Ngaben | the Cremation Ceremony in Bali
Regarding the word of “Ngaben”
Many people said that the meaning of the word Ngaben is : ngabuin, ngabehin, ngabain (to provision). That’s the people said, but according to literature “Purwayama tatwa”, the word of “ngaben” is made from the word “api (fire)”. The word api (fire) get prefix ‘ng’ and suffix ‘an’become the word “ngapian”. The word ‘ngapian’ change to ‘ngapen’ and change again the voice become to the word of ‘ngaben’. So the word of Ngaben is ‘nuju api (head to fire, flame)’. Api (fire) is ‘Brahma’. Atma (the soul) is going to Brahma Loka, to the place of Batara Brahma (God of Brahma). That’s why the ceremony of Ngaben always uses fire, flame.
Api (Balinese word: gni) in Bali consist of two : ‘gni sakala’ is used to fire the the death body and ‘gni niskala’ from the mantra (wedan) of the high priest (sang sulinggih) who lead and end the ceremony, purify the sin, dirty that stick in the soul (atma) of the death, the ceremony is called ‘Mralina’.
According to ‘Desa Mawacara’, there is used gni sakala, there is used gni niskala from the lead of the high priest, with the form of the media holy water (tirta pralina and tirta pangentas).
Ngaben is the ceremony to purify the soul of the death (upacara penyucian roh-preta/ atma) and to return the death body (pangawak/ angga sarira) to Panca Mahabuta (five elements), those are: api (fire), air (water), tanah (land, earth, ground), angin (wind), eter/ gas (ether).
“Amor ring Acintya” (return to the place of the God)