements belonging to the stock in trade of
ancient Sundanese poets. There are also a limited number of formulaic cor-
respondences with the Bujangga Manik poem. This matter will be discussed
in some detail in A note on the intertextual relation of Siwaka Darma and Sri
Ajnyana (pp. 23-8).
Poernawidjajas hellevaart. There is yet another poetical text, which should be
mentioned in this connection: it was published by Pleyte (1914b) and provid-
ed with a Dutch translation, under the title Poernawidjajas hellevaart of de
volledige verlossing. There are two manuscripts in existence, both belonging
to the collection of the National Library in Jakarta; one is kropak 416, the other
is kropak 423. The former is the older of the two, it is a miniature, the format
of the 39 leaves being 140 by 20 millimetres, it probably had the function of a
talisman. The latter is a normal kropak, consisting of 35 nipah leaves. In places
I Introduction 7
it is badly damaged. Pleyte has convincingly argued that the eldest text was
written by a student of Kyai Raga, whose mandala or kabuyutan was found
on Mount Srimanganti. This is apparently the same person as the one who
is mentioned as the writer of the Ratu Pakuan (see pp. 4-5; for more details
on him, see Atja 1970:20-2). Sri Manganti was an early name for present-day
Cikuray, a mountain in the eastern part of the Sundanese area. On the basis
of various pieces of information Pleyte (1914b:374) concluded that Kyai Raga
may have lived at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Kropak 423 is later;
the text is often corrupt; it is largely similar to the other kropak, but sometimes
there are interesting textual differences.
This text is remarkable for a number of reasons. First it has been con-
vincingly argued by Pleyte that the story of Purnawijayas visit to hell
is a Sundanese adaptation of an Old Javanese text, known as the story of
Kunjarakarna. This text has been known to international scholarship since
H. Kern published it in 1901 in a diplomatic edition in Modern Javanese
script, with a Dutch translation and notes; later on the text was republished
in his Verzamelde geschriften (Collected writings) in a Latin transliteration (H.
Kern 1922). The story is contained in one of the oldest Javanese manuscripts
preserved from Java. On the basis of its palaeography Kern dated it in the
second half of the fourteenth century AD. De Casparis (1975:94) agreed with
Kern, both with respect to the dating of the script and to its provenance from
the western part of Java.Subsequently Van der Molen (1983) once more pub-
lished the manuscript, in a synoptic edition with two other manuscripts of
the same story which belonged to the so-called Merbabu collection, the name
indicating the provenance of these manuscripts from religious centres on the
slopes of Mount Merbabu in Central Java. These two manuscripts are prob-
ably of a later date and contain a text which generally is more corrupt, or, to
put it neutrally, a later development than the one edited by Kern.
The story is a about a demonic figure (yaksha) named Kunjarakarna who
visits Lord Wairocana and asks to be instructed in the Law. The Lord sends
him first to Yamas hell in order to see with his own eyes the horrible fate of
sinners and to ask Yama the cause of the fivefold suffering (pancagati). During
his stay in hell Kunjarakarna is informed that the cauldron which is des-
tined for punishing sinners is being prepared for his old friend Purnawijaya
who apparently has committed grave sins. On his way back to Wairocana
Kunjarakarna visits Purnawijaya and tells what fate lies in store for him.
Purnawijaya accompanies his friend to the heaven of the Lord; Kunjarakarna,
after having received his instruction from Wairocana, is released from his
demonic state; he returns to Mount Mahameru to continue his ascetic prac-
tices. After that Purnawijaya is received by the Lord who ultimately shows
his mercy to the humble sinner. The Lord initiates him into all kinds of eso-
teric knowledge, but he cannot escape his punishment completely; his stay
Three Old Sundanese poems 8
in hell will be shortened from a hundred years to ten days. So it happens;
after Purnawijaya has suffered torments for ten days the cauldron which
has been prepared for him falls to pieces and Purnawijaya is restored to his
youthful glory. The god of hell Yama is astonished but Purnawijaya tells him
about the grace of Wairocana. Purnawijayas soul returns to his body and he
goes back to his wife. He tells her that he is going to devote himself to asceti-
cism, together with his friend Kunjarakarna. In a meeting in the residence of
Wairocana where all the gods are present to pay homage to the supreme
Lord, the latter tells about the sins of Purnawijaya and Kunjarakarna in an
earlier existence. After this the two friends build a hermitage at the foot of
Mount Mahameru where they practise a severe form of self-chastisement.
After 12 years they obtain, through the grace of the Lord, everlasting bliss in
the world of the Perfect One (siddhaloka).
This story has been popular in medieval Java and Bali, as is apparent from
a number of manuscripts from Bali, where the story gradually received a more
religious function as can be seen from the mantra, holy formulas, which in
later manuscripts were added to the text. It has also been recreated in an Old
Javanese kakawin edited under the title Kujarakarna Dharmakathana, its plot
essentially similar to that of the prose text; for details the reader is referred to
the editions by Van der Molen (1983) and Teeuw and Robson (1981).
The Sundanese text edited by Pleyte deviates significantly from the
Javanese versions, the main differences being that Kunjarakarna has com-
pletely disappeared from the plot while the Buddhist character of the story
has also been totally effaced. The Sundanese story is about Purnawijaya, who
is taught at length by a supreme god (dewa utama) about the consequences of
evil conduct; after that he visits the underworld and sees all the horrible tor-
ments suffered by sinners. Purnawijaya then asks Yamadipati, Lord of hell,
how these sufferings can come to an end; he is informed about reincarnation
and the relation between sins in a former existence and the state in which
people are reborn; various philosophical issues are also discussed.
In many places the text as published by Fleyte seems to be corrupt; how-
ever, what is clear is that in spite of the major differences between the plot
of the Old Javanese prose text and the Sundanese poem, the latter shows
many links with the former, even to the extent that some Sundanese passages
would seem to be a direct translation from the Javanese text. In this proc-
ess of transformation the constraints of the poetical form of the Sundanese
text have played an important role. For like the other poems discussed in
this book the story of Purnawijaya is also from beginning to end written in
octosyllabic verses; as such it belongs to the same literary genre as the Old
Sundanese texts published in the present book. A short quotation rendered
in contemporary spelling and translation must suffice to show this (Pleyte
1914b:398-402, verse 79.104):
I Introduction 9
ma(ng)gikeun bumi patala he arrived in the underworld
si dona dsa ma [?] his destination an area,
murub mu(n)car pakatonan a blazing and flaming spectacle
dipareuman ha(n)teu meunang impossible to extinguish
dorana leuwih sadeupa its gate more than a fathom
jalanna sadeupa sisih the road a fathom each half
jalan kakurung ku le(m)bur the road enclosed by settlements
le(m)bur kakurung ku jalan settlements enclosed by the road
pa(n)tona kowari beusi the door with iron panels
dipeu(n)deutan ku ta(m)baga closed with copper
dilorongan ku salaka fitted with silver,
ku(n)cina heu(n)teu(ng)[na] homas the lock with golden facets
[a line omitted?]
dikamrata ku tahina [the road] was paved with dung
(tahi) le(m)bu[r] kanjaan dung of young cows
ditata(ng)gaan malla it was provided with steel stairs
dita(n)juran ku handong bang planted with red andong,
katomas deung panjaan katomas and panjaan
waduri kembang jayanti waduri and jayanti flowers
sekar siratu ba(n)cana as well as siratu bancana
eukeur meujeuh branang siang shining in full bloom
dihauran kembang (ura) it was strewn with scattered flowers
dija ... kembang pupolodi (?) with rows of (?) nagasari (?)
didupaan rumhuman made fragrant by all kinds of per-
da(di) wangi haseup dupa so that it smelled of incense
mrebuk aruhum ... sweet-scented ...
jalan kawit i sorgaan the road at the beginning of heaven.
