Full moon and Passover love! Munch your matzoh under the moon.
I head back to Dayus for a bit to taste her cheap and tasty cuisine before heading to Ashram Munivara for a full moon puja. The ashram is about 5 km out of town and we get a bit lost on the ride, which is perfect for the view of the moon over the rice fields is beyond magical.
The ashram is a huge complex of temples, altars, space for yoga and meditation founded by a Balinese man named Ketut Arsana who teaches in the kundalini tantra style. It smells heavenly of jasmine. I am intrigued and compelled to join the service, which first begins with a circular walk through the gardens to a fountain for cleansing, three times in the palms, three times over the face and crown, feet, the drill is clear. We all sit under one open-aired building for meditation and chanting, the mantras accompanied by live music followed by synchronized dances to more mantras. The Ganesha songs speak dearly to my heart for I feel his presence everywhere. Let us be removed of all obstacles, honoring the elephant who enjoys sweet prasad. Lush lotus flowers fill my third eye as we pray.
The Balinese version of Hinduism is beautiful, totally unique and interspersed with a mystical energy that is distinct to this sacred land. The way in which the word Shiva is pronounced is adorable. The word Shiva in Balinese is Siva but because the letter “v” is challenging to say, one says “Siwa”. All are in white except me, covered by a black long sleeve shirt. I feel like a sheep and pray harder to Krishna for forgiveness for my attire faux-pas.
The ceremony continues outside with more holy dances to mantras around the fire. Full moon pujas are particularly significant because of the movement of shakti, the divine feminine energy of the universe. We circle around the lingam/yoni statue many times, making offerings, dancing rhythmically. There are spontaneous tears the energy is so intense. Water blessings with rice conclude the evening and I am escorted home on the back of a motorbike of a kind member. Generosity and love flows from all.
(I did not take any photos at the ashram out of respect for the service although I wish I could…imagine white clad Balinese, all in sarong, dancing around a giant Shiva penis/yoni with a fire).
I love you moon.