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Home » Religion

Where to Get Holy Water: Natural Sources  

by on Tuesday, 24 April 2007No Comment | 6,829 views

Holy water, the most important part of a Balinese ceremony, no ceremony is considered to be complete without the presence of Holy water. Holy water can be obtained either from natural sources or from the peranda (high priest). The natural resources of holy waters range from klebutan (spring), tukad (river), campuan (meeting of two or more river), loloan (estuary), danu (lake), and segara (sea).


Klebutan, spring is the most popular holy water source for temple anniversary, and rites for God. Not all spring is fit as holy water source, spring that is used as a holy water source is usually located on the sacred spot or near a temple. A Beji temple or at least a shrine is built near the spring that is used as a holy water source. Balinese who want to get a holy water from this spring must present a set of offering to this temple or shrine and ask permission from the the God who resides in this temple or shrine.

Tukad (river)

Tukad, river, nowadays, is no longer used as a holy water source for God relating ceremony, only holy water for cremation purpose (toya penembak) is taken from the river. Not all river or part of a river is fit for cremation purpose holy water source, only part of river that is located near the cemetery and considered to be sacred is fit for a source of holy water.

Campuan, meeting of two or more river is a unique source of holy water. It can provides holy water for all kind of ceremonial purpose. You can not obtain holy water from cremation purpose in the spring which is intended for holy water source for God related ceremony, but from campuan people can obtain holy water either for a god related ceremony or human related ceremony. Campuan is also used as a place for melukat (cleansing body and soul as well as recharging spiritual power).

Loloan (estuary)

Loloan, estuary nowadays is rarely used as a holy water source. Only a loloan with a campuan in it is usually used as a source of holy water. The diminishing popularity of loloan as holy water resource is due to the waste and pollution that is thrown to the river accumulated in the loloan and make it dirty and unfit for holy water source.


Danu, lake is a source of holy water for all purpose especially for the people who resides far away from the sea – people of Bangli regency. Holy water from the Danu is obligatory for a subak temple ceremony since danu is the ultimate source of water for farming in Bali. Each danu has a ulun danu temple in which the Goddess of the respective danu resides. People who wish to obtain holy water from the danu should pay homage and present a set of offering in this temple.

Melasti ceremony

Segara, sea is the main source of holy water for all kind ceremony especially big ceremonies. A pura Segara, or sea temple is built on the beach to house the God of the sea. But people who wish to obtain holy water from the segara do not have to pay homage or present a set of offering in this temple. Offering can be presented on the beach where they want to take the holy water. Segara is not just considered as a source of holy water but also the source elixir of life (tirtha amerta), Each year, in Melasti ceremony, thousand of Balinese follow their deities to the sea in order to take the elixir of life for the welfare Bali. Sea also serve as the greatest purifier, after the cremation ceremony remnant of the deceased is thrown to the sea in order to purify the soul of the deceased. Thousand of Balinese also do melukat ritual in the sea to purify themselves.

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