When compared with the corresponding passage of the Javanese text (Van
der Molen 1983:149-51, 1. 314-340; H. Kern 1922:57, 1. 15-24), it is clear that
there are a number of similarities; even the same words occur in both texts,
and there can be no doubt that a text similar to, if not identical with, the Old
Javanese story was used (remembered?) by the Sundanese author for creat-
ing his poem. In this respect it is remarkable that according to the experts,
the manuscript edited by Kern originated from West Java. On the other hand
it is also clear that with Pleytes text we are close to the poems edited in this
book; for example, the description of the road with the flowers reminds one
of similar descriptions in SA (563-597) and in BM (1467-1476). There are even
a number of closely corresponding lines in SA: 615, 608, 596, 559-562. Other
similarities are pointed out in the notes to the editions of the SA and of the
BM and in the Glossary. It is obvious that the literary tradition with its spe
Three Old Sundanese poems 10
cific conventions which is preserved in the poetical texts mentioned above
lived on in particular religious centres in the Sundanese area at least until the
eighteenth century.
This brings us to the third group of texts which, although not representing
an Old Sundanese literary tradition in the same sense as those mentioned
above, shows clear links with the Old Sundanese poetical texts. These are the
pantun. Pantun typically belong to the Sundanese oral tradition. A pantun is
an oral narrative; it tells the story of a heros initiation; the protagonist leaves
his kingdom in order to mencari pengalaman, puteri cantik bakalistri, kesaktian,
kerajaan lain untuk ditaklukkan, membuktikan impian (to seek experiences,
beautiful princesses to become his wives, power, other kingdoms to subject,
the realization of a dream, (Rosidi 1984a:143)); after having succeeded in
reaching his goals he finally returns to his kingdom. Alongside memories
of historical events the stories often contain mythical elements. A pantun used
to be recited during a night-long performance by a singer accompanying him-
self on a kacapi, a kind of cither. Pantun were not written down, the bards
often being illiterate, in many cases blind. Originally they had a sacral char-
acter, as was clear from the offerings, until recently made at the beginning
of the recitation and also from the content of the introductory part of the
story, called rajah; this was an invocatory song, imploring the help of divine
figures to ward off bad influences. The form of the pantun was not strictly
fixed; however, the dominant language form employed in most pantun was
the octosyllabic verse, similar to what we find in the three texts published in
this book. For a detailed description of the nature and form of a Sundanese
pantun the reader is referred to Eringa (1949), to Hermansoemantri (1977-79)
and to other publications mentioned below.
The use of the octosyllabic verse line as the dominant poetical trait is not
the only similarity between pantun and our texts; another typical feature of
both types of texts is their formulaic character: especially in descriptions they
make frequent use of stock expressions, a number of which are found in both
types of texts; examples are given in the Notes to the texts and in the Glossary.
More details about the verse form and the formulaic character of our texts are
discussed in Chapter II.
Pantun being typically oral texts, they were not written down in the
Sundanese literary tradition; only late in the nineteenth century were the first
pantun put down in writing, at first mainly on the initiative or instigation of
Western (Dutch) persons, in the beginning usually in (Javanese-)Sundanese
script. Such scholarly and/or literary interest was developed by K.F. Holle,
G.J. Grashuis, J.J. Meyer, and C.M. Pleyte. Pleytes publication (1910) of three
I Introduction 11
pantun texts, with an extensive glossary deserves special mention. For a de-
tailed survey of published pantun texts up to 1949 the reader is referred to
Eringa (1949:9-13). In an extensive introduction to his partial edition and
translation of the pantun Lutung Kasarung Eringa discusses many aspects of
the genre. After Indonesian independence Sundanese scholars made impor-
tant contributions to the study of the pantun, by publishing more oral texts as
well as by critically investigating them. Special mention should be made of a
project by Ajip Rosidi who in the early seventies had a considerable number
of pantun recorded as they were performed by singers from various areas
in West Java (see Rosidi 1973). The recorded pantun were transcribed and in
stencilled form circulated in limited circles. Later on a number of them were
published in book form, such as Carita Bndak Manjor (1987), Carita Lutung
Leutik (1987), Carita Panggung Karaton (1986), Carita Badak Pamalang (1985-88),
Mundinglaya di Kusumah (1986). An excellent study of the literary structure of
the pantun was written by Hermansoemantri (1977-79); Kartini et al. (1984)
wrote a useful comparative analysis on the plot (alur) of the pantun, based on
a survey of 35 pantun stories. A valuable work on the musical aspects of pan-
tun performances, based on extensive data collected in the field, was written
by A.N. Weintraub (1990). For the place of pantun as a musical genre in the
general framework of Sundanese music one may consult Van Zanten (1987).
Although the language of pantun as they were written down or recorded
in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries cannot be called Old Sundanese,
they contain many archaic words and expressions. The performance of pan-
tun in recent times was the continuation of an age-long tradition; already
in the Sanghyang siksakanda ng karesian, dated 1518, pantun are mentioned:
hayang nyaho di pantun ma: Langgalarang, Banyakcatra, Siliwangi, Haturwangi,
prepantun tanya (if you want to know about pantun, such as Langgalarang,
Banyakcatra, Siliwangi, Haturwangi, ask the pantun singer, Atja and
Danasasmita 1981a:14). Throughout the ages many ancient elements have
been preserved, even though the content of the stories told and the language
used underwent changes and adaptations. Not only are there a number
of Arabic words present in many pantun texts, which in pre-Islamic Old
Sundanese texts are lacking; the repertoire of present-day pantun singers
includes Islamic tales as is clear from the list in Weintraub (1990:23-4). In
spite of this modernization pantun contain valuable materials for the study
of Old Sundanese texts, such as those contained in this book, for example,
in view of the common use of the octosyllabic verse form and the usage of
formulaic expressions. With respect to the poetical form one could even call
the texts discussed here Old Sundanese pantun. However, as far as the con-
tent is concerned there is a clear difference. For some remarks on the relation
between oral pantun and the poems edited here the reader is referred to the
concluding chapter.
