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Ubud Cremation, a Sacred Funeral Ritual in Bali

in Blog
June 12, 2021
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Ubud Cremation Holds Meaningful Aspect of Every Process

Bali, particularly Ubud, is not only witnessing amazing natural landscapes or delicious dishes, but also kinds of spiritual ceremonies. They include Galungan to celebrate the victory of good over evil and Ubud cremation

What is a Cremation Ceremony?

A cremation ceremony in Bali refers to a sacred funeral ritual that commemorates the departed person(s).

The symbolical purpose of this ceremony is to let go of Sang Atma, the spirit of the dead, from the human world, so he or she can be with the God, Mokshatam Atmanam. From the family perspective, a cremation ceremony also symbolizes that they have accepted the loss of the loved one.

Therefore, the Balinese cremation is not only about mourning over the lost, but also celebrating a soul that once lived.

There are Three Types of Balinese Cremation Ceremony:

  • Ngaben – Cremation ceremonies for commoners.
  • Plebon – Cremation ceremonies for royalty.
  • Pretiwaan – Cremation ceremonies for high priests.

Besides, a Balinese cremation ceremony also has three levels of how it will be done: Nista (modest), Utama (prime), and Madya (between the prime and modest).

The Process of the Ceremony

The ceremony will be held based on the Balinese calendar. As it takes a lot of expenses and not all days are a “good” day to hold it, many people have to wait until a certain date, even it takes a few years after the death. It means that the body is buried before being burnt for the cremation.

However, there is an exception, like when a priest passes away. In this case, the ceremony has to occur as soon as possible.

The core of the preparation is building a decorated tower or animal where the body is placed and carried to a Pura, and burning it during the ceremony. Also, there will be other decorations like the Bhoma, the guardian. After the Ubud cremation, the ash will be immersed in the sea.

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