What exactly do we know about Bali? Very little, right? We know that it is a small corner of paradise, that it is also called the island of the gods and that its Hindu religion is an integral part of its culture.
Today I want to share with you something more about this beautiful place.
The main religion of the island is Balinese Hinduism. Hinduism was imported from India by Brahmins as early as th e 5th century and was gradually adopted by the Javanese and Balinese princes. This religion has taken on a unique form. It was largely influenced by Buddhism and by the original Balinese culture, mixing animist worship and ancestor worship.
The five main beliefs of this religion are:
- The existence of a Supreme God (Sang Hyang Widi Wasa)
- The existence of an eternal soul (Atmana)
- The belief that every act has rewards (Karma Pala)
- Belief in reincarnation (Punarbawa)
- The aspiration for a union with God (Moksa)
For Balinese Hindus, the mountains are the home of the gods. Bali’s highest mountain is Mount Agung.Located east of Bali in Karangasem, it rises to 3142 m above sea level. It houses on its flank, the oldest and largest temple in Bali, called Mother Temple or P ura Besakih .
MOTHER TEMPLE (PURA BESAKIH)
Known as the mother temple of Bali for over a thousand years, Besakih is unique because it consists mainly of individual clan temples known as pedarman (over 80 in total).
MANY RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS CELEBRATED YEAR-ROUND
Besakih being the largest and holiest temple on the island, it plays an important role not only for nearby villages and families, but also for all Hindus in Bali. Many important religious festivals are celebrated in this temple all year round. It is a temple open to all the faithful, regardless of their caste of origin.
Besides the religious importance of Besakih, of course, because of all it has to offer, this is one of the best things to do in Bali. Not only will you see an important religious site (which belongs to the World Heritage) but you will also witness authentic Balinese Hindu ritual practices.
It is thought that the name Besakih is derived from Basuki or the classical Sanskrite language, Wasuki, meaning “Hi”. The name Besuki also refers to the god “Naga Besukian”, a god depicted as a dragon that lives on Mount Agung according to mythology.
THE ODOLAN CEREMONY
The Odolan ceremony (or temple feast) of the Mother Temple is one of the largest and most important religious festivals on the island. During this festival, thousands of Balinese climb the stairs that climb the terraces to pray in front of the largest temple bearing the altars of the Hindu trimurti.
If you come to Bali, consider visiting this sacred temple, which is both amazing and beautiful. During your visit, stay respectful at all times: wear a sarong when visiting this temple complex and make sure your knees and shoulders are not discovered.
Source: Gordon D. Jjensen / Luh Ketut Suryani / The Balinese People/ Google / Wikipedia