The relationship between speculation and ritual in the tutur text Uttaraśabda

Abimardha Kurniawan, Titik Pudjiastuti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The Uttaraśabda is a relatively unknown work of the tutur genre. The multiple manuscripts that make up this work are located in both Java and Bali. This paper focuses on a text of the Uttaraśabda which originates from the Merapi-Merbabu scriptoria in Java that was active in the seventeenth century. In general, texts of the tutur genre have both theoretical and practical dimensions. The surface structure of tutur texts consists of descriptions of theological and cosmological principles that have particular applications in ritual. In this study, we look at how theoretical and practical dimensions are reflected in the Uttaraśabda. In this study we use philological methodology supported by a semiotic approach to analyze this text. Our philological analysis focuses on textual variations in the source texts of the Uttaraśabda, while a semiotic approach is employed to reveal the meanings of the signifiers within the structure of the text itself. We approach the Uttaraśabda as part of a corpus of theological texts of the Agama tradition that are traditionally categorized into four groups: kriya, carya, yoga and jnana. We conclude that at its most basic level, the Uttaraśabda presents the epistemology of the ritual of puja, which in the manuscripts is described with the local term aweda. The narration of the Uttaraśabda resembles other instructional texts describing rituals. However, the Uttaraśabda is much more than just a set of instructions concerning ritual practice. This investigation elucidates how meaning is given to the ritual of puja among local communities that have undergone Indianization followed by a period marked by the cultivation of termporally situated, local understandings.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNusantara's Indigenous Knowledge
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages27
ISBN (Print)9781536177725
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Maweda
  • Puja
  • Ritual practice
  • Scriptoria Merapi-Merbabu scriptoria
  • Tutur
  • Uttaraśabda


Dive into the research topics of 'The relationship between speculation and ritual in the tutur text Uttaraśabda'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this