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Directory Home> Bali Art and Culture> Cycle Of Life
 
CYCLE OF LIFE
 
The wedding ceremony follows in a more formal manner. It emphasises that one's desires, while being exercised, should at the same time be kept under tight control. The climax of the wedding ritual, Mesakapan, is meant to appease the earthly forces or buta sor, which are the origin of desires and temptation.

Priorities in life then shift towards family and accumulation of wealth or artha. Male heirs are regarded as important because it is these heirs of sentana who will implement the rituals of death and look after the family temples. They are a safeguard in the process of release. It is therefore important to accumulate wealth so that the rites for their ancestors and the community can be financed.

The Balinese death is but a return to your origins. The preceding wheels of one's life are the way to ultimate release. Not all corpses are cremated immediately, as some wait for an auspicious day, a collective ceremony or until their descendants have enough money to perform the rites. The cremation ritual is a reminder of the cosmic symbolism of life. The tower is a duplicate of the cosmos; the corpse is put in the middle, symbolizing its position between the spiritual and the human worlds. The sarcophagus, in which the body is burned, is a vehicle to take the soul away.

The ashes are collected and taken to the sea. It is here that the soul passes through hell to be tortured and cleansed. The soul is then called back on shore and eventually taken back to the Mother Mountain, Gunung Agung. The soul is then enshrined in the family temple and the dead is now an ancestor, until the next incarnation.
 
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