Three Old Sundanese poems 12
Noorduyns work on Old Sundanese
Noorduyns involvement in Sundanese studies
Originally Noorduyn was assigned by the Nederlandsch Bijbelgenootschap
(NBG, Netherlands Bible Society) to be posted in South Sulawesi (Celebes)
to work on the translation of the Bible into the local languages (Buginese and
Makassarese). However, after he had finished his dissertation on a Bugis his-
torical text in 1955, it turned out that the political situation in South Sulawesi
was unfavourable for a Dutch scholar to carry out the kind of studies necessary
for such a task. Therefore Noorduyn was given a new assignment, namely, to
cooperate in a project of revising Coolsmas Bible translation in the Sundanese
language. Noorduyn arrived in Bogor in January 1956 and stayed with his
family in Indonesia until July 1961, when due to political circumstances he
was practically forced to leave Indonesia. For more details on Noorduyns life
and work and an extensive bibliography the reader is referred to the obituary
by Grijns and Teeuw (1996:l-22). His work on the Sundanese Bible translation
has been discussed by Swellengrebel (1978:253-8).
In accordance with the common practice of Dutch Bible translators, a
practice which was stimulated from early times by the board of the NBG,
Noorduyn was given the opportunity to carry out research into the language,
literature and history of West Java in the broadest sense, in order to acquire a
solid foundation for his translators task. His first publication in this field con-
cerned the fifth-century Sanskrit inscription of King Prnawarman, to which
later on he was to devote a remarkable study of historical geography togeth-
er with the geographer H.Th. Verstappen (Noorduyn and Verstappen 1972).
His first publications on Old Sundanese concerned the Carita Parahyangan;
these have been mentioned above. He also started to delve into the treas-
ures of the manuscript collection of the former Batavian Society of Arts and
Sciences, now in the National Library in Jakarta and made himself familiar
with the older Sundanese forms of writing as found in ancient manuscripts.
His attention was in particular drawn to two manuscripts, hitherto not stud-
ied, namely kropak 625 and 1102. Moreover, he discovered that a manuscript
which had been in the possession of the Bodleian Library in Oxford ever since
1627 (or 1629) contained an Old Sundanese text. These three texts became the
main focus of Noorduyns interest, and they also form the core of the present
Amidst all his other scholarly and administrative work Noorduyn could
only incidentally occupy himself with these texts. Yet he somehow managed
to transliterate the two kropak from the National Library in Jakarta; moreover,
he also was able to transliterate the Bodleian palm-leaf manuscript. From a
note in a later paper we learn that one of the aims of his first trip to Indonesia
I Introduction 13
in 1964 as deputy general secretary of the KITLV (Grijns and Teeuw 1996:4)
was to examine the Old Sundanese manuscripts in the palm-leaf manuscript
collection of the Central Museum [now in the National Library in Jakarta]
(Noorduyn 1988:303). At this occasion he probably started to transliterate
some of them. Probably during later trips he found an opportunity to further
examine these manuscripts, but he left no detailed notes about this research.
Whatever the case, we know, on the basis of some early publications, that in
the 1960s he had already transliterated, or at least read, all three texts.
The Old Sundanese texts studied by Noorduyn
First of all a survey is given of the materials Noorduyn dealt with:
The sons of Rama and Rawana
The text to which he first of all devoted his attention was the story of Ramas
sons engaging themselves in a battle with the sons of Rawana. For conven-
ience sake this text will in this book be referred to as (the sequel to) the
Rama story, the Rama text (or poem or story), or abbreviated RR. The
poem itself says that it is a carita ageung/ piri-piri Manondari/ manak-manak
sang Rawana (the great story of the offspring of Manondari, of the children
of Rawana RR 15-17; for the explanation of these lines, see pp. 118, 122). The
poem (for it is unmistakably a poetical text, as are the two others) was con-
tained in the Jakarta kropak 1102; it has now been transferred to the provincial
museum Sri Baduga in Bandung. Noorduyn presented a paper on it at the
XVII International Congress of Orientalists in Ann Arbor in 1967, and this
was subsequently published in a revised form in the Cornell journal Indonesia
(Noorduyn 1971). In this paper he discussed several aspects of Old Sundanese
manuscripts, their script, and their importance for the study of the history of
the Sundanese language and the cultural history of the area. He then went on
to give a short summary of the content of the manuscript and discussed its
unique place in the South and Southeast Asian Rama tradition, referring to
various non-classical, popular Rama traditions, in particular in Java.
Noorduyn probably first of all transliterated the manuscript in Jakarta; this
original transliteration has not been preserved. Next he typed the text in two
columns with a provisional English translation. In this document which is the
basis of the present publication he edited the Sundanese text, systematizing
the spelling in a way which will be discussed below. In the margin of the text
and translation numerous notes, question marks, and sometimes alternative
renderings are added. Especially important are the references pointing out
the many formulaic lines or passages, recurring throughout RR, and in a few
cases also in the other two texts.
Apart from this Noorduyn prepared a draft manuscript, altogether some
Three Old Sundanese poems 14
73 typewritten pages, combining a summary of the story, fragment by frag-
ment, with extensive and sometimes detailed notes of a varied nature. In
addition he compiled a draft glossary to the Rama story of 54 typewritten
pages, often containing linguistic, historical or literary comments, with
marginal notes in pencil. All these were obviously raw data; there are many
duplications between the notes to the text and the glossary. In the present
publication this raw material has been included in a more systematic form.
Noorduyns glossary of RR has been incorporated into the comprehensive
vocabulary of the three texts; redundancies in the notes have been elimi-
nated; obvious errors (rare!) have been corrected. However, the notes to RR
in this book are still mainly as Noorduyn wrote them. Deviations from his
text and additions or alternative suggestions by the present editor have been
indicated as much as possible. Noorduyns fragmented summary has been
edited into a more systematic survey of the content of the manuscript; and
notes of a more general character have been included in the analysis of the
text presented here.
Probably Noorduyn intended to prepare this text as the first of the three
for publication; in view of the many photocopies and offprints on articles
on the Rama tradition in South and Southeast Asia which he collected he
may have planned a broader study on the place of the Old Sundanese text
within this tradition. However, this approach has not been followed up in
the present publication.
The ascension of SE Ajnyana
The second text is also contained in a Jakarta kropak, no. 625; however, at
present it is no longer to be found in the Jakarta collection. It bears no title;
here it is indicated as The ascension of Sri Ajnyana abbreviated as SA, af-
ter the name of the protagonist. In Noorduyns material two versions of his
transliteration have been preserved: the first, obviously the oldest, in two
columns, the right one containing an incomplete typewritten translation in
Dutch next to the Old Sundanese text in the left column; this manuscript has
a lot of notes and references; it is typically a first rough draft. The second ver-
sion, also in two columns, has a practically complete English translation in
the right column; the Old Sundanese transliteration of the former version has
been corrected on a number of points, mostly minor. There are no indications
that Noorduyn worked on this text beyond transliterating it and preparing
a draft translation. So the summary, analysis and notes in this book have all
been prepared by the present editor.
