The Meaning of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, Purpose, and Its Meaning

What is the motto of the Indonesian nation? The meaning of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika as the basis for realizing the unity and integrity of Indonesia is explained by the Ministry of Education and Culture as the motto of the Indonesian nation. The motto comes from a word (phrase) in Kakawin Sutasoma (Old Javanese poetry).

The motto of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika comes from the word Bhinneka which means “multiple varieties”, Tunggal means “one”, and ika means “that.” When referring to its literal meaning, the motto of the Indonesian nation as a whole means “different, but one too”.

Bhinneka Tunggal Ika is the national motto of Indonesia, which is written on the Garuda Pancasila bird ribbon. Constitutionally, the national motto is regulated in article 36A of the 1945 Constitution, namely “The State Symbol is Garuda Pancasila with the motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika”.

Bhinneka Tunggal Ika is the motto or motto of the Indonesian nation which is written on the Indonesian state symbol, Garuda Pancasila. This phrase comes from Old Javanese which means “Different, but still one”.

Translated word by word, the word bhinnêka means “various” and consists of the words bhinna and ika , combined together. The word singular means “one”. The word ika means “that”. Literally, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika is translated as “Multiple Ones”, which means that despite the diversity, in essence the Indonesian nation is still one unit. This motto is used to describe the unity and integrity of the nation and the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia which consists of various cultures, regional languages, races, ethnic groups, religions and beliefs.

This sentence is a quote from an Old Javanese kakawin, namely kakawin Sutasoma, written by Mpu Tantular during the Majapahit Kingdom around the 14th century, under the reign of King Rājasanagara, who was also known as Hayam Wuruk. Kakawin is special because it teaches tolerance between Shiva Hindus and Buddhists.

Full Rhyme

This quote comes from canto 139, stanza 5. This stanza in full is as follows:

Rwâneka dhâtu winuwus Buddha Wiswa,
Bhinnêki rakwa ring apan hit parwanosen,
Mangka ng Jinatwa kalawan Siwatatwa single,
Bhinnêka Tunggal Ika tan hana dharma mangrwa.


It is said that Buddha and Shiva are two different substances.
They are indeed different, but how can they be identified?
Because the truth of Jina (Buddha) and Shiva is one, so
divided, but it is also one. There is no confusion in the truth.

This translation is based, with minor adaptations, on a critical text edition by Dr. Soewit Santoso.

This gives inspirational meaning to the Indonesian nation. There is a wealth of diversity in various islands and regions across Indonesia. All the differences of culture, ethnicity, creed and many more, all lead to unity. The spirit of tolerance by upholding Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, as a form of respect for every difference.

The Meaning of the Motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika

Based on a journal entitled Analytical Study of the Motto of Unity in Diversity by I Nyoman Pursika, it explains the history of the national motto. The word meaning of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika is taken from a quote from the Sutasoma Book written by Mpu Tantular. The national motto is taken from ancient Javanese. The word “Bhinneka” means various or different, the word “Single” means one, while “Ika” means that. Literally, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika is translated as “Diversity in One”, which means that even though they are different, in essence the Indonesian people are still one unit.

This motto is used as a picture of the unity and integrity of the nation and the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI). Indonesia itself consists of various cultures, regional languages, races, ethnic groups, religions and beliefs. The basic function of the meaning of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika is the foundation of unity and oneness. Basically, each group has its own strengths and weaknesses. The role of the state’s motto is to shape and instill diversity in society, so it doesn’t trigger conflict.

The motto of Unity in Diversity in State Rules

This motto is contained in Government Regulation Number 66/1951, State Symbol. Stipulated in Jakarta on October 17, 1951 by President Soekarno and Prime Minister, Sukiman Wirjosandjojo. It is stated in Article 5 which reads, “Under the symbol written in Latin letters a motto in Old Javanese, which reads: Unity in Diversity.

The explanation from Article 5, the word Bhinneka is a combination of two words, namely bhinna and ika . The whole sentence can be copied, “different, but still one”. This sentence is old and used by a well-known poet, Empu Tantular in the meaning, “among the pusparagam is unity”.

A ribbon bearing the motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika

The next meaning of the Pancasila symbol is at the very bottom, there is a white ribbon held by the claws of the Garuda bird. The ribbon reads “Unity in Diversity” in black ink. Taken from a fragment of the book Sutasoma by Mpu Tantular. Bhinneka means different, single means one, and ika means that. So that in language, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika means “different but still one”.

