Some Uses of Animals in Hinduism, To Fill Oblations and Caru Rituals

Some Uses of Animals in Hinduism, To Fill Oblations and Caru Rituals

Over time and under different conditions there are changes that occur in all societies – including Bali. Along with the increase in both the quantity and quality of information technology there is an increased interest and curiosity amongst Balinese people themselves about things that have become part of daily life. People are not so easily satisfied

Over time and under different conditions there are changes that occur in all societies – including Bali. Along with the increase in both the quantity and quality of information technology there is an increased interest and curiosity amongst Balinese people themselves about things that have become part of daily life. People are not so easily satisfied with the answer “that’s just how it is” about the art, culture and other aspects of daily life for Balinese, like oblations, paraphanalia and the use of animals in rituals.

When discussing about the use of animals in the oblations (bebantenan), of course we will talk about the use of animal meat in the oblations. According to I Gede Agus Budi Adnyana, a humanist and lecturer at State Hindu Dharma Institute (IHDN) Denpasar, we cannot talk about bebantenan without mentioning the use of animal meat in oblations. Various Hindu rituals in Bali often use animal flesh as an offering that has an almost equal position to flowers in oblations. For example, peras oblation must contain grilled chicken otherwise they are not considered complete.

Adnyana said that it is stated in one of the slokas or couplets of the Rig Veda: “what is on the grilled meat, oil and the meat itself should not be thrown onto the grass, offer it to the gods”. This, he said,  confirms that meat is one of the important means in the oblations. Besides, in the practice of Bhairava Tantra, flesh is one of the main offerings in ritual because it is also life-giver of the universe.

“In terms of the type of animals uses, Manawa Dharmasastra states that livestock such as chickens, ducks or pigs are used in accordance with the rituals or local traditions of different areas”, said Adnyana. He added that offering in the form of meat as stated in the Rig Veda become the most important and the most classical rituals. In addition, there are also animals like cows and buffalos that tend to be used in the Ngusaba or Mamungkah rituals.

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The animal is skinned, and the skin and the head are used as titi mamah or as a foundation for the arrival of deities as inspired by the story of the legendary demon Mahisasura who was eradicated by Goddess Durga. Moreover, in the ceremony of Bhatara Turun Kabeh, the titi mamah like this is also used as a foothold before the deity’s effigy it brought up to the peselang pavilion.

Other rituals also involve animal sacrifice or caru oblations with chicken serving as the basis of caru. According to Ida Bagus Alit, senior figure of Griya Anyar Manuaba, Baha, the type of meat is adjusted to the direction. However, he added that implementation of certain caru ritual such as Caru Wrehaspati Kalpa in the grandiose ritual will usually use other animals such as goats.

Then, other animals are used for each direction like celeng butuan (male piglet) for north point, black-winged goose for the west and white swan for the east and then dog for the south according to the instructions of Ida Pedanda.

Manusha yadnya activities like babayuhan (exorcism rites) also use chicken. In the case of an inauspicious birth where the pawukon-based birthday (otonan) coincides with full moon, a redemption by bebayuhan must be performed using a white chicken dedicated to Shiva Raditya but if the birth coiicides with the new moon a black chicken is used and is to be offered to the Goddess Ratih.

“Chickens in the bebayuhan ritual will be roasted or steamed because after the ritual the chicken meat will be enjoyed by the person for whom the exorcism rite is conducted”, he explained. (BTN/was)



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