Natural trees of various species are treasures that were formed on earth millions of years ago. We are concentrating this study in the Malay Peninsula where such treasures are used in the past and present by the people of Kelantan, Terengganu, and other parts of the Peninsula for various purposes such as healing, as protective charm and even exocism. This article was published due to the strong interest from SimplyBuy's readers after publishing our inaugural articles on Tok Raja, The World of Pidta and Kelantan Thai Amulets.
For starters, there are several common Malay linguistic words and meanings that are commonly being used in this spiritual art form. "Penawar" literally mean Antidote or Intoxifier for poisons, "Pelaris" meaning Good Sales Luck, "Pengasih" meaning Loving Kindness, "Pendinding" meaning Resistance to Attack either physical or evil, "Pembisa" meaning Poisonous nature. It is vital to know which of these 5 characteristics the when selecting precious wood based gems to be worn as ornament ring or pendant. However, these precious wood gems are not only confined for making into rings. For example, Mai Thau or Tongkat created by Tok Raja and other masters also uses certain types of wood species for different purposes.
Amongst the differet species of trees, Teras Gemunggal from Gemunggal Tree is most popularly used as "Penawar" or antidote for poisoning and dispelling black magics. But this precious wood gems are hard to come by and many have mistaken it as Teras Semeru that has some similarity in appearance. Acting as antidote, Teras Gemunggal can be submerged into a cup of luke warm water and it can be consumed where a person had food poisoning, insect bites, or been strike by "Santau". Santau is a kind of black magic in South East Asia that is commonly found in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. Santau can be casted to a victim by his/her enemy through food, drinks consumption or through other means into a victim's body. It can cause nausea, sickness and mental distress to the victim with such kind of black magic and if not cured in time, it can be deadly.
Teras Gemunggal not only cures black magic, it also help in dispelling ghostly spirits. It can also be an effective antidote for poisonous reptile bites (e.g. snakes) and insect bites (e.g. mosquitos, scorpion, bees) by placing the wood onto the affected bodily area. Through our research, this can be done by dampening the affected area with clean water and then place Teras Gemunggal on the area for a couple of minutes. Thus far in my own experiment, skin irritations and minor headache can be cured by placing a pure Teras Gemunggal onto the affected bodily area for 2-3 minutes. In summary, Teras Gemunggal has medication properties apart from offering protection to neutralized evil forces.
To further our research study, there is another hidden phenomenon that local folks called "Teras Gemunggal Jadi Batu" which literally translated as wood Teras Gemunggal fossilized into stones. Fossilization process of wood turning into stone gems are extremely rare. In this fossilization process, of all the already limited Teras Gemunggal trees, only one tree will have this phenomenon. According to Malay experts, fossilized Teras Gemunggal can only happen when the other world spirits had resided in that particular Gemunggal tree.
It is worthwhile to highlight the difference between Teras Semeru and Teras Gemunggal here. Teras Semeru are in abundance and its price value is much lower in comparison with the hard to find Teras Gemunggal that can command a higher price. From a naked eye view the two wood gems may look similar in appearance. But there is an easy way to distinguish the two.
Whether it is used as antitode or for own protection, the rule of thumb is Teras Gemunggal must always stay in contact on the skin of the wearer. This is very important because it's been highlighted repeatedly from a guru. With this in mind, it's good to choose a ring bottom that an expose the base of Teras Gemunggal to be in contact with the finger by customizing a large base opening of the ring (see picture). You can make a request for this large opening base to your goldsmith or silversmith during the casing of your ring.
Another useful wood is "Raja Kayu" or King of all Trees. Raja Kayu is another tree species that is rock solid and hard. To spot this tree species, usually it can be found in deep jungle and only this tree will stand alone without any other trees surrounding it. This prove the unusual aura of this tree species. The wood from this tree exceptionally effective to be used against wild animals (e.g. tiger, leopard, snakes). We were told that when a person have Raja Kayu around, wild animals will not come close.
The common similarity between Raja Kayu and Teras Gemunggal it the healing properties and also said to protect the skin against sharp object intrusion for defence and counter black magic. The other properties of Raja Kayu is for gaining authority over others. In Malay language, this is called "Penunduk" and in Thai this is called "Maha Amnat". Therefore, having one Raja Kayu ring on your finger for the above reasons is great.
