[IN PICTURE] Ngaben ceremony in Bali's west coast

Image: a new journey to the afterlife

Netizenbali, Jembrana - Dozens of local residents carry offerings for a Ngaben cremation ceremony, which was held at Pengeragoan village, Jembrana, Bali on Saturday, April 17, 2021.

Unlike other death ceremonies, Ngaben is celebrated merrily by the Balinese as this ceremony shows that family members have completed their duty. There should not be any tears of sadness as Balinese believe that it will hinder the spirit reaching their next life.

This ceremony normally isn’t taken immediately after one’s death. It must take place on a particular day as calculated by the Balinese calendar or recommended by the priest. 

A lot of time will also be required for the preparation, ranging from weeks until months for bigger ceremonies. Some families also wait a few years after their family has passed away, since a lot of money is needed to pay all the expenses. 

Balinese believe that the human body is only a temporary shell, which is impure and has no significance at all. It is only a vessel or a container of the soul made of five elements of cosmology: earth, air, fire, water and space. After the body’s death, the soul will find a new home in another form (based on the principles of Samsara – reincarnation).

Still, before that, the soul must go through a few more phases which are determined by their karma when they were lived. They can go to hell “Neraka”, heaven “Suarga” or even become one with God “Moksa”. There are many steps a soul must go through to reach Moksa, and the cremation rites is one of them.

Ngaben, also known as Pitra Yadyna, Pelebon or cremation ceremony, is the Hindu funeral ritual of Bali. (Net) 


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