This paper discusses the concepts of ethics in the Uttaraśabda – a Javanese tutur text from circa the sixteenth century. In the tutur textual corpus, the descriptions of ethical issues focusing on good or bad conduct becomes a special term called yama, ‘reining, control’. The concept of yama cannot be separated from its opposite called niyama, ‘positive duties, observances’. In the old Javanese literary tradition, there is a genre named śāsana (for example, Wratiśāsana, Ṛṣīśasana and Ślokāntara), which specifically contains a list of ethical issues. Although most of the Uttaraśabda text comprises the dialogs on philosophical basics of the maweda ritual, in certain passages there are some explanations of ethics that should be obeyed by every religious practitioner. They integrate, as inseparable parts, in the whole textual unity, as they also determine whether a religious practice is successful or not.

Through hermeneutics and intertextual approaches, it can be seen that although the ethical concepts in Uttaraśabda are oriented to an individual person who makes an effort to achieve liberation (kalěpasan) by practicing yoga, they are essentially integrated into a universal concept of social relations, especially interhuman relationships. When they are traced back, the ethical guidelines in Uttaraśabda are based on the elementary stages of Patañjali’s (circa fourth CE) aṣṭangga yoga. They are also generally imbued by the points of dharmaśāstra. The textual sources used in this study are the manuscripts from Merapi-Merbabu. The manuscript collection from this scriptoria still needs more reviews to unearth their significance in the humanities.