Samuan Tiga Temple

Samuan Tiga temple is one of the oldest temples in Bali. There are Siwa and Buddha statues inside the temple as a symbol of reconciliation between their followers.� The written inscription said it was used as a meeting place for the reconciliation between Buddha Mahayana followers, Bali Mula / Bali Aga (original native people of Bali) and Hindu Siwa followers in about 1001 AD when Gunapriyadharmapatni and Udayana Kingdoms govern Bali island.

The concept of Desa Pakraman (the traditional Balinese village system) was initiated during this time. Agreement of social religious system development in Bali was created by one of the central figures in Bali: Mpu Kuturan. He was the famous knights and religious leader of the kingdom.

According to the book written by R. Goris, there were 9 sects in the old Bali period. They were the pasupata, bhairawa, siwa sidhanta, waisnawa, budha, brahma, resi, sora and ganapatya sects. Among theese sects, siwa sidharta was the dominant sect in Bali (Ardhana 1989:56). Each sect had their own prime goddess and considered that their god was higher than the others. This fanatic faith created conflict that had the potential of blowing up at any time. King Udayana tried to reduce the conflict by invited all religious leaders from Java and Bali as well then he held a summit conference. Pura Penataran is the place where the conference was held. To commemorate that summit meeting, the temple was then named samuan tiga (meeting of three).

One of the particular rituals when the temple has a ceremony is called Ngambeng. For a few days before the ceremony, a group of children from the village will visit each of the houses around and ask for donations for the temple ceremony. The donations are not some money but such things as chickens, rice and other products of the farms. Even though the children have to walk for many kilometers, they do this happily, knowing that this work is just a volunteer job. This is one of the processes for them to know their neighborhood. They become knowledgeable as to who are the village inhabitants and where their houses are located.

Samuan Tiga temple ceremony is held every year. On the third day of the ceremony, there is a ritual called Mesiat Sampian.� Hundreds of people, from children to old men, attack each other by throwing the sampian at one another. Sampian is made of young coconut leaves and is used for ceremonies.

According to local beliefs, the ceremony season in Samuan Tiga temple is an auspicious time to find a girl/boyfriend since many young people from villages around the area will come for temple festival. It is also a good time for those who work and live in various regions to back home and have a chit chat with others. Beside the ceremony itself, they hope they can find their future husband/wife. No wonder sometimes there is a couple who has just met during ceremony season and decide to get married even while the ceremony in Samuan Tiga is still going on because they believe they have met by the gods.

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