To continue further with this mystical gem topic, Kayu Bui is another type of antidote or "Penawar" that is in the same category as Kemuning Hitam. Kayu Bui is most commonly used in the East Coast of the Malay Peninsula such as Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang. This two antidote is also very useful for healing bites. The application of Kayu Bui for healing bites is the same as Teras Gemunggal by placing the wood onto the affected bodily area for several minutes. Kemuning Hitam can also be used to increase influencing power. Shown below is a my silver ring Fossilized Kemuning Hitam (not lacquer with "Minyak Atar" oil subtance to give the shiny appearance).
Phra Pidta can also be carved out from wood species e.g. Kemuning Hitam, Penawar Hitam, Buluh Tumpat, Tempurung Buta, etc. Most Pidta or Palakit made from natural woods will be inscripted with Buddhist spells or at least must go through blessing rituals by qualified monks in order to enhance its power.
|Pidta crafted from Kemuning Hitam|
For self defence against black magic, Larak Hutan is most commonly used. This powerful wood act as "Pendinding" in the Malay language. By having a small fragment of this wood kept inside the pocket and carry around is pretty useful. We are very fortunate to have a sample piece of Larak Hutan to showcase here for all visitors to view.
There are many more types of woods with different properties such as Buluh Tumpat, Tempurung Buta, Sulur Bertam, Teras Semeru, etc. Above are some of SimplyBuy's examples on these potent forest treasures. For further reading pleasure, we would like to point you to a useful blog site by Wie Sukhihotu.
We have discussed most of the positive energies that's derived from natural wood treasures. We would like to bring up the darker side of these mystical woods to provide readers an overall view. Perhaps the most Venomous and vicious usage of these natural wood treasures may be a reason depending on the intention of the user. "Pembisa" characteristic that is commonly used are Ibor Merah and Nibong Tunggal. Nibong Tunggal can also defend and increase the invulnerability of the users. Just a punch to an intended target person by using this type of vicious wood selection will bring deadly result to the victim. It is also common to find a combination of these "Pembisa" wood treasures in a single ring. However, it is not encouraged to wear such ring that is full of vicious properties unless you have self control and solely use it for self-protection.
According to experts, if a victim received a hit from this type of wood or ring containing "Pembisa", there are sacred Khatas or Holy Words to be recided after placing the ring into a cup of water. The water can then be consumed by the victim and cure the internal bodily injury.
However, it is not our objective to promote harm and danger to others but rather to promote understanding on the usage and beauty of these natural wood treasures. A combination of various wood types in a single ring is possible and below is my own collection to be used as exhibit with 6 different wood combination that was turned into a ring.
Kayu dan Teras.
Eventhough how beautiful these treasures maybe, it is worthwhile to consider casing it into a wearable ring or pendant. From my personal point-of-view, it is very costly to case every single piece of gems with gold. A practical collector may choose less expensive material such as pure silver instead given the fact that each piece of the treasure gems may cost very much less than gold prices. A piece of Silver ring (material + workmanship) will cost RM100 - RM150 as compared to gold RM900 - RM1,200 easily for each ring. Ultimately budget consideration is a determining factor.
As mentioned earlier, it is not easy to find a reliable goldsmith/silversmith eventhough we may have found some of these great treasures. To ease this challenge, we would like to share our silver casing experience here. With kind permission from a local goldsmith Mr. Chong whom had 22 years of experience, we are able to bring readers direct insight into the silver casing process with some snap shots.
Below is a ready-made silver ring mould that can speed up the casing process rather than custom make ring design. If ease of convenience, less expensive (RM100-RM120) and faster completion time is your preference, a ready-made ring moulding can be a good choice.
With choices of ready moulds (usually unpolished - see picture), it is much quicker for fitting and less work to be done. If compared to custom make to fit your own design, it will be more expensive and will take longer time to finish the job. You may select any choice of design to your liking in this scenario.
No. 11, Jalan Jenderam 28/22, Taman Alam Megah, 40400 Shah Alam. He can be contacted at 012-3582186.
Completed Teras Gemunggal rings
Completed Raja Kayu ring
Apart from the display of wood based gems in this article, semi precious stones also have special mystic qualities too. Thus, I have heard before but couldn't be certain, Tok Raja also select Agate stones of various types for different uses and give away to devotees. Hence, with this article, we certainly hope all readers will find joy reading and may this sharing of knowledge be very useful in your quest for collecting mystical treasures.
Apart from the mystical woods described in this article chapter, traditional wooden buildings that were mainly built on precious trees in the past will likely be embedded with the respective sacred power. This contention is related to another article story in Kelantan, Malaysia where wooden structures from a few hundred years old Thai monastery can be recycled to make powerful protective talismans. For further reading please visit our next special article story on 'The Making of Pidta Bangsek Mahaniyom'.
Next Article Stories