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Ngaben, The Cremation Ceremony

9 December 2009 1,189 views No Comment

A Step Into Eternity

Death becomes something very ordinary and reasonable when there is a belief that all hopes will become reality in the afterlife. In this context, the Hindu community in Bali believe that the life cycle will never stop. After the death in the world, there is still another life. Unless someone is reaching moksa (death and not born again) because of his/her good deeds while living in the world.

As death approached, the release needs to be done. While Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa (God in Hindu), ensures the day of death, the ones who decide the release day is called pelanda. The release day occurs as soon as the Ngaben ceremony is held.

black cow

black cow

The corpse are burned to ashes. As if the human body has no meaning, flowed with oil, sputtered with fire, tilted, oiled again, then burned to charred flat in the entire body.



Once the-day is determined, banjars around the grieving family are notified. Helps come like the wind. Just like on the rice fields, each knows the task according to their expertise. Chairman determines and guides the customary schedule starting from the pick-up spirit in the sea until eventually released it back into the sea. That’s when all the inanimate objects seem to have life, support each other, and useful for other creatures. Rhyme, music, offerings, and the atmosphere is so magical.


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