Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Join our Newsletter
Search Our Site and Blog~ Enter Destination, Activity, or anything you like.
Stay Connected


Featured Indonesia Blog on GO! Overseas


Vacation, Travel & Adventure Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Entries in meditation (2)


The Sacred Rituals of Besakih ~ And the Gods came down to Bali… A photo essay.

The Sacred Rituals of Besakih ~ And the Gods came down to Bali… A photo essay.

Putu and I have been working tirelessly on getting the plans secured for our wellness retreat center here in Bali. It seems to be a Sisyphean task as we progress forward, only to uncover six other undertakings that need to be accomplished. That being said each day brings new opportunities, blurring the focus but bringing excitement. You speak with 10 notaries (notaries are a bit like lawyers back home), and you get 10 different solutions. But progress is being made and with this upcoming week chock full of meetings, we will have a much clearer picture.

Balinese wellness sacred ritualsAn inquisitive little girl looks back at me during prayers at Besakih Temple

In these pursuits we have taken counsel with a dear friend and experienced hotelier Mas Ngurah. We arrived at Mas Ngurah’s home to find his wife Dian preparing dozens of ornate offerings. I asked if there was a particular ceremony approaching and she told us Ida Batara Turun Kabeh was next week and asked if we would like to come.  I had never been, so I jumped at the chance to witness one of the holiest rituals in the Balinese Hindu calendar.  The sacred ceremony is observed on the full moon of the tenth month in Balinese Hindu calendar called Purnama Kedasa.

Here is short video of the day's events.

Bali Besakih wellness villaThousands of Balinese Hindus flock to the six holy temples on Ida Batara Turun Kabeh

It is said that all the Gods come down to earth on this auspicious day and reside at the six holiest temples on Bali.  Chief among these are of course Pura Besakih, or The Mother Temple on the slopes of mighty Mount Agung. Besakih is Bali’s largest, highest and most holy temple. It is perched 3142 meters above sea level on the active Gunung Agung volcano.

Leading up to the ceremony, several rituals are performed at Pura Besakih. Most notably is the exorcism rite called Tawur Agung Kesanga, which is held on the black moon, or Tilem Caitra, of the ninth month in the Balinese calendar.

Bali tour Besakih cultureOur first stop on Ida Batara Turun Kabeh, Pura Batur

First stop ~ Pura Batur Temple

Before we headed up the narrow roads of the volcano we stopped to give offerings at one of the other holy six temples called Pura Batur.  It was utterly packed with devotees waiting hours to enter the temple grounds. It was as if someone said, “Hey! I have an idea, why doesn’t everyone on the island go to a tiny temple way up in the mountains on the same day?” People were passing out waiting in the heat as thousands crammed up the steps and through the narrow temple gates to get a chance to present their offerings and pray. In fact, I was the only one in our group able to negotiate the throngs and make it into the temple. I guess my finely honed skills developed over years of sneaking up to the front row at packed rock concerts paid off. I bequeathed my offerings and partook in the prayers, but when the group of several hundred were ushered out to allow for the next group to be let in, I veiled myself behind the huge piles of offerings and was able to linger inside and document the next group being led in prayer by the Mangku (High Priest).

Bali travel temple wellness retreatA handsome young fella smiles back at us while we wait to enter the main temple at Pura Besakih

On to Pura Besakih, Bali's Mother Temple

After reconnecting with the group, we ventured off to the main event at Pura Besakih. This was no simple task as the traffic on the small snaking mountain road was backed up for miles. While this is a major event and a profound experience, it may not be for the average tourist as ones patience is genuinely put to the test. It may be best to visit Besakih at a time other than a sacred ceremony in order to avoid the vast multitudes and delays. I saw only a handful of bule (fellow ‘crackah’ or more properly, Caucasian) amongst the possibly tens of thousands the whole day.

Bali culture wellness tourBalinese Hindus make their way up the famous steps of Pura Besakih, The Mother Temple

Since the traffic was not moving, I decided to head out on foot so I could document the event.  Much to my surprise, the pilgrims were not as densely packed as they were at Pura Batur.  There were still thousands of worshipers but given Besakih’s immense size, the masses were not as dense.

Mas Ngurah led us up Besakih’s famed steps to his clan’s private temple dedicated to their ancestors. There are 21 other similar temple complexes on six terraces that surround the main temple known as Pura Penataran Agung.

