HINDU community in Bali has a ritual called tabuh rah. This ritual is the sprinkling of chicken blood in a series of bhuta yajña ritual or sacrifice to the bhuta. The tabuh rah is implemented in the form of ‘cockfighting’ that has become a tradition to the community on the Island of the Gods.
The type of chicken used is rooster (for cockfighting). This fight is held for three parties containing a magical meaning as a symbol of the beginning, middle and end. The sacrificial ritual uses blood as it is considered to have a magical and spiritual force. In essence, the bloodshed is intended for Bhuta Bhucari, Kala Bhucari and Durga Bhucari.
Kala means energy as well as time. Bhuta kala means the energy that arises. Philosophically, bhuta kala is a negative force arising due to lack of harmony between macrocosm (bhuana agung) and the microcosm (bhuana alit). By human, this disharmony is then personified as spirits or supernatural life that can be a nuisance to humans.
Tabuh rah is held at the place and time of the ritual taking place as a series of bhuta yajña ritual. Therefore, the implementation does not need to ask for permission to the authorities because it is not tajen, a gambling event. Tabuh rah is held for not more than three parties. Meanwhile, the tajen or gambling cockfight is held almost for 5-10 parties. Indeed, recently the tabuh rah is often used as a trick for carrying out tajen.
According to Jero Mangku Pasek Sekalan from Marga, I Ketut Arthana, tabuh rah was initiated by the fight of egg, hazelnut and coconut as a symbol of problem solution. The problem should be resolved to get its contents. The problem itself can be small, large and difficult like the properties of the egg, hazelnut and coconut. “It should be held at the venue of ritual, so that the blood can be spilled directly in the center of the ritual venue,” he said.
Tajen is different because it does not organize the fight of eggs, hazelnut and coconut. Similarly, it was not equipped with bhuta yajña ritual and the most visible is the presence of bets every roosters are pitted. “The tabuh rah is now made a tourist attraction becoming the target of photo shooting by foreigners,” he said. (BTN/015)