A trip to Banjar Hot Springs is not complete if you skip Brahma Vihara Arama. Brahma Vihara Arama is Bali’s largest Buddhist monastery located near the village of Dencarik. Brahma means great and noble while vihara which is synonym with the Arama means a dwelling.
When I reached the Viraha, I came with zero knowledge on the existence of this ashram. Ketut who is a Buddhist himself told me I had to see the ashram. From the outside, it looked like another Balinese house on top of a hill. To be honest, nothing looked peculiar at first. We were then greeted by a monk. The entrance fee is on donation basis. You may give whatever amount you consider appropriate.
After climbing the stairs that had a philosophy on each step, a beautiful pond stood before me. The pond was beautifully carved with numerous Buddhas around the pond. The greenish lily pads added to the serenity of the monastery. I noticed a group of young adults of my age cladding Balinese traditional costume went into one temple to another. How could I not notice, we were the only sound-ful creatures in the monastery. I tiptoed all the way up to avoid making noises.
Let me warn you that the monastery has few levels, steep staircases are everywhere. The highest point of the vihara comprises of a garden and a big black stone temple. The temple is surrounded by a pond with water lilies. A purple water lilies, a different species from the one I used to see in Malaysia.
I bumped into the Balinese group and asked if they were tourists. No, they are university students from other part of Bali. I sought their permissions to have some pictures taken with them as they were wearing traditional Balinese costume.
While the skies darkened, I quickly descended the staircase in search of Ketut who was having a conversation with a peaceful looking man who came to Bali every now and then to find peacefulness and spirituality. From him I learned that Jakarta is actually submerging by days. There were accommodations provided for the people who meditate in the Vihara. Outside of the rooms, many wax apple trees growing huge and fruitful. The pinkish wax apples filled the ground, some were fresh while some were bitten by squirrels. (Wax apple is jambu air.)
The deafening silent was something that was ain’t hard to experience in the Vihara. No wonders people from around the world went to the Vihara to find peace and the meaning of life.