Hindus across Indonesia turned up in large numbers to attend the Abhiseka ceremony performed at Prambanan Temple on November 12, which is the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia and the second-largest in Southeast Asia. The Hindu ritual held to clean and purify the temple site was held for the first time in 1,163 years.
“After we discovered the inscription written on the day the temple was established, which is November 12, 856 AD, along with rituals conducted, Hindus then prepared to perform the same ritual. So it is basically to commemorate temple’s inauguration by Rakai Pikatan Dyah Seladu back in that year,” Made Astra Tanaya, a member of the committee that performed the Abhiseka, said.
Abhisheka or Abhiṣeka is a Sanskrit term that means a devotional activity which is conducted by priests by pouring libations on the image of the deity being worshipped, amidst the chanting of mantras. “The ritual of Abhiseka is considered a turning point in returning the energy for both human beings and Mother Nature”, said Tanaya.
The ceremony at the Prambanan Temple began on November 9 (Saturday) by performing the Matur Piuning ritual (notification ceremony), a way of requesting permission from the ancestors.
It continued with the pageantry of the eternal flame of Mrapen and holy water of eleven wellsprings around the area starting from the Boko Temple to the Prambanan temple where people then performed a prayer and took Parikramas or Pradakshina, which refers to circumambulation of sacred places to imbibe their energy.
The main rituals were held on November 12 following the method mentioned in 25 Shilaalekh’s (inscriptions) of Hinduism during the Mataram Kingdom era. Another ritual, named Manusuk Sima, was also performed during the three-day-long event.
The event ended with a traditional dance performance of Siwagraha which narrates stories of the Prambanan temple reconstruction.
Built-in the 9th century, the Prambanan Temple, located between Sleman, Yogyakarta, and Klaten, Central Java in Indonesia is the largest temple compound dedicated to the Trimurti, the expression of Lord Shiva as the Creator, the Preserver and the Transformer. Rising above the centre of the last of these concentric squares are three temples decorated with reliefs illustrating the epic of the Ramayana, dedicated to the three Hindu divinities, Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesh and three temples dedicated to the animals who serve them. The temple compound is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.