Villa Ratih, Pemuteran, Bali, - Myths

 

 

In Balinese mythology, 

Ratih is the Moon Goddess 

and a Goddess of Love 

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carving of Moon Goddess Ratih

The spirits of the couple, the divine lovers Kamajaya and Kamaratih, fell upon the earth in the realm of human beings. Frequently incarnated as two lovers, constantly searching for each other on earth, the spirit of Kamajaya and Kamaratih symbolize love, lust, desire and the yearning that inspired, seduced and suffered by all lovers on earth. 

Goddess Ratih wood carving

Ratih is the Balinese Goddess of the moon. The Balinese have a myth which explains lunar eclipses featuring Ratih. It is said that the demon Kala Rau had stolen a drink of the elixir of immortality, called Tirtha Amertha. Ratih told this to the great God Wisnu, who threw a magic discus at the demon and cut off his head. Since Kala Rau had just begun to swallow the elixir, his head was immortal but the rest of his body died. Trying to exact revenge, Kala Rau chases Ratih across the sky. He occasionally catches and swallows her, causing a lunar eclipse, but because he is just a head with no body he cannot hold her for long. Enraged at Ratih, he often chases her across the heavens. The Garuda Bird—flies up & gets the elixir of immortality.The demon plans to steal it, but tells the moon goddess, Ratih, & then Ratih tells Vishnu...


 The Garuda Bird—flies up & gets the elixir of immortality.The demon plans to steal it, but tells the moon goddess, Ratih, & then Ratih tells Vishnu... 

buy the book, see the movie, or just read on ... 

 Dream about it in your own villa but make sure you are in Villa Ratih, the Villa of the Goddess Ratih, at Taman Sari Resort, Pemuteran in Bali

 Romantic? Well then this is the perfect place to honeymoon!


There are many version of the Goddes Ratih - 

Ratih (pronounced Rahh-tea) Sang Hyang Semara Jaya and Sang Hyang Semara Ratih are the God and Goddess of marriage in the Hindu religion. 

Before a wedding, both the bride and the groom go through rituals called Angelus Wimoha, which means cleaning the bad spirits from their bodies and inviting Sang Hyang Semara Jaya and Sang Hyang Semara Ratih to bless their union.

The ancient Hindu story begins when the goddess Parvati was feeling lonely. She is missing and longing for her husband Lord Shiva, which at that time was meditating somewhere on a sacred mountain top. Then she send Kamedeva, a lesser love god known in ancient Java as Kamajaya to search for Shiva. His task is to inspired love in Shiva's heart, to make him yearning for his wife. Using the bow and arrow of love tipped with flower, Kamajaya shot the meditating Shiva. Suddenly Shiva felt the desire to see his wife. His heart is felt with memory of the past love-making with Parvati, so he promptly stop his meditation. However when Shiva opened his eyes, he catch the glances of Kamajaya hiding behind the rock. Angered by the fact that Kamajaya, the lesser god, had dared to disturb his meditation, fire burst out from his third eye and burnt Kamajaya down to ashes. Kamajaya's wife, goddess Rati or known in ancient Java as Kamaratih, out of her love, devotion and loyalty, jumped into the Shiva's fire to follow her husband. They both burn out and disappeared from svargaloka, vanished from the realm of gods.


Goddess Dewi Ratih
Ratih Carving

     Ratih Mask by Nyoman Setiawan (above)Snorting with excitement,

  Kala Rau opens his savage maw; his eyes bug out with emotion. This is the moment of revenge. The bodiless demon swallows Ratih, the moon goddess, causing a lunar eclipse.This conflict began when the goddess told the god Wisnu that the demon was stealing a drink of tirta amerta, the elixir of immortality, meant only for gods and goddesses. Wisnu swiftly threw his magic discus and cut off Kala Rau's head. But the elixir had reached his throat, so his head was immortal. Enraged, the demon began chasing the goddess across the heavens, occasionally catching her and wreaking his dark revenge. Nyoman Setiawan repeats the epic story in a handsome mask. He sculpts this dramatic visage from smooth pule wood, prized by mask carvers for its lightweight and subtle color.

