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On the full moon day, let us honor the completeness of the moon and all life!

Purnama Sasih Sadha

I spent a lot of my life on the island of Bali, and when I was not physically there, I was still mentally engaged in their culture. Tonight is full moon and I remember that the full and new moon days have special importance for the Balinese. In Bali, it's all about balance, harmony and peace. The Balinese pray not only to the gods but also to the demons. So they do not exclude darkness from their lives. Light and shadow form a harmonious whole. This is also reflected in their art, in their dances and simple in their lives resisting. It is an acceptance of light and dark, joy and sorrow, benevolence and malice. Sometimes everything is brightly lit, sometimes everything is dark. And tonight the great moon shines in the sky. In Bali, the full moon is called "Purnama". But "Purnama" also means complete, infinite and perfect. Each of us likes to look up to the full moon, is not that so? Unlike the sun, the moonlight is gentle and harmonious. It is a transformed light. In the light of the moon lies magic and somehow I feel the light of the moon as a kind of blessing. The same is true of the Balinese. The moon god Soma gives the living beings on earth light in the darkness. He reminds us that it is not dark in us but bright. Our very own light of the soul.

Every full moon day is honored by the Balinese people, by making offerings of fruits, cakes and flowers, dressing appropriately, visiting their local temple, reciting mantras and scriptures, as well as prayers, rituals and meditations. The connection of the Balinese with the spiritual world, the gods, demons and ancestors is very, very strong, so that they create their offerings with the utmost attention to detail and a loving spirit of gratitude not only on full moon days, but every day! I was very inspired by them and followed this tradition for a long time. Through the connection to my beloved Guruji Osho I let go of all traditions, but after I became "empty" and heard my inner voice, I know that the Balinese and Advaita worlds are mine. Since then, I'm tinkering again. Now, I do not call this an offering, but a "gratitude gift". Personally,I think it's great when we honor the completeness of the moon and all life on the full moon day.  And maybe I could inspire you with that!

There is a Vedic mantra that nicely expresses this completeness:

 

Oṁ pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaṁ pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate.
Pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate.
Oṁ. Śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ.

 

“Om Purnam is one of the most significant statements ever made anywhere on the earth at any time. It contains the whole secret of the mystic approach towards life. This small sutra contains the essence of the Upanishadic vision. Neither before nor afterwards has the vision been transcended; it still remains the Everest of human consciousness. And there seems to be no possibility of going beyond it. The Upanishadic vision is that the universe is a totality, indivisible; it is an organic whole. The parts are not separate, we are all existing in a togetherness: the trees, the mountains, the people, the birds, the stars, howsoever far away they may appear – don’t be deceived by the appearance – they are all interlinked, all bridged. Even the smallest blade of grass is connected to the farthest star, and it is as significant as the greatest sun. Nothing is insignificant, nothing is smaller than anything else. The part represents the whole just as the seed contains the whole.” ~ OSHO

"Purnama", I have a special relation to it. Because in Bali I lived the last 22 years in the “Jalan Pantai Purnama”, in the street of the “full moon beach”. A beautiful memory. I was really complete there!

 

Mahalaya Amavasya is known as the new moon day.

 

 

A few years ago I asked a well-read friend why this day is called "New Moon Day", even though the sky is black. There is no moon at all. And do you know what he had answered me? "Let's call the day just moonless-silence or Lunar Stillness!"
And since then the day for me means "moonless-silence"! Mahalaya Amavasya, the Day of Lunar Stillness, is the day on which I express my gratitude to all previous generations of people who have contributed to my life. That's how I learned and adopted it from the Hindus, because I feel that it's very beautiful. So many generations have lived before me and I owe all of them how I live today. Let's not always look at the bad. Everyone makes mistakes, even our generation. But we can learn from the mistakes. Let's start very small with ourselves and in our environment. I am grateful for everything that others have created for me. There are languages ​​with which I can communicate, houses offer me protection. How many people have tested my food, whether you can eat it at all? These are just a few examples. Nothing is self-evident in my opinion. Everything is a gift and for that I am grateful. Not just today, actually every day. There are only a few exceptions. But of course they exist. I'm not enlightened!!! The Hindus have special rites that they practice today and in the days before. These include donating food to poor people, fasting, spiritual practices, and reciting mantras. It was originally also a day off. I am not for imitation. For me, it's important that something happens out of my heart and that's how I express my gratitude. Just be thankful, in your own way.

