KINTAMANI ~ Last Saturday on the ridge of Kintamani, Pura Tuluk Biyu, one of the oldest temples in Bali held an historic ceremony â€“ Karya Agung Madewasraya â€“ to pray for prosperity and spiritual harmony for Bali and the world.
Thousands of Balinese from all over the island attended throughout the day, as well as many resident and visiting non-Balinese. Minister of Tourism Jero Wacik and several local and national media also attended. Pura Tuluk Biyu is also named Kahyangan Jagat, which translates as â€œhome of the Gods of the Universe.â€
The goal of the ceremony, as described in an invitation written by the templeâ€™s organizing committee, was to â€œpray, whole-heartedly, to Siwa for a return to peace and harmony â€¦ Healing the relationships between people and other people; healing the relationships between people and all living things in our environment – animals and plants – can only be accomplished with great feelings of love and forgiveness. As these feelings grow within us, God grows stronger and closer to us. Thus we are closer to being at one.â€
The responsibility to perform the ceremony was entrusted to Pura Tuluk Biyu over 1000 years ago, when Empu Galuh from the Majapahit Kingdom of central Java chose to live with the people of the Batur area and work to further their spiritual development. Traditionally a smaller version of this ceremony was performed every five years. Unable to do the ceremony in 2001 due to lack of funding, this yearâ€™s ceremony was a full-scale version not performed since 1011AD.
With the efforts of a small committee of expatriates, an additional Rp10 million (US$1,074) was contributed this year from Baliâ€™s expats. Priests from all over Bali officiated at the ceremony. In accordance with tradition, a Buddhist priest was also present, at a temple within Tuluk Biyu dedicated to Buddha. Nature played her part on the day. With clouds building all morning around the Kintamani ridge and dumping rain over southern Bali in the afternoon, the worshippers at Pura Tuluk Biyu stayed dry and even saw the clouds part and the sun shine through just as the group prayers were ending. Planetary movements, too, supported the chosen date and time of the ceremony.
Just 30 minutes before the 3pm starting time, the full moon moved into alignment with Saturn and Pluto, who astrologers equate with the Hindu God Shiva, forming a window of opportunity for the cosmic consciousness to hear the prayers of people gathered for a spiritual purpose. This information was provided on the day by one Bali expat who had come across this on internet astrology sights written by those unaware of the Madewasraya ceremony in Bali. Other, supporting ceremonies have been happening since September, including pilgrimages to the shores of Lake Batur and the peak of Mt. Abang. These were strictly on foot only, no motor transport allowed. Participants at the Mt. Abang ceremony reported that just at the moment Tirtha (holy water) was required in the liturgy, light rain fell for an instant, and then stopped. Saturdayâ€™s ceremony was the culmination of months of preparation by the 780 members of the temple.
Administrative staff created budget reports, coordinated contributions, planned transport and organized a brochure explaining the ceremony, written by Drs I Ketut Wiana M.Ag of the university Dosen Institut Hindu Dharma Negeri Denpasar. Large bamboo towers were constructed and decorated. Over 50 buildings and temples that make up the Tuluk Biyu compound were upgraded and decorated. Just providing food for all those who helped or attended accounted for 20 percent of the overall budget. Another part of the pageantry involved taking the templeâ€™s sacred relics â€“ 2 gold statues representing Siwa and Parwati, dated by archeologists at 900-950AD; Chinese porcelain statues, believed to be in Bali from before the Ming Dynasty; and 21 Prasasti (sacred scripture written in Javanese Kuna on stone, and dated around 1011AD) â€“ to Karangasem to be purified in waters believed to originate in Lake Batur.
Ceremonies for each of Baliâ€™s regencies now continue at Pura Tuluk Biyu until October 18, and all are welcome to attend. For more on the history of Pura Tuluk Biyu, log on to dewasraya.ppbali.com By Nanci Holiday For The Bali Times