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Day 4- Ulun Dhanu Beratan Temple

According to Balinese culture everything in the universe are defined by two gender classification, Female and Male. Probably that could be the reason why the Indonesian community are against the LGBT rights. Their traditional morals disapprove of homosexuality and cross dressing and it impacts public policy.

Different people… different opinions…. Let’s respect all and don’t argue on that.

The wow fact here is, in Bali even temples have gender. They believe everything in the universe must be in balance. And the balance is acquired by having a pair.

The Ulun Dhanu Bratan temple is regarded in Balinese Rwa Bhineda as Pradana (feminine). While the Besakih Temple as Purusha (masculine). At Besakih Temple Balinese would worship their almighty seeking the strength for the soul of the people in order to achieve spiritual satisfaction, whereas at Uluan Danu Temple, prayers are conducted to strengthen prosperity.

The Ulun Danu Temple is dedicated to the goddess of lakes and rivers, Dewi Batari Ulun Danu. And the water for cultivation and irrigation across the Northern and central Bali is taken from the Bartan Lake.

There are two shrines in this temple, a shrine with eleven roofs (Pelinggih Meru Tumpang Solas) facing toward the south, and a shrine with 3 roofs (Pelinggih Meru Tumpang Telu) that has four doors facing the four cardinal directions.

There are so many stories behind this temple. And this story was told to me by my cab driver. And the story goes like this.

Earlier Chinese used to have trade relation with Bali. Then some among the trade men used to take Balinese girls as their wife.

Subandar Cina was the administrator of the Chinese port in Bali. He used to take his beloved daughter Kang Ching Wie along with him during his journey. King Sri Jaya Pangus (1181-1269), ruler of Pejeng (currently a small town near Ubud) who was the king then, he fell in love with Kang Ching Wie.

Their marriage was opposed by the court priest, Begawan Siwagana who believed that Sri Jaya Pangus was going against the rules of the royal house by marrying a non-Hindu non-Balinese. Though Jaya Pangus tried his level best ot convince him, he failed.

Angered by Sri Jaya Pangus’ stubborn refusal to call off the marriage, Begawan Siwagana cursed the kingdom with heavy rain and floods. Bali fell into a great famine and poverty. To save his people he decided to leave Pejeng and establish a new kingdom Balingkang (named after Bali + Kang, his wife’s family name).

But that wasn’t the only problem King Jaya Pangus had to deal with. Despite having been married for a long time, Kang Ching Wie couldn’t get preganant. So Sri Jaya Pangus decided to meditate and seek help from the gods so his wife could conceive.

He left his wife Kang Ching Wie, and climbed up the slopes of the Mountain Batur for meditation. Here he met Dewi Danu, the goddess of Lake Batur. Sri Jaya Pangus fell in love with Dewi Danu, and never told her about his wife Kang Ching Wie.

Dewi Danu had a son with the king whom they named Mayadenawa. And they lived happily.

At the same time Kang Ching Wie waited patiently for her husband to return. She eventually decided to search for him on Mount Batur.

There she found out that he was with Dewi Danu, Kang Ching Wie was devastated. So was Dewi Danu. Dewi Danu was angered at the betrayal she felt as Sri Jaya Pangus had never informed her of his wife. In a fit of anger, she made both Sri Jaya Pangus and Kang Ching Wie disappear from the face of the earth.

The residents of Balingkang who loved their king and queen, made two giant puppets (barong landing) to remind themselves of their rulers. And it is belived that the tall temple is Dewi Dhanu and the small one behind is her son Mayadenawa.”

 

 

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