The Possession at the Temple.
This gathering and these prayers consist of the priest chanting. As in nearly all religions, there is some reciting of these chants/prayers. I didn’t understand a word since it was all in the ancient Balinese language.
The dancing and the gathering went on and one group of people had already finished their prayers. We had to wait since we had a rain delay earlier and our turn was to be at 6:30 and turned out to be more like 7:15.
As the night fell the temple took on a very different look and feel. These temples are all locked during the day. Unlike churches, one cannot freely enter.
We did our prayers, and I followed along as much as I could. I was given a small handmade offering box with flower petals. There were five chants and for each one, I had to pick a different flower and it goes as such. We are all seated cross-legged facing the statues and offerings. The priests and we are all seated and facing in one direction. No preachers are talking to you in Bali. As the locals picked up the different color flowers I followed along and placed my palms together with the tips of my fingers holding the petals.
They do this chant 5 times. At the end of each chat, we put a petal in either your headdress or tuck them in your ear. At the end of the chants the priest comes and uses a grass-type wand and sprays you with three flicks of the wand. With your hands cupped together, he places holy water in your hand and you drink it. This is done three times and then you are given some rice to stick on your forehead and your neck.
Then came the possession.
When this was all said and done, suddenly there was a commotion. At one of the temple gates and in came a small group of people. The lady next to me said that she is possessed and is in a trance. The lady that was said to be in a trance was crying, whining, and possibly screaming or chanting, I couldn’t tell.
She was somewhat helped and dragged before the priest and another man did a Balinese walk and dance of sorts. This was a form of exorcism. I have never witnessed such a thing in my life. I have heard about it. I have seen videos but never have I seen one in person.
The lady seemed to be in pain, she cried out as if she was and I was told that a spirit is talking through her. I asked if this happened often, and they said no. Later the lady that was possessed sat near me. I was taken aback a little because she was in tears. She had to be about 55 so it was not someone wanting attention. She wept openly about her experience. I was told that they remember these experiences and it changes a person permanently. I assume it would and as she wept, all I could think of was wow and I wish I could talk to her. Maybe next time.
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