Ngaben or cremation ceremony

Ngaben is one of the most attractive ritual that belong to Bali in representing of Balinese Hinduism belief and cultural atmosphere

In Bali, you may find the most unique thing that probably you haven’t seen before in your life. Ngaben is one of the most attractive ritual that belong to Bali in representing of Balinese Hinduism belief and cultural atmosphere. Ngaben is not only famous in Bali, or just Indonesia, but actually worldwide. Ngaben is actually a unique cremation ritual in Bali. It is only in Bali that the cremation ceremony has a very special procession , which is uniquely, vibrantly, majestically, and artistically. No wonder that a Ngaben ceremony in Bali always attracts tourists to observe directly this one and only unique procession in the world.

For a brief description of Ngaben. We can tell you about the body of the deceased will be placed inside a coffin. This coffin is then placed inside either a sarcophagus which has been made in the form of a bull (Lembu) or in a wooden temple structure called a Bade. The Lembu or temple structure is then carried on a crisscross of bamboo poles to the cremation site. Here prayers are said and other rituals performed. The sarcophagus is then burnt. But no tears are shed: Ngaben is not a solemn occasion as the cremation of the body allows the spirit to either reincarnate or find its final resting place in Moksha (thus breaking the reincarnation and death cycle). This is to be celebrated and not mourned.

In Ngaben, several elements are very important such as bade is a kind of great tower with multi tier roofs decorated with colorful carved papers, woods, and bamboos which is used as a carrier of the body until it arrives in the graveyard. Meanwhile, lembu is a container of the body while it is incinerated. Lembu means ox, as its name implies, this container is in the form of an ox. Not only ox, some other forms could also be found such as singa (lion), padma, naga banda (dragon, used specially by the royal family), and so forth according to their social status At the day of ngaben, the preparation is started from early morning. In the middle of the day, usually all of the preparations are done and you could hear the sound of vigorous beleganjur orchestra which could take us away from sorrow. The body is carried out and put into the bade before it is paraded to the graveyard.

Ngaben is indeed an important ceremony for the Balinese Hindu. They believe that mortality is not the end of the life, but the beginning of a new better life. Thus, the death of the one they love must be accompanied with prayer, sincerity, and joy to set him/her free from the worldly ties. Balinese Religion is based on respect for and worship of God and ancestor. It is believed that after death, the body must be dissolved and returned to its original elements. Ngaben, the Balinese word for cremation is a purification rite which frees the spirit from its temporary earthly house and facilitates its journey to its next existence.

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Tag : Bali Holiday Balinese ceremony 

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