One for All
Everyone is welcome to take water from the springs for everything they need, from taking a bath to washing the clothes, or for ceremonies.
Many villagers even drink the water straight away. The water is so clean and fresh that up until today no one has been infected with diarrhea from drinking the water from the spring.
It is also amazing to see how the Balinese take the water just as much as they need – many take only five liters of water although some can take as much as 19 liters. But no one is taking more than they need and no one needs to pay a cent for the water, although some places provide a charity box for people to give donations to maintain the Pura Beji or for ceremonies at the temple.
Every day there is always at least one person giving offerings to the spring to honor Dewa Wishnu and to show how grateful they are for the God that has given them abundant fresh water. The offerings consist of various flowers as well as incense, all of which are placed neatly in a plate made of young coconut leaves. A big ceremony is also held once a year to celebrate the anniversary of the temple. Each of the temples in Bali has its own anniversary, and the local priests calculate the exact date.
During my visit to a spring in Batubulan I witnessed hundreds of people coming and going from morning until afternoon. Some people only took some water then left right away, while others spent more time taking a dip in the spring to refresh their energy in the sunlight. But the most interesting fact is that the spring has become some kind of a place where the villagers meet. While washing their clothes or filling up their containers, the villagers greet each other and share stories. They talk about almost everything, from the village gossip to national issues – some even discuss events that take place at the neighboring village.
Witnessing the activity of the Balinese people at the spring, I could see how they honor their God and the environment, and how they respect each other, all at the same time. This definitely reflects the Tri Hita Karana, the living concept of the Balinese that embraces the balance of life.