The story of Bujangga Manik: a pilgrims progress
The third story is about the pilgrimage of Bujangga Manik; here it is abbre-
viated as BM. This text is contained in the manuscript preserved in the
I Introduction 15
Bodleian collection in Oxford. In a paper Noorduyn (1985) published the
results of his painstaking research into the provenance and identity of three
manuscripts which had been in the possession of the Bodleian ever since the
third decade of the seventeenth century, but about which there had been a lot
of confusion. He established beyond any doubt that one of the three manu-
scripts, catalogued as ms. Jav. b. 3 (R) is written in Old Sundanese; in 1627
(or 1629) it was presented to the library by a merchant of Newport, named
Andrew James. However, as early as 1968 Noorduyn already refers to the
recent discovery of an Old Sundanese palmleaf ms. in the Bodleian Library
at Oxford and he makes use of data from this manuscipt in this study of the
Ferry charter of 1358 (Noorduyn 1968). In an article of 1982 Noorduyn first
briefly discussed the text in general terms. He explained that [t]he hero of
the story is a Hindu-Sundanese hermit, who, though a prince (tohaan) at the
court of Pakuan (which was located near present-day Bogor in western Java),
preferred to live the life of a man of religion (Noorduyn 1982:413). In this
capacity he made two journeys from Pakuan to central and eastern Java and
back, the second one including a visit to Bali. After his return he practised
asceticism on a mountain in western Java, where his bodily existence came
to an end; in the final part of the text the journey of his soul to the heavenly
regions is described in great detail.
The main purport of the paper of 1982 was a discussion of the topograph-
ical data of Bujangga Maniks two journeys through Java [...l, [leaving] aside
the other episodes of this interesting story, such as those about the events at
the court of Pakuan after his return from his first journey, the details of his
life as a hermit, and his final journey to the heavenly regions after his death
(Noorduyn 1982:413). In the present Introduction no effort has been made
to add to the topographical information contained in the text. The reader
is referred to Noorduyns paper which is reprinted as an Appendix to the
present book. Only with respect to the place-names mentioned in the descrip-
tion of the view from Mount Papandayan (1182-1276), which have not been
discussed by Noorduyn, some notes have been added in the Appendix to the
Analysis in Chapter III. In the Analysis a number of other interesting aspects
of the text shall also be discussed. The reader is also referred to a paper on
The panorama of the world from a Sundanese perspective (Noorduyn and
Teeuw 1999) and an article on Bujangga Maniks visit to Bali (Teeuw 1998).
Noorduyns first diplomatic transliteration of this manuscript has been
preserved, each palmleaf being transcribed in pencil on a separate sheet of
paper, with the four lines also clearly separated. By comparing Noorduyns
hand-written text with the text as he typed it later on, in two columns, with
a provisional English translation, we can establish the method he used for
editing the Old Sundanese texts for publication. This will be discussed below
in some detail. Apart from this and his observations in the publications men-
Three Old Sundanese poems 16
tioned no notes or other data referring to the manuscript of BM have been
It is clear from the data presented above (his paper on the Rama text in 1967)
that Noorduyn either transcribed the two Jakarta kropak in the years when he
worked in Bogor for the NBG (1956-1961), or found time for this work dur-
ing visits to Jakarta in his capacity as deputy general secretary of the KITLV
(Grijns and Teeuw 1996:4). Not much later he must have got access to (a copy
of?) the Bodleian manuscript, in view of his reference to its recent discovery
in the paper of 1968. In subsequent years he intermittently spent some time
on these texts, probably adding incidental notes and comments, but he never
found time for regular study, so that regrettably his publication of the Old
Sundanese manuscripts never took place.
The manuscripts
The present editor lacks the palaeographical knowledge to make an inde-
pendent study of the manuscripts containing the poems published here. The
texts are based on Noorduyns transliterations, with a few emendations as
suggested by I. Kuntara Wiryamartana and some more by Undang A. Darsa.
All deviations from Noorduyns texts have been accounted for in the Notes.
A few remarks on the manuscripts should be added.
BM altogether consists of 29 lontar leaves, each containing approximately
some 56 lines of 8 syllables. The final part of the text has been transmitted
in a lacunary form. Not only is the end lacking, there are two other lacunae.
The first break occurs after leaf 26, line 1476. In 1457 Bujangga Maniks soul,
after the death of his body, sets out on its travel to the heavenly abode; the
description of this walk ends suddenly. The next leaf in Noorduyns translit-
eration is numbered 29; as there are no numbers written on the leaves of the
manuscript, this number must be based on an estimate by Noorduyn of the
size of the gap in the poem. The text continues in the middle of a discussion
between Bujangga Maniks soul and Dorakala, who apparently is the guard
at the heavenly gate and who interviews Bujangga Manik about his behav-
iour during his life on earth. For practical reasons the numbering of the lines
of this page in the edited text has been recommenced with 1501. This frag-
ment (altogether two lontar leaves, numbered 29 and 30) runs up to line 1609,
ending with a description of all the celestial beauties which the soul encoun-
ters after it has received permission from Dorakala to proceed to heaven.
Again the text breaks off in the middle of a line. The next leaf is numbered
32 by Noorduyn (some 56 lines, numbered 1701-1757), and it is indeed quite
probable that no more than one leaf is lacking, in view of the fact that the
story recontinues with the description of heaven, with (the soul of) Bujangga
I Introduction 17
Manik riding on a white yak amidst a festive scene. After that the text breaks
off in the middle of a line; we have no means of deciding what part of the text
has been lost. Thanks to a microfilm which was received from the Bodleian
Undang Darsa was able to check Noorduyns transliteration. It turned out to
be practically flawless; however, rereading the manuscript offered the op-
portunity to check in detail Noorduyns technique of transliteration and the
way he subsequently systematized its spelling for publication. This will be
discussed below.
From Noorduyns transliteration it is clear that RR consisted of 36 palm-
leaves, each containing some 45 verses (see an example on p. 431); the first 35
leaves present a continuous story, after which there is a gap, perhaps of one
leaf; then follows the final leaf of the manuscript, which, however, is not the
end of the story; the rest of the manuscript has been lost, including a possible
colophon with information about the provenance and date of the manuscript.
A scarcely legible photostat of RR, provided by Ekadjati, was found among
Noorduyns papers; this and a subsequent microfilm shows that the manu-
script has deteriorated considerably since Noorduyn first worked on it.
The manuscript of SA consisted of 24 palmleaves. It seems to contain a
complete text, including a brief colophon which states that it was written in
the eighth month, in the mandala Beutung Pamaringinan (in?) Cisanti.
The information on the manuscripts presented here is first of all based
on Noorduyns rather fragmentary notes and comments and on second-
ary sources and circumstantial evidence. The editor feels fortunate that
at a rather late stage of the writing of this book he was able to profit from
Undang Darsas expertise in the field of Old Sundanese palaeography and
Old Sundanese language and literature, which led to a number of sometimes
significant changes and additions.