For me, the "moonless silence" is a good day to make new spiritual resolutions. It's a day to empty myself, so I have room for the Divine. It's a day to start something new.

The day of the "moonless-silence" is always on other days of the week.  On Saturday, it's called "Mahalaya Amavasya Shani". Shani is Saturn and this is a planet that is also associated with darkness in astrology. Many people fear and anxiety. After two years of own darkness, I know that just this darkness has allowed me to grow spiritually. I am very thankful and appreciate this period of life. Shani is a guru who has put my way of life to the test. Now I am ready for the light.


Dipavali /Divali, festival of light and peace

ॐ  सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः  सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः    सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु

मा कश्चिद्दुःखभाग्भवेत्   ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः

Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah

Sarve Santu Niraamayaah
Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu
Maa Kashcid-Duhkha-Bhaag-Bhavet
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih

(Om. May all living things be happy. May all be free of disease. May everyone care about the welfare of others. May no one worry. Om. peace, peace, peace)

 

 


Dipavali, also called Divali, means "fairy lights" and is one of the most important festivals in India. Dipavali gets its name from the fact that fairy lights are placed everywhere during the festival. In earlier times, oil lamps were placed side by side so that they formed a string of lights. Today electric lights are often used in a variety of colors. The cities of India are turning into seas of lights. Although the origin is in Hinduism, today it is a cross-religious festival. Because no matter which God you believe or if you are looking for your own truth: it is the light that leads us out of the darkness. There are many legends about the origins of the festival. But I do not want to write about that here. For me, Dipavali is a good occasion for deeper meditation on the divine light and for a prayer of light for all humanity. So Dipavali is a symbol of light. And light connects people and awakens compassion and charity in their hearts. I remember an evening in Malaysia. Hundreds of people from so many nations and cultures of the world stood in front of the huge Petrona Towers and waited together for the fascinating night lighting. We laughed, were happy and talked. We were just people without reservations. And we all waited for the light. It was an outward light, but basically, it represents the yearning to see our original light again. Dipavali can be a start to forget enmities, disputes, conflicts, quarrels and reservations. Let us lovingly hug and approach each other. Let us turn away from the destructive path of hatred.

Conflicts are not just external. How many dark corners are hidden inside ... Dipavali is a good occasion to go within and “sweep there”. In the depth of the heart shines the most beautiful and intense light ever. And yet we do not see it because of obstacles and dust. Sit down silently. Close your eyes, because there are so many temptations to be distracted outside. Find out the way to your soul. Experience a true Dipavali: the light in your heart!

HOLI,

 the Indian "festival of spring", the "festival of colours" or the "festival of love".

Osho says, “When Holi comes, and we sing and dance, breaking all bounds and throwing off our normal codes of conduct. On that day, we throw all our morality, rules and etiquette to the winds; for one day our river flows, breaking all disciplines. But do you think that a river that flows for one day of the year is going to reach the ocean? And even this one day is only an apology for the real flowing; it is just a mockery of our real selves!” And he continues, “Look at nature: there is Existence enjoying Holi every day, and celebrating Diwali daily. In nature the colors flow afresh every day, new flowers open each morning. Even before the old leaves fall, the new buds are bursting out and the new shoots are springing up. The festival does not stop even for a moment – it is non-stop, every moment is Holi or Diwali. Such will be the life of a religious person. He will be festive each moment – he is grateful that he is. His every breath is an expression of gratitude and benediction.”

Holi is one of the oldest festivals in India. On this day, all barriers by caste, gender, age and social status seem to be removed. It is celebrated boisterously and you sprinkle and throw each other with colored water and colored powder, the gulal. The color powder originally came from certain flowers, roots and herbs that have a healing effect. Today synthetic colors are often used. Of course, they are no longer healing, but harmful. Nevertheless, the colors are still consecrated on the altar in the sacred sense in the evening before Holi.

