Mount Agung – Active Volcano, Holy Pilgrimage to Besakih Temple

As seen in Ubud Life, No.39 June – August 2019 Page 57 “Our Visit to the Holy Mountain” by Sharon Karyasa

If you’re the outspoken member of the Community you’re likely to get into trouble.

I have never been one to remain quiet.

I spent a significant amount of time in 2017 blogging about Mount Agung our active volcano whom I affectionately named The Big Fella.

I was accused of fearmongering, which I find amusing.

I became friends with a reader who decided to come for a vacation to Bali, after reading one of my creative blogs about our unpredictable mountain.

I made a point of letting my readers know that I am terrible at science, and quite frankly the technical compositions that make up our Big Fella sound like gibberish to me.

I have since learned that Mount Agung is a strato-volcano also known as a composite volcano, it didn’t surprise me at all to discover Mount Agung is amongst the powerful of all volcanoes.

The eruptions from these types of volcanos may be a pyroclastic flow, rather than a flow of lava.

A pyroclastic flow is a superheated mixture of hot steam, ash, rock and dust.

A pyroclastic flow can travel down the sides of a volcano at very high speeds, with temperatures over 400 degrees Celsius.

Composite volcanoes can rise over 8000 feet.

Our Holy Mountain woke up on December 30, 2018 and again on January 10, 2019 after being asleep during the entire five months when a series of earthquakes hit Lombok, which began in July 2018.

Devy K Syahbana, the PVMBG’s head of Eastern Region Volcano Mitigation Subdivision said in January 2019 that Mount Agung had returned to its eruption phase before the Lombok earthquake.

He further added a satellite report by the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) in Darwin explaining that Bali’s Mount Agung eruption spewed volcanic ash reaching more than 2,000 meters from its summit, or about 5,400 meters above sea level.

In a press release on March 17, 2019 The Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation of the Geological Agency, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Recourses, said that after 54 years the holy Mount Agung had began his eruption on November 2017 and that activities are still happening.

Yes they are.

A few weeks back I made a holy pilgrimage to Pura Besakih Temple with my husband and niece. Although I was aware of the possibility of an eruption at any time, I was not aware of the masses of Balinese who where also making this holy pilgrimage.

Besakih Temple sits 1,000 metres high on the southwestern slope of our Big Fella.

The Basakih compound is made up of over 86 temples. On the day we made our pilgrimage it seemed as though the entire Pasek clan from the Island of Bali had also decided to venture out.

This year a very special ceremony was taking place, known as Panca Wali Krama, a complicated ceremony to give gratitude to the Gods, which only occurs once every ten years.

Panca Wali Krama is the second largest ritual that happens at Pura Besakih after Eka Dasa Rudra, which is held once every 100 years.

It was during the Eka Dasa Rudra celebration in 1963 that the mighty Mount Agung erupted.  Miraculously the temple survived the devastating eruption at that time.

The thought did cross my mind about the possibility of an eruption as we waited in a human traffic jam for three hours to reach our ancestral temple. Then I remembered my faith and felt honoured to be part of such an auspicious spiritual journey.

Human traffic jam at Besakih

Holy Pilgrimage Panca Wali Krama at Besakih Temple Bali

Mount Agung has erupted several times since our pilgrimage.

21 April, 2019 at 6.55pm.  Sutopo Purwo Nugroho from BNPB tweeted.

A column of thick gray volcanic ash, leaning towards the West threw eruption material reaching 2,500 – 3,000 metres from the peak in all directions.

Mount Agung Eruption 21 April 2019.jpg

Photograph Mount Agung eruption 21 April, 2019 at 6.55pm photograph Sutopo Purwo Nugroho @twitter

Life goes on as normal here in Bali, the most recent eruption happened while I was sweating it out in an aerobics class with women in my village. We were oblivious of any showcasing from The Big Fella.

One thing I know for sure is that there has never been a more exciting time to visit Bali.

You never know what will transpire in any one day.

