Ngaben or Cremation Ceremony in Bali

Ngaben, or Cremation Ceremony, is a funeral ritual performed in Bali to send the deceased to the next life. The body of the deceased will be placed as if sleeping, and the family will continue to treat the deceased as sleeping. No tears are shed, because the deceased is only temporarily absent and will reincarnate or find final rest in Moksha (freeing from the reincarnation and death cycle).

The proper day of the ceremony is always a matter of consulting a specialist on ceremony days. On the day of the ceremony, the body of the deceased is placed inside a coffin. This coffin is placed inside a sarcophagus resembling a buffalo (Lembu) or in a temple structure (Wadah) made ofpapier-maché and wood. This sarcophagus is then borne to the cremation site in a procession, which is almost never walked in a straight line. This is done to confuse evil spirits and keep them away from the deceased.

The climax of a Ngaben is the burning of the sarcophagus containing the body of the deceased. The fire is viewed as necessary to free the spirit from the body and enable reincarnation.
Ngaben is not always immediately performed. For members of the elite castes, it is normal to perform the ritual individually for the deceased within three days. People of lower social classes opt for a more economic solution where they first bury the deceased, who is then cremated with the village’s other dead in a mass ceremony.

The forms of Ngaben Ceremonies

Ngaben Sawa Wedana
Sawa Wedana is cremation ceremony involving the bodies are still intact (without buried in advance). The ceremony is usually held within a period of 3-7 days from the day of death of the person. Exceptions are common in the ceremony Major scale, the preparation may take up to a month. While the family prepares everything for the ceremony, the bodies will be placed in the customs hall in each home with the provision of certain herbs to slow decay of the corpse. Today the administration of the herb is often replaced with the use of formaldehyde. During the corpse was placed in the customs hall, the family still treats his body like should still alive, such as bringing coffee, feeding beside the corpse, bring towels and clothes, etc because before held a ceremony called Papegatan then the question is considered only to sleep and still be within the family.

Ngaben Asti Wedana
Asti Wedana is cremation ceremony involving the skeleton corpse had been buried. The ceremony was accompanied by ngagah ceremony, namely ceremony exhume the graves of the person concerned for the ceremony and then clicking remaining bones. This is done in the traditions and rules of the local village, for example, there are certain ceremonies where the villagers are not allowed to carry out the funeral ceremony and the wedding ceremony, the bodies will be buried in the local cemetery called Makingsan ring Pertiwi (leave on Mother Earth).

Swasta is the cremation ceremony without involving corpse or skeleton, this is usually done for several reasons, such as: died abroad or away from home, the body was not found, etc. At this ceremony the corpse is usually symbolized by sandalwood (pengawak) painted and filled with magical characters as rough body of atma person concerned.

Ngelungah is a ceremony for a child who has not dated teeth.
Warak Kruron
Warak Kruron is a ceremony for baby miscarriage.
Ngaben Ceremonies purpose

Conceptually Ngaben ceremony has meaning and purpose as follows:

  1.  By burning the bodies and symbolic then washed ash into the river, or sea have meaning to release the Atma (soul) from the shackles of worldliness that can easily be united with God (Mokshatam Atmanam)
  2. Burn the bodies is also a series of ceremonies to restore all the elements Panca Maha Bhuta (5 building blocks of the human gross body) to the origin of each so as not to obstruct the course of Atma to Sunia Loka Part Panca Maha Bhuta, namely: a. Earth: solid elements that form bone, flesh, nails, etc. b. Apah: liquid elements that make up the blood, saliva, tears, etc. c. Bayu: air elements that make up the breath. d. Teja: heat elements that make up the body temperature. e. Akasa: ether elements that form in the body cavity.
  3. For the family, this ceremony is a symbol that the family had been sincere, and let’s departure concerned.

Ngaben Ceremonies Circuit
Ngulapin: The ceremony to call the Atma. The ceremony was also carried out if the person concerned died outside the home in question (eg in hospital, etc.). This Ceremonies can vary depending on the procedure and the local traditions, there are carrying out at the crossroads, fork in the road, and the local cemetery.

The ceremony bathing and cleaning the usual corpse in the family’s home page in question (natah). The procession is also accompanied by the provision of symbols such as jasmine in the nasal cavity, around the glass above the eyes, on the brow of the neem leaves, and other equipment with the aim of restoring the functions of the body that is not used to its origin, and if the spirit of the late are reincarnated again to be awarded a full body (not disabled).

Ngajum Kajang:
Kajang is a white piece of paper inscribed with magical scripts by stakeholders, local pastors or elders. Once you have finished writing the relatives and descendants of the concerned will perform the ceremony ngajum kajang awning by pressing it 3x, as a symbol of the hearts of the relative stability of the departure of the late release and unite the hearts of the relatives so that the deceased can be quickly made their way into the next realm.

Ngaskara means purification of the spirit of the late. Sanctification is done with the goal of keeping the spirit in question can be united with God and can be a mentor relatives who still live in the world.

Mameras derived from the word meaning wring (Indonesian: Peras) succeed, successfully, or completed. The ceremony is carried out if the deceased already have grandchildren, because according to the belief tersebutlah grandchildren will guide the course of late through prayer and good deeds they do.

Papegatan derived from Pegat word, which means breaking up, the meaning of this ceremony is to disconnect worldly and love of relatives of the deceased, because both of these will hinder the journey of the soul towards God. With this ceremony mean the family has outright release late departure to a better place. The ingredients of this ceremony is offering (offerings) are arranged in a stone mortar and above filled two branches dadap formed as the goal and stretched white thread on the two branches of the tree. Later this thread will break through by relatives and pallbearers before leaving the house to break up.

Pakiriman Ngutang:
After papegatan ceremony will be followed by pakiriminan to the local cemetery, and his body was then raised to the top kajangnya Bade / Containers, namely tower pallbearers (this is not an absolute must have, can be replaced with a plain coffin called Pepaga). From the house concerned community members will carry all equipment and their ceremony accompanied by the sound of bodies Baleganjur (Balinese gong) pounding and excited, or Angklung voice that seemed sad. On the journey to the grave bodies will be paraded 3x rotates anticlockwise and serves as a symbol of Panca Maha Bhuta restore elements to their respective places. In addition, this rotation also means:

3x spinning in front of the house late as a symbol of separation from relatives. Spin 3x T-junction at the intersection and the village as a symbol of separation from society.

Spin 3x in advance grave as a symbol farewell to this world.

Ngeseng is the burial ceremony, the corpse was laid in the space provided, accompanied by offerings and offerings with its own philosophical meaning, then sprinkled by the priest (Balinese : Mangku) who presided over the ceremony with Tirta pangentas which acts as an abstract flame accompanied by Puja Mantra of priest (Balinese : Mangku), once completed later then charred body was burned up, the bones of combustion then crushed and assembled again in ivory palm fruit that has issued the water.

Nganyud meaningful as a ritual to wash away all the garbage that is still left in the spirit of the deceased with a symbol in the form of washed ashes. The ceremony is usually held in the sea, or river.

Makelud usually carried out 12 days after the burial ceremony. This is the meaning of the ceremony makelud cleanse and purify back family environment due to the grief that struck the family left behind. Philosophical 12 days of grief is taken from the epic Mahabharata, when the Pandavas suffered a sentence of 12 years in the jungle.