The archipelago has a myriad of unique tribes, cultures, languages, and races. The diversity in each of these areas is a wealth to be proud of. Even though Indonesia is different, in essence it remains one unit. Describing the unity and integrity of the Nation and the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.

History of the Formulation and Birth of Pancasila

On March 1, 1945, the Indonesian Independence Preparatory Investigation Agency (BPUPKI) was formed, chaired by Dr. Kanjeng Raden Tumenggung (KRT) Radjiman Wedyodiningrat. In his opening speech, dr. Radjiman, among other things, posed a question to members of the assembly, ” What is the basis for the State of Indonesia that we are going to form?

See also  Characteristics, Objectives and Examples of Innovations

In an effort to formulate Pancasila as the official basis of the state, there were personal suggestions put forward in the Investigative Body for the Preparatory Work for Indonesian Independence, namely:

The Five Basics by Muhammad Yamin, who gave a speech on May 29, 1945. Yamin formulated the five basics as follows:

  • Nationality.
  • Humanity.
  • Fellowship.
  • Citizenship.
  • People’s welfare.

He stated that the five precepts formulated were rooted in history, civilization, religion, and constitutional life that had long developed in Indonesia. However, in his memoirs, Mohammad Hatta doubted Yamin’s speech.

Soekarno then proposed the Panca Sila which was stated on June 1, 1945 in his spontaneous speech which became known as “The Birth of Pancasila”. Soekarno put forward the basics, namely:

  1. Indonesian nationality or nationalism.
  2. Humanity or internationalism.
  3. Consensus or democracy.
  4. Social welfare.
  5. Cultural divinity.

The name Pancasila was uttered by Soekarno in his speech on June 1, he said:

Now there are many principles: nationality, internationalism, consensus, welfare, and Godhead, the five numbers. Its name is not Panca Dharma, but I named it at the suggestion of a friend of ours who is a linguist – his name is Pancasila. Sila means principle or basis, and it is on these five principles that we establish the state of Indonesia, eternal and everlasting.

Before the first session ended, a Small Committee was formed to reformulate Pancasila as the basis of the state based on a speech uttered by Soekarno on June 1, 1945 and to make the document the text for proclaiming an independent Indonesia.

Nine people, known as the Committee of Nine, were selected from the Small Committee to carry out the task. Their plan was approved on June 22, 1945 which was later named the Jakarta Charter.

After the Pancasila Formulation was officially accepted as the foundation of the state, several of its stipulation documents were:

  • First Formula: Jakarta Charter ( Jakarta Charter ) – June 22, 1945.
  • Second Formula: Preamble to the 1945 Constitution – August 18, 1945.
  • Third Formula: Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of Indonesia – December 27, 1949.
  • Fourth Formula: Preamble to the Provisional Basic Law – August 15, 1950.
  • Fifth Formula: The First Formula animates the Second Formula and is an integral part of the Constitution (referring to Presidential Decree 5 July 1959).

President Joko Widodo on 1 June 2016 has signed Presidential Decree (Keppres) Number 24 of 2016 concerning the Birthday of Pancasila, as well as designating it as a national holiday that will take effect from 2017.

Pancasila Sanctity Day

The depiction of Garuda Pancasila on the poster; each of the Pancasila precepts is written beside or below the symbol.

On September 30, 1965, an event called the September 30th Movement (G30S) occurred. This incident itself is still being debated in academic circles about who was the activist and what was the motive behind it. However, military authorities and the largest religious group at the time spread the news that the incident was an attempt by the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) to change Pancasila elements into communist ideology. They attempted to dissolve the Indonesian Communist Party and justify the 1965–1966 massacres in Indonesia.

On that day, six generals and one captain and several others were killed by elements the government described as a coup attempt. The turmoil caused by the G30S itself was eventually suppressed by the Indonesian military authorities. The New Order government then designated 30 September as the Commemoration Day of the 30 September G30S Movement and 1 October as the Sanctity Day of Pancasila.

History of the Garuda Pancasila Coat of Arms

After independence, between 1945-1949, Indonesia needed a national symbol. So a team of State Badges Committee was formed under the coordinator of the state minister, Sultan Hamid II. They are tasked with selecting proposals for draft state symbols to be submitted to the government. Finally, two proposed symbols were chosen from Sultan Hamid II and M Yamin. But M Yamin’s work was rejected by the government, because it includes sunlight, while the symbol follows Japan.

