Tsunami: Seven Eggs to Appease Nature’s Wrath
I Wayan Juniartha, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar, Bali
The main elements of the offering are seven duck eggs and one sandat (Canangium odoratum) flower with complete, undamaged petals. A growing number of Balinese believe that the offering would alleviate the impact of imminent natural disasters.
“There is nothing wrong with presenting an offering, is there?” Della said.
That Tuesday evening, she had just finished placing the offering on the ground before the main gate of her family compound in western Denpasar. Earlier, she had placed another offering, a pejati, comprising mainly of rice, egg and coconut, at the ancestral shrine of Rong Tiga.
“I got the details of the offerings from this leaflet,” she added.
The one-page leaflet, which had apparently been widely distributed among Denpasar’s housewives, stated that a series of disasters, including earthquakes and floods, will hit the island sometime between July 25 and Aug. 25.
It urged the Balinese to prepare specific offerings, including the pejati and the seven eggs, on the evening of July 25. The eggs were a special tribute to Lord Basuki, the mighty dragon that controls the earth’s seven sub-terrain realms of Sapta Patala.
Moreover, on that night, the Balinese were urged to hold a prayer with their families in their respective family temples.
The leaflet was written by Anak Agung Indra Kusuma, who claimed that it was based on a pawisik (divine revelation) he had received on July 20 from the Lord of Mount Agung, the most respected deity in the island’s belief system.
Several Hindu scholars had expressed their doubts about the leaflet, pointing out that any pawisik of such importance was usually bestowed on a sulinggih (high priest) instead of a layman.
They advised the Balinese not to do anything until the Parisadha, Hindu religious body, issued an official recommendation on that matter.
“What’s the symbolic or philosophical importance of seven eggs or a sandat flower with perfect petals? There are no religious texts that mention such offerings,” a scholar I Gusti Ngurah Sudiana argued.
On the other hand, the soft-spoken Anak Agung Indra Kusuma firmly denied that personal interest and popularity were the reason behind the leaflet. In fact, Indra Kusuma stressed, he played no role in the dissemination of the leaflet.
“I sent the leaflet to one respected media outlet in Bali, asking them to find a responsible way to inform the public of the pawisik. I never copied or distributed it to the masses,” he conceded.
The 50-year-old man, who claimed that he has been a spiritual medium for the past 15 years, stated that he received a similar revelations prior to the Kuta bombings, the Aceh tsunami and, most recently, the Yogya earthquake.
“It really breaks my heart to witness such a tragic loss of human lives, thousands of them. That’s the reason why, following the last pawisik, I was determined to warn the Balinese of the impending disasters,” he said.
“After all, this warning is for the believers. It’s OK if you don’t believe in me or the warning,” he added.
In spite of all the controversy surrounding the leaflet, in the last three days Balinese wives have flocked the markets in search of duck eggs and the flower.
And, at midnight Tuesday Della and her family spent a quite time inside her family temple. In a solemn mood, with inaudible chants, they prayed for the Lord’s mercy over the island.
“I think its good that somebody has reminded us of the importance of a joint prayer like this. It’s good for a family to share spiritual time together,” her husband said.
Leave the beach or any other waterways near the ocean immediately if you feel, see or hear one or all of these natural signs listed below: 1) A powerful tremor of an earthquake. 2) An abrupt fall in the sea level/ sudden occurrence of low tide. 3) An unusually powerful and huge wave. It could be followed by a series of stronger and bigger waves. 4) A loud explosion/roaring noise/thunderous drum-like sound. 5) A burst of an unusually cold and salty wind.
Please remember that: 1) A tsunami is deadly and moves very swiftly. Do not attempt to watch it. 2) A tsunami is a series of waves. The first wave is probably not the biggest one. 3) It could take up to an hour before the last wave in the series hits the beach. Therefore, a tsunami’s threat could last up to one hour .