Macapat is Javanese songs that used by people (Javanese) to teach their child, their pupils or to symbolize the life. There are many kinds of Macapat, such as Dandanggula, Pangkur, Sinom, Megatruh, Gambuh, Kinanthi, Girisa, Durma, Asmaradana, etc. Some of them were made by Wali Songo, for example Dandanggula was made by Sunan Kalijogo.
Macapat is a good way to teach about life, how to be the best entity, human relationship with the nature, with other people, and the relationship with the God. Macapat also used to tell a story about the ancient history. For example, Babad Tanah Jawi (a book that tells about Javanese from Prophet Adam until Mataram), mostly use Dandanggula form.
Nadyan sira pinunjul (even if you are great)
Nanging aja sira njur keladuk (don’t you be a
Ngelingono wong urip anggendong lali (remember that human is the place of ‘forget’)
Tansah eling urip iku (still remember that life)
Prayoga ingkang prasaja (better if we low profile)
The song above is Macapat (Gambuh). From the example above, people will remember that human is always forget, and human is feel strongest if they have power, smart, or authority. The advice appears in second until the last line. Nanging aja sira njur keladuk, this sentence start to remain the readers that as a human, we do not feel the greatest, because the strongest, the greatest is just God. That is the example that Macapat used to teach about how to be a good man.
The other example will show when this song used to teach about religious views:
Parentahira Hyang Widi, kang dhawuh mring Nabiyollah
Ing dalil kadis anggone
Ojo ono ingkang sambrono, rasakno den karoso
Dalil kadis rasanipun, dadi padhanging tyas hira
This song (Macapat Asmaradana) tells to the reader that human must believe with the two, Dalil and Kadis (Al-Qur’an and Hadist) to get the lights from God. If people can feel this two, and then use in daily life, he/she will get padhanging tyas hira, a true happiness, Heaven.
The other example that used to tell about ancient history:
Nabi Khidir angandika ris
gedhe endhi sira lawan jagad
kabeh iki sak isine
alas samudra gunung
nora sesak ing garba mami
tan sesak lumebewa
ing jro garba ningsun
Syeh Melaya duk miarsa
langkung ajrih kumel sandika tur neki
This Macapat (Dandanggula) actually made by Sunan Kalijogo, include on Suluk Ling-Lung (a book made by Sunan Kalijogo. This book tells about the ancient history). This song talks about Prophet Khidir, when he ask to Syeh Melaya about which is the greatest, this universe or you (Syeh Melaya). By this song, human can think about what is the function of humans’ life in this world. Human is just little spot in this universe, so human must protect this universe. When human is compared with the universe, human is nothing, so human have to remember that above the universe, there is the greatest, i.e. God.