The script used
About the two kropak originally belonging to the collection in the National
Library in Jakarta Noorduyn (1971:151-2) stated that they form part of
a small collection of some forty Sundanese palm-leaf manuscripts which are writ-
ten in a now obsolete syllabary. Most of them deal with religious and literary
themes from pre-Islamic times. In the course of the last [that is the nineteenth]
century these manuscripts were discovered in mountain villages in West Java
where they were kept as sacred heirlooms from the past. At that time they were
no longer part of a living tradition as no one could read them, let alone under-
stand their contents.
In these manuscripts two types of scrlpt are used, both of them members of
the family of India-derived scripts which have been in use in several parts of
Indonesia. One is written exclusively with ink on nipa palm leaves and is closely
related to an Old Javanese type of script which is also written with ink and on the
Three Old Sundanese poems 18
same material. The other type is incised on lontar palm leaves and shows many
peculiarities of its own which testify to an independent Sundanese development.
Earlier stages of this second type of script are known from a few inscriptions on
stone and on copper plates.
In a publication on uksara Sunda Undang Darsa (1997) has presented what
so far is the most complete survey of scripts used in manuscripts and inscrip-
tions originating from West Java and/or containing material relevant for Old
Sundanese literature. The first type mentioned by Noorduyn, which by early
scholars in this field was called the nearly quadratic Old Javanese script,
is called the tipe aksara pra-nagari the pre-nagari type of script, by Darsa. He
mentions four manuscripts in which this type is used (Darsa 199214-5): first
the Old Sundanese Sang Hyang Hayu. This manuscript was acquired by the
Museum Sri Baduga in Bandung from the district Sukaraja in the Tasikmalaya
area in 1991 (no. 07.106); it was published in one volume with the Serat Cafur
Bumi under the title Sang Hyang Raga Dwata (Tim Peneliti 2000). The second
is the oldest manuscript of the Old Javanese Kujarakarna as published first
by H. Kern (1922), subsequently by Van der Molen (1983). The third is the Serat
Catur Bumi, also an Old Javanese text (Tim Peneliti 2000). A fourth text written
in this script is the Serat Dwabuda published by Ayatrohadi (1988).
Noorduyns second type of script is brought by Darsa under the denomi-
nator model aksarn Sunda (kuno); it is found in a number of inscriptions (for
example Kawali and Batutulis), as well as in manuscripts of Old Sundanese
texts, such as the three texts published in the present book, but also in the
Swaka Darma (see Danasasmita et al. 1987), the Ratu Pakuan (see Atja 1970),
the Carita Parahyangan (see Darsa and Ekadjati 1995) and as its most recent
example (from the beginning of the eighteenth centuly) the Carita Waruga
Guru (Darsa 1997:16-20, with examples from the various sources).
For the sake of completeness a number of other publications dealing with
the scripts used in West Java may be mentioned in passing. In Holles Table
of alphabets found in the archipelago (Holle 1882b: Appendix following page
50) we find the first reproductions: four examples of script as found in Kawi
manuscripts from the Sunda region. Several of the recent publications by the
Bandung group also present examples of the Old Sundanese scripts used in
the various manuscripts (Sardjono, Ekadjati and Kalsum 1986-87: Lampiran
I; Danasasmita et al. 1987: Lampiran I; Darsa and Ekadjati 1995: Lampiran).
Hasan Djafar (1995:12-3) gave a tabel transliterasi in his paper on the Kawali
inscriptions; a detailed description of the writing system of the Serat Catur
Bumi is found in the introduction to the edition (Tim Peneliti 2000:44-52).
Holle (1882b:16-7) also discussed details about the writing technique and
materials, in particular on nipah leaves. For further references the reader
is referred to the older publications mentioned by Noorduyn (1971:151-2);
I Introduction 19
see also De Casparis (1975:53-6 and Plates VIIIb and IXa) in his book on
Indonesian palaeography.
From the available data it is clear that the Bodleian manuscript of BM is
a lontar and belongs to the second type of script (Noorduyn 1985 and the
photo in Gallop and Arps 1991:74). The other Old Sundanese texts, in par-
ticular those preserved in the National Library in Jakarta, according to an
observation by Atja and Danasasmita (1981a:i) in the edition of the Sanghyang
siksakanda ng karesian, are all written on nipah.
About the date of the manuscripts of the three Old Sundanese poems lit-
tle can be said with certainty, as they contain no chronogram or other explicit
reference. So far only one of the Old Sundanese manuscripts studied has been
dated, namely, the Sanghyang siksakanda ng karesian which bears the date aka
1440, that is 1518 AD (Atja and Danasasmita 1981a). However, in a comment
Noorduyn (1971:152) suggests that the text, in the form in which we have it,
may be somewhat later. In any case a date somewhere in the sixteenth century
AD seems a plausible assumption for our three poems, both in view of the
manuscripts of the texts and of their content. The absence (with only three
exceptions, the words dunia and kertas and the toponym Meukah) of Arabic
words or references to Islam also suggests a dating not later than the sixteenth
century. Two of the Old Javanese manuscripts mentioned above are dated: the
Serat Dwabuda edited by Ayatrohadi (1988) has a date aka 1357 = AD 1435.
The text Sang Hyang Hayu (= Sang Hyang Raga Dewata, Tim Peneliti 2000) ends
with the chronogram panca warna catur bumi = 1455 aka = 1533 ad.
Problems of transliteration
For the Old Sundanese script used in the manuscripts the reader is referred to
the Table in this book which has been provided by Undang Darsa (pp. 433-5).
The major problems connected with the reading and transliteration of these
manuscripts are the following:
The first problem concerns the distinction between the two vowels transliter-
ated as e and eu. Noorduyns first draft of BM, which looks like a diplomatic
transliteration, throughout the text distinguishes between the two vowels, for
example in line 17: pawekas pajeueung beungeut. In view of Noorduyns accu-
racy one may assume that he based the distinction of e and eu on a graphic
opposition between the characters concerned. Unfortunately he did not have
the opportunity to render account of his transliteration. Neither has any other
scholar discussed the problem of whether there is a graphic opposition in Old
Sundanese between the two vowels concerned. On the contrary, it is usual-
ly said explicitly that in the Old Sundanese script there is no distinction be-
tween the vowel phonemes which in Modern Sundanese are written as e (the
Three Old Sundanese poems 20
pepet or schwa, an unrounded central mid vowel) and eu (unrounded central
high vowel, in some publications spelled as ) (see Holle 1882). Noorduyn
(1962a:376) himself on an earlier occasion also declared that in the manuscript
of the Carita Parahyangan Old Sundanese writing did not distinguish between
e and eu; compare also the annex (lampiran) to the edition of the Swaka Darma
(Danasasmita et al. 1987:175), Hasan Djafars Tabel transliterasi of the Kawali
inscriptions (1995:12-3), and finally the two tabel appended to the edition of the
Carita Parahyangan (Darsa and Ekadjati 1995: Lampiran I). One gets the impres-
sion that most editors of Old Sundanese texts have transliterated the relevant
vowel sign in such words in accordance with their Modern Sundanese equiva-
lents, rather than basing themselves on a graphic difference. There seems to
exist a general (if only implicit) agreement that e and eu are not graphically
distinguished in Old Sundanese writing.
