The Balinese people believe that all their daily life active is connecting to the Melaspas and Mecaru after finishing the new home, which is implementation their sacrifice (Yadnya) and to implementation the thanks to the Almighty God, where the form by doing upakara has they own purpose with many kind of offering to the god in form of banten (offering). There some symbols are contained in the “banten” which the symbol has a meaning which are representative the purpose of each traditional ceremonial.
Balinese Hinduism is based on the concept of Tri Hita Karana, the belief that there should be balanced relationships between man and God, man and all other people, and man and nature.
Yadnya, or holy sacrifices, are made to sustain the balance and the various types of holy sacrifices are each meant to address a particular subject.
Bhuta Yadnya is the holy sacrifice meant to maintain the balance between man and nature and is important because it is in nature (the natural world) that bad spirits are believed to most often reside. Bhu literally translates from Balinese to English as the word ‘nature’. So keeping Bhutra (or the bad spirits in nature) from becoming troublesome to man is accomplished by showing respect.
Basically the Hindu concept is commences to its follower to make good behavior respect, help and loving each other, (well I thing all the religious in the world has good purpose) which base on “Trikaya Parisuda” which consist of manacika (good thinking), wacika (good speaking), kayika (good behavior), this all concept are implementation in symbol in daily Balinese activity.
In the development the House/Home architecture, Asta Kosala-Kosali is basically principle role for Balinese people to build house, commonly before build the there are some ritual that done in the land where the house will build it this ritual called “Melaspas” dan continue to “Mecaru‘.
The melaspas, is one the Bali traditional ceremonial where the purpose to clean the negative element from the new site of building or land has great spirit of goodness soul which stays in the buioding which in Bali language “medaging or pedagingan” the purely soul goodness spirit.
There are great philosophies contained deep inside the melaspas traditional ceremonial. The melaspas which came from word “mala” which means bad or negative elements and”pas” means cleaned or to make purely so the word melaspas means to make something to be cleaned from the negative element so it become purely. The melaspas especially done to ceremonies the new building like : house, Merajan (temple / shrine, beside to clean the building from the negative element, the Melaspas also has purpose to giving the great spirit of soul to the building, so as the owner wil be protected from the negative elements.
Mecaru is the ceremony especially intended to deal with the balance between man and nature.
It is the Balinese Hindu belief that bad spirits may be hidden in places like very high trees, at big bridges or at village crossroads. These spirits will remain quiet and calm so long as they are acknowledged and honored. But in places where bad spirits stay, the feeling in the location is often strange and uncomfortable. People are cautious and are careful in passing through these areas. But if the proper prayers and ceremonies are observed, the spirits will not be disturbed and, in turn, will not disturb man. It seems a fair balance and a good way to deal with the concept that good is balanced with bad and both must be recognized.
Mecaru is the act of giving offerings that are made especially to please Bhuta contain shrimp paste, which has a very strong and unpleasant odor, ginger, onion, and raw meat.
Drinks to Bhuta that accompany the offering include traditional alcoholic beverages like arak or brem, both made from rice. Their smells are strong and their tastes are even stronger.
The Mecaru ceremony is intended to satisfy the Bhuta spirits and persuade them to stay away. In addition, on a regular basis, every 15 days, Bhuta is recognized with special offerings. Thus the harmony between the visible (sekala) and the invisible (neskala) is maintained.
The Mecaru ceremony can be held at three levels; low, medium and high. The levels are differentiated by the types of offerings and sacrifices that are made.
A low Mecaru will include offerings of flowers and food such as rice, ginger and onions and can be led by the head of the household or the family elder. No animal sacrifices are made.
A medium level Mecaru has offerings that include several kinds of rice seeds and/or several different colors of rice e.g., white, yellow, black and red. Five fistfuls of the colored rice are used to make these offerings. In addition, a sacrifice of a chicken or a duck is made and the blood of the chicken is dropped on the ground. This pleases the spirits and keeps them peaceful.
Medium levels of Mecaru may include several chickens but the color(s) of the chickens are significant and may mean looking throughout the village and maybe neighboring villages to find the correct colors. This medium level Mecaru must be led by a priest or holy person (pinandita, a holy person who has not yet attained the highest holy level known as pedanda).
A high level Mecaru becomes a major ceremony and can include hundreds of offerings and several sacrifices of not only two legged animals, but also four legged animals. These could consist of buffalo, cow, pig or even a young dog. Again, the coloring of the animal is very important and not just any animal is qualified to be a holy offering.
The Balinese Hindu believes that an animal used as sacrifice will be elevated in reincarnation because it has been used in ceremony and is pure. And prior to sacrificing the animal, a special ceremony is held for it to insure its higher place in its future life. The leader of a high level Mecaru must be a pedanda, the highest level religious person in Bali. Also, Pedanda are of the highest of the four castes in Bali and spend many years preparing for their religious responsibilities.
Mecaru are often held for special reasons. When a new house is built, Mecaru must be held before sleeping in the house.
If there is an accident on the road, Mecaru takes place at the site of the accident. A fire in a house will be followed by Mecaru.
And at home, every morning after cooking, rice is set aside for inclusion in the daily offerings made at each temple in the compound. Bhuta is not forgotten or overlooked.
The significant principal is one of peace. There is never intent to do damage to the invisible spirits, as concerned as one might be about them. The invisible spirits are part of life and part of the balance of good and bad, black and white, night and day.
By honoring the invisible spirits they remain passive and content. We do not bother them and they do not bother us…true balance and harmony, the Balinese Hindu way.