The Meaning Of Water In Balinese Traditional Garden by Mugi Raharja, translated by Putu Agus Bharatayadnya.
This study is concern about the meaning of water in Balinese tradition garden by using Hermeneutic philosophy approach. Balinese Traditional Garden is a natural building area which is influenced by natural condition, civilization proccess and its culture development. Start from years ago, Balinese Kings had local genius aspect to organize natural building in kind of garden with dominate of water element and It was watched from its desain object which was various and special local superior in gardening sector. In Balinese garden, water always needed because according to Hindu beliaving, water is one of 5 nature elements , called Panca Mahabhuta in Balinese. They are: Apah (liquid element), Teja (ray element), Bayu (air element), Akasa (sky element), Pertiwi (land element). Water element in gardens design of Balinese kingdom inheritage, was based of looking for inmortal water (amertha) philosophy . This philosophy resource was from Adi Parwa texts, one part of Mahabharata epic which contains god and godness stories. In ancient Hindu kingdom age, the stories was objected with relief form in Sangku Sudamala, Raja Asthasura Ratna Bumi Banten stone container written in 1329 AD at Pusering Jagat temple in Pejeng village, Gianyar regency. The another Philosophy is from Circling Mandhala Giri in Ksirarnawa philosophy. It is storing about Gods and denawa (mythical gigantic demon) stir up Ksirarnawa sea together by using Mandhara mountain helped by Dragon Basuki as cicling string , a giant turtle reincarnation of Visnu called Kurma awatara hold up mountain ground and dewa indra (God of war) hold up the top of mountain to make it has not throw out. They are looking for inmortal water (amertha) in Ksirarnawa sea because it beliaving, who drink amertha, they have inmortal life.
Gardening in ancient Balinese age have a square form type structures of Holy pool, Bathing pool, shower pool and it have fungtion as religion activity, for examples Tirta Empul Bathing Garden, builded by King Indra Jaya Singha Warmadewa (960 AD) and Goa Gajah bathing pool garden, Bedulu village, subregency of Blahbatuh, Gianyar Regency. It was calculated which builded during King Anak Wungsu government (1049-1077).
Middle Age Balinese Garden have Water pool or telaga Bale Kambang atau Meru building Land in centre of pool and it have Design philosophy likes,Building is Mandhara Giri symbol and Pool is Ksirarnawa symbol, for examples, first is Gili Puri Semarapura garden Was buided by King I Dewa Agung Jambe, when was buiding Semarapura palace in Klungkung, 1710, second is Taman Sari temple, Was builded in the same age with Gili Puri Semarapura garden and located in Banjar Sengguan, 500 metres north east of Puri Semarapura in Klungkung regency. Taman Ayun temple. Inheritage of Mengwi Kingdom and It was builded in the same age with Puri Mengwi in 627. It was legitimated when inaugurating the first Mengwi king, Ida Cokorda Sakti Blambangan (I Gusti Agung Ngurah Made Agung) . In this temple, Island/land is Mandhara Giri symbol and Pool/pond is Ksirarnawa symbol, third is Tirta Gangga garden, Inheritage of Karangasem Kingdom, It is located in Ababi village, Abang subregency, Karangasem regency and Builded by King Anak Agung Bagus Jelantik (Ida Anak Agung Anglurah Ktut Karangasem), in 1948. The Philosophy behind this place are Water tower Jalatunda is Mandhara Giri symbol and water pool is Ksirarnawa symbol. The last is Ujung Garden (Sukasada), It was builded by Raja Anak Agung Bagus Jelantik (Ida Anak Agung Anglurah Ktut Karangasem) in the same time with Agung Kanginan palace building in1909. This garden have Pavilion building as Mandhara Giri and water pool as Ksirarnawa, both are the philosophy symbols of Ujung garden.
So, the meaning of water in Balinese traditional garden are for Religion fungtion to take the holy water for religion ritual, ecology and konservation fungtions: preservation and protection of water spring sources (kelebutan)in Balinese, rivers, lakes, seas and natural environment, agrarian fungtion: for irrigating in rice field and social fungtion: for recreation place (interaction fungtion).