The Balinese practice an ancient method to neutralize negative energies in someone, it called Melukat ceremony and this ritual has been passed from generation to generation and this is an important part of Balinese Hinduism.
This ritual sounds weird when you pronounce its name, apparently, there are several versions about where it came from. Some say that it strongly derives its origins from the ancient Javanese “Lukat” which means “to cleanse” or “to purify” while the Indonesian meaning means “to let go” or to release something in us.
The Balinese Hindus believe that this purification is the process of removing or neutralizing the various “klesa” or impurities that exist in human beings.
Klesa consists of 5 types of impure conditions which are:
- Awidya: the darkness of the soul due to too much pride
- Asmila : selfishness
- Raga : lust
- Dwesa : hatred and revenge, and
- Abhiniswesa for fear.
If these 5 things exist and dominate a person, that person will fall into darkness and be tempted to not behave well. It is therefore through its goal of regaining goodness and security that melukat can be done universally without regard to the races, social classes, or religion of the participants in the ritual.
This purification by water is called “Melukat” and aims to cleanse and purify a person of the “tasks” that he carries within him, water has the power to neutralize and cleanse sins.
Grief, depression, anxiety, etc. can have bad effects if a person allows such energies to enter their mind. In the West, we would visit a psychologist to get relief from such ailments, but in Bali, our way of dealing with this is to go to traditional healers or to do this water purification.
WATER IN SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
The question is, why do we use water for this ritual? The typical answer is that the use of water is common, an element of the Earth that is used to wash, clean, and rinse off all dirt. This liquid is a source of life for plants, animals, and humans, for the Balinese they believe that water can be divided based on its function, we divide it into 2 categories. First, it has a secular role: to fulfill the daily needs of humans, while the other is that water is considered sacred material and in this case with spiritual, religious functions, water is called Tirtha.
Water has the power to neutralize and cleanse sins. The suitable places to do the Melukat are the mountains, the crossing of two rivers, and the sources of the sea. These sacred places emanate positive energies. To maximize results, it is best to perform this ritual on certain days. As its function is to gain kindness and appeasement the Melukat ceremony can be performed by Hindus but by all other people: tourists etc. as long as the steps of the ritual are respected. In addition, coconut water has similar properties as sacred water and can be used for the Melukat ritual.
GOOD DAY TO DO THIS RITUAL
In order to gain the maximum benefit the Melukat ritual can be done on certain days, the correct day can be determined by a priest or someone who has the skills to calculate this day according to the Balinese calendar system. Whether a person wishes to appeal to a specific intention this day will be determined from the person’s date of birth. Examples of good days are for example full moons and new moons, other important religious days already registered in the Balinese calendar, etc. In general, these days the number of people doing this purification will increase enormously, for example at the source of Tirta Empul, etc. Before performing the ritual, the participant must present an offering, which can be canang or more elaborate which will be dedicated to the creator to ask for his approval that this ritual be done without difficulty. The success of the ritual never depends on the type of offering presented which depends on the financial level of the participant.
The participant must submerge his head under the water of the spring, wash his face and of course completely wet his body while keeping his clothes on him. And of course, you have to pray during the ritual. In general little by little as the purification takes place one feels a relaxation of the body and the spirit, a complete resignation is a key to the ritual. Sometimes it is necessary to perform this rite several times, it depends on how long the person has had problems.