Custom Search
Business Affiliate ProgramsCouponPersonalsAdvertisingShopping

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Panca Bali Krama (4)

The temple has elaborately decorated to welcomes all the Devatas

The Bhumi-suddhi was culmination of all process for spiritually purifying the object (what to be offered) and place (where). After all we came to the purification of the subject (who). This is by performing ritualistic bathing of all sacred images of Devatas worshipped in Besakih and all other temples in Bali, called Melasti. The sacred images of the Devatas, brought out from their numerous sanctums, and assembled in the inner courtyard of Besakih temple, at the space representing Svah-lokam, the place of Threefold Lotus Throne of The Divine Sun. There, they have their place in the big mandapam, symbolically representing the Deva-sabha of Celestial realm. All ranks of Devas now formally invoked by their attendant priests and common devotees. From the highest Brahma down to deified ancestors of the Balinese. All of them, in the form of sacred images then ride on their special carriers. Some on wooden gilded Palaki (palanquin), some on mount-carriers (vahana) shaped as animals, even in the weirdest form like half-fish half-elephant, horned sea-monster, winged lion, and some just rest on the head of their devotees. Also went with the Devas are many temple’s heir-looms such as ancient weapons, sacred jewelleries, inscription plates, etc. Not only the Devas from various shrine in Besakih main temple and its sub-temple were invited to the “grand bathing”, but also the Patron Devas of all temples guarding each cardinal point in Bali. Because their sacred images also had the same ritualistic protocol at their own temples, the presence of these Devatas were represented by kumbhan (but as usual in Bali substitute by decorated bamboo jars). They went in grand procession of thousands peoples, downed the mountain, and walked toward the sea, to the temple of Sagara Watu Klotok about 5 hours walk. In every villages along the way to the sea, the Devatas welcomed by highly decorated streets and kneeling devotees. Everyone was in festive moods. They offered obeisance to the passing Devatas by sat low on the ground and raised their anjali hands over the heads. The offering of fruits, flowers, and incenses waved to the Devatas so they can take their essences for refreshment along the journey. This time the procession went slower than usual, it was need 2 more hours to reach the beach, because the streets were highly packed with devotees.
The Devatas will assemble here, in front of The Three Thrones of Divine Sun. Symbolize the highest Divinity, Sun of suns, Light of all lights. The Supreme God in His Trinity Forms.

Riding on Palanquins carried by their devotees, the Devatas came down to earthly realm.

After 7 hours journey on foot, the Devatas and their devotees arrived at the Sea Temple. Here at the beach, the grand public bathing ceremony was performed. It wasn’t like usual thirumanjanam or snana-seva as we performed in Agamic-Pancaratric way. The consecrated water and other purifying liquids weren’t directly poured on the sacred images but in manashik way, just in meditation. Similar with the protocol observed in the worship of Lord Jagannath of Puri. Only a small amount of liquids ritualistically sprinkled toward the deities. After the whole ceremony was completed, the holy waters then distributed among devotees to purifying their mind and their karma. Then the whole celestial entourages again returned to the assembly hall of Besakih. By the completion of this ritual, the whole island of Bali considered spiritually pure and ready to perform the Panca Bali on the last Amavashya day of 1930 Saka year.

Peoples flocked at the street to pay their obeisances to the passing Devatas

Finally arrived at the seashore

Actually the grand bathing ceremony was performed annually, though not as great as this year. I heard once in such occasion in the past, they throw a sealed jar made of glass to the sea. The jar attached by a rope, hold by a high priest at the beach. He then meditated on Lord Mahavishnu and asks permission from Varuna by chanting special mantras. Fifteen minutes later, they take the sealed jar out of the sea-water and there’s a small amount of fresh water inside. A tea cup or less. Really! It’s fresh water out of the sea, not the salty one. They believed this holy water can cure illness and swept away any bad karma. By greater spiritual energy obtained from The Lord as He pleased, even it has power to bring the death alive! Today, unfortunately, only some Brahmanic high priests knew how and agree to perform that unique ritual of magically obtaining special sacred water out of the sea. My grandma, a lady of nobility in good relation with the priestly class, as she told me, was fortunate enough to once witness such a wonder. But until now, I myself never saw any. Me, her grandson, is a little stingy (He..He..) but she was a generous aristocratic donor for our family Brahmin. So the late old high priestess, the aunt of our present Puroheet, has much affection to her. She used to explain and showed her many interesting things happened in her priestly career. By the way, I’m serious. The Balinese Hindus really have fully ordained Brahmin priestess. Our late high priestess was a Brahmana-kanya, a celibate virgin priestess. Very rare indeed, but actually exist.

No comments:

Post a Comment

click for better world

Stop Smoking

Super Blog Directory