Like most Indian festivals, Holi has a religious background. The Holi Festival has its origins in the Hindu sagas of Prahlad and Holika. Prahlad was born the son of the demon Hiranyakashyap, but developed into a staunch believer in the god Narayana. This was a thorn in his father's side and so he sent his sister Holika to kill Prahlad. Holika has a sari that protects her from fire. So she set herself on fire after her nephew Prahlad took a seat on her lap. Her plan failed because, according to legend, she was unaware that the sari could only protect her if she came into contact with fire alone. But not with someone. To complete the victory of good over evil, Lord Shiva saved Prahlad from the flames as a reward for his faith.

Like all festivals, Holi is very complex in its meaning. In the spiritual realm, as can be seen in the associated mythology, it conveys the message of the triumph of good over evil. In nature, on the other hand, it marks the victory of spring over winter, because the festival begins with the blossoming of nature. The reconciliation aspect is also an important point for people, because it means that old disputes should also be buried these days.

Therefore, the ceremony begins the evening before the color festival. In many places, large fires are lit, pyre burned to celebrate the defeat of evil. The next day is all about colors, celebrations and friends. People roam the city and visit friends and relatives. The most important thing: everyone really throws everyone with colorful paint or water balloons filled with colored water!

 “Bura na maano, Holi Hai!”

This is a mythological story about it, but the most attractive aspect of Holi is the licensciousness it gives to people to celebrate their lower instincts, to cathart and express whatever is suppressed in their unconscious, without feeling guilty. Osho once said: The Holi festival is just a catharsis for the whole country to throw out all nonsense. It is good, it cleanses. More days are needed because more nonsense is there. One Holi is not enough. In fact, every month a day for Holi is needed. ”

So why do we only celebrate Holi once a year? Every day is a festival day. Every morning we bloom anew, equipped with all the colors of existence. Let's drop old things to make room for new things. Let’s flow, flow to the ocean. Let’s not always take everything so seriously. Let us free ourselves. Let's just live consciously, responsible for ourselves!

SOMA PRADOSHRAM

a very auspicious day to meditate and be aware of all what you do

Today another spiritual time window opens, which is called Pradoshram in India. Pradosham has three different energy levels, depending on which day of the month they occur. Each energy level indicates how much karma can be released at that time. The smallest energy level occurs every day 1-2 hours before and after sunset. The average energy level of Pradosham occurs twice a month - on the 13th lunar day after the new moon and after the full moon. Pradosham's greater energy level occurs when one of the 13th lunar days occurs on a Saturday. But that is not the case today. But tonight it's a little easier for you to bring light into your life. Pradosham is, so to speak, a gift from the universe to accelerate your spiritual growth and make your life easier and happier. Think about how the poisons of life, for example anger, jealousy, attachment and self-centeredness, destroy your joy and also (world) peace. Use the time tonight to just go inside. Stay hOMe! Go to your very own home! Shiva is worshiped at Pradosham. Shiva is a symbol of the divine. Shiva is a symbol of change. Birth, preservation destruction. Destruction of the illusions we put in our heads. Shiva is the infinite awareness that dwells in each of us. Don't forget: We are part of the whole!

Today also begins the time when you can best connect with nature. Become aware that you are part of nature. Nature and you are constantly connected with each other in an exchange. The time between Pradosham and the new moon (I always call the lunar silence this night) is particularly conducive to this experience. The moon's gravity creates a certain level of inertia on these days, and your body and energies are much more connected to the earth than on other days because it pulls them in that direction. Go barefoot through nature! Sit under a tree. Breathe. Touch nature with your hands. Let earth trickle through your hands. Eat in nature. If you can't go outside because of the lock down, go barefoot anyway. For example, imagine that your floor is a forest floor, a dirt road, or a beach. Maybe you have plants at home. Make a prayer with the plant. Not with words, but through a soul connection.


I like to wear black around the “lunar silence”. Black is an absorbent color. The spiritual energy that I now experience in the next few days in connection with (Shiva) nature is transmitted even more intensively. But be careful with negative energy; this is transmitted in the same way for black.
Have fun, energy and awareness!
Shiva HUM!


Masik Shivaratri

The darkest night of a month is called Masik Shivaratri. The monthly Shivaratri! The time around lunar stillness favors the stability of our lower mind and allows in this way access to the higher mental state of pure perception, which can extend and connect our consciousness to the universal mind (Shiva) and making it possible to experience as a result the essential truth behind any event in our life.


