Bali Cremation Ceremony
7 February 2011

Bali all people when they dead must be cremated, except the baby under 6 months old, cremation in Bali called NGABEN , ngaben derive from world ngabuin which is means making ashes, the function of cremation ceremony is to return the element of the body to its origin, the body consist of 5 elements such as earth, water, fire, air, and the space, in Bali when someone dead is not allowed to cry because it will make the soul sad to leave us, we must make them happy, if the people cry as can as possible not in the front of the dead person, the worst is if the tears fall down the corps.

bali cremationBalinese also believe with reincarnation, so before cremated they believe the soul can't be reincarnated, but the purpose of the religion is not to be reincarnated, the purpose of the religion is to rich what they call moksa, moksa mean reach the lightness and unity with the god, because they believe when we are reincarnated again it means we still have sin or bad karma, and the life now is the chance from the god to pix it, all what we have done is call karma, there are good karma and there are bad karma, there are 3 type of karma, 1. we do in our life now we get it now, 2. we do in our life now we get when we dead, 3. we do in our life now we get in our next life, so what we got in our life now is the result of what we have done in our previous life, they believe nothing happened without history or back ground or cause, we plant mango we will harvest mango, it's impossible we if we plant mango we harvest apple, so actually what the people call destiny in the Balinese believe is karma pala, karma pala means the result of what we have done.

For doing cremation ceremony is depend on the good day and also financial. cremation can't be done every day, usually they avoid the day what they call semut sedulur ( depend on the Balinese calendar ), if translated in English, semut means ant and sedulurur means parade, they believe when the cremation done in this day the villagers will dead continue like parade, to do cremation ceremony also spending a lot of money, if there is someone dead and they don't have money, than the corps will be buried, waiting for collective cremation ceremony, one day when they have money they will dig up the burrier and take the bone and then cremated. the ceremony can be divided in to 3 categories , such as small medium and big, the small one is collective cremation ceremony, done together with many other people after the body buried first, the medium cremation ceremony usually a private cremation ceremony, and the big cremation ceremony spend a lot of money usually done by the priest or the royal family, and they will have a very huge tower look like pagoda to carry to body from home to the cemetery, and also they will have a bull figure use to cremate the corps, the ceremony also depend on their cast ( wangsa ), there are a lot of rule for cremation ceremony about how to cremate the priest , royal family or common people, but in general the procession of the ceremony is done as follow :

when there is someone dead they will see the calendar and find out the good day, sometime they have to keep the body at home until a week until they find a good day, afterward they cremate the body in the cemetery, done by the family with the village community, after cremate the body the ashes will be thrown in the sea or if their house far from the sea than they throw the ashes in the big river, because the water will flow to the sea, the function of throwing the ashes to the sea is for purification soul of the dead person, in a few days after than they make ceremony in the beach which is call ngulapin, or calling the soul from the sea, and then continued by nyekah ceremony or making symbol of the soul for the dead person, and then continued by majar ajar ceremony, bring the symbol praying in some of the bali's big temple, usually the temple they will visit is besakih temple ( the mother temple ) and goa lawah ( bat cave temple ) to do nyegara gunung ceremony, segara means sea and gunung means mountain, this temple located in the beach but also in the foot of mountain, to connect mountain and the sea, and then continue to ngelinggihan ceremony, bring back home the symbol and cremated in their family temple, and then burry the ashes of the symbol in the family temple, so the ashes they keep in the family temple or at home is not the real ashes but the ashes of the symbol of the ashes. so the function of family temple is to worship the ancestors.

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