Right - The Tooth Filing Ceremony - The ceremony has implications beyond Hindu doctrine. The Balinese, male and female alike, just don’t find long canine teeth aesthetically pleasing. Tooth filing is a kind of beautification rite. Of course, like everything else in Bali, there is a god of beauty, Dewa Kama, or Sanghyang Semara Ratih.  Dewa Kama, or Dewi Ratih, golden yellow and armed with a bow and arrow,. The ceremony takes place on an auspicious day and, as mentioned, it is likely to be combined with other ceremonies. Further, a number of people in the same family are likely to have their teeth filed at the same time. The ceremony takes place in the Bale Dangin, the ceremonial pavilion, in the family compound. The platform acts as a bed and is covered with a mattress, protective ritual cloths, big pillows and a woven bamboo mat on which is drawn Semara and Ratih, male and female figures, the sun and the moon, the sky and the land. Usually two people lie down for the teeth-filing at a time, the eldest first. Maybe 20 would be done at one session. The family crowds around and the gamelan orchestra plays throughout.

ancient bell
Pejeng gong Bali

The Tooth Filing Ceremony -  Offerings

Tooth Filing offerings
The Moon of Pejeng
If heading north, Pura Panataran Sasih (sasih means "drum") is on the right side of the road after Gedong Arca, recognizable by its stone sculptures of wild boars and naga. The chief shrine of the 10th century Pejeng kingdom, this pura is linked to the Bali Aga mountain sanctuary of Penulisan north of Kintamani. Heading north from Bedulu, the temple is on the main road on your right just as you enter Pejeng. 
  The Moon of Pejeng, an exceptional kettle drum unlike any other, sits high in the temple grounds, guarding the village of Pejeng in Bali, Indonesia. Well cared for by the villagers, it has its own little house built up on stilts. Although it really isn’t a moon, it is as fantastic as any member of our universe. For the Moon of Pejeng is the largest kettledrum cast in a single piece in the entire world.

Considered a masterpiece of bronze-casting, this 186.5-cm-tall hourglass-shaped gong is thought to be the largest in the world cast in a single piece and the oldest surviving archaeological artifact on Bali. 
Legend has it in the beginning of time, one of the Earth's 13 moons fell from heaven and landed in a tree. It was so bright it stopped the shameful work of a thief, who became so angry he climbed the tree and urinated on the heavenly object. With a loud boom the moon exploded, killing the thief and falling to earth as a gong. The fall caused it to crack and the urine colored it green. To this day no one dares touch the gong and daily offerings are made to it.
Other legends hold the gong is the wheel of the chariot of the moon or the earplug of the mythical giant Kebo Iwo or moon-goddess Ratih. A highly revered object, the richly ornamented gong is believed by most Balinese to possess magic power. Its sounding surface measures 160 cm in diameter. The piece is thought to date from around 300 B.C., the beginning of the Indonesian Bronze Age. No one knows whether the gong originated in Bali or northern Vietnam. The gong could have been carried to insular Southeast Asia by royal personages fleeing the Chinese. Some scholars speculate it precedes the Mings, and may have been a gift from Kublai Khan to a raja of Bali. To support the theory that it originated in Bali, scholars point to the fact that ancient stone molds used in casting bronze have been found on the island.
The Pejeng gong has been on continuous display in the Pura Panataran Sasih ever since the Old Balinese period. It's believed to be about 1,000 years older than the Pejeng dynasty. When the great naturalist Rumphius visited Bali over 300 years ago, the kettle gong was already ancient. The treasure is so high up in a tower-like shrine you can't make out the detail—bring binoculars. 

 

Bali painting Ratih www.villaratih.com
This is a wonderful myth, with many variations. Here is another version:- The Gods ask for the aid of the demons, who live in the underworld to help stir the Sea of Milk to create Tirtha Amertha or the water of immortality. Stealing the elixir for themselves, the gods drink of it. In the confusion, Kala Rau, one of the demons disguised as a God, takes a swallow. 
The Sun and Moon see Kala Rau and tell Lord Vishnu, who then chops off the demons head. However the magical elixir has just reached his throat and Kala Rau's head become immortal! He chases the Moon and Sun to this day causing the eclipse.