Aerobics in Bali

Aerobics with Ibu Ibu in a Balinese Village

Blessings always

Sharon x

Sharon Karyasa ©2019

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Miracles, Gratitude & Oprah

It’s impossible to start this story without mentioning the fact that my bestie Kerry and myself will be sailing with Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King and the awe inspiring staff from Oprah Magazine in 28 days.

Did I mention that the ship will be full of women?

The three day Girls Getaway Cruise will be packed full of authors, writers, thinkers, business entrepreneurs and so much more.

I have a feeling that magic may happen when we sail on Holland America Line’s magnificent brand new ship, named the Nieuw Statendam and Oprah is her godmother.

I have started using the hashtag #thefutureisfemale after our Queen Oprah wore a tshirt with a slogan stating just those words at her thanksgiving lunch.

Needless to say the anticipation of this once in a lifetime cruise is at boiling point, the warmth, excitement and enthusiasm has been flowing on Instagram, uniting a group of women from all of the world with one common goal.

A tribe of females striving to make a difference, to be inspired by each other, and to soak up the knowledge from leaders of the fast pace and ever changing world of print and social media.

My new year started quietly.

I felt it was important to take a moment to reflect on the whirlwind, my life has been since my spiritual Journey began here in Bali. My extraordinary reality is extreme.

My blessings have been abundant since that day in 2010 when I visited Batuan Temple near Ubud.

That day as described in my memoir Scarlett Voices in the Shadows an elderly woman appeared from nowhere and asked if I would like a healing.

Excerpt Scarlett Voices in the Shadows

After praying she blessed us with holy water.

My son had a black blood blister on the palm of his hand. After we left the temple my son told me the blister had disappeared. It was at that moment that a miracle happened. As I blinked my eyes, water ran from them. It wasn’t tears. The water flowing was holy water. I blinked again and I could see clearly.

The following morning both the wound site on my leg and the one on my arm were miraculously clean.

That divine intervention was a pivotal turning point in my life, I do believe the reason I have been continually blessed since that day is simply because I am grateful.

It was only after I returned a few years later to give thanks to the holy woman, that my world has turned into a riveting documentary of magic.

I must note, that a miracle can happen at any temple, at any time. The magic of Bali is potent and generous, if you are open to change then the divine may transpire.

I felt it was important to start the year early, my sister in law prepared a complicated offering, it’s contents are passed down from family generations.

I gave thanks and prayed at Batuan Temple on 1st January 2019 before it opened it’s gate to tourists, I gave thanks for all that has led me to this magnificent point in my life.

I want to thank you also, for taking the time to read about my fascinating tales.

Sending you blessings in abundance for a sensational 2019 & beyond.

Sharon x

Sharon Karyasa ©2019

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‘Volcano gatekeeper’ left homeless from Indonesian earthquakes

Thank you to Mangku Bon for continuing to serve our active volcano Mount Agung who I named the “Big Fella”.

I am sad that your home has been reduced to rubble, confident however that the Gods have a plan and we will rebuild, thanks to the generosity of hard working charity organisations on this magical Island of the Gods called Bali.

Mangku Bon’s story has catapulted my career as a freelance journalist onto another level and I am truly grateful.  News.com.au have given me the chance of a lifetime, my dreams are continuing to manifest daily.

Yayasan Solemen Indonesia are like angels to those less fortunate than ourselves.

Please give generously for the people who are suffering both on our beautiful Island of Bali and Lombok.

Please take a moment to read about their incredible work.

mangkubon3

Please give generously to Yayasan Solemen Indonesia 

Blessings always

Sharon xx

Sharon Karyasa © 2018

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‘Makare-kare’: A gladiator-style ritual in Tenganan village

Grateful to be Published again in the Jakarta Post.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

Blessings always

Sharon x

‘Makare-kare’: A gladiator-style ritual in Tenganan village

1.aJroMangkuGede&Made

Jro Mangku Gede with my husband Made who is proudly showing off his razor sharp pandan leaf before  the battle.  The weapon that will inflict bloody wounds on his opponent.  Click here to read about the incredible ancient ritual to honour  Indra, the god of war

 

 

Sharon Karyasa © 2018

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Girls, Girls, Girls

My Balinese Inspirational Women friends.

