Melasti, Purificatory Rite Prior to Celebrations

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Illustration of Melasti Photo by Alit Suarnegara on Pixabay
Illustration of Melasti Procession (Image: Alit Suarnegara on Pixabay)

HINDU community in Bali (Indonesia) has a HINDU community in Bali (Indonesia) has a number of ritual processions. One of them is melasti. This procession aims to purify oneself, ceremonial paraphernalia and pratima (sanctified effigies) of each temple such as the statues of Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, and Lord Brahma in order to welcome piodalan (the anniversary of a temple) and Nyepi Day.

Literally, the melasti procession aims to wash away the impurities of the universe using the water of life and purify oneself from all bad deeds. Melasti is usually carried out in water sources such as lakes, rivers and seashores.

According to Sunarigama palm-leaf manuscript, melasti means to carry the sacred statue of the symbol of the gods and to sweep away all the impurities of the universe and to dissolve the impurities of thoughts, words and deeds and the universe into the sea.

In relation to the implementation of the Nyepi Day, melasti has optionally been carried out a few days before the tawur kesanga is held. This is intended to ask God for the environment’s prosperity before entering the Caka New Year.

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