Otonan: Birthday in Tanah Lot Society Point of View PDF Print E-mail

 In Hinduism there is a ceremony that must be passed by humans ranging from a baby still in the womb until death. One such ceremony is otonan, the ceremony to commemorate the birthday of the Hindu. Unlike the birthday commemorated once a year, this otonan ceremony celebrated once every 210 days or every six months. The ceremony otonan followed the cycle Sapta Wara, Panca Wara and pawukon cycle. Sapta Wara, seven day old consist of (Radite, Soma, Anggara, Buda, Wrespati, Sukra, Saniscara) and the same calculation but had Gregorian calendar a different name. Panca Wara five-day-old consisting of Umanis, Pahing, Pon, Wage, Kliwon. While 30 Wuku pawukon numbered and each Wuku it was 7 days. So one Wuku comes once every 210 days. The Balinese believe that the otonan ceremony is both a way in which to give thank to God, Ida SangHyang Widhi Wasa, for is blessings and protection since birth, and also a way to neutralize negative impacts received by humans during their current lifetime.

Otonan in Balinese tradition is actually a private and comprehensive ritual that only celebrated by the family internally. By certain kinds of oblation, the ritual is intended for one’s inner and outer self along with his kanda empat or four companions that are believed to accompany him since birth to the end of lifetime and even the period after death.

They are expressed in personification as amniotic fluid, vernix cascosa, the afterbirth and the blood. In Hindu belief, the names of the four companions will change in keeping with the increasing age of the human self and so are the places where they indwell. The four will loyally keep the self in this world. If ‘spiritual’ communication and empowerment run well among the five, one will never feel fearful wherever he goes and can do healing. As loyal and eternal companions, too, they will accompany the self around the clock. By doing this, they will know every single deed of the self during its interaction with corporeal body. After death, on facing the court of Yama, no facts can be hidden or no lies can be told, as the four companions will deliver the true witness.

In essence, otonan is an immensely important celebration for the Hindus. It constitutes right moment to reorganize, encourage the relationship of human self with the four integrated companions as the otonan contains two dimensional aspects, both sekala (visible) and niskala (invisible). By this, it is also expected to promote harmony between the body with soul and finally reach eternal bliss here and after.