Repost from  2016.

Sharon Karyasa

Sometimes we just like to dress up. Choose the perfect frock, shoes, Jewelry and handbag. Sometimes we like to go to the salon, to be fussed over, nails, make up, hair, fluffing, grooming.

We greet each other like swans. We are elegant, gushing, air kissing, laughing. The warmth is genuine, the reality is sparkling. We eat, we drink, we dance, we laugh at nonsensical trivialities.girlsgirlsgirls

We are not airheads, we are business women, we embrace our feminine with authority. We are girls, girls, girls.

Sharon Karyasa © 2016

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Guess What?

My bff Kerry is always there for me, ready to correct my typos and grammatical errors, especially those dreaded apostrophes.

It’s hard to believe its July already, it’s absolutely true what my Mother use to say to me,

“Don’t wish your life away Sharon, before you know it you are old”

Why does time seem to move at a faster pace the older you get? I don’t know the answer to that question, what I do know is that we must not waste a second of every day.

I often reflect on her wise words, my beautiful Mum died at only 51 years young and now that I have surpassed her age I would like to think about my life with a zest for making the most of every day. 

“Live your life every day with purpose, be excited, laugh, don’t waste a second of living your best life”

Okay the last few words I have taken from my muse Oprah, one of my favourite quotes by Oprah is to simply,

“Live your best life

I recommend getting yourself a copy of a beautiful hard cover book titled Live Your Best Life: A Treasury of Wisdom, Wit, Advice, Interviews, and Inspiration from O, The Oprah Magazine.

Speaking of Oprah, I must share my exciting news, Kerry and myself are cruising with Oprah, Gayle and the Oprah Magazine staff in January on Holland America Line’s newest ship the Nieuw Statendam from Fort Lauderdale, Florida cruising the Bahamas.

Oprah Winfrey has been given the title of The Godmother of the Nieuw Statendam.

TheOMag

Oprah Winfrey has been given the title of The Godmother of  Holland America Line’s newest ship the Nieuw Statendam

I promise to fill you in more as we get closer to our departure.

What I can tell you for now is that divine timing was our gift to secure our precious tickets as The Oprah Magazine Girls Getaway Cruise was sold out in less than 24 hours.

Christine Potter Mulhearne who is The Oprah Magazine’s Style Director and blogger of Style me Sassy excitedly announced on her Instagram story that The Oprah Magazine Girls Getaway Cruise sold out in less that 24 hours and that they had broken the Internet.

Sharon&Kerry.jpg

This blog is dedicated to my bff Kerry Rundell, my real life Gayle King

In other news I am super proud to share with you I have been commissioned this year by The Bali Advertiser, Bali & Beyond Magazine the Jakarta Post  and news.com.au as a contributor for their publications.

My dream has manifested into a reality and I have become a Journalist.

Additionally I have been featured in the Siapa section of the Bali Advertiser, it is vital that we must keep up a conversation about the global catastrophe of domestic violence.

My interview with Bill Dalton highlights my passion for speaking our truth, to advocate for a peaceful world where violence is just a bad memory, we need to tell our stories to rally against any form of violence and hatred.

I will continue to write thought provoking content, my desire is to occupy a world where we can live in harmony, a world where we can live side by side without prejudice, without bigotry, without racism or bias about a person’s sexual orientation.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blogs.

Blessing always

Sharon x

Sharon Karyasa © 2018

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Holy Gunung Agung active Volcano, Bali, Indonesia_Mangku Bon is the gatekeeper who unlocks the Universal truth.

Karangasem: 22 December, 2017

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PLEASE NOTE: Mangku Bon has requested that it is dangerous for anyone to climb Mount Agung.  He has permission from the God.  DO NOT TREK Mount Agung

The first time I saw a photograph of Mangku Bon I felt calm. I wrote about my feelings when I updated my blog 1 October, 2017.

