Bali’ Wayang Week’ and History of the Time Devourer

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If there is an Indonesian form of art that is internationally famous and recalls the idea of ​​”magic show”, it undoubtedly presents a shadow play or puppet theater: “wayang”.

the quivering shadows of the paternal figure dancing on the white veil shaped and shaped by the flickering lamp. Before they tell the stories: the struggle of the 5 Pandavas from the Mahabharata trying to regain their kingdom, or the prince Rama’s attempt to abduct Sinta. And he is a true magician in making transportationsinging in old Javanese, playing low and high Balinese, and cleverly exploiting, under the heat of the lamp, he casts heroes and villains, gods and giants. He is the “priest” by virtue of excellence.My uncle is a clever man) a teacher, one through whom the Balinese, before the colony, learned the stories, the religious philosophy and the ethical code of conduct. His art encompasses the entire Balinese teaching. He taught school in the days before the modern school.

Everything in a wayang performance is imbued with symbolic meaning. God is compared to “Sang Hyang Ringgit” – the Great Master – and earthly transportation His is the middle. The screen stretched across the four bamboo sticks on which he performs, represents the world (jagat raya), while the fixed trunk on which his puppets cling at the foot of the tent is our Mother Earth (Pertiwi). The oil lamp is the source of divine cosmic energy that gives life to all living things. Sitting in the middle with the feet in the middle to play in front of the screen – so that the shadows can be seen from the other side, transportation it literally deals with the cosmic struggle between the forces of “good” (or preservation) and “evil” (or destruction) at work in the world. Those forces are represented by puppets that make their entrance to the right and left of the dalang respectively. This cosmo-religious function is of the greatest importance; only secondary food. Showing wayang never begins without a long litany in Old-Javanese, beginning with a call to Sang Hyang Ringgit to come down and literally inhabit then demiurge. transportation.

Wayang performances are held on the occasion of rituals, when Neck (Intangible) The world comes to life and the cosmic balance plays out. The stories change according to the event that is being celebrated: weddings, post-cremation ceremonies, vows, etc., hero stories in which there are corresponding narratives of love, a great festival or a celebration of the hero’s death. the main argument. Heroes and villains address each other, never spectators; they speak in old Javanese, and their speech was translated into Balinese by clowns. This layering of speech, the storyteller further confirms the sacredness of the show, which now finally slips into the ridiculous.

Since this function is the key to the road, it is not at all surprising that the 210 days in the Balinese calendar are attributed to 210 complete weeks, which together with the lunar cycles of the Saka year – determine the most. about the rites of the Balinese religion.

Every 35 days, between the Saturday of the 7th week of the week and the Kliwon week of the 5th day, the Tumpek ritual day returns, in which a large part of Balinese life is celebrated at the end of the corresponding period. eight There are 6 gathereds: respectively for weapons (Tumpek Landep, 2nd week), plants (Tumpek Uduh, 7th week), ancestors (Tumpek Kuningan, 12th week), music (Tumpek Krulut, 17th week), animals (Tumpek Kandang, 22nd), and wayang (Tumpek Wayang, 27th seven).

In Tumpek Wayang, which comes at the end of Wayang Week, the birthday of wayang is celebrated. Dalang offers his puppets and especially the most holy ones: pious clowns (Delem and Sangut respectively from the positive and negative side). He usually has a fan in the family temple, through which he addresses the “spirit” of his character, or taksuliving in spectacles, through which he shares powers from the untouchable world. Dalangi villagers can also visit the blessed water that is produced by the sacred spectacles.

However, the peculiarity of the week wayang and Tumpek wayang is also that it breaks through the cosmic forces that the Balinese must ward off. It is said that the son of the demon Shiva, Batara Kala – the Lord of Time – goes on a rampage during this week, and children born during wayang week must be kept in a purification ceremony.

The origin of this ritual is mythological. It goes back, so the story goes, to the birth of Batara Kala from a drop of seed falling into the sea after his father was rejected by his wife Uma. When Shiva feared the consequences for the world of his demon son’s evil temper, he asked him to split his fangs and thus control the demonic temper.

Kala accepted, but on one condition, that she should devour those children of hers born in Tumpek Wayang. Shiva is accepted. Alas, fate had decreed that Shiva’s wife would bear another son born to Tumpek Wayang: Dewa Rare Kumara – the guardian god of children. Hearing this, Kala asked for his debt. That the brother may eat. Shiva and Uma begged him to postpone, because Kumara was still a baby. But when they grew up, they could do nothing to prevent their son from following the demon to prey. But before he could be arrested, Dewa Rare Kumara escaped and took refuge among the people. Enraged, Batara Kala chased him all over the world, ravaging the wreckage on all sides. He was almost caught when his brother hid himself in the gamelan, as the shadow of the lord was performing the sacred ritual. Batara Kala saw the offerings there, and being hungry he swallowed them carelessly. But he had already eaten that which was not his own, but that of the gods. Dalangus, enraged, demanded his return: he was ashamed, received by the god and demon, to try to devour his brother.

Since earlier days, Dewa Rare Kumara has been the undertaker of children. Kala – the Balinese Chronos – is still the Lord of time and of “devouring” people, especially children, but he only devours those who are not observing the ritual requirements. He is most dangerous in his “articles” (sand) of the day: dawn, noon and sunset. It is also a danger to all those born in the week of wayang. To ward off this danger, people who were born this week usually make a wish that the Sapuleger wayang performance is held, which tells the Kala depicted above and thus cleanses the son of all danger (ngruwat).

The ceremony of Tumpek Wayang, and the story told about Batara Kala, reminds us that for the Balinese, time is nothing but neutral. Heavily charged with the positive and negative cosmic force, which man, as his own microcosm/self, has his own equality with each other through ritual.

John Knife

John Knife

Joanne Couteau, an observer of Bali for more than 40 years, is a graduate of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and a former lecturer at the Instituto Seni Indonesia Denpasar. He is considered an expert on Balinese culture, having authored: Puri Lukisan (2000), Un Autre Temps: Les Calendriers Tika de Bali (2004) Time, Rituals and Festivals of Bali (2013, with Georges Breguet), and Myth, Magic and Mystery of Bali (2018 ) – to name a few. He is a multilingual writer for Indonesia’s national paper, Kompas, with the column “Udar Rasa” published on Sunday’s cultural page (in Bahasa Indonesia). He also contributes to the monthly culture section of NOW! Bali.

Source: Elaboarated and Quoted From Many Source

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