On Saturday, October 9, 2010, Balinese Hindus celebrated Tumpek Landep - a day in which homage is paid to items made from steel, silver, bronze, copper and other metals.
Nature and God surrounds us all. On Tumpek Landep fruit, cakes and floral offerings together with strikingly beautiful peaces of woven palm leaf are placed on cars, motorbikes, machinery and sacred weapons.
Bali's roads were filled with cars festooned with multi-colored woven-palm panels affixed to bumpers and side mirrors. Small baskets containing flower petals, fruits, cakes and even money were prayerfully placed on dashboards and car hoods. And, reflecting life in a modern Bali, mechanized tractors, computers and televisions were also honored among the tools that enrich our existence.
A foreign resident in Bali who once dismissed the tradition of a People who seeks God's blessing on the tools and implements of daily life as mere animism, was quickly reminded by a Balinese friend of how quickly the foreigner resorts to religious epithet whenever a piece of machinery 'misbehaves." Reminded the Balinese friend, "You, too, obviously believe the spirit world inhabits your tools and equipment."
No Balinese household or company ignores Tumpek Landep. Ceremonies, prayers and offerings are prepared or purchased before their presentation from morning to night on this day of the Balinese calendar when God's blessing is asked for the "weapons" of our daily life. While in the past the day was perhaps more focused on the weapons of war used by Bali's warrior class, the celebration today seeks grace for the tools of daily life with which we do battle in fields, offices and factories across the island.
Quoted by the State news agency Antara, the Chairman of the Guide Training program at the Hindu Dharma Institute (IHDN) in Denpasar, Drs. I Ketut Sumadi, explained that Tumpek Landep is a day in honor of Betara Siwa who's job it is to dissolve and destroy tools and implements back to their basic elements.
Tumpek Landep falls once every 210 days on the Balinese calendar. Farmers make live offerings to farming implements, such as hoes, scythes and tractors. The offerings placed on cars, truck, motorcycles and bicycles are know in Bali as ceniga, sampian gangtung and tamiang.
Prayers and elaborate offering are presented as thanks to a merciful God who has given mankind the tools and the knowledge that ease our daily lives.
At the same time, the Balinese are ever-conscious that all tools used by man and blessed by God can never be used recklessly; maintaining a careful balance between man, nature and God in accordance with the Balinese tenet of "Tri Hita Karana."
Harking back to an earlier understanding of Tumpek Landep, hundreds of weapons owned by Bali's Mobile Brigade (Brimob) were also blessed on October 9th. Revolvers and long rifles were given small individual offerings before being laid out in neat rows at Brimob's Denpasar headquarter for the required blessing by a Balinese priest.
Quoted in Kompas.com, Nanang Supena, Commander of Bali's Brimob said, "today's ceremony allows us to thank God for his grace and his greatness; for giving us the metals needed by all mankind."
Nanang added: "Our duty ahead is increasingly challenging. Hopefully our weapons will be as effective as our minds in any coming battles."
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