The origins of Besakih Temple

The venerated temple’s name “Besakih” comes from the Sanskrit word “Basuki”, derived from the word “Wasuki” meaning Salvation. Sanskrit then became the basis for much of Bahasa Java and then into Bahasa Indonesia. Also, in Samudramanthana mythology, the same name “Besuki” refers to the Dragon-God “Naga Besukian”, who lived inside Gunung Agung volcano.

Bali vacation culture templeThe Mankgu or Balinese Hindu High Priest leads the faithful in prayer during Ida Batara Turun Kabeh The first recorded mention of the temple’s existence comes from an inscription dating back to 1007 AD. It is known that since the 15th century Besakih was regarded as the central temple of Hinduism in Bali and remains so until this day.

Bali villa wellness besakihThe masses in sacred prayer during Ida Batara Turun Kabeh at Bali's famed Mother Temple

Tri Hita Kirana ~ The fundamental concept of The Balinese Hindus

The prevailing Balinese philosophy of Tri Hita Kirana is expressed in the temple’s architecture. This essential belief of the Balinese people teaches that life must be kept in balance and harmony between the triumvirate consisting of man, God and the natural environment.

wellness retreat center BaliThe inquisitive girl finally takes her turn to pray

We eventually filled into the main temple for our turn to pray along with the thousands of others on this fascinating and mesmerizing day.  Thanks to Mas Ngurah’s family for a reenergizing respite from our task at hand here in Bali and now back to getting this wellness center off the ground.

Kindly leave your comments and thoughts below and contact us so we can help you make the most out of your Balinese vacation.



Ubud Hosts The International Bali Meditators Festival

We'd Like to Teach the World to Quietly Reflect: Bali Meditators' Festival November 12-14, 2010.

Bali News: International Bali Meditators Festival

(11/8/2010) The Anand Ashram Foundation will host the 2nd International Bali Meditators' Festival in Ubud, Bali November 12-14, 2010.

The 3-day event will adopt the theme "One Earth, One Sky, One Humankind" as the realization of the Asian vision of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam," the African Dream of "Ubuntu," and the Western concept of creating a "Global Village" through meditation.

Anand Ashram Foundation public relations officer, Hadi Susanto, said the festival's organizing committee has prepared seminars and workshops on spirituality, local wisdom , and youth empowerment. "We expect the festival this year to be attended by more speakers and delegates from other countries, in accordance with our aim to become one big family, living together harmoniously on the same earth and under the same sky as one humanity."

The first festival held in 2009 was initiated by Anand Krishna, a prominent Indonesian spiritualist who promotes meditation as a way of life, unconnected with any specific religious denomination.

Festival Aims

The aims of the 2010 festival are:

• Shared knowledge, understanding, and experiences regarding meditation and its techniques from any spiritual groups in any country in the world society.

• Introduce meditation/yoga techniques based on local Balinese and Indonesian culture to the larger world.

• Develop people awareness and acceptance that while we are all different, we are actually one big family.

• Develop public awareness of the importance and advantages of practicing meditation. Examine research demonstrating meditation is essential for holistic health.

• Empower participants to lead a healthy life, both physically or mentally.

• Spread a meditative way of life to the wider society.

• Celebrate life and share happiness, in order to realize an enlightened society.

•Create a better place where people live in peace, love and harmony.


The 3-day event will feature plenary sessions, panel discussions, workshops, evening devotions, celebrations, musical events and community bazaars.

Featured Speakers

• Ida Pedanda Sebali Tianyar: "The Best Happiness is Togetherness" Born in Karangasem in 1944, Ida Pedanda Sebali Tianyar is a leading spiritual and religious leader in the Balinese community.

• Margot Anand: "The Bliss of Everyday Meditation" A native of France, Margot Anand received her degree from the Sorbonne University in Paris. She has extensive training in Hindu and Buddhist Tantra, as well as many forms of meditation and Yoga. She has studied with great mystics in India and the USA. She is the author of 5 books and has taught meditation with Dr Deepak Chopra and Tony Robbins.

• Ketut Arsana: "The Spirituality of Bali and Its Contributions to the World" Ketut Arsana is a Mahatma Therapist, Master Usada Practitioner, Spiritual Teacher, Yoga Instructor and Founder of Ubud Bodyworks Centre, Ubud Aura Retreat Centre, Ashram Munivara and Santam Bhuana Foundation. Born in the village of Padang Tegal, Ubud, Arsana grew up in a family of traditional Balinese shaman healers (Balian). In a panel session, Ketut Arsana will talk about "The Spirituality of Bali and Its Contributions to the World."