The lower mind is the concrete mind, which focuses on logic, reason and fact. It is never in the present, but always in the past and future. The lower mind is the representation of our ego. Because of the ego we are limited and are separate from universal power and truth. When we are born, we are still pure and unbiased. The ego arises with education, through our desires and idols. The ego is not our original self. The lower mind houses also negative thoughts and emotions. This is the part of the mind that knows no matter how difficult the situation is, we are loved, worthy and continuously protected and guided by the divine and God. This is the part inspired by beauty, vulnerable emotions, aspirations, ideals and archetypes.

The higher mind represents the pure knowledge and the divine in us. It gives us creative power and innovative solutions. It doesn't matter how something works or arises. Only the moment is important. No reaction, but a situation-related behavior without thinking about the past or the future. The higher mind surpasses ego, transcends boundaries and holds universal truths. It is the gateway to our soul and intuition.  

Shivaratri means, “Shiva” (cosmic mind) and “Vrat” (fast). Shivaratri is a good time to come back to yourself. Forgo all unnecessary things. Fast, if only in small batches. Meditate. And let a prayer arise from it. Your very own prayer. Be yourself a gift for the universe.

I like to sing these mantras on Shivaratri. It is not the usual "Om Namaha Shivaya", but for me it reflects the meaning of the day.

om asatoma sad gamaya

tamaso ma jyotir gamaya

mrtyor mamrtam gamaya

The "Asatoma" mantra comes from the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad). It means:

Lead me from the asat(untruth) to the sat (truth).
Lead me from darkness to light.
Lead me from death to immortality

“Shiva HUM” means the redeeming power of the Divine, but it is more a vibration)


Galungan dan Kuningan

Bali is the hOMe of my soul ... I realized that as a teenager and since then the Balinese culture has shaped me, although I was not born into it. A fascinating culture. The Balinese still live today in a magical world that does not differentiate between the physical and the world of gods, ancestors and demons. The festival culture is an expression of this intimate connection with the invisible. The Balinese calendar has 210 days and actually 210 festive days! There's always a ceremony going on somewhere on the island! It is very important to adhere to the festival calendar,
because they are convinced that this is the only way to guarantee the survival of their island and the whole world. Every phase of life has its rituals, every temple has its anniversary, there are feasts for the gods, feasts for the ancestors, feasts for the rice (which is actually the manifested form of the goddess Dewi Sri) ... imagine anything, there is a ceremony for this in Bali!!!


I would now like to introduce you to one of the most significant ceremonies in Bali:

Galungan and Tumpek Kuningan

Galungan is one of the most important festivals in Bali. If you are in Bali, you cannot miss this ceremony. Houses and streets are festively decorated during the festivities. Streets turn into splendid avenues, a feast for the eyes!

Galungan is a Balinese holiday which celebrates the victory of “dharma” over “adharma” (the triumph of good over evil). It marks the time when ancestral spirits of deceased relatives visit the Earth. The last day of the celebration is Tumpek Kuningan, when they leave earth. The spirits of deceased relatives return to visit their former homes and the Balinese have a responsibility to be hospitable and welcoming to their past ancestors through prayers and offerings throughout their hOMe. The most obvious sign of the celebrations are the “penjor”- bamboo poles with offerings suspended at the end which line the roads.

First of all, this is a brief introduction. In the following I would like to go into the details.