The second time Mangku Bon came to my attention was on 13 December, 2017 when dramatic video footage became viral on social media after his trek to the summit of Mount Agung.

Photo credit facebook Ikomang Giri

Local facebook chat forums went into overdrive.

I became perplexed over negative dialogue and felt compelled to defend and protect our Holy men who were performing their duties to serve God on our sacred Island of the Gods.

I was hypnotised by Mangku Bon, his energy was radiating something magnificent. I needed to find out more.

I dreamt I met with Mangku Bon, in my dream we prayed together.

The spiritual meeting with Mangku Bon happened effortlessly. My connection with I Kadek Putra Yasa transpired like magic.

I spoke to Kadek on the telephone and explained my dream. I also conveyed my commitment to the Balinese Hindu faith.

Kadek organized a meeting with Mangku Bon with enthusiasm, he was also curious to meet with the gatekeeper of our “Big Fella”.

When we arrived at Mangku Bon’s home at the foothills of our holy mountain my dream became a reality.  I was overwhelmed with emotion.

In my heart I knew that my vision had transported me to his home for a reason.

It was vital to record and transmit the holy message from the gatekeeper of our sacred volcanic mountain. I feel as though Mangku Bon holds the sacred key to a Universal truth. The revelations he disclosed are astounding.

I had prepared a list of questions to ask, however, I decided to go with the flow and see what transpired.

I asked our niece Eka to remind me to ask the important questions I had written in a note book.

I recorded the fifty-eight minute conversation on my IPhone.

Eka and Made translated the dialogue.

GroupPhotoGood.jpg

From Left: Our niece Eka, Made, Mangku Bon, his two grandchildren, myself and Kadek Putra Yasa

Made: My wife saw you on facebook when you climbed Gunung Agung and wanted to meet you. Before she saw you on facebook she was having heart palpitations. After she saw your photograph her heart became normal again.

Mangku Bon: I don’t know how to speak English can you translate?

Made: Yes. When you first climbed Mount Agung in October my wife wrote a story about you. I didn’t know about you until I saw you in the Bali Post.

MB: Yes, I trekked Mount Agung at the end of September.

Kadek: When you climbed last time with Mangku Mokoh did you start from the same place?

MB: Yes. I started at 11pm in the evening and arrived at 7am in the morning. I have trekked eight times. Sometimes when I have trekked, I arrive at 8am and sometimes at 9am.

MB: Where did you come from? How did you find me? How did you meet Kadek? How did you organize to come?

Made: We connected on facebook. My wife called Kadek and he organized to meet you.

MB: Where do you live?

Made: I live in Sangeh

MB: Oh okay. I have been to Plaga, Pentang and Penarungan. I have trekked Mount Batur and slept there one night. I have also trekked Mount Batukaru and I have slept there too. I have been to Tanah Lot temple.

Made:Why did you go to these places?

MB : My daughter is married and lives in Tabanan Megati. My other daughter is married and lives in Tabanan Samsam. My third daughter is married and lives in Abiansemal. Now I stay with my son who is not yet married. He is at the market now. I also look after my two grandchildren.

Kadek: When you trekked Mount Agung did you go directly, or did you rest?

MB: I always rest half way. There is a temple half way up the mountain called Pura Dukuh Bujangga Sakti, this where I rest and pray. I relax for two hours and then I climb again.

Kadek: Is it true there is a generation of albino in the Villages in this district around the mountain?

MB: Yes this is true. Many generations of keturunan orang putih (albino) live in this area.

In the past the God from Pura Dukuh Bujangga Sakti is really magic (sakti) the spirit name is Dukuh Bujangga Sakti and this is where it lives on Mount Agung. This is the reason why so many generations of albino live in this area.

Kadek:How old were you in 1963?

