The Waskito R. Ng. Ronggowarsito (1802-1873)


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Written by Nurel Javissyarqi

Translated by Agus B. Harianto

R. Ng. Ronggowarsito (March 15, 1802 – December 24, 1873), his first name is Bagus Burham. The owner of the soul of waskito (knows something before it happen);

his fate resembles like a rock once used as road, pebble that was beaten, before built to be shelter.

Received the time of self stupidity, revealing the heart to find impasse until be mature.

A poet caught groaning of motherland, with singing of wind and musical of animals.

He obeyed the change of the time of studying, to the limit of knowledge, for the sake of setting feet in the wilderness of wandering.

At five years old, he was educated by Tanujaya to enter the hall of divinity, gained the experience behind the material manifestation.

Which were smiling not merely in passion, also hatred could not be measured just as such couplet of sentence.

Over here the heart is the standpoint, grasps the teaching by teaching, not dazzled onto the staring of in passing eyes.

By the age of twelve years, he went along with Tanujaya to Tegalsari, Jetis, Ponorogo, in order to draw scientific religion to Imam Besari.

But as usual as the other aristocratic child, he underestimated his journey of fate, as if he had seen the glory of destiny in the future.

What he have done in Gebang Tinatar, did not appropriate with the expectations of his grandfather, R. T. Sastonagoro. He didn’t want to take lessons of Qur’an, but he took bet on the cock fight.

Dissipated and been friendly with the Waroks, bandits, robbers, etc. Yes, a descendant of royal blood, crushed by worldly guile.

Besari’s inner was tired indeed, and at one day Burham and Tanujaya were expelled from Tegalsari. To go back to Surakarta was not possible, because he had not gained yet the science at all.

Then they moved to Madiun to draw well manner in the town of Kediri. But, however, the man suppose, God disposes.

Burham’s sadness of expulsion affected the universe; his growled wilted flowers. His tears froze the period, transformed the unintended curse.

The Imam felt it through in the dream, and then before they arrived to Kediri, the Imam sent them home by a messenger, to return to Tegalsari.

But Burhan remained ornery, till the curse of kyai thundered. His inner was sad, he resigned face down to Ilahi (God), kneeling and realized all his stupidity at that all time.

Tanujaya came to entertain his pain; that a blue-blooded would not get high knowledge, before he was fasting.

Immediately Burham walked alone, meditating on Kali Keyang, precisely Kedung Watu. During the 41 days he did not eat rice, only a banana for a day by the humility.

At his last night of fasting. The light of literary came down, on pots it transformed to be cooked fish, together with porridge was cooked by Tanujaya from Besari’s reside.

And after it his attitude was changed, he became diligent to recite the Qur’an and clever of preaching, as if he got laduni, thus the Imam called him asn Bagus (good) Ilham.

This news broadcasted till the corners of Ponorogo, God has willed upon human efforts;

pain, suffering, matures the deed. As long as crescent to the full moon was mature, then they returned to Surakarta.

And the next days he married R. A. Gombak, the daughter of the your excellency Duke Cakraningrat, Regent of Kediri.

But, he felt his knoledge was unfinished, and then he took journey to Banyuwangi, continued to Giri toward Tabanan in Bali, to a wise waskito, Ki Ajar Sidalaku.

From there he gained the knowledge of Serat Rama Dewa, Bimasuci, Baratayudha, Dharmasarana, as well as other Buddhist paramasastra books.

Below is record, about Kali Keyang Kedung Watu. When I followed the trace of the poet in the village Tegalsari, Jetis, Ponorogo, East Java:


Gemericik arus sungai melantunkan fatwa
membawa ketenangan pejalan kaki
langkah demi langkah
daun-daun melambai
terdengar air membisik pada angin
serpihan cahaya matahari
menerobos dedahan.

Menyusuri bibir kali bersimpan kesaksian
ikan-ikan mungil berlomba melawan arus
demi kesenangan tiada tara.

Tak seharusnya berlalu
sebelum menapak tilas kebenaran sejarah
jasad bersentuh sukma di ketinggian uap
was-was dan ketakutan membumbung.

Kali Keyang Tegalsari
tak sejengkal membisu arusmu
terus menjelajahi lika-liku kehidupan
sampai ujung tlatah peraduan:



Apakah di sana
lenyapnya muara kedamaian?
Wahai tuanku, Ronggowarsito.


The sound of the river flowing chants the guidance
brings peace of pedestrian
step by step
leaves are waving
heard the water whispering to the wind
ruins of the sunlight
break through branches.

Retraced the river side which has testimony
tiny fishes compete against the stream
for the immeasurable pleasure.

It should not have passed away
before retracing historical truth
the body touched the soul at the height of steam
of soared anxiety and fear.

Kali Keyang Tegalsari
your stream doesn’t be dumb even an inch
keeps exploring the intricacies of life
until the end of the palace of royal bed:

Is there
disappearance of the estuary of peace?
O my master, Ronggowarsito.

2002, Lamongan.


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