Meanwhile Undang Darsa, after closer inspection of the manuscript of the
Bujangga Manik and some other manuscript materials, is now of the opinion
that there is indeed an, admittedly tiny, palaeographic distinction in the form
of a small additional cross to the sign for pepet () indicating a paneuleung (eu),
which so far has generally been overlooked, and which indeed corresponds
with the opposition e/eu as found in Modern Sundanese. Examples of such a
graphic opposition Undang Darsa found in RR 733 sumanger teuing where the
sign for the eu has an additional cross compared with the e; similarly Pakeun
Teluk (BM 243), diadegkeun (Cl 46b) and others. If this discovery by Undang
Darsa is confirmed in further study of the relevant textual material, a careful
rereading of most of the Old Sundanese edited manuscripts would be neces-
sary. In the preparation of the present book it was impossible, for reasons of
time, to carry out a new reading of the other manuscripts transliterated by
Noorduyn. In retrospect, however, it seems most likely that Noorduyn himself
did indeed base his distinction between e and eu on a graphic opposition, even
though he did not explicitly discuss this point.
A second characteristic of most, if not all, Old Sundanese manuscripts is the
following. Often in word interior clusters a single stop is found where in
comparison with Modern Sundanese one would expect a cluster consisting
of a nasal plus following stop. Here again editors invariably have chosen to
transliterate such words according to their Modern Sundanese shape, some-
times adding the nasal between brackets: paten is interpreted and written as
panten, eucu as euncu, tugal as tunggal, hajttr as hanjtr; in rare cases this phe-
nomenon also occurs on word boundaries: deu bapa (RR 242) is read as deung
bapa. In some cases where Sundanese has minimal pairs distinguished by the
presence/absence of the word interior nasal this spelling tradition of omit-ting
the sign of the nasal may lead to ambiguities, for example, su(n)dangan. In
Noorduyns transliteration, which has been followed throughout in this re-
I Introduction 21
spect, the lacking nasal is added between brackets: pa(n)ten, eu(n)cu, etcetera.
In the case of a word which is not known from Modern Sundanese, such as
ngaract (BM 164), there is no criterion to decide which is the proper form;
Noorduyn in his first transliteration wrote ngara(n)ct, but in his final text he
opted for ngaract. It should be added that this particularity is not restricted
to Old Sundanese manuscripts; it is also found in nearly all Old Sundanese
inscriptions, as well as in later manuscripts, such as the story of Purnawijaya
edited by Pleyte (1914b). Atja and Danasasmita (1981b:5) state: penghilanpn
huruf sengau dalam naskah Sunda kuno merupakan gejala umum. Juga dalam pras-
asti-prasasti. The same phenomenon occurs in manuscripts from West Java
containing Old Javanese texts, if probably not on the same scale.
From a comparison of Noorduyns first draft of the transliteration of BM with
his later edited text it is clear that there is ambiguity in the spelling of some
Where Noorduyn opts for a uniform spelling o the manuscript instead
of o often spells wa and less frequently w, as can be seen from his first,
diplomatic transliteration. A good example is found in lines BM 108-110,
where the word ho is successively spelt ho, hwa and hw; compare also
bogwh and bwgwh for bogoh (114-115). The particle mo is spelt mwa (5)
as well as mwo (11); see also mwarntang edited as morntang (54), rwnan
read as ronan (66), sapwa as sapo (19), nywwana as nyowana (106), bwh
and bwah (212 and 213) for boh, and many more.
The spelling wa also occurs as a variant of ua; both transliterations oc-
cur side by side in Noorduyns editions, for instance dwa bwah (386) be-
comes dua buah; pakwan (13, 64) becomes pakuan; alongside kadatuan (236)
one finds sakadatwan (10); but the spelling ua also occurs frequently, for
example tuang (223 and elsewhere), buat (159 and elsewhere); compare
nuar nyangkuduan (162, and elsewhere); more examples can be found in
the section on the metrical system of the texts. The edited transliteration
was apparently based on the Modern Sundanese equivalents, and in some
case possibly on metrical considerations, such as in kadatuan versus kadat-
wan. It should be stressed that the spelling of the manuscript makes no
difference between cases where wa has been transliterated by Noorduyn
as o and those where wa is edited as ua or wa; the choice is based on rec-
ognized Modern Sundanese equivalents, and also probably on the occur-
rence of doublets in the spelling: in words where ua occurs alongside wa
the transliteration is ua or wa; when there is variation between wa and o,
wo, or w the transliteration is o, see sub a. It is difficult, merely on the
basis of the one text for which we have a diplomatic transliteration along-
Three Old Sundanese poems 22
side an edited one, to come to conclusions with respect to the linguistic
reality represented by the various ways of transcribing and interpreting
the same sequence of graphemes.
There is a comparable ambiguity with respect to the spelling of yalia.
Sometimes ya in the manuscript is transliterated in Noorduyns edited text
as ia, in other cases as ya: ngabyantara edited as ngabiantara (27), kahyangan
edited as kahiangan; there are also many cases such as sya edited as sia (62,
301, and elsewhere), nyyar (ms. iyar) as nyiar (175), syang as siang (113).
Here too two criteria led Noorduyn in his choice for the final editing: a.
the modern Sundanese form of a word; b. the metre, requiring octosyllabic
lines (see further below). Sometimes Noorduyn in his first transliteration
adds a superscribed
between i or and following a, for example di
seukeun (229), transliterated as dia(ng)seukeun; tami
ang written as tamiang
(128); sak
an as sakan (284, but elsewhere in the manuscript this word is
usually spelt without
A further noticeable feature is the frequent occurrence of duplicated con-
sonants. In some cases this duplication has the form of what is transcribed
by Noorduyn in his first transliteration as a superscribed
, as, for example,
in awak
ing (BM 18, in the final transliteration awaking), geusan
a (7, final
transliteration geusanna), panapak
a (26, edited text panapak ka) and many
more. Undang Darsa discovered that Noorduyns (angka dua) indeed renders
a specific sign in the manuscripts, indicating a double occurrence of the con-
sonant symbol concerned. From these three examples it is clear that such
duplications are found in structurally different positions: in awaking the du-
plication occurs at the morpheme boundary between the noun awak body,
person and the suffix -ing my. In geusanna we have a noun geusan place
ending on -n with a suffix -na its, so here Noorduyns
represents a real
double consonant (at least historically; it is not known which phonic reality
was represented by this double consonant). In the third case we have the
angka dua
at a word boundary: the noun panapak foot is followed by a
preposition ka. There are many examples of all three types of duplication by
angka dua throughout BM.
