I Nyoman Sirna is both a pemangku (priest) and balian (traditional healer). As a priest, he helps his community carry out Hindu ceremonies. As a Balian, he cures people medically and magically.

Sirna lives in Banjar Aseman Kangin with his wife Ni Made Parni and their children I Gede Eka Supramiartha, 20, and I Kadek Supradinatha, 16. He shared his day with The Bali Times

A typical day for me begins at 5:30am, when I get up to drink a glass of water and then go outside to tend to my ricefield. But typical days for me are rare. As a priest and a balian, I never know when I will be called to prepare and carry out a religious ceremony or when I will be asked to cure a sick person.

On a typical day, I return home from the ricefield around 11am to have lunch with my family and afterwards see my second son off to one of the schools of tourism in Tegal Jaya. Then I ask my first son to help me to take care of the cows, chickens, ducks and geese in the field by my house.

Tending to rice fields and catering to farm animals are more my sons’ work these days than mine. My life’s work is first to serve the Balinese community in carrying out religious ceremonies and curing illnesses with magic and medicine.

I became a pemangku in 1994 because I received the One of God. Then God led me to cure people who are sick and in need of magical medicine.

Before I became a balian, I myself was sick and blind, for a year. After taking part in a ceremony to find out what was wrong with me, I knew that I was being called to serve as a balian.

I started to treat everyone, not just the Balinese, who were in need of medicine and magical solutions. I believe that every time I save a person, the good I do gives me even more confidence in my calling.

Not only do I use magic to cure others, but I also prescribe traditional medicines for simple sicknesses. For dysentery, I mix pumpkin and onions for medicine. For eye treatments, I recommend dapdap leaves and mentawa leaves. For fevers, I offer papaya and cocor bebek leaves.

Typically, I will pray at 7pm and continue with yoga and meditation to receive calmness of the soul and grace from Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Waca. Then I study the science of medicine so that I can learn more about different kinds of sicknesses.

Again, however, my schedules are never really set. Society beckons me all the time to prepare for different religious ceremonies or to practice magical medicine, and as a pemangku and a balian, it’s my duty to answer.

I am lucky to have my wife, who has always stood by me. She tells me when someone needs my services, whether for religious or for medical purposes. Often my wife helps me prepare offerings for religious ceremonies. Together we make all different kind of offerings. For cases of illness, my wife will also help me prepare the materials for whatever medicine I need to make.

Whatever the community needs, I am ready 24 hours to help, whether it’s religious or magical. Although my schedules are not always constant, there is one thing I always do: before I go to sleep, I always make sure to look at my children. I love both my sons so much.

Then I go to bed. Tomorrow I start a new day. I never know what’s going to happen next, but I’m always prepared and eager to help.

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