Pura Kawitan Bendesa Gerih: A Precious Heritage from Ancestors to Their Descendants
Pura Agung Dalem Bagendra Sari, located in the heart of the Gerih Traditional Village, is a significant center of religious and cultural activities for the local community in Badung Regency, Bali. The temple has become a symbol of spiritual strength and cultural depth cherished by the local community, serving as a place where ancestral traditions and beliefs are upheld with utmost respect and sanctity.
Pura Agung Dalem Bagendra Sari (Source: Personal Collection)
As the next generation, many may not know that Pura Kawitan Bendesa Gerih has a history and spiritual richness. There are three temples in the Kawitan Bendesa Gerih, which are the focal points of religious activities: Pura Agung Dalem Bagendra Sari, the center of Kawitan Bendesa Gerih, Pura Ratu Gede Panti, and Pura Taman Bagendra Sari.
As the center of Kawitan Bendesa Gerih, Pura Agung Dalem Bagendra Sari is the main venue for various rituals and religious ceremonies held regularly. Every ritual celebration, from piodalan to the celebration of holy days, is conducted with great reverence, demonstrating the strong roots of tradition and spirituality preserved at this location.
Pura Agung Dalem Bagendra Sari, also known as Pura Sari, is the main temple of Kawitan Bendesa Gerih. The ceremony at Pura Agung Dalem Bagendra Sari falls on Purnama Kedasa, and Saniscara Umanis, wuku watu gunung, as the inscriptional ceremony. In the complex of Pura Agung Dalem Bagendra Sari, there are 15 main shrines, namely:
- Padmasana representing the deity Sang Hyang Sada Siwa.
- Pelinggih Meru Tumpang 9 representing the deity Ida Batara Manik Geni.
- Gedong representing the deity Ida Batara Kawitan.
- Catu Meres representing the deity Ida Batara Dewi Danu.
- Pelinggih Catu Mujung representing the deity Ida Batara Putranjaya.
- Pelinggih Taksu representing the deity Sanghyang Kedep Watsu.
- Piasan, a pelinggih pepelik representing the deity Parumaning Dewata.
- Apit Lawang Kiwa and Tengen representing the deities Sanghyang Mahakala and Nandi Suara.
- Kori Agung representing the deity Sanghyang Parwata.
- Candi Bentar, Apit Surang, and Paletasan representing the deity Sanghyang Kaliasa.
- Aling-aling representing the deity Sang Hyang Wisesa.
Kori Agung (Source: Personal Collection)
The ceremony held at Pura Agung Dalem Bagendra Sari is very special. The Purnama Kedasa ceremony, commemorated with profound sanctity, is a moment where the prati sentana Bendesa Gerih express their gratitude and respect to their ancestors. Meanwhile, the celebration of Hari Raya Saraswati emphasizes the importance of education, art, and knowledge in everyday life.
In its rich history, Pura Agung Dalem Bagendra Sari has played a significant role in preserving the traditional values and culture. Local legends of Ki Jagul Tua and Ki Bendesa Gerih provide insights into the wisdom and courage revered in the local community, while the inscriptions found at Pura Agung Dalem Bagendra Sari stand as silent witnesses to the strong and ingrained cultural heritage.
Gedong (Source: Personal Collection)
One of the inscriptions that is highly believed by the prati sentana Bendesa Gerih is "not allowed to kill and eat large julit fish." This is related to the story of Ki Jagul Tua and Ki Bendesa Gerih. In the story, Ki Jagul Tua once helped Ki Bendesa Gerih by providing guidance or a way to meet Ki Jagul Tua, who eventually gave a tenggek jeleg (snakehead fish head) that was used as a talisman. Thanks to this tenggek jeleg, Ki Bendesa Gerih became a person with mana power. Mana means extraordinary power that can bring luck to its owner.
The tenggek jeleg, or the head of a snakehead fish, given by Ki Jagul Tua to Ki Bendesa Gerih as a talisman, tells of the spiritual power believed by the local community. The presence of this talisman is considered a symbol of luck and protection for Ki Bendesa Gerih, and this legend has imparted important lessons about trust, cooperation, and respect for nature to future generations. Through these stories, Pura Agung Dalem Bagendra Sari continues to be a symbol of wisdom and deep spiritual strength for the prati sentana Bendesa Gerih.