• Tara Khandro: "One Earth One Heart Circle" Tara Khandro learned how to pray in a Lakota Sioux sweat lodge and to sing her prayers with the Sufis and East Indian Raga singers. The spiritual path of yoga and practice of Hatha yoga are Tara's most intimate of companions for 36 years. She has taken refuge with the Dalia Lama, received initiations into Peruvian, Sufi and Zen wisdom traditions, and is an ordained interfaith minister. She will facilitate a workshop entitled "One Earth One Heart Circle."

• Maya Safira Muchtar: "Mind Culturing"- Maya Safira Muchtar will facilitate a workshop entitled "Mind Culturing." She will share a meditation technique that will help you culture your mind, slow down your thoughts and bring you a deep silence to expand your awareness.

• K.H. Nuril Arifin Husein: "Go Through the Sky for the Sufi"- A cleric know as Gus Nuril, Husein is a leader of the Pesantren An Nuriyah Sokotunggal in Semarang. Gus Nuril is a Sufi figure who defends human rights and religious freedom. He believes "Pluralism" or rahmatan lil alamin is a blessing for the universe.

•Ma Anand Bhagawati: "Osho and Sannyas"is a disciple of Osho for more than 30 years, living for many of those years at the ashram in Pune, India, Rajneeshpuram in the USA, and at the European Osho communes. She lives in Bali and is a columnist and author of the book "Past the Point of No Return." In a panel session, she will share about Osho and Sannyas.

• BR. Indra Udayana: "Karma Yoga in the Modern Era " - Ashram Gandhi Puri was established in 2001 in Denpasar by BR Indra Udayana, inaugurated and given its name by the late Ibu Gedong Bagoes Oka. Her dream is "to empower people to become truly independent and free through living and practicing the Gandhian lifestyle and simplicity and also refusing to harm anyone or any creature in our daily life."

• L.K. Suryani: "Meditation for Daily Life and Self-Healing" - Prof. Dr. dr. Luh Ketut Suryani is a psychiatrist. She has studied meditation since she was 14 years old. Her point of view about meditation and socio-cultural bio-psycho-spirit has been popularized around the world.

• Prabu Darmayasa: "Meditation on Numbers" - Prabhu Darmayasa, a spiritual seeker since a young age, was born in Ubud, Bali. He is a Kundalini Master, the only disciple of Siddhayogi Acharya-Shri Kamal Kishore Gosvami, a prominent Priest at a most famous and holy temple in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India. Prabhu Darmayasa is the President of International Divine Love Society, Indonesian Coordinator for the World Ramayana Conference, also actively takes part in Sanskrit Bhasha Prachar Samiti, an institution that spreads out the Sanskrit knowledge.

• Revd. Mindawati Perangin Angin PhD: "The concept of Living in Peace and harmony that stated in The Creation story in Genesis" Revd. Mindawati was born in Medan in 1963 and has spent her life studying theology. She earned a Ph D in 1997 from Drew University, Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A.. She is currently the Executive Director of the Research Center for Religion and Education and also a member of Central Committee of the World Council of Churches.

•Swami Atmananda: "Raja Yoga and Kundalini Shakti" Born in Blahkiuh, Bali in 1938. Swami Atmananda has practiced yoga for 50 years and became Kundalini master in 1968. He has 4 spiritual Gurus: Ketut Receg, I. B. Meregeg, Yogamurti from Sumatra, and Yogi Swaramurti. He runs an ashram called "Raja Yoga Ashram" in Bali. Swami Atmananda will facilitate a workshop entitled "Raja Yoga and Kundalini Shakti."

• Iyan Yaspriana: "Contemplative Meditation" - In his workshop Iyan shares his experience in practicing meditation. The class is for beginners, people living in the real, modern world. Iyan's partnership in Zen Jiwa Raga has brought him to go deeper in holistic subject, it is then in 2003 that Iyan became a certified yoga teacher and since 2004 leads Escape the World Retreats.

• Nyoman Sri Aryana: "Back to Self - Aryana now is a therapist and facilitator at L'Ayurveda Bali, center for inner-beauty and holistic care. As facilitator, he has led many people from many countries for self-transformations. Born in 1965, he has created various workshop for a better self-understanding and holistic growth.


From our friends at © Bali Discovery Tours.