Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Anthropological view of Hindu Religion in Bali

Bali is one of the most popular places in the world; it is located in Indonesia (South East Asia) and many people visit Bali as it has really unique cultures and beautiful panoramas there. Religion is one of the things that make Bali’s culture become unique and excitement; most people (93%) in Bali are Hinduism, but this is only small part if it compared to whole population of Indonesia citizen, most of Indonesian are Moslem, Hinduism in Bali is only about 3 % of whole percentage (wikipedia.com). As it stated clearly on Pancasila (five basic principal of Indonesia) that Indonesian citizen must have one religion that government offers (Islam, Christianity, Catholic, Buddhism, Hindu, Confucius), the ideology of Hinduism in Bali believe that a belief in one Supreme Being called 'Ida Sanghyang Widi Wasa', 'Sang Hyang Tunggal', or 'Sang Hyang Cintya'. Besides of that, Balinese also belive there’s God and Goddess who represented in animal or human form, this belief means the gods are manifestations of this Supreme Being. This belief is the same as the belief of Smartism, which also holds that the different forms of God, Vishnu, Siva are different aspects of the same Supreme Being. Lord Shiva (Dewa Siwa) is also worshipped in other forms such as "Batara Guru" and "Maharaja Dewa" (Mahadeva) are closely identified with the Sun in local forms of Hinduism or Kebatinan. The sacred texts found in Agama Hindu Dharma are the Vedas (Weda). Only two of the Vedas reached Bali in the past, and they are the basis of Balinese Hinduism, other sources of religious information include the Puranas and the Itihasa (mainly Ramayana and the Mahabharata). A belief in the Trimurti of Hindu Bali, consisting of:

o Brahma, the creator

o Wisnu or Vishnu, the preserver

o Ciwa or Shiva, the destroyer

Hinduism in Bali is religion that has influenced by Buddhism from China, Mongolia and Hindu from Thailand and India, there’s similarity in some attribute or worship activity they do, this influences came to Indonesia since the kingdom era about 7th – 8th century. As the religion has its characteristics; Hinduism can also has magic, symbolism, and ritual-to fulfill their psychological and social needs.

Hindu religion in Bali also has Magic or supernatural techniques in it, there are some rituals or worshiping activities that seems to be odd and bizarre, for example in the Kecak dance (traditional Balinese dance); some time people get in trance as they recite and sing particular word or song while they’re dancing. They lost their conscience as the other spirit takes places of their body; Balinese believe that the spirit is their indigenous spirit who has die. Most people also believe that Bali is place where God and Goddess live there so they called Bali is “The Land of God”. That belief make the People in Bali provide special offering to their God or Goddess everyday, this is called “sesajen”, this offering is given to respect the spirit of the dead people and the God or goddess who live near to them, they have to give the offering three times or at least once a day, they usually put it on the place for worshiping called “sanggah”, sanggah is a kind of temple for Hinduism to pray and it is located near to their house, every family must have it as this is the obligatory for them. The bigger worship place for Hinduism Bali is “pure”, it is usually belong to one “desa” (district) in every place, and every desa has at least one pure as a place for people to do worshiping.

The symbol of Hinduism in Bali is “Swastika”. It symbolizes Peace and Harmony, Lord Ganesha has it on his right hand. Differs from other uses of swastika by the four dots inside each of the four arms. Also, it is always drawn with the four inner arms at 0, 90, 180 and 270 degrees on the compass, unlike other inscriptions where the inner arms are in the form of an 'X'. Here’s the symbol of Swastika:

The other rituals beside of worshiping in the Pure, Hinduism in Bali also do particular rituals that can be involved tooth-filings, cockfights, cremations and others - can be organized at any time, by anyone who needs them. Many others are held only on specific occasions according to the Balinese calendar. In all, there are literally hundreds of rites and festivals that each person participates in during his lifetime, and a great deal of time and expense is devoted to them. In the wedding ceremony there will be great party for celebrating the new couple, and there will be many offering or sesajen as requirement for it, this wedding ceremony can cost one hundred million rupiahs or equal to ten thousand dollar. And so for cremation the dead person who are from high caste; the ceremony is complicated and needs more people and money as well.

Magic, symbolism, and ritual of Hinduism in Bali are characteristic of Hinduism religion that can fill the gap in people’s knowledge and to offer an explanation of things that people not understood, it provides people needs as they will feel satisfy and have certainty for their life.

No comments: