To the Heart of Bali

Day 5 CLEANSING

Two hours of driving into the mountains — up and up to Batur mountain range — to take us to Beji Songam temple, and Ulun Danu Songam nearby, the mother temple of the water of Bali, preparing for the once every ten years celebration for cleansing the water. It’s inside the rim of a volcano in the Batur mountain and supplies clean water to this whole region of north Bali. An auspicious place to be sprinkled with holy water mixed with yellow coconut water and flowers. Until recently one could expect to have a bucketful of water to accomplish this, thoroughly drenching the frequent pilgrims, but to replenish the purity of the water they have discontinued that practice for the next few years. The volcanoes last erupted in 1917 and 1926, engulfing the entire area which has been rebuilt since.

Our teacher Etu tells us that they understand that:
The body is cleansed with water
Mind with honesty
Soul with leaning of the heart
Intellect, sins and penance with knowledge.

When we pray, our hands together for first just above the forehead for the gods, then at the forehead for our minds, and then at the chest for the human dynamic.

Preparing for our cleansing ceremony

Preparing for our cleansing ceremony

Overlooking the volcano caldera water from the temple

Overlooking the volcano caldera water from the temple

Entering the temple for the cleansing ceremony

Entering the temple for the cleansing ceremony

Following prayers we are sprinkled with holy water

Following prayers we are sprinkled with holy water