Panca Yadnya, Sacrificial Rituals in Bali

In general, there are 5 categories of ceremonies to perform by Balinese. It is called Panca Yadnya; Panca means five and Yadnya means holy offerings. They are Dewa Yadnya, Pitra Yadnya, Manusa Yadnya, Rsi Yadnya, and Bhuta Yadnya.

Dewa Yadnya
Holy sacrifice / offering ceremony dedicated to Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa (Supreme God) and all His manifestation as Brahma, the Creator, Wishnu, the preserver and Siwa, the destroyer. Balinese Hindu perform Tri Sandya (3 times daily praying) and Muspa (praying and offering at the holy places). Holy sacrifice is implemented on holy days such as rerahinan which occurs every 210 days, Galungan and Kuningan, Sarasvati, Nyepi etc.

Pitra Yadnya
Holy sacrifice/offering ceremony dedicated for ancestor and/or holy spirits. Sawa Wedana and Atma Wedana are one series of Pitra Yadnya ceremony. Ngaben / Plebon or Cremation is the common word used for Pitra Yadnya ceremony

Manusa Yadnya
Ceremonies related to human life, such as: Nyambutin (a ceremony to welcome the new born baby), Nelubulanin (a ceremony for 3 months old baby), Otonan (210 days old ceremony), Pawiwahan (marriage ceremony), etc.

Rsi Yadnya
Ceremonies dedicated to maha resi, holy person, high priest, pemangku (local temple priest), teacher e.g. Diksa ceremony (ceremony of the prospective priest to become a priest). Other practice in daily life can be such as: erect a worship place for the priest, giving donation for the priest etc.

Bhuta Yadnya
ceremony dedicated to sarwa butha, the lower creations; either skala or seen creatures: such as animal, plants etc. and niskala or unseen creature such as supranatural creatures. Mecaru or tawur agung is one of the butha kala ceremonies which aims to keep balance between macrocosm (the universe) and microcosm (our inner world).

Even though there are five ceremony categories however they are inseparable. When we carry out one of the ceremony, elements of Panca Yadnya actually are include. The categories is more about what is the main focus of the ceremony.

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