Sunday, September 20, 2009

Melukat: Ritual to cleanse your body and soul

Understanding ‘Melukat’

‘Melukat’ is part of the Manusa Yadnya (holy sacrifice which dedicated to human being) ceremony . Melukat aims to cleanse and purify the human body and soul in order to preventing from havoc, bad luck and sickness. The havoc caused by acquired activities and sins, whether originating from the remainder of the previous acts (in the past life / sancita karmaphala) or from acts in his life now (prarabda karmaphala).

Melukat derived from the word "lukat", derived on Balinese-Kawi (old Javanese languages) dictionary means "bersihin, ngicalang" (in Balinese language) “to cleanse or purified (in English). In the Indonesian Dictionary, the word 'lukat' means ‘letting go’ (to releasing some stuff), then get the prefix 'me' becomes 'melukat', which means doing a job to release something ‘negative’ in the body and soul, through a religious ritual.

The Meaning of ‘Melukat’

The ‘melukat’ ritual means as an efforts of achieving self-purification . These efforts should be sought in accordance with the Lontar (palmleaf scripture)"Dharma Kahuripan" which essentially describes how "human spiritual maintenance", started from the womb until the end of his life.

Thus, the melukat ceremony can be performed many times, according to the situation and needs and goals. Melukat means as a cleansing and purification in spiritual and physical, as it is written in the Manawa Dharmasastra manuscript, Chapter V verse 109, states as follows:

"Adbir gatrani cuddhayanti manah satyena cuddhyati, vidyatapobhyam buddhir jnanena cuddhyatir"


“The body washed with water, the mind cleansed with honesty , the soul cleansed with the science and tapasya, reasonable cleansed with wisdom. "

The deep meaning of this verse told that melukat are in use water to cleaning the body physical (sekala) and psychological (niskala) , while for the medium are using "Tirtha Penglukatan", which first filed with Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa (God Almighty) blessings first, through prayer, (puja) worship and (mantra) spell by a priest (peranda, balian or pemangku).

Melukat Ceremony Type

There are 7 different types of melukat ceremonies , in terms of implementation and objectives ceremony:

1. Melukat Astupungku
aim to cleanse and purify one's evil influence caused by the birth day and Tri Guna (Three material cause on living things=satwam, rajas, Tamas), are not balanced in human body. In accordance with the instructions in Lontar Astupungku.

2. Melukat Gni Anglayang
The goal of this ceremony is medical treatment of a person who is afflicted with the disease. This ritual Implementation is done by a Balian or dukun (shaman) who perform traditional treatments. In accordance with’Lontar Putusan Kala Gni Chandra Bhairawa’.

3.Melukat Gomana
the aim is for the redemption of ‘oton’ (day of birth ), caused by bad influences from wewaran and Wuku (day of birth). Sapta wara includes Wewaran and Wuku (birth day accordings to traditional Balinese Calendar).

4. Melukat Surya Gomana
the goal is to remove ‘stains’ and ‘dirt’ on baby. The ceremony is held at 'mapetik’ or ‘nyambutin’ (new born), ‘tutug tigang Sasih’ (three days) and ‘nelu bulanin’ (3 months) ceremony .

5. Melukat Semara Beda
aims to cleanse the kama jaya (the groom) and the kama ratih (the bride) from the ‘stains’ and ‘dirt’ (mala) in pawiwahan (traditional Balinese wedding ceremony).

6. Melukat Prabhu Wibuh
7. Melukat Nawa Ratna
Melukat Prabhu Wibuh and Nawa Ratna aims to ask the leaders, so that in furture they performing their duties to get the glory and prosperity. The ceremony is also called ‘mejaya-mejaya’.

Melukat place in Bali

The best place for the implementation of this melukat ritual is in natural water source, the meeting of two rivers, waterfalls or the sea. In Bali there are plenty of good melukat places like:

1. Pura Tirta Empul

The Tirta Empul Temple includes the traditional Balinese split gate along with shrines to Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, Mt. Batur, and Indra. There is also a large open pavilion in the main courtyard, useful for relaxing in the shade.But the main attraction here is a long rectangular pool carved of stone, filled with koi and fed by the sacred spring via 12 fountains. Worshippers first make an offering at the temple, then climb into the main pool to bathe and pray. Many collect the holy water in bottles to take home. Nearby there are two smaller pools fed by the spring.

Overlooking the temple on a hill above is a suprisingly modern building: the Government Palace, built in 1954. Originally a residence for Dutch officials, it was later used by former President Soekarno during his frequent trips to Bali. Pura Tirta Empul is located in the village of Tampak Siring, accessible by public transportation from Ubud.

2. Pura Gunung Kawi

Gunung Kawi is located just 1 km north of Tampaksiring off the road to the right. The location is sign posted as you get close. The entire site sits in a small river valley (the Pakrisan River) and requires you to hike down a set of steps past a few more local vendors. The scenery is pretty with rice fields in view and local women washing their clothing in the small stream as you pass.

