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Observing Melasti at Jolotundo temple, Mojokerto

Aman Rochman
Aman Rochman

The Jakarta Post

Mojokerto | Mon, March 12, 2018 | 05:30 pm
Observing Melasti at Jolotundo temple, Mojokerto

Hundreds of Hindus flock to Jolotundo temple, Mojokerto for the Melasti ceremony. (JP/Aman Rochman)

Hundreds of Hindus from East Java's towns of Mojokerto, Gresik, Sidoarjo and Pasuruan flocked to Jolotundo temple in Mojokerto to observe Melasti on Sunday.

Melasti is a Hindu ritual held to cleanse the soul and nature. It is performed ahead of Nyepi, the Hindu Day of Silence, a national holiday that falls on March 17 this year.

A traditional dance welcomes participants at the Jolotundo temple, Mojokerto.A traditional dance welcomes participants at the Jolotundo temple, Mojokerto. (JP/Aman Rochman)

The ceremony started with participants carrying altars from 10 temples in Mojokerto, Gresik, Sidoarjo and Pasuruan. Upon entering the Jolotundo temple, the parade was welcomed by traditional dances of Bedoyo Mojopahit, remong and Rejang Dewa, accompanied by Balinese gamelan.

Jolotundo is renowned as a temple with an ancient water management system that is similar to a pool. Open to the public, people come here to take baths and meditate.

Read also: Six hotels in Bali to enjoy Nyepi

Committee head of the Melasti ceremony, I Wayan Sudana, said the purification ritual began by reciting prayers to God. Adherents pray for their well-being and God’s protection so they may become pure approaching Nyepi.

A traditional dance welcomes participants at the Jolotundo temple, Mojokerto.A traditional dance welcomes participants at the Jolotundo temple, Mojokerto. (JP/Aman Rochman)

The Melasti ceremony can be performed in the ocean, lakes or water resources. “Melasti is a purification of buana alit (self) and buana agung (the earth and its creatures). We chose Jolotundo pool as it is considered holy. It is also believed that King Airlangga used to meditate here,” he said.

Airlangga, son of King Udayana from Bali, was an early Indonesian ruler who succeeded in reuniting the empire of eastern Java. The Jolotundo temple was built to welcome the birth of Airlangga in 997.

Hundreds of Hindus flock to Jolotundo temple, Mojokerto for the Melasti ceremony. Hundreds of Hindus flock to Jolotundo temple, Mojokerto for the Melasti ceremony. (JP/Aman Rochman)

The Melasti ceremony on Sunday went smoothly, though the area was hit by heavy rain.  

Sudana, who is also an organizer with the Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia (Indonesia Hindu Society) at Mojokerto, said, “After the ceremony, people bring home water from the pool in jerrycans or mineral water bottles. They can use the water for offerings at their temples, as it is considered very holy. We hope this ritual can purify ourselves and nature as we approach Nyepi, along with upkeeping religious harmony in Indonesia.” (wen)

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