I Putu Sudiana, 44, is a Pemangku at Petitenget temple. He has been a Pemangku since age 12 and he will pass on the legacy to his son.

Petitenget temple has been the home of my family for generations. I was born here on April 24, 1963. My father was also born here. So was his father, his father’s father, and so on. My family’s connection with the temple goes such a long way back that I can’t remember when it started. All I know is that it started when the King of Kerobokan decided that my family should be guarding the Petitenget temple as Pemangku.

Being a Pemangku is a legacy. We can’t choose to either accept or refuse it. During the days when a king was the ruler, people would obey. They were equal to god. Once my family was chosen for the task, it would have to go on forever. That’s how I learn my part as Pemangku. Just like my father learnt from his father.

I started my lessons on how to be Pemangku when I was 12 years of age. But long before that, I already knew that I was going to be one. I was taught by my father and the other elders. I learnt many prayers from books. They were called books of mantra, which were written by people of Hindu Parisadha. It’s the committee that organized Hindu religion in Bali.

There are many different kinds of Pemangku. The role that I’m doing now is temple Pemangku. I am mainly responsible for guarding the temple. My duty is to stand by in the temple and give service to those who come to pray or need any assistance.

To do what I do now is called Ngayah in Balinese. I’m only Ngayah for every 6 months in a year. It’s because there are many people in my family. Everybody must get their turn for Ngayah. When it’s not my turn, it’s my brother’s or my father’s. My family already has a system to decide whose turn it is next. It’s created by the elders in my family.

When it’s one’s turn to Ngayah, the others can do anything else with their time. However, they are still responsible and must help on some occasions. Especially during big ceremonies, when so many people come to the temple to pray.

When I’m not Ngayah, I like to surf and fish. I also work as a freelance tour guide. I get to spend more time with my family. I have three children: Made Gede Prabowo, Rai Gita Pratiwi and Tasya. I don’t remember how old Gede is. Gita is in first grade in high school and the smallest, Tasya is in sixth grade in elementary school. My wife, Purworini Subagjo, used to work in a hotel, but not anymore, as she often had to leave work every now and then when it’s my time for Ngayah.

When my turn comes to Ngayah, I dedicate 90 percent of myself for the task. I no longer have time for myself or my family. But we have been accustomed to that way of living. My family doesn’t mind at all.

When I am being Pemangku during Ngayah, I have to be at the temple from 8am to 9pm everyday. On days when ceremonies are perfomed, I have to be there at 6.30am. Sometimes my wife prepares Urap for breakfast. It’s a mix of boiled vegetables with seasonings. But sometimes we also buy food from the warung in front of the temple.

In the temple, my wife and me look after everything. We clean, we pray, and assist people who come to pray at the temple.

These days there are more things to be done by a Pemangku compared to times past.

I have observed that there are more people coming to the temple to pray than ever before. Today, people have transport and this makes it easier to travel to the temple. Work is also not as hard as before. When I was little, we had to work harder and make every effort to go to the temple.

In those days we only had bicycles, so we couldn’t visit big temples located far away from our home.

In my opinion, Balinese Hinduism welcomes any culture that comes to Bali. As a matter of fact, we expect them to come, because when we have investors coming, we create opportunities for ourselves to grow. It depends on us whether we want these foreign cultures to influence us. If we have faith in our religion, we don’t have to worry about the possible bad effects of other cultures.

Regarding the landmarks near Petitenget temples, I also have no problem with them. I know what they are doing and it doesn’t bother the neighborhood or me even though they are restaurants with live music. I can understand that. Certainly there will be complaints,

this is natural when you have free enterprise.

The Committee of Petitenget temple welcomes these businesses to some extent so long as respect is given to this temple.

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