3. Pura Selukat
Pura Selukat in ‘Subak Tuas’ rice field area, the village of Keramas, Blahbatuh, Gianyar. The extent of approximately 8 acre divided into Tri Mandala, which links the side, a compound into the middle and innards. On Utama Mandala (private/sacred space) are Padmasana building, Gedong Penyimpenan and a pair of Maharsi (holy priest)statues.

In the compound into the middle (Madya Mandala) there are only a Gedong (building) where there is a shower that channel from the fountain at Selukat Temple . In Gedong Patirtan there is patirtan water source consists of three sources, from the west, north and east. While in the compound into the side of the building there is Pesandekan (resting) and two showers a source of water comes from the Gedong to melukat citizens who come to the Selukat Temple.

4. Pura Dalem Pingit, Sebatu-Gianyar
5. Mertha Sari Beach-Sanur -Denpasar
6. Pura Campuhan,Padanggalak-Denpasar
7.The Priests Place (peranda, balian (shaman), ashram and pemangku ) or in accordance with their instructions.

Sri Arwati, Ni Made. 2005. Upacara Melukat: Untuk Ibu-Ibu se-dharma Hindu. Denpasar
"Penyucian Diri" by Winauntari at


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tantricism Ritual That Exist in Bali Nowadays


Religious rituals in Bali are generally aiming to get peace, prosperity wealthy, begging the blessing and salvation from Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa (God Almighty). Sekala (seen) and niskala (unseen) world is very strong role in Hindu religious lifes and between this two must go together in harmony.

In Bali, it is a habit or tradition of Hindu society to use as a visualization of their prayer and faith with ‘banten’ (offerings). One of these ‘banten’, in order to complete the whole ritual, there is an unique ritual of offerings some drink which called tetabuhan which offers ‘arak-berem’ (traditional Balinese Wine), in the event called ‘tetabuhan’. arak is a traditional wine processed from palm trees and berem made from fermented glutinous rice, both used in tetabuhan (drink offering) ritual. Translucent white arak and red berem this mixed are offered before prayer ceremony in order to completing the yadnya (holy sacrifice) ceremony.

This tradition is characteristic of the influence of tantric sect (tantrayana) teaching. Tantrayana word derived from Sanskrit, the Tantra and Yana. Tantra means a conclusion, the subject, because, obligations. Tantra is also a non-Vedic literature that discuss issues of religious doctrine, the letters of the mystical, metaphysical, philosophy and mantra. Meanwhile, Yana means God.

So it can be concluded that the meaning of the word tantrayana is obligation to Almighty God. Group or sect that teaches about tantra is called Tantrayana. When talking about this tantrayana, interpreted the scary or horrible ritual such as the blood of sacrificial animals (In Old days of Human Blood was in use), grave yard ritual with corpse, blood, skeleton and held on the middle of the night, trance or possessed ritual and naked-free sex accompanied with alcohol rites.

Origin of Tantrayana (Tantricism) in Bali

Tantrayana developed in Singasari Kingdom the royal power in east Java, with it famous king is Kertanagara (1268-1292 AD). His influence spreads from the island of Sumatra to Bali. Kertanegara is a tantrayana believer who proclaimed himself as a Bhairawa.

At the time when Bali has been conquested, so that a Singasari kingdom representative government in Bali is Kebo Parud who also Tantrician. The Tantrayana associated with mystical science or unseen/dark force. In addition is also revered depicted to a very scary statues , which shows ferocious, fierce, scary, and all things associated with death (corpse), skull, blood, human organs etc. Scary statue is used by the tantrayana adherents is to perform the ritual worship. Tantrayana adherents in realizing the statue, accordance the teachings base of uses dark magic and mysticism.

Tantricism and ‘Shakti’ Worshiper

Tantrayana as contained in the Purana scripture is one way to God Almighty. Tantrayana is also one way of ‘Bhakti Marga’ major homage to the Karma Marga and Jnana Marga of Brahmins and the Upanishads. In Tantrayana woman as ‘Shakti’ (feminim force) principle , and is preferably achieved cult.

Understanding the philosophy of trust received from Samkhyayoga with purusa and prakerti theory, more important is to use the syllable containing mystical character Om, Am, Um. By repeating these words and the power of the unseen is believed to be achieved.

The cult of ‘Shakti’ according of tantrayana teaching, that assume that by uttering spells and certain ceremonies, adherents will join with shakti or even become their as Shakti herself. Based on this understanding, a revered sacred blood of the dead flowing incessantly and using sacred magic pictures.

Tantrayana the most important ceremony is to 5 ma, the so-called five tatwa. Panca Tattwa (5 ma) is used as a way to connect the human soul with God. For adherents of tantrayana, the opinion that it is not human sensory ‘murder’ that could give way to achieve spiritual liberation (moksa), but satisfaction and gratification that boredom all human sensory and which will lead people to spiritual liberation.

