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Grand Purification Ceremony - Pemerayasita Durmanggala November 15, 2002 in Kuta, Bali.

Grieve and sincere condolence is still effecting all of Bali.
But the Balinese Hindu will never stop their efforts to show that Bali will recover. They all hope soon tourists will again come to visit Bali and thus support their lives.

Balinese Hindu believe that every desaster is an expression of universal disorder and imbalance and therefore requires spiritual purification and re-establishment of harmony.
This is the concept and philosophy of "Tri Hita Karana" or universal balance.
Purification rites need to be focused on a relevant location, in this case ground zero, and also at the seaside and at certain temples. Therefore the main ceremony was focused and started at ground zero, right in in front of the remains of Sari Club on Jl Legian Kuta.
A grand purification ceremony is called "Pemerayasita Durmanggala" in Sanskrit, the sacred language of Hindu philosophy.

The ritual was initiated on November 14, at 16.30 hours local time, when the holy water (tirta) taken from three temples of Peti Tenget temple, Uluwatu Temple and Dalem Peed Temple in Nusa Penida Island, were sprinkled to the earth and some buildings in Sari Club area.
Holy water is essential for ceremonies on Bali. It is assumed to be a conductor for spiritual energy and it is believed to purify the earth from invisible spiritual impurities and from imbalance caused by the suffering of hundreds of human souls, whose bodies were killed after the bombs exploded. Souls of victims who are considered confused, suffering and crying in pain.

Bali 2002 Purification Ceremony, at ground zero

But not only the suffering of human souls was in the center of complex rituals, but also the suffering and disharmony done to all other forms of spiritual life including plants, animals, spirits of buildings and all the spiritual aspects of that area.

The main and official ceremony was conducted on October 15, 2002 in front of the ruins of Sari Club on Jl Legian, Kuta, following a night of spiritual preparations for the actual ceremony

These preparations were done by Pedandas (High priests) and Mangku (ordained priests), Pumangku (lay priests), local villagers and people from all over Bali performing prayers, cermenonial preparations for next day, Merkomit (traditional Balinese nightly meditation), coming together and talking (Rapat).
All of this was done to help calming the spirits of victims, buildings, trees and all the spritual aspects of the area. Another objective of such nightly preparations is to open the gates to the spiritual world in order to ease the passage of the souls of victims onwards to the sea and thus to another reincarnation or to eternal peace (Sorga).

Bali 2002 Purification Ceremony, all joining

All trough that night, from sunset to sunrise, people came to join for a while. They came to mourn, they calm to cry, they came to help soothen the pain. some came alone, others came in small groups. They all came to help preparing the seaward passage of the deceased, they came to help opening the gates of passage.

All of Kuta saw rainfall just before dawn on November 15, 2002.
Only the area around ground zero, were people gathered all night long, was untouched by rain that night. Every one who was there can confirm that. But no Balinese wondered how this was possible...

The grand ceremony then started at 15:30 in the afternoon of November 15, 2002. Not only vitim family members, government representatives, important officials, journalists and local people joined.
People from all over the world and with different religious faiths also joined the ceremony.
They all joined to witness that ceremony and they all were mourning the victims of terror.
Also many foreigners attended the ceremony wearing traditional Balinese dresses.

When the priests had completed the ceremony, thousands of people prayed together and shared a minute of silence.
After that, most of the officials left the religious ceremony and joined for a ceremonial official dinner party.

Bali Purification Ceremony, at the sea

Then, accompanied by Balinese Gamelan music played by local villagers and colorful flags and relics carried along, the people marched to the beach were symbols of the deceased bodies were purified and released into the sea.

During most of the week following the ceremony, thousands of truck loads of earth and rubish from the bomb site was taken to the port of Padangbai, loaded to ships and dumped to the deepest vaults of the Lombok Straight, which is separating the island of Bali from the island of Lombok.

Though it was officially reported, that this dumping was done as part of the purification process and thus according to Balinese Hindu religion, village leaders and priests told BaliSOS that they only followed orders from Jakarta. According to them, the government ordered to dismantle not only all the rubbish, but also part of the soil around ground zero and dump it all to the sea.

Bali 2002 Purification Ceremony, at the Beach

   November 15, 2002

Grand Purification ceremony

I Wayan Juniartha and Damar Harsanto, The Jakarta Post, Kuta, Bali

Police have beefed up security in Kuta, Bali, as local residents held the Mendak Bhatara Tirta water-catching ritual on Thursday evening, on the eve of the grand cleansing ceremony of Pemarisudha Karipubhaya at the Oct. 12 bombing site on Friday.

Bali Police chief Insp. Gen. Budi Setyawan said that police had deployed nearly 5,000 police officers to safeguard Kuta and its surroundings.
"This is the biggest ever force to be deployed here in terms of either the number of personnel deployed or facilities used to safeguard the great event," Budi told reporters here.
Meanwhile, thousands of local people in Kuta watched as the ritual started on Thursday at the Bale Agung temple, which hosted the tirta or holy water gathered from 30 sacred places and temples in Bali, Java and Lombok.

When the prayer ended, the pemangku or temple priests took the holy water kept in separate bamboo containers from the temple shrines and gave them to local women, who later carried them on their heads to the bomb site, about 1.5 kilometers away.

A male baby celeng butuan pig was slaughtered in the temple's outer court to appease any malevolent spirits. Immediately after that several men fell into a trance state called kerauhan. Escorted by the traditional guards of pecalang, these men led the procession to escort the water to the blast site.

A small incident happened some 50 meters south of the blast's site when a naked male foreigner ran into the street and started screaming incoherently. He was later subdued by several local security guards.

"Initially we thought that he had fallen into the trance too. But, later on we learned that he might be a psychologically disturbed man," one security guard said.

Upon arrival at the blast site, several priests subdued the tranced men by sprinkling the holy water on them. Meanwhile, other priests placed the water bamboo containers on the tall shrines of Sanggar Tawang at the northeastern corner of the ceremony's site.

"The holy water will be kept on the Sanggar Tawang to symbolize the presence of all the lords and deities of the sacred places and temples, where the water came from," Kuta customary village head Made Wendra said.

The water would be sprinkled upon the blast's site and also on the people at the end of the Pemarisudha Karipubhaya ceremony as a sign of blessing and purification.

Preparations for the cleansing ceremony were noticeable on Thursday as several important guests arrived in Bali, including East Timor President Xanana Gusmao and Taufik Kiemas, husband of President Megawati Soekarnoputri and a number of ministers.

Megawati is scheduled to attend the ceremony.

Furthermore, some 51 relatives of the Australian bombing victims had also already arrived in Kuta.

The Pemarisudha Karipubhaya ceremony will be held simultaneously at two separate places, the blast site and at the Segara temple next to Kuta beach.

It will start at around 9 a.m. local time. All the streets in Kuta will be closed during the ceremony.

Anticipating the possible influx of Balinese people into the blast site, the police will direct some of them to Segara temple, located about two kilometers nearby.

Budi Setyawan said that some 800 police mobile brigade policemen would be assigned to comb the site prior to the ceremony.

Budi revealed that 1,000 police personnel would safeguard the vicinity of the main site of the ceremony, while there would be 2,800 police officers assigned to guard the access ways to the venue, parking lots, control the traffic and conduct security checks.


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