By and large, in Balinese Hindu community the cloth with poleng or checkered motif is used for uniform or attires of pecalang (customary security officer), on kulkul (wooden split bell), guardian statues or traditional healers. They all equally symbolize a spiritual guardian. In the context of keeping or as a guardian, the checkered motif at Tanah Lot has a high philosophical meaning and value.
Checkered motif at Tanah Lot is a sanctified color or motif that up to these days is believed by the Balinese Hindu community as the guard of Tanah Lot Temple. The temple symbolizing purity contains a very high spiritual value. Even, the checkered motif is not just a motif or color on a piece of cloth, but also represents the Sudhamala Duwe (holy banded sea krait) known to have existed since the establishment of Tanah Lot Temple.
The presence of the sacred checkered sea krait is still highly trusted by Balinese Hindu community as guardian of nature preservation and sanctity of Tanah Lot Temple. Local community believes that the existing checkered krait at Tanah Lot is said to have originated from the shawl of Danghyang Dwijendra as mentioned in the Dwijendra Tattwa chronicle. By his supernatural power, the shawl was then transformed into a checkered marine snake assigned to preserve the nature and purity Tanah Lot Temple.
Up to these days, we can see the presence of such holy snake within the sacred zone of Tanah Lot Temple. God has given us a symbol implying a high philosophical meaning as found on the checkered motif of the marine snake. Ultimately, at Tanah Lot the motif has been interpreted to have a significance of its own through a very legendary conception within the community. The philosophical meaning of checkered motif was deliberately featured in the Tanah Art Festival in 2010.
Checkered motif posed a social campaign to people throughout the world. It left a message to human beings as the guard to preserve the cultural heritage in Tabanan. In other words, it appealed us to do something beneficial to preserve the nature, develop and discover the potential of cultural heritage of Bali in general and Tabanan in particular. To sum up, through the conception of poleng or checkered we are appealed to preserve the culture and nature as the sacred snake at Tanah Lot maintains the sanctity of the temple until now.
source : balitravelnews