There’s nothing in the world quite like Nyepi, the Balinese day of silence. On March 12 this year, Balinese Hindu adherents celebrate Caka New Year by renouncing work, (Amati Karya), travelling, (Amati Lelunganan), lights and electricity (Amati Geni), and entertainment, (Amati Lelanguan), all the worldly elements that obstruct the soul searching process. The wisdom of Nyepi requires full day abandonment of these things to feed the spiritual self. 

 

There’s nothing in the world quite like Nyepi, the Balinese day of silence. On March 12 this year, Balinese Hindu adherents celebrate Caka New Year by renouncing work, (Amati Karya), travelling, (Amati Lelunganan), lights and electricity (Amati Geni), and entertainment, (Amati Lelanguan), all the worldly elements that obstruct the soul searching process. The wisdom of Nyepi requires full day abandonment of these things to feed the spiritual self. 

Yet the extreme conditions of Nyepi can be rather discomforting for some.  Throngs of residents who don’t observe the ritual rush to get off the island. Every year on days leading to Nyepi, Gilimanuk port in Jembrana experiences a surge of domestic travelers to Java.  Similar occurrences takes place in Ngurah Rai airport, and Padang Bai port.  Meanwhile, those who stay behind seek solace at hotels offering a Nyepi package to ensure life proceeds as close to normal as possible. 

All is well.  After all, the ascetic nature of Nyepi is never an easy choice for everyone. It began in 78 CE in a close-knit community that evolved together. This, however, doesn’t mean that in a world as diverse as ours, Nyepi has lost its relevance. On the contrary, nowhere in human history is the precept more applicable than today. 

 

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