Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ngaben : A cremation full of great philosophy (Part II)

Ngaben isn't always identified as a big ceremony, according to the search of several Lontar in Bali. Some types of Ngaben are even simplest for example Mitrayadnya, Pranawa, and Swasta. However, there are also some big Ngaben ceremony such as Sawa Prateka and Sawa Wedhana. Here the types of simple Ngaben, as follow :

Mendhem Sawa 
Mendhem sawa means corpse burying. It's already explained in the first page that Ngaben in Bali could be deffered for a while by the reasons mentioned above. But there's another philosophical reasons though it hasn't been found in Lontar yet. Perhaps, it's kind of pretexts associated with philosophical background of the existence of this life. The reason is where the ragha sarira (spirits) which comes from prthiwi element (earth), bow to the mother earth. Ethically, it's described in order to the spirits meet and  greet with the mother earth. But, principally every corpse must be cremated. For those who still need a time (waiting for a good day : dewasa ayu ), the corpse (sawa) must be burried first.

Ngaben Mitra Yajna 
Ngaben Mitra Yadnya comes from word pitra and yadnya. Pitra means ancestors, Yadnya means a holy sacrifice. This term is used to mention kind of ngaben taught in Lontar Yama Purwana Tattwa. Ngaben, based on Lontar Yama Purwana Tattwa is a command of Gods Yama. To differentiate with another simple Ngaben, so it's called as Mitra Yadnya. The implementation of the cremation is based on the provision of lontar Yama Purwana Tattwa, especially about the ceremony and it's implemented in 7 days without using Dewasa Ayu.

Pranawa Pranawa 
Pranawa Pranawa is a kind of ngaben which uses sacred letters as a symbol of the corpse, where the corpse which has been buried for 3 days before the ngaben ceremony will be held a ceremony called as Ngeplugin or Ngulapin.  

Swasta means lost or disappear, is a kind of Ngaben without corpse, the corpse are invisible, buried in a long time, die in a far place, and many more. The corpse will be symbolized with a crock as skin, 12 threads as muscle, water element as meat (body), 18 Balung cendana (prayer beads), pranawa as sound, thatch as mind, recafana as blood vessel, and Om Kara symbol. 3 days before cremation, Ngulapin ceremony will be held. For those who die in a far and unknown places, Pengulapan (Ngulapin) will be held in a crossroads. For those who already buried in an unknown place, Pengulapan (Ngulapin) will be held in Pura Dalem. 
Generally, series of Swasta could be consist of the following : 

  1. Ngulapin, Ngulapin has a meanings to call the soul. This ceremony held also when the people die outside of their home (such as : hospital and etc). The ceremony held in many different ways depend on the local tradition. Some will hold the ceremony in the cross road, t-junction, or in the local cemetery.
  2. Nyiramin/Ngemandusin, It is a ceremony to clean up the corpse, this ceremony usually held in front of the courtyard. On this process is also accompanied with symbols like jasmine in the nasal cavity, piece of glass on the eyes, azadirachta indica (neem leaves) in the eyebrow, and another equipments with aims to release back the functions of the corpse's body back to its owner (God). Also it aims if the souls experience reincarnation back, the souls will be blessed with the normal bodies.
  3. Ngajum Kajang, Kajang is a white paper written with sacred words by the priest (Pemangku in balinese) or the local leaders. Next the relatives of the corpse held a ceremony called Ngajum Kajang by pressing the Kajang three times as a symbol of steadiness of their heart and mind about the death of their beloved person. It's also a symbol to unite the relatives so the souls will be in His realm faster.
  4. Ngaskara, Ngaskara means purify of the souls. This process is held in order the souls united with God and become a guide of their relatives which still alive in the world. 
  5. Mameras, Memerasa, comes from word "Peras" means success. This ceremony held if the corpses has grandchild, that grandchild will lead the souls through prayers and better karma they did.
  6. Papegatan, Papagetan comes from word "Pegat" means disconnected. The meanings of this ceremony is to disconnect the wordly ties and love between the souls and the relatives. because it will hinders the souls journey to the God. By this ceremony, symbolically the relatives are sincere, releases the farewell of the souls into a better place (His Realm).  The ceremony tool is offerings, which is arranged on a stone and above the offerings filled with 2 tree branches of Erythrina variegata formed like a gate and white yarns stretched to that 2 tree branches. Later, the yarns will be cutted off by the relatives before  they go out. 
  7. Pakiriman Ngutang, After Papagetan held, next will be continued with Pakiriman Ngutang where the corpse will be ushered into a local cemetery. The corpse will be placed on the Panchaka (like a high tower). From the funeral house, the local people will bring all tools and offerings of Ngaben together with the corpse accompanied by Baleganjur (balinese typical music). On its way, the Panchaka will be rotated  three times counterclockwise which means as a symbol to return the elemens of Panca Maha Butha to their own places. This rotation also means : rotate three times in front of the funeral house as a farewell symbol with the family members. Rotate three times in the crossroad and T-junction become a farewell symbol with the villagers and rotate three times in front of the cemetery means a farewell symbol with this world.
  8. Ngeseng, Ngeseng, a ceremony to cremate the corpse. The corpse will be laid in an available place, placed with offerings with philosophical meanings, then sprinkled with holy water (Tirta Pangentas) accompanied with holy spell from the priest (Pemangku / Mpu / Rsi). After then, the corpse will be burned completely,the bones as the rest of cremation ceremony will be crushed and assembled back in a coconut which its water already thrown out.
  9. Nganyud, Ngayud means ritual to sweep out all dirts inside of the soul of the dead one. The ritual usually symbolized by spread the corpse's ash into the sea or river.
  10. Makelud, Makelud usually held 12 days after the cremation ceremony. The meanings of this ceremony is to clean and purify the funeral family's environment from the sorrow of their beloved one who leave the world. It also has philosophical value where 12 days taken from Mahabharata when Pandawa sentenced isolate themself in a forest for 12 years. 

More information about Ngaben, please visit : Ngaben
Thank you for your visit :D

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