Ngaben – The Balinese cremation ceremony

Did you know ? the Balinese cremation ceremony ( ngaben ) has primarily been known in the West as either a major tourist attraction that dazzles visitors with uniquely, vibrantly, majestically, and artistically. No wonder that a ngaben ceremony in Bali always attracts tourists to observe directly this one and only unique procession in the world.

ngabenis the ritual performed in Bali to send the deceased to the next life. The body of the deceased will be placed as if sleeping, and the family will continue to treat the deceased as sleeping. No tears are shed, because the deceased is only temporarily not present and will reincarnate or find his final rest in Moksha (freeing from the reincarnation and death cycle).

The climax of Ngaben is the burning of the Wadah, using fire originating from a holy source. The deceased is sent to his afterlife, to be reincarnated in the future.

Every Balinese family has the responsibility to ensure that a proper ngaben takes place if a family member dies. If this does not happen this will have severe consequences for the deceased and his/her family.

The preparations for these people are always the best one can have, as the best priest is called upon, the holiest water is used and the most appropriate date is chosen for the cremation. Unlike the funeral, the ngaben is a joyful occasion as the soul of the deceased is now ready to continue its journey to heaven followed by reincarnation.

First, body will be bathed in front of pengijeng accompanied by family and pemangku (ritual leaders). Then the body will be brought to the Wadah (a building form that will be carried to the graveyard). Local people or banjar will help paraded to be brought to the graveyard. Previously, Lembu (symbolic embodiment of an black ox) paraded prior to the graveyard accompanied by baleganjur. After Lembu arrive at graveyard, Wadah will be brought to the graveyard. Then the bodies will be fed into The Lembu by means of the ceremony. After going through the ritual with appropriate of Pemangku at 12, the Lembu will be burned.

Combustion ash will be taken and put into a coconut. The next ceremony will be led by a Pedanda (Hinduism Pastor) accompanied by Balinese traditional music, that is Angklung. In this ritual will be accompanied by a ceremony praying together. After that, the combustion ash will be brought to shore accompanied by Angklung. On the beach, Pemangku will perform the ritual before disposal. Using Jukung (Balinese boats without machine), combustion ash discharged into the sea.

Article source: Bali Around