NYEPI, The Silent Day in bali is a very SPECIAL DAY
It is the day to be silent, free from any sounds, lights and any activities once in a year between the endless procession of holy days in this Island of Gods.
Just for a day, effectively from 6 AM until 6 AM in the next day, this island is resting, healing, and recharging. All shops will close, even the Ngurah Rai International Airport will close for a day… But not the hospital, they will still open for the emergency case.
Nyepi has become a national holiday also a New Year for the Hindu in Indonesia. Actually all the adherents of Hindu are performing the same rituals, but BALI is where the BIGGEST Nyepi celebrations TAKE PLACE.
A festive for the eyes before Nyepi we will see the Ogoh-ogoh march festival. It is a statue made of bamboo, usually have the shape of monsters. It is symbolizing the evil spirits surrounding our environment which should be got rid of from our lives.
As the Nyepi day begins, balinese Hindu will do the four tasks that are called CATUR BRATA; THE FOUR ESSENCES of Nyepi itself.
The FIRST ONE is AMATI GENI means no light or fire. From the philosophy point of view, the fire represents the anger. We try to be patience, and it is symbolized by the BLACKOUTduring Nyepi day. Relax, there is still a tolerance for the people who are sick, infants or old men & women. But make sure that no lights should be visible from outside.
The SECOND is AMATI LELANGUAN, means no amusement. We believe that we need to control ourselves from the excessive amusement that can unconsciously makes us forget about ourselves. This symbolized by 24 hours fasting, and no intention to look for an entertainment such as, TV, smartphone, or even an internet.
NEXT is AMATI LELUNGAN means we should not travel but must remain silent and stay at home. This is to train our minds to not always be wild but always remember of our inward, doing a self-introspection.
And the LAST ONE is AMATI KARYA, means that on the day of Nyepi, no heavy work allowed, but that does not mean that we can’t do any activity at all. Kinds of activity that should not be done is gambling, which has the NEGATIVE SIDE. It must be neutralized with our mind control. We can still do a POSITIVE ACTIVITY such as reading, or doing a meditation.
You better know this, to keep all those four things in order there is usually a PECALANG (traditional Balinese security man) who controls and checks for street security.
Their main task is not only to control the security of the street but also to stop any activities that disturb Nyepi. No traffic is allowed, not only cars but also people, who must stay in their own houses. Light is kept to a minimum or not at all, the radio or TV is turned down, to be quiet. They will also help you if any emergency case happens.
The UNIQUE THING is normally the westerners open the New Year in a feast. But however, the Balinese open their New Year in silence. It is done for a deep meaning, let go of something that is not good and start a holy, silent life, a free soul to the right path in the new year.
In the end, Nyepi is meant to be a day of SELF-INTROSPECTION to decide on values, humanity, love, patience, and kindness. So, take a pause in your life and just enjoy it.
Who knows this is the time for you to feel yourself, imagine to have a true relax time; sit on the chair, looking through the starry sky up there.
And you will see, and feel.. just let peaceful come into you…