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Home » Ubud » Bali’s Most Magnificent Cremation Ceremonies

Bali’s Most Magnificent Cremation Ceremonies

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  1. Bebek Bengil

    Dining experience in Ubud, was at Bebek Bengil, or more commonly known as Dirty Duck Diner in Ubud town.
  2. Ubud Crenation Ceremony

    Royal Cremation Ceremony (Pelebon) - Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
  3. Ubud Crenation Ceremony

    Royal Cremation Ceremony (Pelebon) - Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
  4. Ubud Ritual 6

  5. Preparation Before Pelebon 2010

    The Royal Cremation Tower to the Afterlife Completed: Peliatan is Full of Joy.
  6. Preparation Before Pelebon 2010

    Two Days before the Royal Cremation, The Court of Peliatan takes an energizing rest.
  7. Preparation Before Pelebon 2010

    After weeks of hectic preparations the royal court is slowing down and resting to prepare themselves for the upcoming busy days
  8. Preparation Before Pelebon 2010

    Puri of Peliatan, Ubud.
  9. Ubud Cremation Ceremony

    The lembu-royal cow sarcophagus-under the 300-year-old Banyan tree stood sheltered by a blue canvas.
  10. Preparation Before Pelebon 2010

    Outside the puri, the imposing bade – funeral platform - had attracted more and more spectators standing on both sides of the busy street.
  11. Preparation Before Pelebon 2010

    The day before, on Saturday, 30 October, a procession of women from all around Peliatan, carrying stacked offerings of fruits on their heads -- called Bantens -- walked gracefully through the Balinese terra cotta gates.
  12. Preparation Before Pelebon 2010 - the Statue

  13. Ubud

  14. Ubud

  15. Ubud

  16. Ubud

  17. Ubud

  18. Ubud

 

Overview

Bali’s cremation ceremonies must be some of the most magnificent in the world.

 For, to the Balinese, it is only through the cremation of the body that the soul can be released from this temporary vessel to reach the afterlife. And, in order to do so, the correct rites and rituals must be followed, especially when it concerns those of royal lineage.  For, at death, the body must be consumed by fire for the soul to return to its five constituent elements known as the panca maha bhita (earth, wind, fire, water and ether)  in order to speed it  to the afterlife.

 It is only through following the proper rites and rituals, therefore, that the soul can be finally freed from the body to be reborn or ultimately reach moksa, the ethereal existence in the higher realms of the upperworld.

Cremations in Bali are lavish and therefore costly. The higher the rank, the more elaborate the preparations and decorations required. For this reason, the deceased will have been buried for some time before the family or the community can gather sufficient funds.  It is common custom, therefore, for simple people to wait for the cremation of a person of royal standing or religious leader and join in the rituals (called ngiring) for the cremation of their own relatives, which is allowed. 

A few days before the day of the cremation the wandering soul of the buried deceased is recalled to rejoin the body, usually represented by an effigy , brought to the house  to be repeatedly bathed, groomed and attended to with refreshments served by relatives.

On the eve of the cremation, priests present offerings to the supernatural forces that are asked to open the path for the soul , while relatives pray for the release of the soul to the upperworld. 

The following day, the body is taken to the open ground where the cremation takes place, which is usually after the sun has passed its zenith.  When all is consumed by fire, relatives gather the ashes and bones of the deceased , and a further effigy of the dead person is constructed to be taken in procession to the sea or river, where it is cast into the water,  into the protection of the ocean.

Following this, in the coming months or years after the cremation, when sufficient funds have been gathered, more ceremonies take place to further ensure the complete separation of the sould of its worldly attachments, in order to allow the soul to reach the upperworld.  In the final ceremony, called the nyagara-gunung ceremony, the family expresses thanks to the gods of the oceans and the mountain temples, and the deified soul is enshrined in the temple, awaiting its next reincarnation or release from the cycle of rebirth.  

To see more pictures on the resplendent cremation of the 9th Raja of Puri Agung Peliatan Bali click http://www.indonesia.travel/en/photoessay/details/post/3

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