After long discussions and coordination with the president of the United States of Indonesia (RIS), Soekarno and his prime minister M Hatta, Sultan Hamid II attempted to perfect the Garuda Pancasila bird symbol. Until finally it was officially used on February 11, 1950 in the RIS session. As well as the president starting to introduce to the Indonesian public at the Des Indes hotel, on February 15, 1950.

After it was inaugurated, Sultan Hamid II and Soekarno continued to try to improve the Garuda Pancasila symbol. Starting from the bald Garuda bird, it was replaced by Soekarno, because he was considered to resemble the symbol of the United States of America. As well as previously the claws of the Garuda bird holding the red and white flag. Now it has changed to a white ribbon that reads “Unity in Diversity”.

The Garuda bird uses a shield, as a form of creative vermogen, as it is known in Indonesian civilization. Garuda bird from mythology, closely side by side with eagle eagle. Birds are depicted on several temples, including Dieng, Prambanan and Panataran.

In general, the meaning of Garuda is well known in Indonesian archeology and literature. The Garuda badge was also worn by Airlangga in the 11th century, named Garudamukha. Another strong reason is that the Young Indonesia movement in 1928 used the banner of Garuda’s wings. In the center stands a keris on three gurisan.

Points of Pancasila Practice

In a book written by Sulastomo, entitled Ideals of the State of Pancasila , it is explained indirectly that Pancasila is a unifying tool, so it does not need to be forced into one unit. Pancasila has elements of the ideology of religious socialism, not materialistic or communist.

Rayno Dwi Adityo in his article entitled Geneology of Islamic Values ​​in Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution added that the birth of Pancasila was the result of deep digging from sources, genealogy, and Islamic religious values ​​as well as the 1945 NKRI Constitution.

Based on MPR Decree No.II/MPR/1978 the points of Pancasila practice are explained as follows.

1. Belief in the One and Only God
  1. Belief in and piety to God Almighty in accordance with their respective religions and beliefs according to the basis of just and civilized humanity.
  2. Respect respect and work together between adherents of religions and adherents of different beliefs so as to foster harmony in life.
  3. Mutual respect for the freedom to practice worship according to each other’s religion and belief.
  4. Do not impose a religion or belief on others.
2. Just and Civilized Humanity
  1. Recognizing equality of rights and equal obligations among human beings.
  2. Love one another human.
  3. Develop an attitude of tolerance.
  4. Not arbitrary to others.
  5. Uphold human values.
  6. Enjoy doing humanitarian activities.
  7. Dare to defend truth and justice.
  8. Develop an attitude of respect and cooperation with other nations, because the Indonesian nation is part of all humanity.
3. Indonesian Unity
  1. Placing the unity, integrity, interests and safety of the nation and state above personal or group interests.
  2. Willing to sacrifice for the interests of the nation and state.
  3. Love the motherland and nation.
  4. Proud to be an Indonesian nation and have Indonesian waters.
  5. Promote association for the sake of unity and integrity of the nation with Bhinneka Tunggal Ika .
4. Democracy Led by Wisdom of Wisdom in Deliberations and Representatives
  1. Prioritizing the interests of the state and society.
  2. Don’t force your will on others.
  3. Prioritizing deliberation in making decisions for the common good.
  4. Includes a family spirit to reach consensus in deliberations.
  5. Accept and carry out the results of deliberations in good faith and with open arms.
  6. Conduct deliberations with common sense and in accordance with a noble conscience.
  7. Decisions taken must be morally accountable to God Almighty, uphold human dignity and values ​​as well as truth and justice.
5. Social Justice for All Indonesian People
  1. Develop noble deeds that reflect the attitude and atmosphere of kinship and mutual cooperation.
  2. Be fair.
  3. Maintain a balance between rights and obligations.
  4. Respect the rights of others.
  5. Likes to help others.
  6. Avoid blackmailing others.
  7. Not extravagant.
  8. Not a luxurious and extravagant lifestyle.
  9. Do not commit acts that are detrimental to the public interest.
  10. Likes to work hard.
  11. Appreciate and appreciate the work of others.
  12. Together we strive to achieve equitable and socially just progress.
See also  difference between git and github

Implementation of Unity in Diversity

1. Influsive Behavior

The motto means Bhinneka Tunggal Ika sees itself as an individual or community group. This group becomes a unit in the wider community.