Tantricism sect in Bali

Tantra is signed and developed in Bali called Tantra Bhairawa Bhima. Tantrayana in general can be divided into three, namely:

1. Bhairawa Kalacakra, this flow more elements of culture. This is one of the forbidden sect in Bali, which is also called Buddha Paksa. Practical by using certain mantras, dancing in the cemetery at night while facing the corpses. The goal is to gain magical powers of these bodies (corpse). The worship statue made like a giant knife-wielding dance upon the skulls and the bodies decorated with intestine.

2. Bhairawa Bhima, dominant in Bali, developing magical tradition which still alive until now. This sect has more sivaism elements on it.

3. Bhairawa Herucakra, where the culture more prominent. This sect developed in Sumatra in the Padang Raco area, with human-headed horse artefact.

But now these sect is melt in Balinese Hindu Religion. This is a reflection of Danghyang Dwijendra who combined all sects in the Balinese Hindu. However, tracks can be seen in religious rituals such as tetabuhan (drink ritual), kerauhan (trance/possessed), tabuh rah/ cockfight (cock fighting) etc.


'Ngereh': Balinese Mystic Ritual In Order To ‘Sacralize’ The Rangda and Barong


'Ngereh' is a mystical ritual procession carried out in the middle of the night and it was the final stage of the ‘sacralized’ process Rangda, or Barong and Barong Landung masks. This is the final stage of the process to rehabilitate old or damaged mask. The meaning of ‘Sacralize’ is activities to empowerment the wooden mask into sacred relic. When mask are ‘sacralize’, the mask will have a mystical and magical power.

According to Ida Pedanda Bang Buruan Manuaba (one of the Balinese Priest)from Geria Muding-Kerobokan district, Badung Regency delinquent, ngereh is symbolic ritual which using sacred characters (aksara) contained in swalita and mudra (Bali character) which are summarized into one that becomes kalimusada and kalimusali (Balinese Mystical power). which is usually used for Surya Sewana ritual (routine Ceremony by Balinese Hindu priest in the morning, in order to respect for the sun ). From kalimusada and it appears kalimusali, the combined dwijaksara five characters then became tri Aksara (Three character), Dwi aksara (Two Character) and eventually became Eka Aksara (one character) (OM).

Ngereh Ritual goals is in order to turn on the power of Ista Dewata (God in human organs) or lingga (position of) God according to each function, especially to empowerment/inisiate the man-made thing. In some Lontar (palm leaves scipture) containing the ngereh ritual is Lontar Canting Mas and Lontar Siwer Mas heritage of Ida Pedanda Sakti Wawu Rauh / Danghyang Dwijendra. Ngereh means to empowerments human core organs (the chakras) in the human body.

In the human body there are seven chakras that must be turned into kundalini rising called ‘Rah’ or ‘ngereh’. In other words we must combining ‘ongkara ngadeg’ and ‘ongkara sungsang’ in this body that aims to activate the power of human itself. It aims to achieve self-awareness and be one with divine qualities. With divine attributes are more stable, will help us do good activities in life. Balinese community known that process by generating an aura (taksu) which based on inner strength. So, not always ngereh ritual is scary. Even if it is scary that a specification of ngereh ritual. Special to the Barong Landung and Rangda ngereh ritual must refer to dresta (tradition) that the local wisdom. Because in Bali every region has a different tradition in Ngereh.

Ngereh and Kerauhan (Trance)

According to I Made Karda a Rangda dancer explained that ngereh similar to ‘kerauhan’(trance) words or possessed, which means being possessed in the manifestation of God spirit . They will move his body in accordance with the powers that occupied it.

there are 2 kerauhan in Bali :
1. ‘Kerauhan’ which usually occurs on ceremony in the temple, or sanggah kemimitan, this is a signal that yadnya has done well, does not work by some mistake.

2. ‘Kerauhan’ in order to bring the Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa (God Almighty) manifestation when establishing a ‘pemangku’ (balinese priest) in niskala (Unseen world), at a temple or sanggah kemimitan. This is called the ‘pemangku’ appointed by Ida Bathara (God manifestation). Another is ‘kerauhan’ in order to ‘pasupati’(sacred empowerment) wooden ‘pule’(kind of sacred wood) ‘Rangda’ mask . After undergoing this ritual the Rangda masks has called Ratu Ayu or other term agreed upon by the community.

The Ngereh Process

Ida Bagus Sudiksa a spiritualist, Calonarang puppeteer and Pratima, Barong and Rangda creator stated that after they finish making a sacred relic, then ‘pengatepan’ ritual performed, melaspas, nueden, ‘pasupati’ by the Balinese priest and then implemented ‘pengerehan’ ritual.

Ritual in Setra (graveyard) is associated with magic and the supernatural are closely associated with the soul of Hindu religion in Bali which adopts shivaism. Associated with ‘ngereh’, there also some Lontar which defined ‘ngereh’ ritual such as ‘Lontar Maya Tatwa’ and ‘Lontar Barong Swari’ which includes about ‘kanda pat’ (Balinese mystical power), The process of making Barong, Rangda, Telek, Jauk and other sacred mask or relic.

Oka Swadiana, Jero Mangku.2008. "Ngereh" Ritual-Supranatural-Tradisional, Surabaya;Paramita.

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