Sabtu, 23 Agustus 2008

Pura Luhur Uluwatu

The spectacularly located Pura Luhur Uluwatu, on the westernmost tip of the rocky Bukit Peninsula, is one of the sad kahyangan, or `six great sanctuaries` on the island of Bali. The temple is dedicated to the supreme godhead, Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa, in his manifestation as Rudra, the dissolver of life. Violent storms or other cataclysmic interventions of nature such as plagues or volcanic eruptions are said to be Sanghyang Widhi acting in his capacity as Rudra and the location of Pura Uluwatu serves him well. Historical Associations Pura Uluwatu is said to have been founded by the Sivaite priest and sage, Mpu Kuturan, who came to Bali from Java in the early years of the 11th century. Though his teachings seemed to have incorporated many Buddhist elements, Mpu Kuturan is said to have been responsible for a revival of Hinduism in Bali at a time when the religion was in decline.

Pura Uluwatu is also associated with the legendary Nirartha who is credited with being the principal architect of a 16th century Hindu Renaissance in Bali around the time of the collapse of the Majapahit dynasty in East Java. Like Mpu Kuturan, Nirartha founded many temples and encouraged the building of padmasana shrines at existing sanctuaries, including padmasana at Pura Uluwatu. It is claimed that it was at Pura Uluwatu that Nirartha achieved his final liberation from the endless cycle of rebirth, becoming one with the godhead. This singular event resulted in the word luhur being added to the name of the temple-luhur comes from the verb ngeluhur, meaning `to go up`, a reference to the apotheosis of Nirartha. The Temple Pura Uluwatu is built from dark grey coral stone which is much harder and more durable than the volcanic tuff which is normally used for most Balinese temples. This has meant that the stone sculptures and decorative elements are better preserved here then in the case of order ancient sites. It is difficult, however, to put a precise date to the existing structures because the temple had been renovated and rebuilt many times in the course of its long history.

At the very beginning of this century, part of the temple collapsed into the sea which required substantial reparations, while the most recent restoration work was carried out in the 1980s. The three candi bentar gateways at Pura Uluwatu are unusual in that the upper portions have been sculpted in the shape of wings-the Balinese themselves refer to this type of candi bentar as `winged` (bersayap). The oldest of the three candi bentar, which leads into the central courtyard, is also incised with stylized flying birds which one scholar has identified as a Balinese ``version of the Chinese phonix``. Exotic influences notwithstanding, the principal motif ornamenting all three candi bentar and the kori agung gateway leading into the inner sanctum, is quintessentially Balinese, namely the head of bhoma. Some of these are surmounted by an image of Mount Meru, the cosmic mountain at the three of Hindu-Buddhist universe, while over the kori agung gateway,one finds a representation of an urn. The latter is identified as the sacred vessel holding ambrosia (amrta), the immortal elixir of life, which in Indian mythology was extracted by the gods from the primeval ocean of milk. Lightening Strikes Only those who have come to pray may enter the inner sanctum, but one can get a general view from a terrace on the southern side of the central courtyard. The most important structure in the enclosure is a three-tired meru which stands at the far end. This was struck by lightening a few years back- a very singular and inauspicious event, which could only be redressed by elaborate rites of purification and a rededication of the temple.



privacy and policy | Make Money Online