MB: I was the same age as my youngest son is now. I remember that eruption was bigger than now. Now it is nothing compared to 1963. In 1963 there was dust rain, stone and lava behind my house. We were blessed in 1963 because only seven people died in our area.

Kadek: Are the conditions the same now as it was before the 1963 big eruption.

MB: No. The earthquakes in 1963 were 100 per cent worse than the earthquakes we have experienced so far.

Made When will the process of the volcano finish? Will it be a very big explosion? Can you tell me from the Penglihatan mata batin vision of the inner eye what can you see?

MB:It will not be a big explosion. It will continue to be a slow eruption. I believe the process will be finished in 9 months.

The next explosion will be in 45 years. The next explosion will be big like 1963.

Made: Did you make the same offerings and processes now as you did in 1963?

MB: No different. We did much bigger offerings and processes in 1963. Now I do a simple process. For example, tridatu. I took the tridatu thread to Mount Agung and did a holy blessing and then buried it in the ground. I am praying to the Gods to save the world.

The thread is a sign from the God as a blessing, in Sekala and Niskala (seen and unseen worlds) we must always pray to the Gods to bless the entire world. I am praying to God to make the area around Mount Agung safe.

I have climbed Gunung Agung eight times for praying.

  1. The first time I took canang sari (simple offering).
  2. The second time I used two complete offerings of pejati/daksina plus one white duck and one white chicken as a sacrifice in the crater.
  3. The third time we prayed for bhakti. A complete ritual of focused prayer for prosperity for the farmers to have healthy crops and for the entire world to have abundance. I prayed for everything to be good. I prayed for the people, I prayed for the animals and for the plants to be safe. You can see the healthy grass around my home. Everything is green. Everything is good and God has blessed the world. I listen to Pawisik, which means the heart message from the God.
  4. I repeated the rituals, the same as the third trek until the eighth trek. On the eighth visit I dug up the tridatu thread 42 days from when I buried it. I carried it with me and placed it in the small temple in my house.
MadebonTrekking.jpg

Photo Credit facebook Ikomang Giri

The message from God is that everybody in the world must believe in his or her heart, 100 per cent in God’s message. If they believe 100 per cent in God he will always bless the world like paradise.

The God has already made the world, we believe it because we can see it. How can anyone not believe in God, we have natural disasters like the volcano, this comes from God. Smoke and fire has already come from Mount Agung.

I am not sure if the process is finished because raining of stone, fire and lava has not come out of the crater the same as it did in 1963. My heart tells me that it is impossible that it will be the same disaster as 1963.

Made: Why have you climbed the summit of Mount Agung so many times? Who is telling you to go?

MB: This is from my heart. I do not expect anything in return for trekking to the top to visit the God. I just want to know about the condition of the volcano. I don’t care what they say on television. I want to know for myself.

The eight times I have trekked to the summit it has come from my heart.

Made: When the explosion happened in 1963, how did you stay safe? Why are you still in your house when everyone else is in the camp?

MB: I believe that it doesn’t matter where I live, if I am meant to die then it is my time to die. If I don’t die then it is not my time to die.

No matter where I live, if I always pray and believe in the God then kehendak whatever is meant to be will be. If I believe in God, he will give me a message how to keep safe.

I give my heart, soul and body to God. I surrender to God. Even if I move to another house, if God believes it is my time to die, then I will die. I meditate every night to focus on the God.

MadeMangkuBon.jpg

Made and Mangku Bon

Made: In 1963 how many people lived around this Village? How many people survived?

MB: I remember many people living around this area in 1963. Most of the people were safe. Only seven people died in this area. We live a simple life as farmers. We pray for healthy crops on the farm.

Made: Do you feel that Mount Agung is very special in your heart?

MB: Yes

Made: Do you plan to trek again to the summit?

MB: I want to go, however I am still looking for the perfect day. I must have pawisik message from the God.

Kadek: Do you feel safe when you are trekking?

MB: I do not use a mask or goggles when I trek. My friend always uses a mask and goggles. I inhaled the sulfur. I was interested in experiencing the sensation. It wasn’t a problem for me because I have protection from the God.

