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Spiritual Engineering

'Tumpek Landep' - The Mindful Balinese Blessing of Cars, Bicycles, Plows and Everything Else Made of Steel.

(3/6/2006) The deep spirituality obvious to anyone who visits Bali has its foundations in the certain knowledge of every Balinese Hindu that we live in an animated world; where all things - animals, plants, and material items posses their own spirituality or "soul."

On an island where nothing is profane and all is spiritual, we have days to bless the plants that provide us nourishment (Tumpek Uduh); days to bless the animals, particularly pets and livestock (Tumpek Kandang); days to bless puppets used in traditional shadow plays (Tumpek Wayang); days to bless all machinery and tools made of steel (Tumpek Landep); and, just to be safe, a day to bless the spirituality of any items inadvertently omitted in the normal cycle of Tumpek blessing days (Tumpek Kuningan).

Indeed, We are Truly Blessed

On Saturday, March 04, 2006 the 210-day cycle of the Balinese calendar mandated the marking of Tumpek Landep - the day on which all things made of metal are honored, especially cars, bicycles and motorcycles.

Drs. I Gede Rudia Adiputra, the Rector of the Hindu Dharma Institute (IHD) once explained that Tumpek Landep is a day set aside for sharpening all the "weapons of our lives." While in the past the focus might have been on Balinese weapons of war, Dr. Adiputra maintains that in the modern world thinking is man's main weapon - a tool made sharp though the refinement of knowledge and understanding. While other days such as Saraswati pay homage to knowledge, Tumpek Landep is also a day for evaluation and retrospection on how well we have mastered that knowledge for the benefit of the world.

To Bali's visitors the most obvious sign that Tumpek Landep has arrived is the ubiquitous sight of cars, busses and motorcycles traveling down the highways with elaborate palm offerings tied to their front grills and side mirrors a sure sign of having just been blessed with the ritual offerings, prayers, food, incense and the holy water offerings mandated on this special day.

 

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