The Island Of Bali, Indonesia




Other shrines that are never missing are the little houses for Ngrurah Alit and Ngrurah Gede , the " secretaries " of the gods, who watch that the proper offerings are made, and the stone niche for the Taksu, the interpreter of the deities. It is the Taksu who enters the bodies of mediums when in a trance and speaks through them to make known the decisions of the gods to the people. There is still one more shrine, the Waospait, dedicated to the totemic gods of the settlers from Madjapahit, the " original deer " (medjangan seluang) . This can be recognized by a small sculpture of a deer's head or by the stylization of antlers carved in wood.

There are, besides, other pavilions; one in the middle of the temple which serves as a communal seat for the gods, the pepelik, or paruman , and the bale piasan , simple sheds for offerings. This lengthy description is still far from complete and is limited to the main features of a would-be average temple, but unfortunately such typical temples could hardly be found in Bali.

Despite the rules, practically every temple has curious contradictory individual features; besides, such is the variety of types of temples and so great the local differences, that only for the purpose of a general understanding of the spirit of Balinese temples can this " typical " temple be of use. To note down all the variants of Balinese temples would require a great volume.

Besides the family shrines, every Balinese " complete " community, a desa, should have at least the three reglementary temples: first a " naval " temple, pura pusch, the old temple of the original community from which the village sprang; a second, pura desa, the town temple for official celebrations of the entire village, which, in case it has a bale agung, the old-fashioned assembly hall of the village Elders, receives the name of pura bale agung; and third, a pura dalam, thetemple of the dead, built out in the cemetery, dedicated to the deities of death and cremation.

It often happens that the pura puseh, despite its being the most important centre of worship, is located in another village or even in another district, because it was from there that came the settlers of the later village. In some places the pura pus6h an the pura desa are combined into one, with only a wall separating the two departments. There are still the private temples of the princes; the royal temples (pura panataran) , and the pura dadia, the private temple of origin of the family, the connecting link between the scattered branches of a common stock. Other important temples are the pura bedugul, the rice temple of each agricultural guild; the pura pamaksan, little temples of each hill lage ward (bandjar) , from which the pura puseh evolves; hill temples (pura bukit) , sea temples on the beaches (pura segara) temples for the deities of seed and markets (pura melanting bathing-temples, temples in lakes, caves, springs, trees, and s, forth.

Except for the old pemangku, the keeper and officiating priest of the temple, who can be seen there occasionally sweeping the yard, the temples are ordinarily deserted because the Balinese go into them only for public gatherings, festivals, and meetings Pemangkus are simple people of the common class with old fashioned manners, polite, good-natured, and with a charming modesty, who live near the temple and perform all of its duties from sweeping it to invoking and impersonating the deities. The haughty Brahmanic priests, the pedandas, refer to them con temptuously as djero saptih, " sweepers," but the pemangkus are the really active priests of the people's ritual and alone officiate at temple feasts, when the pedandas do not take an active part Furthermore there are villages where the pedandas are ever barred from the temple.

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Seminyak Bali Private Villa