The Sastrå Harjendrå teaching is an ancient philosophy inherited from the ancestors of Nusantara (Southeast Asia), in particular from the Javanese (Kêjawèn). The Javanese gained their spiritual knowledge through contemplation of the assets of life in the universe.
There are several literary sources known that refer to the Sastrå Harjendrå teaching. For instance, in the book ”Serat Sastra Hardjendrå – Anjarijosaken Pupuntoning Kawruh Kasampurnan, Sarta Tjunduk Kalijan Pikajenganipun Ngelmi Ma’rifat” (Tan Khoen Swie: 1929), this Javanese spiritual teaching is refered to as the ‘Sastrå Harjéndrå Yuningrat Pangruwating Diyu‘. The meaning of these words is as follows:
‘Sastrå‘: sacred text/teaching (Sanskrit: ‘śāstra‘); ‘Harjéndrå‘: when ‘Har‘ (Sanskrit: Hari = Viṣṇu) and ‘Jéndrå’ (Sanskrit: Indra) is used together, it means the Supreme God, or God as a Manifestation of Universal Existence; ‘Yu‘: ‘rahayu’ (Javanese: peace, harmony); ‘Ing Rat‘: in the world, or inside the human body; ‘Pangruwat‘: to treat, to tend, or to constructively change; ‘Diyu‘: demon, giant, bad character (Sanskrit: ‘daitya‘).
Thus, “Sastrå Harjéndrå Yuningrat Pangruwating Diyu” means ‘God’s Teaching for peace and harmony in the world and within oneself, and altering the negative aspects of life into positive’. In other words: through God as the Supreme Teacher in the Universe, man will attain the highest (spiritual) goal in life.
Next, in the book ‘Betaljêmur Adam Maknå‘, the Sastrå Harjéndrå is described as “Mustikaning kawruh ingkang kuwåså amartani ing karahayon, karaharjan, katêntrêman lan sak panunggilipun, mêmayu hayuning bawånå“, which means ‘The Jewel of Divine Knowledge: a (spiritual) guide towards salvation, prosperity and serenity in the world and within oneself’.
Hence, we can conclude that this particular Kêjawèn teaching has a rather broad meaning, which encompasses all aspects of human life. Though the main purpose of the Kêjawèn teachings is always aimed at the realization of liberation (Sanskrit: ‘Mokṣa‘) from this worldly existence, yet it does not neglect the importance of worldly matters in life.