Hindu Religion Balinese Culture

Hinduism Bali ©zsoolt/flickr

Hinduism Bali ©zsoolt/flickr

The Hinduism that was practiced in Bali as a religion is Agama Hindu Dharma. They called themselves Hindu Ciwa for the Balinese. Both Buddhism and Hinduism arrive from Java, extended from India in the 8th – 16th centuries. Symbolically, it is the Swastika, the wheel of the sun that make Balinese Hinduism somehow different. The belief is that nature’s elements are influenced by spirit. Hence they need to be appeased and to do so, this spirit is offered Sesajen (a kind of offerings) made from agriculture product. Balinese also believe that the sacred Mount Agung is the abode of the ancestors and the gods. It is thus revered as the Mother mountain.

Principles

The three main principles of the religion are place, time and circumstance. They are namely the ‘Desa, Kala and Patra’. They also have five pillars of the faith towards acknowledgement of Hinduism. For example, they believe in one Supreme God, they believe in soul as the universal principle of life and consciousness. They also believe in the fruition of one’s deeds called ‘karma pala’. They believe in the process of birth and death. The Samsara. They largely believe in the rites, rites of gods and of the dead, of the temple and of demonic forces. Thus in rituals they use the fire, geese, holy water, ash, eggs, duck, dabdab leaves as purifying elements.

Banten Offerings Daily

Banten Offerings ©jelantik/flickr

Banten Offerings ©jelantik/flickr

When you are traveling in Bali, you will notice the extremely devout efforts made by the Balinese. They offer daily to their gods something called ‘Banten’ which consists of cigarettes, flowers, rice, cookies and at times money. And they gave in good spirits in hopes and to appease the evil spirits. The art and rituals by which the way the local Balinese observe their religious beliefs are not so much about the rebirth and reincarnation cycles, but more about a myriad of hyangs. Hyang is believed to have supernatural powers and it is an unseen spiritual entity. It has root in indigenous animism. While the Balinese believe that non-human entities embodies some kind of life-principle. These non-human entities includes even geographic features like rivers, mountains, thunder, rocks, plants, abstract concepts like even words. And in particular in Bali, they believe Hyang only move in straight lines. In such the priest is a spiritual leader and an adviser. Important ceremonies are marriage, puberty and cremation at death.

 

 

 

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