Galungan builds a bridge to one of the oldest legends of Bali. This story has not been forgotten for over a thousand years and has always been celebrated. The story took place in the center of the island, in the valley of the Petanu River. There are also the oldest temples, water sanctuaries, sacred caves and royal tombs. Goa Gajah, Tirtha Empul, Gunung Kawi ... to name three very well-known ones. The source of the Balinese gods story lies in the water course of the Petanu. It is also the root of "kaja" and "kelod", "positive, divine, good" and "negative, demonic, evil". The main directions of Balinese culture. According to legend, the decisive battle between the gods (with their king Indra) and the demons under their leader Maya Danawa took place there. The "primal struggle" between good and bad, so to speak. The battle remained undecided for a long time until the demon lord poisoned the waters of the Petanu. He didn't have that much strength anymore and already saw himself as inferior. For him it was the only chance. The gods, however, thought they would emerge victorious. But they got very thirsty from fighting and unsuspectingly drank the water from the river. They died in agony from poisoning. Only Indra remained alive because he had not drunk the water. Indra reflected on his intense, divine powers and let a healing spring gush out of the earth. This water awakened the gods to new life and gave them immortality at the same time. The miracle effect of "Tirtha", the holy water. By the way, "Tirtha" shouldn't be missing at any ceremony. The legendary spring is still located near Tampak Siring today. The name is "Tirtha Empul" – it means ‘Holy water spring’ in Balinese, and this is where local Balinese Hindus have come for over a millennia to cleanse their minds, bodies and souls, in the curative waters of the pools, with the same ritual adhered to today. Back to the legend. Do not think now that the good had finally won. The battle between gods and demons flared up again. The demon king was wounded and his blood flowed into the river. The Petanu turned deep red. The superior force of the terrible demons was thus over, but the river has since been considered poisoned and enchanted. It is surprising that despite this curse, the area around the Petanu was settled and even became the first kingdom. The old royal tombs “Gunung Kawi” (Tampak Siring) are a reminder of this kingdom. I was there once. It's a very mystical place. A seemingly endless staircase leads to this place. Somehow it seemed like a pilgrimage to me back then. Yes, it was a trip back in time. I touched the sacred stones, the moss and absorbed all the vibrations that continue to live there.

Galungan emerged from this legend.

Galungan begins on the Wednesday of Dunggulan, the 11th week of the 210-day pawukon calendar. This means that there are often two celebrations each year (each approximately 7 months apart). The name of the day is called “Buddha Kliwon Dungulan”. The celebration is held for ten days and with “Tumpek Kuningan”. During these days the Balinese usually perform a ceremony called Ngelawang which involves travelling around the village in the costume of Barong Rangda and Barong Kedengkling to scare away bad spirits and to protect the village against anything evil. Ngelawang tradition is inherited from generation to generation aims to neutralize the universe, rejecting any kind of diseases that interfere with human life, including “niskala” (invisible), expelling people who mean harm, interfere with the security of the island. The Ngelawang tradition is like a sacred, magical offering. The name “Ngelawang” came from the words ‘lawang’, which means “door”. And indeed. During the ceremony, people go from homestead to homestead and bring blessings. It often reminded me of the procession of the three holy kings in Catholic areas. Sometimes I could also see a real, sacred Barong-Rangda dance in the Pura Dalem. It has nothing to do with the tourist performances. Then I felt all the magic that is difficult to describe. Any word would be wrong. In the last few years I have also seen children walking through the streets with a little barong. That actually had nothing to do with Ngelawang, but was rather entertainment and they got some pocket money for it. Actually, I should explain Barong and Rangda to you now, but that would go beyond the scope of the Galungan Festival. I'll do that another time! Only: I see Barong and Rangda not only as two characters in Balinese mythology, the good mythical creature and the bad witch. I also see in them the two sides that exist in each of us, but are also inherent in every community. There are life-dominating opposites of existence. They are a reflection of the human condition.

Hubert and I loved the Galungan festival. They were special days, even weeks, because the preparations actually started almost a month in advance. Everywhere you saw the materials for decorating the bamboo poles (penjors). There were more flowers, incense sticks, palm leaves and ritual objects in the markets than there have always been. The markets then overflowed with people. In recent years, chaotic conditions have developed on the streets around the markets. We lived in Sukawati and somebody, who knows Bali, remember how it is always before Galungan!!! Hubert and I loved driving around to watch people prepare for the festival. And often we looked for the "most beautiful" road on the island, the place with the most beautiful penjors. The smaller the streets, the more beautiful the sacred decoration looked. It then looked almost like the vault of a Gothic cathedral. The Penjors are really impressive and somehow they got "crazier" and more complex every year. Some might say now that it might no longer be what it meant, but as an artist I was fascinated by it. It showed me again and again that tradition is not rigid, but adapts to the time. Bali's tradition is alive. Yes, it is still lived and nobody can say: everything was better in the past. The young people try hard. You may not have so much time left to manufacture everything yourself because of your job. But how nice it was to see several generations working on a penjor. So creative. It was then erected with pride and joy.

