It’s hard to miss Bali’s beautiful religious side. Whether you are exploring stunning temples along the coast, or hiking through magical forests or trawling the streets of Kuta looking for a bargain you can’t help but notice, there is something magical in the air.
Maybe it is the thick heady scent of incense that seems to follow you wherever you go, or the carefully placed offerings that you step over as you wander around. Perhaps it is your taxi driver, who pulls over midway through your journey, stopping the meter and stepping out at an altar to pray for a moment. For the Balinese; religion is a part of the very fabric of their society and it is carefully weaved into everyday life.
The Balinese Hinduism (Hindu Dharma) is quite unique to that of its Indian roots. In fact, Hindu Dharma is a very unique creation in itself, a s subtle blend of traditional Hinduism, ancestral worship and Buddhist characteristics along with spirits, beliefs and rituals that are completely unique to this beautiful island paradise and its inhabitants.
The Balinese people believe that every living thing has a soul, every person, every river and every tree possesses a soul and indeed nature as a whole is a force to be reckoned with, a force that people cannot control. The Balinese are very spiritual and ritual is an important part of everyday life. Their belief is that every person is immortal, a soul that will live on forever, dying and being re-born into the same family until one day one it is finally released into the higher world by the highest of the gods.
Balinese worship the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu along with their supreme God Sanghyang Widi. These Gods are rarely seen (unlike in India where statues of the Gods are everywhere), an empty throne and a simple shrine is all that is necessary here for worship and prayer. In the Balinese religion it is the struggle for order that causes the circle of the human life. Sanghyang Widi is the God of all Gods and possesses all powers, along with Brahma, the creator, Vishnu, the protector and Shiva, the destroyer.
Other Indian Deities show up from time to time in the worship and festivals in Bali ,as do some uniquely Balinese gods. The essence of the Hindu Dharma religion is a belief in a organized universe which is kept in order by the power of the dharma. This beautiful religion is celebrated as a part of life and you don’t have to go into a temple to find it, you will see offerings outside every shop, temples in every village and shrines on every corner.
If your planning to sample some of the many delights in Bali, why not let us help you find the ideal Bali rental villa?
You might also be interested in our guide to Bali’s temples.