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Jakarta Post

The magic of the Ngerebong ritual

Tue, February 26, 2019   /   03:45 pm
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    Balinese women become unconscious during the sacred ritual of Ngerebong at the Petilan temple on Jan. 13, in Denpasar, Bali. This ritual is said to achieve harmony between humans, nature and God. JP/Agung Parameswara

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    A Balinese man unconsciously dances while wearing a sacred Rangda (golden-haired and fanged figures usually representing the goddess Durgha, known as Shiva's wife) during Ngerebong. JP/Agung Parameswara

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    A Balinese man shouts – in a state of unconscious – during Ngerobong. The event signifies the anniversary of the royal temple of the kingdom of Kesiman in East Denpasar, the Pura Dalem Petilan Pengerebongan Kesiman. JP/Agung Parameswara

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    Balinese men wear ancient costumes during Ngerebong. JP/Agung Parameswara

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    A Balinese leader touches fire while wearing a sacred Rangda. JP/Agung Parameswara

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    A Balinese man dances while wearing the Rangda during Ngerebong. Balinese Hindus evoke spirits to put them in a trance-like state during which many will push daggers into their chest and neck. JP/Agung Parameswara

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    A Balinese man holds up Rangda, a sacred fabric, during Ngerebong. JP/Agung Parameswara

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    Balinese women hold up a long checkered fabric during Ngerebong. JP/Agung Parameswara

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    A Balinese man wears an ancient costume during Ngerebong while holding a spear. JP/Agung Parameswara

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    Balinese people gather during Ngerebong at the Petilan temple on Jan. 13 in Denpasar, Bali. JP/Agung Parameswara

Agung Parameswara

The Ngerebong ritual took place on Sunday, Jan. 13, at the Petilantemple in Kesiman subdistrict, East Denpasar. During the ritual, locals were seen crying, shouting and torturing themselves with a kris to show off the eternal spiritual protection from the gods for the land and people.

Known as Ngerebong, this magical ritual takes place every six months and falls on the eighth day after Kuningan. Galungan and Kuningan are Balinese Hindu celebrations of dharma winning over adharma.

Ngerebong comes from the word ngerehan (calling on a supernatural power) and bengong (amazement).

The mythology says that during the dark days, the god Indra led gods and goddesses to save the island from the Mayadanawa (demon of illusion). After a long and bloody fight, the gods destroyed Mayadanawa and his troops. The victory is celebrated as Galungan by Balinese Hindus.
During the Ngerebong, holy statues from all temples in Kesiman and nearby subdistricts are taken to the temple.

Kesiman people believe that during Ngerobong, gods and goddesses gather at the temple to show off their magical powers for humans and spirits. The gods and goddesses want to convince humans that they will protect the latter from danger and bad deeds and get rid of evil spirits from the area. [yan]