Made: I thought sulfur is dangerous, the Doctor says sulfur is dangerous?

MB: I was breathing in the sulfur dioxide. I believe that because I have already been exposed, I have antibody to protect me. I have a strong foundation, my body is strong. I meditate every night.

Made: Do you think they picked the right day for Eka Dasa Rudra prior to the last eruption?

MB: The Government picked the date last time in consultation with the Holy Calendar. Yes, I believe it was the correct day.

Kadek: When you climbed Gunung Agung last time did you feel an Earthquake?

MB: No. I was resting for 1½ hours on top. The sound was so strong. I was interested in listening to the big noise. I was wondering what might happen next? I wanted to stay longer to see the big eruption. My friends kept telling me to go back because they were scared. Nothing happened so I came back down the mountain.

Made: Did you feel scared on the top?

MB: No. I felt free. I didn’t feel hot. I felt cold. If I died on the summit it would be better than if I died in my house.

As a human when you are born from your Mother you return to the Earth. If I die in the explosion, then it is meant to be. I would be a sacrifice to the Gods.

Made: Do you feel like you were chosen by God as the guardian of Mount Agung?

MB: Yes. God is taking my hand to do this job. I pray for Gunung Agung and the world. Not the opposite, sometimes people get confused. God is always looking after the people and giving messages. We must listen. We must do as God asks.

Yes. I am the guardian of Gunung Agung. The God will protect me. (*Mangku Bon says this with passion)

Made: You have an important job. My wife and I want to thank you from our heart for looking after Mount Agung and the world.

MB: I have prayed many times. Not just for my area, but for all entire world. I pray for all humans, all animals and all plants. I pray for all.

If the plant is healthy then the circle of life is perfect.

I pray for balance in the world.

We are all the humans in the world, we are all family.

We are all the same.

Even if it is a big explosion, I am praying that it is not huge and that it will not destroy the world. I am only a human being and I cannot stop the process because it is the cycle of the volcano.

That is why I pray for global balance in nature and humans. (*Mangku Bon says this with intense passion).

Please God, I pray for everything in this world that is in your hand. You are the creator. I pray for you God. Whatever you decide is the good thing.

Not one person in this world is different. We are all family. If there is a bad person or bad a thing I pray for the good thing always. I never pray for bad. For example, if a cow comes to my field to eat my grass and the cow does not belong to me. I still pray for a good healthy life for the cow.

Another example. If the Tiger or Elephant or scary animal comes to me, I don’t pray to the God to destroy them. I always pray for the good thing.

I pray to God to keep them healthy and calm and for pengurip pengurip (positive energy).

When our meeting concluded Mangku Bon asked Made, Eka and myself if we would like to pray in his small room.

We had prepared an offering which Mangku Bon placed in his small temple. Mangku Bon blessed us and gave us a piece of tridatu thread, the same thread he had retrieved from the holy mountain. We wrapped the thread around our wrists.

Mangku Bon repeated this blessing for Kadek and his friends.

We stood at the foothills of Holy Gunung Agung and took photographs.

MangkuBon&SharonKayasa

With Mangku Bon

Kadek smiled at me and said,

“Sharon, your dream came true”

Being blessed by Mangku Bon at the base of the most fascinating active volcano on this planet was ethereal to say the least. To be tip tap tapping away transcribing this sacred text on Christmas Eve is mind blowing.

I pray that Mangku Bon’s wisdom will be read by the masses.

I pray that I can follow Mangku Bon’s wisdom.

Mangku Bon is a humble farmer, father, loving grandfather and adventurer who loves to pray and meditate.

He is the gatekeeper and guardian to our Holy Gunung Agung.

I truly believe that Mangku Bon holds the key that answers that question we have all been seeking. The answer to the universal puzzle called life.

Blessings always

Sharon x

*Please share if you enjoyed Mangku Bon’s story.  He has asked for his message to be told to the world.

 

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