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The Farmers and The Goddess of the Lake  

by on Wednesday, 23 April 20082 Comments | 2,101 views

[photopress:danau_batur.jpg,full,pp_image]

Farmers of central and south Bali, which cultivate the lion share of the rice fields in the island of Bali only need to glance up to clouds which hanging around Mount Batur to be reminded of the ultimate origin of the water that flow into their fields and become the lifeline of agriculture in central and south Bali. Yes, in the crater of Mount Batur, stretching over 1,718 hectares is Lake Batur, an immense fresh water lake that is regarded as the ultimate source of water for rivers and springs that provide irrigation water for central and south Bali.

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Lake Batur is regarded as the abode of Dewi Danu (goddess of the lake) which controls all the water that flow from this lake hence all the water that flow into the rice fields in central and south Bali. Since the rice fields are greatly depends on flow of water from the lake, the farmers of central and south Bali has a strong relationship with the goddess of the lake, spiritually all the rice fields which draw their water from the lake are belong to the goddess of the lake. This relationship is succinctly defined in a sacred manuscript known as Rajapurana Ulun Danu Batur, which is kept in the temple of the lake, “Because the goddess makes the water flow, those who do not follow her laws may not posses her rice fields”.

Pura Ulun Danu Batur

Each year on the full moon of the tenth month of Balinese of Caka calendar, when the Ngusaba Kedasa ceremony is held to honor the goddess of the lake. Long before the the date of the ceremony thousands of farmers from all over the island contribute their power and their harvest in the preparation of the ceremony as a sign of their gratitude to the goddess of the lake. On day of the ceremony hundreds of thousands farmers and pilgrims pay homage to the goddess. For the farmers this occasion is not just used to express their gratitude sometimes they request more water from the goddess.

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