What is the meaning of penjors? I've heard many stories about it in my 26 years in Bali. On the one hand, I was told repeatedly that it was a kind of lingam, the symbol of Shiva. On the other hand, it is said to be a symbol of Gunung Agung, the great volcano in Bali, the seat of the gods and the hOMe of the ancestors. "Sublime Mountain" - that is the translation of Gunung Agung, of which historians assume that it was venerated as sacred in pre-Hindu times. According to Balinese belief, the summit is primarily the seat of Shiva. Here we are again at the lingam! Every detail has its meaning. So the symbolizes the top the peak of Gunung Agung, and the stem of the penjor, with all of its decorations, represents the rivers flowing down the mountainside, bringing the fullness of the earth to the people below. But I have often seen penjors in the shape of a naga. That would then be another meaning of the Penjors. Nagas are two immortal gigantic dragon-like serpents. Antaboga and Basuki. They dwell in the dimension below the earth plane, where they wrap themselves around and help steady Bedawang Nala, the world supporting turtle, thus reducing earthquakes and stabilizing the Earth for its inhabitants. The Naga Anantaboga is a symbol of the earthly needs of humankind, while Naga Basuki represents water, prosperity and safety. In this case a penjor is explained as follows: the head of the naga is at the base of the penjor just above the small offering shrine called the Sangah Arda Chandra. The tail of the naga is the graceful, slender tip of the penjor, and the scales of the nagas’s back are represented by the decorations which curve along the penjor’s back. There are actually as many meanings as there are souls in Bali. But one meaning has become particularly dear to my heart. The curved part of the penjor is intended to remind people that even though they may have reached a high status in life, they should still think of all living beings who are not doing so well. Nobody should forget the common roots, we are all born from the womb of nature, and this common origin gives us a common responsibility for the well-being of the other.

As you already know: Galungan is a special day to celebrate the victory of Dharma (goodness) against Adharma (evil) through the blessing of Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa, the Almighty God. As you already know: Galungan is a special day to celebrate the victory of Dharma (goodness) against Adharma (evil) through the blessing of Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa. The Balinese believe that the world was created by Sang Hyang Widi, the supreme god. On the anniversary of the creation of the world (Galungan), he returns to earth with his gods and ancestors and visits the temples and hOMesteads there. They all stay until Kuningan. The guests are lavishly entertained and provided with food.

A number of days around Galungan and Kuningan day have special names and are marked by the organization of particular activities.

Penyekeban (3 days before Galungan / Sunday) – Penyekeban, from “sekeh”, to cover up. Bananas are an important part of the offerings. But since you need so many for Galungan, they cannot all be ripe. That's why it is the day when green bananas are covered up in huge clay pots to speed their ripening.

Penyajaan (2 days before Galungan / Monday) – Penyajaan is devoted to making the many colored cakes of fried rice dough called “jaja”, that are so loved by the Balinese and used as offering

Penampahan (one day before Galungan / Tuesday) - The day before Galungan, pigs and chickens are blessed and ceremonially slaughtered to make food for Galungan including lawar, a kind of spicy salad and sate. Yes, the Balinese are Hindus, but they eat meat. Only priests are vegetarians. I never quite understood that. Balinese Hinduism has many features that distinguish it from the original Hinduism from India. Elements from the old natural religion and Buddhism flow into it. I can still remember the sound of the pigs when they were slaughtered before dawn in front of the temple. Our house was right next door.

Galungan day - Praying at the temple

This is the climax of Galungan!!! The Balinese put on their finest traditional clothes to attend temple prayers with their families and bring offerings to share and enjoy after praying. It is a day to remind themselves of the long lineage of their ancestors and beautiful story they are a part of. The Balinese reconnect and renew their commitment to trying to make tomorrow a better day, trying to make themselves better each day. All the local temples are very crowded and colorful on Galungan. It's really fascinating and it was nice that we could be part of them. We always visited our friends in the mountains at Galungan.

Manis Galungan (the day after Galungan / Thursday) - This day is dedicated to spending time with family and visiting the extended family who may live in other parts of Bali. The roads are very busy! Particularly nice to look at: the Balinese are still in their festive clothes the day after and so they sit on their motorcycles ... the whole family …. father, mother and 2-3 children ... on a motorcycle !!!

