7 interesting facts about Balinese Hinduism


About 90% of Indonesians are Muslim. 93% of Balinese people are Hindu, which is a blend of Hinduism from India, traditional Javanese and traditional Balinese beliefs.

1. Harmony in the universe

One of the fundamental principles is that there is order in cosmos, known as dharma. In case of order there should be a disordering force as well, called adharma. This makes the balance in the entire universe. Balinese Hindus are working on to keep the balance between these forces and harmony in the universe by living in harmony with the spiritual world (gods and spirits), with the nature and environment and with other people. This is called Tri Hita Karana. This harmony results prosperity of the body and soul, so we can create a better world to live in.

2. Good and evil

Balinese believe that good spirits live in the mountains and evil spirits dwell around the coastlines, the ocean and rivers, the unholiest places. And people live between them. According to their „the higher the holier” rule mountains are the holiest places. Houses and buildings are built towards the mountains. People are sleeping in a position of their head pointed to the highest mountain, the volcano Mount Agung where the gods live.

3. Karma

Dharma is the order in cosmos where all people, animals are small parts of the entire universe. According to dharma there are no coincidences in the cosmos. Living beings have their free will but all of our acts have their reasons and effects. During their life cycle Balinese Hindus are making efforts to act well. They believe in reincarnation and circulation of the soul. With good karma they can free themselves from the never-ending cycle of reincarnation, attaining a state called moksa.

4. There is always something to celebrate

If we check the Balinese holiday calendar, we can find lots of interesting events during the whole year. Families and communities organise celebrations to the gods, spirits, purification processes, at fullmoon, temple anniversaries, to mark major events of a person’s life, like weddings or cremations. In addition to these there are always signs on the island during Muslim holidays and for touristic reasons at Christmas, New Year’s Eve and the Chinese New Year as well.

5. Those beautiful traditional balinese dresses

We love bigger holidays and celebrations in Bali. People usually start preparations days or weeks in advance. If we go out to the streets on the ’big day’, we can feel that there is something special in the air. Then some Balinese people appear riding their motorbikes and wearing traditional dresses. Cruising around temples and villages we can watch ceremony preparations and celebrations everywhere. From the youngest babies to the 100 year old ladies everybody is wearing their most beautiful dresses. Men wear shirts, head scarves and sarongs. Women wear sarong, a blouse (kebaya), a sash and as headdress they carry trays of fruits and flowers as offerings.

6. Canang Sari – Daily Balinese offerings

The daily offering is made by Balinese Hindus to thank God (Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa) wealth and peace given to the world. It is a small palm leaf basket (canang) filled with flowers, food, coins and incense which all gives its essence (sari). They can be found in temples, in front of houses on the street, in shops, in cars and on motorbikes.

7. Nyepi, the Day of Silence

One of the most important holidays in Bali is the New Year celebration according to Saka calendar. It is on a different date every year, in 2017 it was on 28th March. After the previously held rituals and ceremonies there is complete silence on the island for one day. Hindus hide from demons, and because those evil spirits do not find anyone, they leave so Bali is cleansed for another year from them. Balinese Hindus meditate and follow rituals called ’Four Nyepi Prohibitions’ in order to purify their souls. It means no light or fire, no work or activities, no travel and no entertainment. There is no traffic on roads (except ambulance and police), even the airport is closed. People do not leave their houses. It is prohibited also for foreigners and tourists to leave hotels and villas during Nyepi Day.

 

source help: wikipedia

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