One of the obligatory ceremonies to be implemented by the Hindus in Bali is mapandes or tooth filing ceremony. The ceremony is conducted by a sangging or tooth filer symbolically chiseling the four upper incisors and two canines. Then, it is resumed with filing the teeth by using a saw filer, so that they become
One of the obligatory ceremonies to be implemented by the Hindus in Bali is mapandes or tooth filing ceremony. The ceremony is conducted by a sangging or tooth filer symbolically chiseling the four upper incisors and two canines. Then, it is resumed with filing the teeth by using a saw filer, so that they become flat and neat.
Dr. I Made Surada, a lecturer of State Hindu Dharma Institute (IHDN) Denpasar, said that sangging is person who has certain ability in the ceremony, such as making the offerings, bade tower, shrine building, sculpture, painting and others. People having the profession as sangging have already owned the skills. “To become a sangging, people have to go through a pawintenan or initiation rite according to the level of ceremony performed,” he said.
A sangging is not only good at making the works, but also able to perform initiation rite (spiritually animate the work). Sangging is not only able to officiate over physically (sekala), but also psychically (niskala). “Sangging has to be able to chant mantra so that a sangging should have undergone a pawintenan at its spiritual teacher,” he said.
Temple priest and high priest usually also serve as sangging. In certain case, the sangging can also be assisted in the process of ceremony. At first, he consecrates the chisel, filer and gem with the meaning that the tooth to be filed will become brilliant. The palm-leaf manuscripts used as reference for this tooth-filing ceremony are the Tatwa Kala, Kala Puja Pati, Semaradahana and Tutur Sanghyang Yama.
Lately, there is an official becoming a sangging. It is okay provided that it has undergone the initiation rite for the profession. Otherwise, it can only watch the procession because the ritual must be accompanied with mantra to be chanted. Without mantra, the procession will be the same as filing teeth at beauty salon or dental clinic. “Although the people are not high priests, they can also become a sangging as long as they have taken the initiation rite for the profession first,” he said.
It is different from the case of tooth filing for dead people. The sangging will be assigned to its biological mother. This provision is carried in the Proktah palm-leaf manuscript. The tool used to file the teeth is rice knife commonly used in earlier times. Otherwise, it can be replaced with lotus flower as the rice knife seems to be difficult to find. “Sangging having not undergone the initiation rite is believed to bring in an effect on the next descent,” he explained.
He said that Hindu communities in Bali always organizes tooth filing ceremony for their sons and daughters after growing adult. This ceremony aims to control the influence of Shadripu (six enemies) in the children because their desire will give more opportunities to be teased. When this happens, it will infiltrate and have negative impact on their behavior.
On that account, they are purified by tooth filing rite whose implementation comes with a set of offerings symbolizing the teeth. In the filing ritual for the six teeth, the ends symbolize Adharma (untruth) that are then filed to make them flat symbolizing dharma. By doing so, dharma remains to control of the life of children having undergone the ritual.
Tooth filing is a ritual with the meaning to discover the true nature of human and release from the shackles of darkness or Shadripu effect in humans. Shadripu poses six enemies arising from the nature of bad deeds in human, namely Kama (lust), Lobha (greed), Krodha (anger), Mada (arrogance), Moha (attachment) and Matsarya (jealousy).
People can undergo the tooth filing ceremony when they physically have entered adolescent period. In girls, it can be done after getting the first menstruation and in boys after experiencing voice changes. This ritual is meant to remove impurities in the form of kala, bhuta, pisacas and raksasa in the sense that the body and soul are overwhelmed by the Shadripu nature so as to find true nature of human.
Another objective is also to get reunited with their father and mother having been in sacred realm, to avoid punishment in hell later on imposed by Lord Yama in the form of biting lower end of petung bamboo as stated in the Atma Prasangsa palm-leaf manuscript and parents can meet their obligations to their children so as to be genuine human. (BTN/Budarsana)4 comments