The Jakarta Post
The Melasti ceremony ended by releasing the offerings into the water. (JP/Stefanus Ajie)
Lake Madirda, a small lake located in a valley on the slopes of Mount Lawu in Karanganyar, Central Java, has annually served as the venue for Melasti, a Hindu ritual to cleanse the soul and nature.
The purification ritual was performed ahead of Nyepi( the Hindu Day of Silence) a national holiday that falls on March 28 this year.
Participants burn incense as an offering in the Melasti ceremony in Lake Madirda.(JP/Stefanus Ajie)
On Sunday, hundreds of people from Karanganyar, Sragen and Surakarta gathered at the lake to participate in the ceremony.
Cool mountain air at an altitude of 1,500 meters, a view of the pine forest on the hills surrounding the Lake Madirda, provided an atmosphere of a very sacred ceremony, away from the crowds. Sounds of nature and chanting of mantras, the scent of flowers for offerings and the smokes of incense, presents a beautiful inner journey of the Melasti in the place.
Gamelan Baleganjur accompanied the procession of Melasti ceremony in Lake Madirda.(JP/Stefanus Ajie)
(Read also: Melasti purification ritual graces Yogyakarta beach)
The ceremony begins with a parade of offerings accompanied by gamelan Baleganjur and chanting of mantra by the participants.(JP/Stefanus Ajie)
The ceremony began with a parade of offerings accompanied by gamelan Baleganjur and chanting of mantra by the participants. Pandita and Pamangku (Hindu leaders) gave their blessing to the offerings that had been prepared in front of the venue. They later held a blessing of the sacred places, included the springs at the top of the hill next to the lake. The participants were also being blessed by the holy water taken from the springs.
Pandita brings the holy water taken from the springs near Lake Madirda.(JP/Stefanus Ajie)
At the end of worship, people performed wabija by attaching a grain of rice between their forehead and swallowed it as a unifying symbol of the wisdom of the gods in the heart and mind.
The Melasti ceremony then ended by releasing the offerings into the water. (kes)
Participants in the ceremony are blessed using the holy water taken from springs.(JP/Stefanus Ajie)