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For a clean body and soul

Agung Prameswara
Agung Prameswara

The Jakarta Post

Gianyar, Bali | Wed, February 1, 2017 | 04:32 pm
  • Balinese Hindus usually go to the sea, a river, a lake or a waterfall for the cleansing ritual, preferably before sunrise.

    Balinese Hindus usually go to the sea, a river, a lake or a waterfall for the cleansing ritual, preferably before sunrise. OF JP/Agung Prameswara

    Balinese Hindus usually go to the sea, a river, a lake or a waterfall for the cleansing ritual, preferably before sunrise.

  • Holy water: A Balinese woman cleanses her body during the Banyu Pinaruh ritual at the Sebatu waterfall.

    Holy water: A Balinese woman cleanses her body during the Banyu Pinaruh ritual at the Sebatu waterfall. OF JP/Agung Prameswara

    Holy water: A Balinese woman cleanses her body during the Banyu Pinaruh ritual at the Sebatu waterfall.

  • Spiritual shower: Balinese Hindu queue to perform melukat during the Banyu Pinaruh ritual at the holy Sebatu waterfall.

    Spiritual shower: Balinese Hindu queue to perform melukat during the Banyu Pinaruh ritual at the holy Sebatu waterfall. OF JP/Agung Prameswara

    Spiritual shower: Balinese Hindu queue to perform melukat during the Banyu Pinaruh ritual at the holy Sebatu waterfall.

  • Waiting game: Hundreds of Balinese Hindu people queue in a pool at the holy Tirta Empul spring on Jan. 22 in Gianyar, Bali.

    Waiting game: Hundreds of Balinese Hindu people queue in a pool at the holy Tirta Empul spring on Jan. 22 in Gianyar, Bali. OF JP/Agung Prameswara

    Waiting game: Hundreds of Balinese Hindu people queue in a pool at the holy Tirta Empul spring on Jan. 22 in Gianyar, Bali.

  • Body rinse: A Balinese woman cleans her body at the Gunung Kawi holy spring.

    Body rinse: A Balinese woman cleans her body at the Gunung Kawi holy spring. OF JP/Agung Prameswara

    Body rinse: A Balinese woman cleans her body at the Gunung Kawi holy spring.

  • Blessed thy child: A young girl is blessed by her parents at the Tirta Empul spring.

    Blessed thy child: A young girl is blessed by her parents at the Tirta Empul spring. OF JP/Agung Prameswara

    Blessed thy child: A young girl is blessed by her parents at the Tirta Empul spring.

  • Banyu Pinaruh is always conducted on the day after Saraswati Day.

    Banyu Pinaruh is always conducted on the day after Saraswati Day. OF JP/Agung Prameswara

    Banyu Pinaruh is always conducted on the day after Saraswati Day.

OF

It was a chilly Sunday morning when hundreds of people braved the cold water in the holy-spring bathing pool at Tirta Empul Temple in Tampak Siring, Gianyar, Bali. They were there for one purpose: to observe a purification tradition called Banyu Pinaruh.

The people shivered as they dipped their heads under the pool’s 26 water fountains, but they were delighted to feel the water splash onto their bodies. This holy water ritual, or melukat, symbolically cleanses the body and soul.

North of Ubud, about a 90-minute drive from Denpasar, Tirta Empul is one of the favorite places for Balinese Hindus to perform melukat. At another location, the sacred Sebatu waterfall, dozens of people were queuing for melukat as well.

Banyu Pinaruh is conducted for many reasons. Balinese Hindus usually go to the sea, a river, a lake or a waterfall for the cleansing ritual, preferably before sunrise.

Banyu Pinaruh is always conducted on the day after Saraswati Day, when Balinese Hindus pray and express their gratitude to the Goddess of Wisdom and Knowledge.

Consisting of the Balinese words banyu (water) and pinaruh (knowledge) or pengeruwuh (wisdom), the tradition is seen as a way of eliminating negative influences and forces that may impinge on a human’s physical and mental state.

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