A Beautiful Story from Ashram Avalokiteshvara in the hills of North Bali: Sprinkling The Holy Water to The Surface of The Earth

Written by Gede Prama

Several years before Guruji retired, at the invitation of the BRI (Bank Rakyat Indonesia) Klungkung Bali branch, Guruji was asked to teach in front of BRI employees there.  The unique thing about this incident is that the place we borrowed that day is a large Islamic boarding school which is only a few hundred meters from the center of Semarapura city.  So that all the children in the pesantren also can listen.

Because the Ustad (islamic priest) there showed a very friendly attitude, even the place that was given was a very clean and very beautiful room right after teaching, there was a beautiful dialogue between Guruji and the Ustad.

Guruji: Excuse me, if I may know who gave this large and beautiful land for the Islamic boarding school, which is located only a few hundred meters from the center of Semarapura city?

Ustad: The Puri family, of course. We do not have such amount of money (note: the Puri family in Bali is usually synonymous with royal descendants)

Guruji: Have ever the Hindus and Muslims youths fought during all these years in Semarapura?

Ustad: Of course.  Didn’t we ever fight when we were young?

Guruji: If they fight, what do they do?

Ustad: Always the Puri family who stepped in to make peace with the situation

Guruji: What exactly did the Puri family do during the conflict?

Ustad: If the naughty ones are the Hindu teenager, the Puri family apologizes to the Muslim family.  If the naughty ones are the Muslim teenager, the Puri family apologizes to the Hindu family.

A very touching dialogue snippet.  If we take it deeper into the roots, the seeds of tolerance in Bali have grown so old and have been here in a long time period.  As an additional information, in North Bali there is an old village called Pegayaman.  The population there is almost 100% Muslim.  The names of the friends there are unique, from Wayan Muhammad to Ketut Umar.

This told a beautiful story about tolerance that is very ancient, the spirit of the island of Bali blends neatly with the Islamic spirit that grows there.  As someone who was born and raised in North Bali, it has never been heard that friends in Pegayaman have their fast or prayers disturbed by Balinese ceremonial activities.

In short, few people do like to spread fire on earth.  Only a handful.  Nevertheless, keep on sprinkling holy water on the surface of the earth.  If you can smile at the people who gives you compliment, everyone can do it.  If you can smile at those who scolded you, only beautiful souls can do it.

Borrowing the old legacy of Balinese elders, the soul has a pair of wings.  The left wing is called nyepi lan ngewindu (read: all are dances of the same perfection).  The right wing is named urip lan nguripi.  Even though everything is a dance of perfection, never try to hurt others because the same wound will return to your ownself.  When you are happy, remember to make other people happy too.

In a more universal language, just as the natural nature of water which is wet, as the natural nature of flowers which is beautiful, the very nature of quiet souls finds happiness and peace by doing beautiful things.  And in this hot and ferocious age, just being not angry is included in the group of beautiful souls.

Photo caption: Three corners of the Avalokiteshvara Ashram this morning when this beautiful story was shared.  The Spirit at the Ashram smiled beautifully as this story was shared

About the author

Gede Prama

Gede Prama started his spiritual journey through a dialogue with his symbolic Guru in a village at the north of Bali. The journey is then being enriched with his experiences of studying abroad, his meetings with the world greatest spiritual Gurus: His Holiness Dalai Lama, The Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, as well as Professor Karen Armstrong; and also being deepened by his intense meditation practices.

Despite the fact that he was once a CEO of a large corporation with thousand of employees, and was traveling abroad frequently for the purpose of teaching, yet, being deeply moved by the Bali bombing incident in 2002, he then decided to leave everything and went back to his home island.
He has never leave Bali for the past few years. In fact, he rarely leaves the silence of the forest where he lives, except for the purpose of teaching at the sacred sites within Bali.

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