Probably this thing is common for Balinese people, but for others it may not. The young ivory coconut is not indiscriminate coconut. For Hindu community in Bali, this fruit has the power of Lord Mahadev, namely the supreme power. Physically, it can cleanse up the body and non-physically it can purify the impurities of body and mind. Therefore, the young ivory coconut also serves as a drug. If people get non-medical sickness, in contact with the black magic, for instance, they can be cured with this young ivory coconut. Its water is taken to neutralize toxin in the body. And when taken continuously, the pain will slowly reduce.
Balinese pregnant women usually drink the water of young ivory coconut to make their amniotic fluid and the baby in the womb clean. It can also simplify and expedite the delivery process. “On that account, the young ivory coconut is very special for Hindu community in Bali,” said Director of the Graduate Studies of the Institute of Hindu Dharma (IHDN) Denpasar, Dr. I Ketut Sumadi.
This young coconut, explained Sumadi, was believed to have the power that would always steer humanity towards goodness. In terms of Hinduism, the young ivory coconut could lead people to always improve the quality of sacredness mentally and spiritually. In each execution of religious ceremony, the young ivory coconut was used as ingredients of oblation. At the time of ceremony in the temple, the use of young ivory coconut accompanying the prayascita was with different puja (spells) from the use in the melukat (self-purification).
Unfortunately, the rapid development had made the society rarely willing to plant trees, especially the ivory coconut. Perhaps, it was caused by narrow land, land conversion and so forth. As a result, human being forgot themselves, forgot the sacredness of self enhancing quality, increasing the goodness in life together. Conflicts often occurred due to forgetting the benefits and various uses of the young ivory coconut.
Sumadi added that young ivory coconut generally served to improve the quality of chastity. Physical sanctity could directly clean the dirt and non-physical use was made on temple anniversary (yajna ceremony) in the purification of the temple which served as psychic purification (the invisible). Among the existing young coconuts, the young ivory coconut was the most unique. At the time of metatah (tooth filing), it was always used. After cutting teeth, the teeth were rinsed, and then rinse water was placed into the young ivory coconut and then was placed behind the three-chambered shrine of the family temple.
Hindu community believed that by putting the gargling water in the young ivory coconut it would become clean. Dirt did not affect the others because in the tooth-filing the rinse water was a symbol of the sad ripu (six enemies within human self) to be removed and cleaned. “Hopefully, something bad will become good and fertility. The life of people who have got tooth-filing can be glorified all the times and get the guidance and protection of the Lord and the gods,” said Sumadi.
In addition, the young ivory coconut was also used in the cremation ceremony. After burning the bodies, the ashes were pounded and then placed in the young ivory coconut. Subsequently, it was shaped like puppet and decorated with flowers on it and ended with worship and then dumped into the sea or river.
Putting into the young ivory coconut had significance that when it was placed in a place believed to have the power of Lord Mahadev, then the spirit inside turned clean and could return to their origin perfectly. “Hopefully, if the spirit will get the reincarnation (rebirth) all the bad karmas will turn good and can be born into a better person,” he added. (BTN/putri)