The legend of Dewi Danu, the goddess of the lake and rivers, is a significant story in Balinese culture, emphasizing the importance of water and irrigation in the island's agricultural landscape. Here's the story:
Long ago, in the lush and fertile land of Bali, the people depended on the blessings of the gods and goddesses to ensure bountiful harvests and a prosperous life. One of the most revered goddesses was Dewi Danu, the guardian of the lakes and rivers.
Dewi Danu was believed to reside in the serene Lake Batur, a large volcanic crater lake surrounded by lush green hills. Her presence was felt in the shimmering waters that sustained the rice terraces and fields, providing the life-giving source of water that Bali's agriculture relied upon.
The legend tells of Dewi Danu's origins, tracing back to a humble village near the lake. In this village lived a beautiful and kind-hearted woman named Danu, who was known for her generosity and compassion. Her love for her community was unmatched, and she spent her days helping those in need.
One day, as Danu was collecting water from the lake, she encountered a mysterious old man who appeared to be in need of help. Danu, without hesitation, offered him water and food. The old man, who was none other than Lord Vishnu in disguise, was deeply moved by Danu's selflessness and kindness.
In gratitude for her generosity, Lord Vishnu revealed his true form to Danu and bestowed upon her the divine status of a goddess. He named her Dewi Danu, the guardian of the lakes and rivers, entrusting her with the responsibility of ensuring a steady flow of water to the fields and gardens of Bali.
Dewi Danu took her role seriously. She watched over the water sources, ensuring that they remained clean and abundant. Balinese farmers offered prayers and offerings to her, seeking her blessings for prosperous harvests. Temples were built in her honor, including the iconic Ulun Danu Beratan Temple located on the shores of Lake Beratan.
The story of Dewi Danu continues to be told through generations, a reminder of the deep connection between the Balinese people and the natural resources that sustain their way of life. Her presence is felt during temple ceremonies and rituals dedicated to water conservation and irrigation, underscoring the importance of responsible stewardship of Bali's natural environment.