Ngaben Ceremony – Sinaumed’s have you ever heard of the term cremation? This term refers to burning someone who has died to ashes. The ashes of people who have died are usually thrown into the sea. In addition, there is also the possibility that the ashes were placed in a small urn and kept by those closest to them.
This cremation process can be said to be quite common in various countries, be it in Asia, Europe, Africa, to America. There are various reasons behind someone being cremated, ranging from religious reasons, reasons for ease of process, to even aesthetic reasons.
Even so, cremation is not something that is commonly found in Indonesian society. The majority of people in Indonesia prefer to bury their dead in the ground compared to burning the corpse to ashes.
Even so, there is one location that is famous for cremation, to the extent that they hold a separate ceremony to carry out the process. This location is the island of Bali, and the ceremony they perform is called the Ngaben Ceremony.
Get to know the Ngaben Ceremony
The Ngaben ceremony may already be a familiar term for Sinaumed’s. Many people who do not come from Bali Island but know about the existence of the Ngaben Ceremony because it is quite unique and not commonly found in various regions in Indonesia. This topic is also included in Social Sciences (IPS) subject matter at school.
Even so, many people still think that the Ngaben Ceremony is a process of cremating the dead which is carried out on a large scale. However, the reality is far from such thoughts. The Ngaben ceremony is more than just burning a corpse.
Basically, the Ngaben Ceremony is a ritual that is believed by the people of the Island of the Gods to return the spirits of people who have died back to their natural state more quickly than ordinary burial through the ground.
Based on etymology, the word ” Ngaben ” itself is said to have come from the word ” Ngabu ” which can be interpreted as “turning to ashes”. This is of course in accordance with the basic principles of the Ngaben Ceremony, where a person’s corpse will be burned until nothing remains from his body and will turn to ashes.
The people of the island of Bali, where the majority are Hindus, believe that there are 5 components to make up the human body. These 5 components are also known as the “Panca Maha Bhuta” or in modern terms they are better known as the “classical elements”.
The five components of Panca Maha Bhuta are mother or solid, apah or liquid, tea or hot matter, wind or wind, and akasa or empty space. If these five components become one, they will form the human body which will later be filled by a spirit or referred to as ” Atma ” in Hindu belief.
When someone dies, the Atma that one has will still be stored in one’s body. This Ngaben ceremony is held by the community with the aim of freeing the Atma who cannot leave their bodies, so they can return to the Almighty.
After that, Atma, who has returned to the Almighty, is believed by Hindus to be reincarnated someday. Not a few family members or relatives of people who have died hope that they can meet this figure again in the next life.
Hinduism really teaches many things related to life and spiritualism for its adherents. There is nothing wrong if people with different religious backgrounds want to learn about the beliefs of Hinduism, because this religion does teach a lot of good things. The book “ From Javanese Shivaism to Balinese Hinduism ” can be reading material for Sinaumed’s who are interested in this topic.
Types of Ngaben Ceremonies
And it should also be noted that the Ngaben Ceremony itself has several different types. This difference is based on several things, starting from the age of the person who died or the situation of the person who has died. These differences will later affect the procedures for the Ngaben Ceremony.
At least, there are 5 types of Ngaben Ceremonies that Sinaumed’s can learn. In this short session, we will discuss what are the 5 Ngaben ceremonies that are usually performed by the people of the Island of the Gods, and when they will carry out this type of ceremony.
Ngaben Sawa Wedana
The first term Ngaben Ceremony may be the most common term compared to other terms. This is because Ngaben Sawa Wedana is a type of Ngaben Ceremony where someone who will be cremated will still have a physical body. Until the Ngaben Ceremony begins, the body will be endeavored so that it does not decompose.
Ngaben Asti Wedana
Unlike the previous Ngaben Sawa Wedana, Ngaben Asti Wedana is a type of Ngaben Ceremony which is carried out after the body is buried. Usually, the bodies that will be cremated are only the bones that remain after being excavated from the grave where he is.
Private means the Ngaben Ceremony which is carried out without any bodies to be cremated. This is not uncommon, bearing in mind that there have been a number of incidents where bodies could disappear or not be found, such as a plane crash or a terrorist incident. This corpse will later be replaced in the form of a painting or photo of the corpse with sandalwood replica of the corpse.
Ngelungah is the first type of Ngaben ceremony based on a person’s age category. In Ngelungah, the Ngaben Ceremony is held for children who have not lost their teeth or changed their baby teeth. With this, it can be concluded that the bodies of children to be cremated are usually around the age of 5-6 years.
The last type of Ngaben Ceremony that we will discuss is Warak Kruron. If Ngelungah above will cremate children aged around 5-6 years, Warak Kruron will cremate children aged 3-12 months, or fall into the baby category.
Ngaben Ceremony Procedures
Sinaumed’s needs to know that the Ngaben Ceremony takes a lot of preparation and takes quite a long time. People who want to perform the Ngaben Ceremony for their closest people must prepare various things for this ritual.
In addition, the cost of the Ngaben ceremony cannot be said to be cheap, so only certain groups of people can carry out this ritual. However, of course there are many Hindus in Bali who want to try to carry out the Ngaben Ceremony regardless of the cost.
So that Sinaumed’s can find out the reasons behind the length of the Ngaben Ceremony, we will study together the procedures for the Ngaben Ceremony. At least, there are 10 steps or procedures that Sinaumed’s needs to know about the Ngaben Ceremony.
The 10 series of the Ngaben Ceremony are Ngulapin, Nyiramin or Ngemandusin, Ngajum Kajang, Ngaskara, Mameras, Papegatan, Pakiriman Ngutang, Ngeseng, Nganyud, and finally Mangelud or Mangoras. A more detailed explanation will be presented below as follows.