Kuningan (ten days after Galungan / Saturday) - actually the day is called "Tumpek Kuningan", it belongs to six auspicious days during the Balinese Pawukon calendar. Kuningan marks the end of the celebration. It is time for family groups, prayers, and still more offerings, as the deceased spirits and  ancestors return to their hOMe in heaven  Prayers, offerings - spirits return to heaven. Hindu deities, including Sang Hyang Widhi, the Supreme God, visit temples and homesteads one last time to give blessings to all people on earth.

Manis Kuningan (Sunday) - This is the day after Kuningan where people spend their time with family and loved ones, mostly in their hOMetown. There are no religious ceremonies during this day, yet you can see the festivities from people celebrating the rest of the holiday and time off with their friends and family. Just fun!

This is the normal process of Galungan and Kuningan. But there are years when the festive days fall on the full moon or the new moon (I call this lunar silence). Then special ceremonies take place:

Galungan at full moon

Galungan Nadi – If Galungan Day coincidences with Purnama (full moon), then the “ngotonan” (anniversary) of Galungan is celebrated, a special day that is blessed by Sang Hyang Ketu. Galungan Nadi occurs about every 10 years and is celebrated in a much more solemn way than ordinary Galungan celebrations. The offerings are then even more colorful, much bigger!

Galungan at lunar silence

Galungan Nara Mangsa – If it coincidences with Tilem (dark moon) Sasih Kepitu or Tilem Sasih Kesanga then it falls on a very bad day. Such days are ruled by Kala Rau – days on which the bhuta kala are very active while the dewa/dewi (gods) remain passive.

Kala Rau is a demonic giant. According to legend, his head once fell into the holy water (Titha) and this head has been immortal ever since. According to Balinese ideas, it is the cause of lunar eclipses and new moon. Kala Rau loved the moon goddess, but she did not return her to him. On the contrary. She sought help from Lord Vishnu, who drew his sword and beheaded Kala Rau. He had forgotten that part of it was immortal. The body fell dead, but the head devoured the moon goddess (lunar eclipse / new moon). But after a short time it keeps falling out of his throat! Thank God! Otherwise there would be no more moon. It is also the time of the Bhuta Kala, the evil spirits.

The presented offerings of a Galungan Nara Mangsa will, therefore, be partly different from ordinary celebrations. Demons keep hindering people in their preparations. That is why there are many more offerings to the demonic forces and spirits on Galungan Nara Mangsa than usual.

One of the main features of the ceremonies is the inner struggle between Dharma and Adharma, symbolized by the Sang Kala Tiga, who descends three times on earth to lead humanity to Adharma. The first time this happens is three days before Galungan in Penyekeban in the form of Sang Bhuta Galungan. The second time takes place on the following day in Penyajaan Galungan in the form of Sang Bhuta Dungulan and the third and last time the day before Galungan, Penampahan Galungan, as Sang Bhuta Amangkurat.

 

Finally, I would like to write something about the spiritual meaning of this ceremony:

The first Galungan ceremony took place on a full moon day (the 15th of the fourth month of Saka 804 (October 15, 882 AD). It was a very special day because through the combination of the full moon energy and the prevailing presence of highly positive cosmic energy, it awakened spiritual powers. A good atmosphere to purify yourself and become aware of the existence of the higher self. The real, the true self that seeks to live a life based on Dharma (the right way of spiritual living) against the dominant ego (adharma / in disharmony with life). The first ceremony was rather protection rituals than celebrations like today. The idea behind the these rituals was, that when people turn inward and find the higher self through awareness, they would no longer be influenced by their ego. Humans would be on the same level like the gods. Bali would be the world of the gods. And the Balinese would live a life as it is supposed to be, with the creative force, with the awareness of being divine oneself. Part of the divine consciousness. A microcosm in the macrocosm.

TAT TWAM ASI … YOU ARE THAT

The Agama Hindu Bali is a fascinating religion, a fascinating way of life and the more I write about it, the more I get the feeling of accepting this culture as my guru again. Maybe I just had to have a little distance to see everything from a different perspective. Maybe that's why I went to Osho and became a sannyasin. And then I'll find the way back to the hOMe of my soul.A realization that is born deep in my soul! I am grateful for this!

Om shanti shanti shanti

On our Facebook page we have an album with beautiful photos of Galungan.
Just click on the photo: