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Nyepi, A Day of Silence

, (Trisna Darma Putri)

Pinanggal Apisan Sasih Kedasa marked as  Hindu New Year Day based on Lunar calendar (Caka). Pinanggal Apisan mean 1st date, Sasih mean month, and Kedasa mean 10. Which means the first date in ten month. That’s the new year known as Nyepi. Once a year in Bali, we celebrate Nyepi. Nyepi or a day of silence usually falls around March every year.

During Nyepi day, Bali is full of quietness and peaceful feeling. The objective of the Nyepi was to  balance and purify  bhuana  agung (universe/macrocosmos) and  bhuana  alit (human nature/microcosmos). On this day, we implement Catur Brata Penyepian. Catur Brata Penyepian means the four prohibitions that must be done during Nyepi Day. There are :

  • Amati Geni (no fire, no light and no electricity) The fire referred to here is not only the fire that we see in real terms, but also leads to human nature or ego. For example, it is not allowed to be angry or jealous. 
  • Amati Lelanguan (no entertainment) This means that people who carry out Nyepi should not do activities, either in the form of eating, drinking, watching TV, holding cell phones and so on. Because Brata Penyepian is intended as a means to do Tapa Brata, which means not doing everything. During Nyepi, we should fast and do samadhi (sitting cross-legged in the form of meditation).
  • Amati Lelungan (no travelling) People who carry out Nyepi are not allowed to travel, either outside the house or the like. It also means the mind is not wandering anywhere.
  • Amati Karya (no work) Not doing work activities and self-evaluation in connection with work to reflect on the results of work in a year.

There are several sequence ceremonies on Nyepi Day, the series of ceremonies are :
First, its Melasti or Melis Ceremony. It is usually held three or two days before Nyepi. Melasti day is the purification ritual before Nyepi. On Melasti Day, all the Gods and Goddess symbols in the Temple will be purified in the nearest water sources (beach, river or lake). After the purification, everyone will pray facing the sea. The purpose of this procession was to ask Tirta Amerta to purify water from Hyang Widhi (God Almighty). For Hindus, the sea is a symbol of cleaning all impurities.

The day before Nyepi known as Pengerupukan or Tawur Kesanga/Tawur Agung Ceremony, falls on “tilem sasih kesanga” (the 9th dead month), Hindus perform the Bhuta Yadnya ceremony. The purpose of mecaru is to overcome negative elements and to maintain the balance of the universe and human beings. The ceremony was held in all levels of society, including Banjar (Village) and Family. Pengerupukan is done by delivering nasi tawur (tawur rice), torching the house and the entire yard, and hitting any object (usually kulkul) until it makes a loud noise. This stage is carried out to expel Bhuta Kala from the environment of the house, yard, and the surrounding environment. 

In the afternoon, Pengrupukan is usually celebrated by ogoh-ogoh parades which are the manifestation of Bhuta Kala which are paraded around the neighborhood, and then burnt as a symbol of purification. The purpose is similar, namely to expel Buta Kala from the surrounding environment. Ogoh-ogoh parades are accompanied by instruments such as gong baleganjur, kulkul, and similar instruments. Symbolically, the ogoh-ogoh is a manifestation of the Bhuta Kala.

Nyepi, we celebrate nyepi for a day from 6 am in the morning until 6 am the next day.  During Nyepi Day, the atmosphere is silent, there are no activities as usual. Hindus carry out Catur Brata Penyepian as a way of celebrating the Caka New Year. Catur Brata Penyepian consists of Amati Geni (no fire, no light and no electricity), Amati Lelanguan (no entertainment), Amati Lelungan (no travelling), and Amati Karya (no work). 

The day after Nyepi and the last sequence of Nyepi known as Ngembak Geni. Ngembak Geni means the end of Catur Brata Penyepian. On the day of ngembak geni, Hindus carry out an event to visit family / relatives, close friends, professional friends, and others to forgive each other for all mistakes and mistakes that have or may have happened before.
The day after Nyepi and the last sequence of Nyepi known as Ngembak Geni. Ngembak Geni means the end of Catur Brata Penyepian. On the day of ngembak geni, Hindus carry out an event to visit family / relatives, close friends, professional friends, and others to forgive each other for all mistakes and mistakes that have or may have happened before.

The objective of Nyepi Day is a very important moment for all of us, because we can reflect on what has been felt, done, and experienced upon previous years and try to be better in the future.