The Spirit of Ritual in Community Engagement (Case Study in Subak)

Ni Gst. Ag. Gde Eka Martiningsih


Many differences between the philosophy of Hinduism in Bali and the religious understanding of the younger generation with the older generation. Where there has been a change in view of the ritual performed by Hindus, especially among the younger generation. While on the other hand rituals by several groups including farmers (in the subak organization) are still something that is still being done and taboos to be broken. Just as Subak Wongaya Betan who still believes that the spirit of rituals is associated with their implementation in the field of agriculture. The rituals based on the awareness of something that is profane which farmers believe determines the success of their farm. Subak Wongaya Betan still implements continuous rituals collectively and personally. These rituals are usually performed in temple to water resources and environment in areas of subak such as Ulun Danu (the God of Waters or Lord Vishnu), Subak Temple (Pura Ulun Suwi and Bedugul) and family temple.  In one growing season Subak Wongaya Betan implement collective rituals such as: (1) Mapag Toya (fetch water); (2) mesaba (a ritual at the time of harvest would), and nangluk merana (pest and diseases eradication). As for personal rituals subak members are still carrying out rituals such as: (1) ngendagin (start the processing of land), (2) ngurit and mawiwit (paddy sowing).  Totally all of the ritual have to be conducted by subak’s member in one step of plantation are around 12 rituals.  In addition there are some rituals that are incidental in accordance with the purposes of the subak example pemelaspasan (inauguration) if Subak build infrastructure associated with the water control system. In connection with the preparation and execution of this ritual, although there was already a division of tasks and activities between members of Subak men with female members, but usually women will be more involved. This is because women will be involved from the time of the preparation of offerings and rituals. In this case the member of Subak presented the concept of rituals according to Hindu society and how the ritual activities can be tighten the social relationship between the member of subak and village.  One of the advantages of these phenomena is when the spirit of ritual always stands in rural community engagement.

Keywords: Spirit, ritual, community engagement, subak


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