Sukuh Temple, which was built in XV C was a Hindu Temple, which is proven by the lingga-yoni and other Hindu myths that sculpted on the reliefs and statues. This temple is located in Central Java, precisely in West downhill of Lawu Mountain, Sukuh, Berjo Village, Ngargoyoso, Karanganyar, Central Java.
Even though Sukuh Temple was set as a Hindu Temple, the cultural concepts of Indonesia in this temple was very stiff. This is showed on the location of the temple that is in mountain plateau. Mountain, for Javanese people, is believed as a home for the demigods and also their ancients. They also believe about a life after the death that happened in mountain. This doctrine is the result of local wisdom that has already appeared since the era of pre-historic.
Another proofs about the local concepts of Indonesia in Sukuh Temple are the temple itself which has some terraced terraces and also the headed-pyramid form of the main temple architecture. The yard of the terraces also known as Punden Berundak.
The Philosophy of the Punden Berundak in Sukuh Temple
Sukuh Temple was usually used as a ruwatan place in the past. The ruwatan procession was a symbol of the human life journey to go back to the holy life. The journey was symbolized with three levels of life, low, middle, and up. This concept was represented on the Punden Berundak Terrace of Sukuh Temple.
The first level of life is the lower terrace, the profane. People on this lifetime was remembered about the life obstacles. The obstacle is caused of the mala inside the people.
The second stages of life is the semi-sacral part. People whom did any kind of ritual in the past was realized to let the obstacles of life by doing sanctification ritual using the holy water or amrta. This level was cleared by the Pande Besi (blacksmith) relief. On the era of ancient Java, the blacksmith was believed as the people whom has a special strata because of their magic power. The blacksmith also believed as the saint. They could give the amrta to other people. This live is represented in the second terrace of Sukuh Temple.
The last of life levels is the third yard, also the highest and the sacred where the main temple stand. There is a main building and some reliefs in this yard. People who entry this terrace was considered as the people whom already achieved their life goals and clear from mala. This ritual was symbolized with Sudharmala reliefs.