The Koboi Returns 2023 – 6

The Malay and Javanese word ‘kayangan‘ is synonymous with adnan, eden, firdaus, janah, nirwana, surga, indraloka, kedewaan, keindraan, suargaloka, suralaya, surgaloka and paradiso. In Malay cosmology, 5. Kayangan is inhabited by Dewa, Perman. This ‘skyworld’ is located directly above the Pokok Pauh Janggi which rises through the Pusat Tasik . This 2 Pusat Tasik Pauh Janggi is, in turn, directly above the 6 Dasar Laut which can be seen as the ‘underworld’. The combined downward spiral of the Pusat Tasek and the upward thrust of the enormous Pokok Pauh Janggi both pass through the 1 Dunia, combining to create the axis mundi of the Malay cosmos.

Anker Rentse explains, from ethnographic notes that seem to have been made in Ulu Kelantan“Shurga, Heaven, is on the top of Pauh Janggi, and Nuraka, Hell, is down below its roots. A gigantic hole between the roots causes the ocean water to disappear into hell’s big boiling-pot, kawah nufaka, whence the whirl-pool. Underneath the pot burns everlasting fire. A dragon guards the hole, the gate to hell (pintu nuraka) with its body in order to prevent the ocean from running dry. In Pusat Tasek an account is kept of the good and the bad deeds of every human being in the world. The accountant in Heaven is Ka’ Tebir, and in Hell, Kiraman. The last one is said to be so busy on occasions, that he gets angry, throws his pen on the floor and declares, Ini sekarang sudah chukup!”

The diagram is adapted after Md. Salleh Yaspar in Malaysian World View edited by Mohd Taib Osman.

Rentse, Anker. “NOTES ON MALAY BELIEFS.” Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 11, no. 2 (117) (1933): 245–51.