In the case of three consonants there exist two or three graphemes in Old
Sundanese spelling; in these cases a duplication is then formed by a sequence
of the two variant graphemes, always in the same order. The consonants in
question are 1. (pang)wisad: final h versus h (aksara ha); 2. panyecek: final ng
(transliterated by Noorduyn as ) versus ng (aksara nga); 3. panglayar: final
b versus r (aksara ra). With these graphemes too the duplication may occur
morpheme interior, at morpheme boundaries or at word boundaries; a few
examples may suffice: twahhaan (edited as tohaan prince, 12 and elsewhere),
I Introduction 23
kaideran (edited as kaideran wandered through, 83), datangaing (edited da-
tang aing, I came, 87), Majapahhit (Majapahit, 84), ela sepangaeun hayam
(edited as ngela sepang ngangeun hayam boiling sappan and making chicken
soup, 164), aran
ing ameng layaran (edited as ngaraning ameng layaran my
name is Ameng Layaran, 123). Comparable duplication of letters is a well-
known phenomenon in Old and Modern Javanese writing, even in printed
A note on the intertextual relations between Sdwaka Darriza and Sri Ajnyana
From a reading of the various Old Sundanese materials discussed so far it
becomes clear that they are not independent texts; there are all kinds of links
between them, both in content and in wording. This not only holds good
for the Old Sundanese texts by themselves; there are much wider connec-
tions. For example, there are Old Javanese texts which geographically and
culturally belong to, or have close relations with, the Old Sundanese texts
discussed here.
Two such texts are the Serat Catur Bumi and the Serat Dewabuda. The first
was published, with an Indonesian translation, by a team of scholars from
the Universitas Padjadjaran (Tim Peneliti 2000). The text is contained in a
manuscript registered as Br [Brandes] no. 634 of the manuscript collection
of the National Library in Jakarta. It is written in what is called aksara buda,
a script which is well-known from Old Javanese manuscripts from West and
Central Java (Tim Peneliti 2000:3-7; see also Darsa 1997:14-5).
The other text has been published under the title of Serat Dewabuda, also
called Serat Swaka Darma, by Ayatrohadi (1988) in a project for the study of
Sundanese culture. According to the editor only some 40 Sundanese words
occur in this text. The justification for publishing it in a Sundanese frame-
work is the provenance of this nipah manuscript from the East Priangan; it
claims to have been written in a valley called Argasela, in between the moun-
tains Cupu and Rantay, an area from which other manuscripts also come
(Ayatrohakdi 1988:5). It is a didactic religious text in which Swaka Darma
continuously appears as the student who has to be instructed in all kinds of
matters concerning life and death, in moral and ethical values, but also in the
classification of the most divergent things in the world, in the pantheon and
cosmology, in short anything worth knowing; it abounds with repetitions.
A dominant role is given to Sang Manon, one of the names by which God is
known in Old and classical Javanese literature. The lengthy text is written in
the typical style of Old Javanese prose tutur, and possesses a wealth of lexi-
cographical data; but it deserves a much closer study than can be presented
in the present framework.
Three Old Sundanese poems 24
However, there are more Old Javanese texts mentioning Swaka Darma,
as is clear from Pigeauds description (1967-70, III:384) of Old Javanese manu-
scripts. About two such manuscripts Pigeaud (1967-70, II:584, 591) mentions
that they contain Javanese-Balinese notes on religious speculation, lessons
given by Sidi Ajna to his son Cita Rasa. The name Sidi Ajna is of inter-
est as it reminds one of the role of Sri Ajnyana in the Old Sundanese texts.
However, a detailed study would be needed to explore this whole complex
of literature, its coherence and connections.
As was explained above, there are two versions of the Old Sundanese Swaka
Darma (SD) among the materials available. The one contained in Ciburuy I
(CB) is preceded by 30 stanzas, or bait as the editors call them. Perhaps some
clarification of the nature of what are called stanzas is necessary. From the way
the text is printed one indeed gets the impression that we have poetical units
consisting of some 12-15 octosyllabic verses. However, from the introduction
it is clear that what are called bait are in fact lontar leaves, the numeration re-
ferring to the leaves of the manuscript, not to poetical units. This is also clear
from the fact that the order of the lontar leaves which beginning with bait 31
was apparently in complete disarray has been restored by the editors on the
basis of textual criteria as explained in the Introduction (Sardjono Partini et al.
1986-87:3-5). For this restoration the editors made use of another manuscript,
at the time bearing the code M1, as is clear from their explanation: Memang
dua naskah tersebut di atas isi atau intinya hampir sama, tetapi secara redaksional
dun keseluruhan tidak sama (Sardjono Partini et al. 1986-87:2). The second text
meant is the Sewaka Darma as published in Danasasmita et al. (1987). From
the publication of the Ciburuy text it would seem that each numbered unit is
well-rounded, ending at the end of a verse. This way of presenting the texts
is perhaps somewhat misleading if we look at the other manuscripts contain-
ing poetical texts, for example such as the ones published in this book. Also
on comparing the edition of the Cibumy manuscript with the 1987 edition of
the Swaka Darma we see that in the latter only in rare cases does the end of a
lontar leaf coincide with the end of a verse.
Turning now to the 30 introductory leaves of the Ciburuy manuscript,
these contain religious and mystical speculations about the achievement of
spiritual release (kalepasan, kamoksan) as well as lessons about proper behav-
iour, several times the holy doctrine (Sanghyang Siksa or Darmasiksa) is men-
tioned (3, 7, 22, 23). Several divine figures are mentioned, such as Sanghyang
Darma (7, 24), Sanghyang Wisesa (7), Sanghyang Hayu (13,24), Sang Manon
(13), and Sanghyang Premana (12). Yamas hell also occurs (7).
In 15 a number of mandala are mentioned by name.
From the point of view of SA it is remarkable that in this introductory part
also a Sanghyang Ajnyana is mentioned: in connection with the excellence of
the state of immateriality (wisesa ni niskala) it speaks of the beauty (lemlem?)
I Introduction 25
of the palekas Sanghyang Ajnyana; the editors translate permulaan Sang Hyang
Tahu; perhaps we should read pawekas instruction, as in the following line
where it says: tutur jati pawekasna Sang Hyang Ajnyana jati wissa, iyana
sari tutur jati, nyana [read iyana?] jati nu wissa, iyana nu mawa saka ning
bayu, sabda hidep hawitan tu (bait 9); this refers to the true or essential
doctrine as instructed by Sanghyang Ajnyana, the excellent essence which
brings the vital air, word and mind. The triplet bayu sabda hidep (or hedap in
Old Sundanese) is well known in mystical speculations (see Pigeaud 1967-
70, III:189; Zoetmulder 1982 S.V. bayu, quotation from Nawaruci; also in the
Dharma nya stanza 9, see Palguna 1999:74, 150; the triplet also occurs in
SD 9). Not everything is clear; however, it is obvious that there is a divine
Sanghyang Ajnyana whose teachings refer to the essential truth connected
with the state of niskala. The word ajnyana occurs several times without the
honorific sanghyang (9, 11, 13, 17, 18, 19); in these cases it most probably means
insight, (holy) knowledge, mind (see the Glossary).
So it would seem that in SA published in this book we have the story of
a personified divine figure, well known in Old Sundanese religious specula-
tions, who went astray morally and had to go through a painful process of
awakening in order to recover the insight essential for his release.
