The Tri Hita Karana Concept

The mission of The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary (Monkey Forest Ubud) is conserving the area based on the concept of Tri Hita Karana. Tri Hita Karana is ones of philosophy in Hinduism. Tri Hita Karana is derived from the word of “Tri” meaning three, “Hita” which means happiness, and “Karana” which means the cause or manner. Thus, Tri Hita Karana means “Three ways to reach spiritual and physical well-being”.

The substance of doctrine of Tri Hita Karana is how to make people maintain a harmonious relationship in this life. Those three relationships comprise of harmonious relationships between humans and humans, humans and their environment, and humans with The Supreme God.

The implementation of Tri Hita Karana, in addition to the  ritual performed in the temples, can  be seen in a special ritual activities related to animal, called Tumpek Kandang; and Tumpek Uduh, where the  animal and plant is the subject of the ritual. Based on the concept of Tri Hita Karana, The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary (Monkey Forest Ubud) will be a featured of international tourist destination to create peace and harmony to the visitors. As well as can be the heart of the city, the conservation of rare plants and plants for ritual purpose, and as a natural laboratory for educational institutions.

Research and Conservation

The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary (Monkey Forest Ubud) is not just a tourist attractions or important component in the spiritual and economic life of the local community, but also an important spot for research and conservation programs.
The special management and arrangement that have been done in this area encouraged researchers from various research institutions around the world to conduct a research, particularly on the monkey’s social interaction and behavior with their surrounding environment.

The presence of sacred forest is a demonstration of the harmonious coexistence of humans and nature. In Bali, sanctuaries such as the Monkey Forest are usually in sacred village areas, often surrounded by temples. These cultural sanctuaries are not only an important part of Balinese heritage, but also an important part of everyday live. Temple festivals are regularly held for the villagers and the gods in such areas.A Balinese temple is more than just a collection of pagodas and pavilions. The area enclosed by temple walls and the forest area surrounding it is sacred. These temples and the forest are essential for renewing contact with the spiritual world. The activities associated with these areas are essential in maintaining harmony between humans, nature and the cosmos. Not only are ancestral spirits and gods given offerings and prayers, but also the spirits of trees and statues in the Monkey Forest are given offerings and prayers by the Pemangku and local villagers

The Trees of the Forest
The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, in conjunction with Udayana Univeristy in Denpasar have identified 115 separate species of trees.

Some of these trees are considered holy and are used in various Balinese spiritual practices.  Examples include the Majegan, which is used exclusively for the building of shrines; or the Berigin, whose leaves are used in cremation ceremonies.

Of special significance is the Pule Bandak, a tree that embodies the spirit of the forest, and is used in the making of powerful masks.  These masks are only used inside the temple, and the trees are not killed to make them.  An auspicious day is chosen and the Priest asks permission of the tree spirit to cut a small piece of its wood.  The spirit thus remains embodied in the mask.

Because of the considerable population, the conflicts between groups of monkey cannot be avoided. Sometimes for a specific reason, such as a bath to the river in the dry season, certain groups must cross the other groups territory.

This type of primate is active during the day and rest at night. The pregnancies of female monkey are about 6 months and generally 1 infant is born. Very rarely are twin. Monkey’s baby stays with their mother for about 10 months and thereafter will be weaned to live independently.

Mating can occur throughout the year with higher intensity happened in May to August. Monkey’s mothers are keeping their babies intensively; even female monkeys who are not the parent also participated in keeping the baby monkey.

The type of monkeys that live in the area of The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary (Monkey Forest Ubud), known as the Balinese long-tailed monkey, in scientific called Macaca fascicularis. In English called Macaque.

There are about 900 monkeys living in this area. They are divided into 7 groups: in front of the main temple, Michelin, eastern, central, cemeteries, new forest, and south.

The Temple

Because of the considerable population, the conflicts between groups of monkey cannot be avoided. Sometimes for a specific reason, such as a bath to the river in the dry season, certain groups must cross the other groups territory.

This type of primate is active during the day and rest at night. The pregnancies of female monkey are about 6 months and generally 1 infant is born. Very rarely are twin. Monkey’s baby stays with their mother for about 10 months and thereafter will be weaned to live independently.

Mating can occur throughout the year with higher intensity happened in May to August. Monkey’s mothers are keeping their babies intensively; even female monkeys who are not the parent also participated in keeping the baby monkey.

Based on the analysis of the Pura Purana (a holy book made from palm tree leaves as a historical document of the temple), temples in The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary (Monkey Forest Ubud) area are built around the middle of the 14th century. When the kingdoms in Bali were ruled by Dynasty of Pejeng or can also be said about the beginning of Gelgel Dynasty.

There are three temples in the area of Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary :

  • Pura Dalem Agung (The Main Temple), located in the southwest area. In this temple, people worship to the God.
  • (Hyang Widhi) in personification as Shiva, ”The Recycler” or “The Transformer”
  • In the northwest area, you will find Pura Beji (Beji Temple). In this temple people worship to the God (Hyang Widhi) in personification as the goddess Gangga. This temple is a place of purification before conducting the ceremony (piodalan). Pura Beji is often used for ”melukat” as spiritual and physical cleansing.
  • The third temple is Pura Prajapati (Prajapati Temple). This temple is located in the northeast area. This temple is adjacent to the cemetery. In this temple Hindus worship to the God (Hyang Widhi) in personification as Prajapati.  The cemetery is used temporarily, while waiting for the day of the mass cremation which is held every 5 years.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2019 Monkey Forest Ubud, Gianyar – Bali.