Spiritual journey to the purification of living
“Water is the sign of life and purification.” My last trip around the island tickled the spiritual in me with the abundance of mythological places that Bali has to offer. Tirta Empul and Tirta Sudamala are some of the places that popping up in my mind when I hear the word “Holy Water”. Therefore, I managed to make a short trip to those sacred places.
Located in the Tampak Siring village, Tirta Empul has been a magnet to Balinese worshipers as a sacred place to bathe for healing and spiritual merit. The name “Tirta Empul” is given to the water source within this beautiful temple. This spring is the source for purification baths, pools and fish ponds, which finally flow to the TukadPakerisan River. The Balinese Hindus flock to the clean, cool springs because they believe the springs offer wellness and have magical curative properties. This place is a total bliss and will attract you with its beauty. Anyone visiting here is expected to wear decent clothes, and for that reason there are many people standing outside the premises who will provide sarongs for free.
The first sight of the temple shows the beautiful garden and pathways which are decorated with beautifully engraved statues and tropical plants. Then you will be directed to the blissful bathing pools which had crystal clear water and the mixture of warm and cold water. I highly recommend to spend your entire day purifying holy bath. It is truly breathtaking. The water feels so good and soothing. Legend has it that the sacred spring was created by the god Indra. His forces had been poisoned by Mayadanawa, so he pierced the earth to create a fountain of immortality to revive them. I can see why this place is so important to the Balinese.
My next visit was Tirta Sudamala, which is located in the middle of thick trees not far from the center of Bangli Village. The word Sudamala means ‘purification’, however, this place not only purifies body, but also your mind and soul. I was enlightened as I walked in the place. It was full of greenery and I could hear the chanting of almighty in every corner of the place. They say it is never quiet around “the shower” area because the water seems so clean and so the local village people are using it as their drinking water.
I went down to the river and slowly dipped my body in the water. The water was refreshing in a combination of warm and cold. It is said that those who are struggling with life’s challenges will benefit from bathing in the waters, which wash away ambiguity and lead to spiritual awakening. As for me, I experienced a positive energy entering my body. The waters of Tirta Sudamala are also believed to cure illnesses and cleanse auras. It is an ideal location for praying, meditation and reflection. Such a unique spiritual journey.
I remember an anonymous quote I stumbled on the internet the other day, “When we pray, God hears more than we say, He answers more than we ask, He gives more than we imagine… in His own time… in his own way!” I guess, having visited these holy places retain my faith in God.
Tirta Empul Temple
Jalan Tirta, Tampaksiring, Gianyar Regency
Tirta Sudamala Temple
Bealang Village, Bangli Regency
Joannes Rhino – Bali Writer