Sunday, January 10, 2016

Beautiful Purpose


Fallen plumeria blossom
Bali throws flower petals at my feet everywhere every day. When I step outside, fresh plumeria blossoms adorn my path. Arriving at my car, they are on the windshield. It is beautiful and I have experienced it in other tropical places such as Hawaii. The blessing is compounded in Bali because blossoms are ubiquitous to the island.

Balinese people make offerings every day and leave them all around and on the ground too.  It is called canang sari. Canang means beautiful purpose and sari means essence. A small tray made of woven palm leaves is filled with different colored flowers, with perhaps some food, incense, and even money. The whole arrangement is specific and includes careful placement as to direction of each object. It is time consuming to prepare each day and I have seen a woman at my hotel here in Ubud spend hours carefully preparing scores of trays to be placed in many places each day. People all over Bali spend countless hours in this daily ritual of prayer offering. To walk anywhere in the street is to see canang sari on the ground in front of businesses, at temples and homes, adorning sculptures and shrines; everywhere. This morning I walked to my car and the vehicle next to mine had a freshly made canang sari offering sitting at a place of prominence on the dashboard.

Balinese girl, adding fresh offerings midday on a sidewalk in front of an establishment or home

On a sculpture of Ganesha

At first, I took note and simply stepped around the little baskets, but now I am also honoring their meaning and absorbing the blessings. It is respectful. I feel blessed.
Read more here: Offering 
On the pavement


Offering flowers being sold at market.

Early morning, on a car dashboard!


On a sculpture of a praying man.

I love the term canang sari, beautiful purpose—essence! Something to meditate upon. The Balinese do each day, and then spend time and resource manifesting it.

1 comment:

C Gold said...

Interesting...had never heard of Canang sari.