Lukat Geni Tradition: Unique Ritual of Noetic Purification Through Fire War in Paksabali Village

Lukat Geni is a tradition that summarizes cleansing and purification efforts in two complementary dimensions, namely the physical dimension (Sekala) and the spiritual dimension (Niskala). The use of fire elements as the main medium in this tradition contains deep meaning, because fire is considered a symbol of cleansing and transformation in many beliefs and philosophies in Bali.

Oct 21, 2023 - 06:50
Sep 25, 2023 - 16:23
Lukat Geni Tradition: Unique Ritual of Noetic Purification Through Fire War in Paksabali Village
Lukat Geni Tradition (Source: Personal Collection)

Every region or territory in Bali is rich in traditions, arts, and culture. These traditions have deep roots in the history and cultural heritage passed down by ancestors from generation to generation. In Paksabali Village, located in the Dawan District of Klungkung Regency, is one of the many villages in Bali that has a tradition that is very unique and different from what is typically practiced by Hindus. The traditions of Paksabali Village have become an integral part of the daily life of its residents, and one of the most prominent and unique among them is the Lukat Geni Tradition

The Lukat Geni Tradition, which has been inherited from Puri Satria Kawan Klungkung, has become an inseparable part of the cultural heritage practiced by the local community since ancient times. Lukat Geni is a combination of the words "Lukat" and "Geni," each of which has profound meanings that describe the essence of this tradition. 

The word "Lukat," in the context of Lukat Geni, reflects the effort of purification and cleansing from all impurities, both physical and spiritual. This is a crucial step in maintaining the purity and cleanliness of the soul and body. Meanwhile, the word "Geni" refers to the element of fire, which is considered sacred and holds a sacred value in the Hindu beliefs in Bali

So, Lukat Geni is a tradition that encompasses purification and cleansing efforts in two complementary dimensions, namely the physical (Sekala) and the spiritual (Niskala) dimensions. The use of fire as the primary medium in this tradition carries deep meaning because fire is seen as a symbol of purification and transformation in many beliefs and philosophies in Bali. In the context of Lukat Geni, fire is used as a tool to assist in cleansing and purifying oneself so that individuals can achieve physical and spiritual purity. 

The Lukat Geni Tradition serves several important purposes in the lives of Balinese people, especially in Puri Satria Kawan Klungkung. These purposes include being a purification ritual that involves both Sekala and Niskala dimensions, with the intention of maintaining purity and cleanliness, both physically and spiritually. Through Lukat Geni, people seek to draw closer to God, attain higher levels of spirituality, and feel a sense of balance in their relationship with the universe. 

Furthermore, this tradition also plays a significant role in strengthening the cultural and religious values passed down by ancestors. Lukat Geni serves as a way to preserve the cultural continuity and spiritual beliefs that have existed for centuries. It helps individuals rid themselves of negative qualities before embarking on or celebrating Catur Bratha Penyepian, an important spiritual preparation for entering that period with a pure heart and a calm mind. 

With these important objectives, the Lukat Geni Tradition not only becomes part of the cultural and spiritual identity of the people of Puri Satria Kawan Klungkung but also forms a strong foundation for maintaining harmony between humans, the universe, and the noble values they adhere to.

Lukat Geni Tradition (Source: Personal Collection)

According to various sources, Lukat Geni is a tradition practiced by a group of young men and women and palace attendants from the local Puri Kawan. This tradition takes place on the night of Pengerupukan, which falls on the month of Kesanga or precisely one day before the celebration of Nyepi Day. The location for this tradition is usually at the Satria Kawan Crossroad (Catus Pata) or at the Great Temple (Merajan Agung) of Puri Satria Kawan.

Before the Lukat Geni Tradition begins, participants are required to follow certain prohibitions for at least three days, wholeheartedly going through a process of purification and detachment from worldly attachments. Then, in the morning, the community gathers at Pura Seganing to perform a prayer led by Jero Mangku. In this ritual, they collectively seek safety and smoothness in carrying out the Lukat Geni Tradition.

After the preceding process is completed, the next step involves seeking blessings at the Merajan Agung Puri Satria Kawan. The next stage involves a purification ceremony and preparation of the torch that will be used as a tool to ignite Prakpak in the Lukat Geni ritual. Prakpak is a part of the coconut tree, specifically dried coconut leaves tied together with a string; this will be used as the main element in the Lukat Geni Ritual by igniting the tip of the coconut leaf with the torch that has been consecrated. Once all these steps are completed, the climax of the Lukat Geni Tradition will commence. 

The Lukat Geni ceremony involves 33 participants, matching the number of Pengurip, who follow the rules of torch burning. The torch-burning procession involves 5 people dressed in white standing on the east, 9 people in red on the south, 7 participants in yellow on the west, 4 people in black on the north, and 8 participants in various colored attire in the middle. This ceremony begins at 18:30 and ends when all are finished.

The climax of the Lukat Geni ritual reaches its peak when a fire battle or fire embrace takes place. Initially, this ritual involved a series of one-on-one battles where participants took turns hitting each other with the torches containing fire, and this battle continued until the fire on the torches extinguished. After each participant had the opportunity to engage in one-on-one battles, the ritual proceeded with group battles involving all participants from predetermined positions. They all engaged in a collective battle with fire, creating an exhilarating moment in this ceremony.

What's fascinating is that throughout the entire Lukat Geni Ritual procession, none of the participants suffered any injuries, even though they were using Prakpak containing fire or Geni made from dried coconut leaves. This procession is truly impressive and full of tension, especially when accompanied by the rhythm of the Gong Baleganjur that ignites the enthusiasm of all participants and the community in carrying out this Lukat Geni activity. Their safety during this ceremony adds an element of wonder and blessings to the Lukat Geni Ritual.

After completing the Lukat Geni Tradition at the Satria Crossroad, the residents return to the Merajan Agung Puri Satria Kawan to perform a prayer as an expression of gratitude to Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa for the successful execution of the activity. The tradition carried out every pengerupukan has a primary purpose: to balance Bhuana Agung (the universe) and Bhuana Alit (living beings) and to cleanse oneself both physically and spiritually.