Ngulapin is the first step in the procedure for the Ngaben Ceremony, in which someone summons the Atma or the spirit of the corpse that has died. Ngulapin can be done in various locations according to needs, and has different procedures according to family traditions and beliefs.
Watering or Manduring
Next, the body will be washed accompanied by various symbols such as jasmine flowers in the nostrils, broken glass above the eyebrows and so on. This process is called nyiramin or ngemandusin and aims to reincarnate from a corpse that is born in good physical condition without any defects.
In this procedure, there will be a white paper, or also known as “kajang”, which will be written in Hindu script. The family and relatives of the person who died will later press this paper or kajang 3 times, indicating that they are ready to let the body go.
Ngaskara means “purification of the spirit”. That is, the spirit of the person who has died will be purified according to the beliefs of each organizer of the Ngaben Ceremony. Ngaskara is done so that later the spirit or Atma can return to the Almighty and one day be reunited with his family and relatives.
The mameras procedure will only be carried out if the deceased person already has grandchildren. Mameras itself comes from the word “peras” which in belief there can be interpreted as “success”, “successful”, or “finished”. The grandson of the deceased is expected to lead this person to the right path.
Papegatan has the root word pegat, which means “to break up”. In the papegatan procedure, it is a sign that family and relatives have accepted the departure of the deceased. Papegatan is usually accompanied by offerings as a catalyst, and aims so that family and relatives do not prevent the spirit from returning to the Almighty because of their lack of sincerity in releasing the body.
After Papegatan, the next process is named Pakiman Ngutang, namely sending the body to the grave. This procedure will be carried out quite lively, where the corpse will be carried in a coffin and accompanied by Balinese gamelan music. The coffin will also be rotated 3 times in a number of locations as a farewell symbol.
After all of the above procedures have been carried out, it is time for family members and relatives to do ngeseng, which is to burn the bodies of those who have died. Ngeseng himself is led by a religious leader or priest, and later the ashes and bones left over from this person are collected, crushed, and put into coconuts.
Nganyud is the term used in which family members and relatives of the deceased will wash the ashes of the deceased into the sea or river. Nganyud is done with the aim that the dirt or impurity of the corpse can be “washed away” or lost from this world, and go to another realm.
Mangelud or Mangoras
Usually, 12 days after a person’s death, a procedure called mangelud or mangoras will be carried out, in which the family will purify and clean their home environment which may still be filled with sadness and grief after the death of a family member.
Other Bali Island Traditional Ceremonies
It cannot be denied that the Ngaben Ceremony is the most famous traditional ceremony on the Island of the Gods. As previously discussed, the uniqueness of the Ngaben Ceremony attracts the attention of many people so they want to learn more about this traditional ceremony.
Even so, the island of Bali is not an island that is limited to only having one traditional ceremony. Apart from the Ngaben Ceremony, there are many other types of traditional ceremonies that the people of Bali do when they encounter a special event.
As a closing session, we will discuss several other traditional ceremonies that Sinaumed’s can find on the island of Bali. The meaning of this traditional ceremony will be explained and when this traditional ceremony will be carried out. Check out the following discussion.
Even though it is named as a feast instead of a ceremony, Galungan Day can be categorized as one of the traditional ceremonies which is usually carried out every 210 days or around 6-7 months, to celebrate the victory of “Dharma” or “truth” against ” Adharma ” or “evil.” ”.
There are several procedures that are carried out by the people of the island of Bali when they are celebrating Galungan Day, starting from spreading offerings, cleaning themselves, to doing silence or doing nothing. The climax is when the people of Bali Island return to their hometowns to pray there.
The meaning of Galungan Day is to unite spiritual strength so that one can obtain a clear mind and conviction. With a spiritual union and a clear mind is a form of dharma within.
Apart from Galungan Day above, the people of the Island of the Gods also celebrate another holiday called Hari Raya Saraswati, where they celebrate the day of the descent of knowledge by Dewi Saraswati, who is the Goddess of Science and Arts.
Saraswati Day is also celebrated every 6-7 months like Galungan Day. There are several traditional rituals and ceremonies that are carried out as a symbol of gratitude for the transmission of science and art into human life. There are also procedures that must be followed by local people so as not to get sanctions or karma.
The meaning of Hari Raya Saraswati is to give thanks to God Almighty by focusing on the aspects of Dewi Saraswati for the gift of knowledge that has been given to us all. That way, they will be free from ignorance and so that they will be given guidance towards eternal peace and also perfect enlightenment.
Sinaumed’s must have known about Nyepi Day. However, before this Nyepi Day takes place, there is a ceremony that aims to welcome this annual holiday. And the name of this ceremony is the Melasti Ceremony.
The Melasti ceremony is usually performed on the beach, and aims to purify oneself before Nyepi Day arrives. Hindus on the island of Bali usually pray, clean the temples around there, and purify the village or place where they live using water, which is a symbol of cleansing and purity.
After reading this far, Sinaumed’s might have been able to conclude that Bali Island is an island that is rich in history, customs and culture. Apart from the traditional ceremonies above, there are many other traditional ceremonies and other forms of culture on the Island of the Gods.
It’s only natural if you find lots of tourists, both foreign tourists and local tourists visiting the island of Bali. Apart from having a vacation and enjoying the natural surroundings, they also want to learn about the customs and culture of this island. Sinaumed’s can also learn about this topic without having to visit Bali in person by reading the book “Invulnerability: Dialogical Construction of Balinese Identity”.