2. Pluralistic nature

The Indonesian nation is plural in terms of religious, cultural and ethnic diversity. Even though they are different, it is necessary to establish harmony, tolerance and mutual respect, so that no one looks down on the other party. An example of helping each other when hit by a disaster.

3. Not Seeking His Own Win

Quoting from the journal The Role of Pancasila and Bhineka Tunggal Ika in Overcoming Identity Politics by Rizal Habi Nugroho the application of the motto to respect and appreciate other parties. Appreciate this can accept and give opinions in diverse life.

4. Deliberation

Deliberations form unity and reach consensus. In this case there is the term common denominator , which is the core of similarity chosen to reach consensus. Some groups can find solutions from deliberations.

5. Compassion and Willingness to Sacrifice

Bhineka Tunggal Ika needs to be based on compassion for the life of the nation and state. Without love and selfless selfless sacrifice, unity cannot be realized.

6. Tolerant in Differences

Tolerance is a view to fostering mutual respect, spreading harmony, and fostering tolerance among individuals.

Diversity and Examples of Unity in Diversity

In everyday life, there is diversity that makes people unite and cohesive. Quoting the book Diversity in the Frame of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika published by the Ministry of Education and Culture, there are various kinds of diversity, namely:

1. Ethnic Diversity

From the Indonesian encyclopedia, ethnicity is a social group in a social or cultural system that has lineage, customs, religion, language, and so on. These ethnic groups have similarities in history, history or descent, language, value system, customs, and traditions. According to Koentjaraningrat, ethnic groups are a group of people who have cultural unity and are bound by an awareness of identity. Examples of ethnic groups in Indonesia with paternal lineage are the Javanese and the Batak. Tribes that follow the maternal line (mother/woman), for example, the Minangkabau tribe.

2. Religious Diversity

The first principle of Belief in One Almighty God is the basis and ideology of the state. In Indonesia, religion plays an important role in people’s lives. The state guarantees to worship according to each religion and belief. The guarantee of religion is contained in article 29 paragraph (2) of the 1945 Republic of Indonesia Constitution. In Indonesia there are 6 official religions recognized by the Government, namely Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism.

3. Racial Diversity

According to the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), race is a national group based on physical characteristics and national family. Race is grouped by body shape, face, nose, and skin color. An example of race in Indonesia is the Mongoloid race, in Sumatra, Java, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, Kalimantan and Sulawesi. The Melanesoid race lives in the regions of Papua, Maluku and East Nusa Tenggara. In addition, in Indonesia there are descendants of the Asiatic Mongoloid race, such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean people.

4. Intergroup Diversity

Groups are groups in a diverse society. In sociology known as Social Stratification. This term is a grouping of people in certain social classes. Even though there is diversity between groups, the existence of a national motto can promote harmony, unity and integrity of the nation. Diversity between groups can raise awareness for every citizen. An example of the diversity of groups is the company’s assistance in providing assistance to small entrepreneurs affected by Covid-19. Student groups provide free books and knowledge to orphans.

5. National Integration

National identity is a characteristic possessed by a nation. In the journal Bhinneka Tunggal Ika as a Bastion against the Risks of the Diversity of the Indonesian Nation, published by the Holy State Islamic Institute, national identity is a form of effort to unite diversity and prevent conflict.

Forms of National Identity in Bhinneka Tunggal Ika

  • The state ideology is Pancasila.
  • The national language is Indonesian.
  • The national anthem is Indonesia Raya.
  • The national motto is Bhinneka Tunggal Ika.
  • The country’s flag is Sang Merah Putih.
  • The basic law of the state (constitution) is the 1945 Constitution.
  • The form of state and government is a republic
  • Various regional cultures that have been accepted as national culture.

Sinaumed’s can also visit sinaumedia’s book collection at to obtain additional references about the culture of deliberation which is still being preserved in Indonesia. The following are recommendations for sinaumedia books that Sinaumed’s can read to study them in full. Happy reading.

Find other interesting things in sinaumedia as #FriendsWithoutLimits will always present interesting articles and recommendations for the best books for Sinaumed’s.

Book Recommendations & Related Articles