Soul Purification Ceremony in Bali
The Balinese people, being one of the most spiritual groups of people in the world, have many sacred ceremonies, one of which is Melukat. Traditionally referred to as “Melukat,” derived from the word ‘Lukat’ which means to purify in Balinese, the soul purification practice is centered on holy water and aims to cleanse the mind, body, and soul.
This spiritual activity is often performed when a Balinese native is about to enter a new phase in their life, is recovering from sickness, or celebrating either one of “Rites of Passage,” such as marriage or childbirth, and the holy water is used to purify and cleanse the body, mind, and soul. Melukat is believed to help get rid of the bad energy that might be lingering around that person.
The Ritz-Carlton Bali is now offering their guests a chance to participate in an authentic Soul Purification Ceremony.
This ceremony usually takes place by a spring, a river, or by the sea, as the Balinese strongly believe that water is the most powerful means with which to restore and purify your energy.
One of the top destinations for a Melukat ceremony is the Tirtha Empul Temple. This spring has a number of showers that are named according to the beliefs of the local culture and is almost always packed by devoted local people who would like to perform Melukat.
At The Ritz-Carlton Bali, the Soul Purification Ritual takes place on the secluded white beach of the resort in the early morning, when Surya, or God of Sun, is believed to rise. Balinese Hindus believe that the blessings from Surya and Baruna, the God of Ocean, are required for a clean and fresh new beginning, which is why this is performed on the beach.
Melukat is actually a pretty simple ceremony where a Balinese priest, also called a Pemangku, will bless you and make the offerings. The priest will do a ‘Tepung Tawar’ ritual and give the holy water to clean the hands, feet, face, and mouth three times, followed by some prayers. The prayers are said five times and are dedicated to Balinese Gods. This ceremony is believed to protect a person from the attack of negative forces or demonic influences.
Completing the journey, a piece of three-colored string called Benang Tridatu is tied around the guest’s wrist and worn until it falls off. The red, white, and black colored string represents the Hindu Trinity Gods (Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva), and symbolizes one’s quest for balance, harmony, and understanding. The red element symbolizes creativity, the black element protect us from bad spirits, while the white element symbolizes spirituality. Tridatu is meant to remind people that life is not made of just one color, but many colors.
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Photos are courtesy of Our World Travel Selfies and The Ritz Carlton Bali.