After this introductory part the Ciburuy text for a number of pages runs
closely parallel to the kropak 408 from the National Library in Jakarta which
was published by Danasasmita et al. (1987). As was mentioned above, the
editors of the Ciburuy manuscript rearranged the order of the lontar leaves,
probably in accordance with the order of the Jakarta manuscript. The origi-
nal order of the leaves of the Ciburuy manuscript and the way it has been
restored are mentioned in the Introduction (Sardjono, Ekadjati and Kalsum
1986-87:3-5). However, there are a number of discrepancies between the two
texts, which may be useful to point out here for further research.
The order of SD 1-23 mainly corresponds with CB 31-55; SD 24-25 occur in
reversed order in CB 57-56. CB 58 corresponds with the last lines of SD 49 and
the connecting initial part of SD 50. SD 26-28 seem to be lacking in CB, except
the last line of 28 which is found in CB 58. SD 29-37 correspond again closely
with CB 59-67. In the passages SD 38-42 and CB 68-72 the texts diverge, al-
though there are many correspondences; it would seem that in the description
of the flowers in heaven and other celestial wonders the authors (copyists?) of
the manuscripts with a freedom characteristic of oral poets employed variant
formulaic verses rather than strictly following their model. For CB 68 one may
compare a number of lines in SD 36 and 37; in CB 69 we find some lines from
SD 42; CB 70 has a number of parallels with SD 38; CB 72 corresponds in a
continuous series of verses with the final part of SD 38 and SD 39; but CB 73
links up with SD 43; SD 40 has some parallel verses in CB 75 and 76; SD 41-42
seems to lack corresponding verses in CB; SD 43-44 correspond partly with CB
Three Old Sundanese poems 26
73-74; in CB 71 there are a number of similar lines from SD 45. SD 46-49 (line
5) run parallel with CB 76 (last line but one) -78 (end). The final part of SD 49
and SD 50 correspond closely with CB 58 (but see the last line of SD 28). Then
the texts diverge again: CB 87 has a number of parallel lines in SD 50-53; SD
54-56 occur in CB 86 (shorter, probably because of two cases of haplography);
CB 88-40 has parallels in SD 56-59, but in a different order: the verses found in
CB 90 correspond partly to SD 56-57, whereas the final part of SD 57 and SD
58 have parallels with CB 88-89. SD 59 runs partly parallel to CB 79, for SD 60
(and two lines from 61, one about tapa Baluk) see CB 85; the final part of SD 62
runs parallel to the latter half of CB 80, continued in SD 63-65 = CB 81-82. The
text proper of SD ends with 65; CB 83 does not seem to occur in SD; CB 84 has
a few parallel verses with SD 33. CB 91 has no parallel, but it seems to have
gone astray, as it forms part of the description of heaven, with all the flowers
(see SD 35-36). The final part of CB (92) has no parallel in SD.
The overall relationship between CB and SD may be summed up as fol-
lows (for easy reference the correspondences are presented twice, first start-
ing from CB, second starting from SD):
31-55 1-23 1-23 31-55
56 25 24 57
557 24 25 56
58 49-50 26-28 lacking
59-65 29-35 29-35 59-65
66-72 36-42 36-42 66-72
71 45 40 75-76
73-75 43-44 43-44 73-75
75-76 40 45 71
76-78 46-49 46-49 76-78
79 59 50-53 87
80 62-63 54-55 86
81-82 63-65 56-57 90
83 ? 57-59 88-89, see also 79
84 (see 33) 60-61 85
85 see 60-61 62-63 80-81
86 54-55 63-65 81-82
87 50-53
88-89 57-59
90 56-57
91 lacking?
92 lacking?
I Introduction 27
From this survey it is clear that essentially the two versions of the SD are
similar; only bait 26-28 from SD lack a corresponding passage in CB; on the
other hand the final leaves 91-92 from CB have no corresponding passage in
SD. It is impossible, in the framework of the present study, to investigate the
relation between the two versions of the SD in more detail.
Of direct relevance for the study of Noorduyns texts are the remarkable
correspondences between SD and part of SA, and to a much lesser extent
BM. The correspondences between SD and SA first of all cover one fairly
large cluster of verses where the two texts run largely parallel; in another
case the two texts have a small cluster of parallel versesin common; in yet
another case a large number of similar verses occur in a long fragment, but
in a rather random order; finally a number of incidental parallel verses are
found throughout the text. This can be specified as follows: SA 920-946 has
a compact cluster of correspondences in SD 51, 56-59, see also CB 87-90: this
is part of the description of the trip through the heavens. A small group of
verses with parallels in SD is found in SA 628-638, see also SD 42 and 45
(partly CB 69). This concerns the description of the bumble-bees. Perhaps the
most remarkable general correspondence between the two texts is found in
the description of the flowers which the traveller encounters on the road to
heaven; this passage covers more than 70 verses in SD 542-615, which can be
compared with SD 35h-38i (and shorter CB 67-69). Here the parallel verses,
some of them identical, others partly similar, or containing the same name of
one specific flower, occur in a quite different order in the two texts. Another
passage where the texts possess a number of stray parallel verses deals with
the description of the golden house, with poetical comparisons: compare SA
646-658 with SD 62-63.
From these data one gets the impression that the description of the jour-
ney to and through the heavens by the soul on its way to the ultimate spiritual
release not only was a well-known topos in religious literature, but was also
expressed by means of a common stock of literary formulas and formulaic
verses, which Old Sundanese poets could handle and employ at liberty, in the
same way as we know from other cultures, oral or based on oral traditions.
In some cases fragments were known and quoted by heart, in others free use
was made of formulas or formulaic elements.
In the case of BM and SD the number of parallel verses is much more
limited; from the passage BM 1563-1600 (a description of the bright garden,
taman hrang) some 11 verses have parallels spread over SD 38k-44f (some of
them are also found in CB 74-75); incidental parallels are BM 252-253, see also
SD 471-m; BM 383,385,496, see also SD 41c-d; BM 494-495 and 1605-1606, see
also CB 75h-i; BM 502, see also SD 41e; BM 1463-1464, see also SA 946-947, see
also SD 45j-k; BM 1710, see also CB 74f; BM 1715, see also SD 4811; BM 1721, see
also SD 43p, see also CB 74j; BM 1724, see also SD 43r-44a, see also CB 74h.
Three Old Sundanese poems 28
It is clear that a much more detailed study of all the texts concerned would
be necessary in order to acquire a better insight in the literary processes and
procedures which played a role in the creation and tradition of these texts. A
closer study of the two versions of the SD texts, together with a careful com-
parison with the relevant fragments of SA (and in a few cases of BM) would
enable us to reconsider the order of the pages in the two versions of the SD
and to restore many flaws and corruptions in the various texts. In particular a
careful taking into account of the requirements of the metrical system would
be of considerable help in such a comparison. However, such a comparative
study falls outside the scope of the present study. Here it should suffice to
point out parallel places from the SD texts in the Notes to the SA and the BM
where they may be of use to explain readings (and in a few cases to suggest
emendations) in the latter texts.

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