Ruwatan - Joglosemar Online

Traditional Ritual of Ruwatan

This traditional ritual is held with purpose to protect people of SUKERTA Category, not to become victim of Batara Kala, a bad son of God Guru. The SUKERTAS are children or people who are loved very much by their parents (there are 25 categories) with the consent of God Guru could become prey of Batara Kala. A Ruwatan is held to free them from Kala's attack. Further articles please click: Ruwatan Murwakala.


In January 17, 1998, a traditional Ritual of Ruwatan was organized in Surakarta Royal Palace (kraton). It is the first ruwatan occurred in the history of Kraton Surakarta, as among the SUKERTAS protected was the King-Sri Susuhunan Pakubuwono XII himself, together with his 32 children and 17 sons/daughters-in-law.

In the history of Mataram dynasty, in the 17th century, Sultan Agung had been "protected" in Ruwatan Ritual while he was a Crown Prince. The ceremony began at 9.00 a.m in the palace compound. The SUKERTAS changed their dresses by wearing white brahmana dresses as sign of holiness to pay respect to the king by kneeling and kissing his knee (SUNGKEM or NGABEKTI in Javanese) in the Dalem Ageng (great hall) PRABASUYASA. The performance of wayang kulit (leather puppet) with the story of MURWAKALA was held in the new renovated building SASANA ONDROWINO.

The Ruwatan has been performed very sacredly, the court family has been prepared to be in a holy state mentally and physically. All guests were required to wear complete Javanese dress, has to remain solemn and not allowed to eat, drink and smoke during the ceremony.

The Kraton's gamelan instruments by the names of Kyai Manis and Manis Renggo accompanied the wayang show. A complete set of offerings (Sajen) was placed nearby the wayang screen. The SUKERTAS hair was one by one cut a bit by the dalang (puppet master). The holy bathing with water and flowers, except in the beginning was also done by the dalang. It is worth to be noted, that the assigned person to cut hair and bathe Sinuwun- the King Pakubuwono XII, was Princess G.R.AJ. Brotodiningrat, his aunt, as she is the daughter of Sri Pakubuwono X.

The purpose of Kraton Surakarta's Ruwatan

Sinuwun Sri Pakubuwono XII was satisfied and feeling relief after the completion of the ceremony. He was grateful to the Dalang, Ki Panut Darmoko, from Nganjuk, East Java who has conducted the Ruwatan safely and perfectly. As the Dalang himself he felt greatly honored doing a special Ruwatan in Kraton, the first in his life. The other famous Dalangs in Solo, they did not dare to perform this specific task.

Sinuwun said that the Ruwatan was held for the safety of the family, the Kraton and all its contents. Hopefully it should give a good impact to the nation and the country which at present are suffering an economic crisis. Further more Sinuwun Pakubuwono XII said to the press:
"This Ruwatan should not be considered as something unusual. It is the implementation of WANGSIT (Javanese for divine inspiration) to free us from SUKERTA's dangerous position".

The comments from Sri Mangkunagoro IX

Another court leader in Solo, K.G.P.A.A. Mangkunagoro IX accepts positively the Ruwatan of Kraton Surakarta. He is confident that the impact of the Ruwatan spiritually should benefit many other things, including the Mangkunagaran Palace and even the country. The Ruwatan is manifestation of our pray and request to the Holy God.

(Joglosemar Online is grateful to Princess G. R.A.Y. Koes Ismaniyah for the photos).