Hinduism in Bali By : Prof. Dr.I Gusti Putu Phalgunadi, M.A., D.Litt. A. Process of Hinduisation of Bali. Hindu movement in Bali or Indonesia had been a peaceful one. Traders, Brahmanas and Ksatriyas, all arrived here with separate mission, but one thing was common, they never tried to destroy or uproot the existing local culture. Gradual interaction between the two cultural identities had its impact on the Indonesian people. Various theories have been put forward regarding the Hindu influences in Indonesia.It appears that the first initiative came from the traders who are supposed to have come from the coastal areas of India some time around the beginning of the Christian era. The passage of time witnessed a gradual wave of people coming in. Thus the Hindu traders were responsible for the spread and penetration of Hindu religion and its culture in the Indonesian archipelago. The Hinduisation of Indonesia has been long drawn process which continued for centuries. It progressed through a number of successive waves. Religion was one of the most important factors in the spreading of Hindu culture in Bali. The Hindu religion that flourished in Bali or Indonesia was never Vedic religion. It was Brahmanical or Puranic religion. This religion was introduced in Bali directly from India. The chief characteristic feature of this religion is its sectarian character. Each sect had one principal God, such as Siva, Visnu or Ganesa. It is a strange coincidence that apart from Brahmanic deities and gods such as Siva, Visnu and Ganesa, Buddha also came to be treated as another such deity which was also considered as one Each of these sects has many branches. Among all the promise sects which flourished in Bali, Saivite and Sector are the most dominant. These wielded more influence on the whole course of religious development than any other sect. The Hinayana doctrine was gradually replaced by the Mahayana Buddhist faith. There is no trace of any religious conflict in Bali or Indonesia since Hinduism was introduced to the people of Indonesia. The Balinese king assumed the rule of supreme guardian of all the religious sects. Brahmanical religion (Hinduism) and Mahayana Buddhist faith both attained privileged positions among the kings as well as their subjects. 1. Saivism Saivism, Tantrism and Tantric Buddhism spread far and wide in Indonesia and particularly in Bali, where the worship of Siva in its most concrete and living form is still in vogue. Siva has conceived both in its transcendent (Niskala) and also at the bodily aspect (Sakala). The latter is identified with Sakti, the innermost nature of Siva. The worship of Siva finds earliest references in the Vedas, also in the Upanisads, Agamas, Ithihasa and Puranas. Belief in Siva in the form of Pasupati (Pasupata cult) date back to the period of the Varmadeva dynasty in Bali, which ruled Bali around tenth Century A.D. Pasupata denotes the eight aspects (astamurti) of Siva. These eight manifestations of Siva, as mentioned in the Indonesian Brahmanda-Purana as as follows; Rudra, Sarva, Pasupati, Ugra, Asani, Bhava, Mahadeva and Isana, each representing a distinct of God manifested through a visible form. 2. Vaisnavism. Another sect which rose to prominence with the passage of time in Bali was Vaisnavism. It too enjoyed royal patronage along with Saivism and Mahayana Buddhism. The available evidences tend to show that during the twelfth Century A.D. Vaisnavism was becoming popular in Bali. In this cult Lord Visnu is regarded as the Supreme God. Numerous references linking Lord Visnu with this cult have found in Bali. Most probably Vaisnavism came from Java to Bali in the Kediri period in twelfth Century A.D. particularly during the reign of king Airlangga, who was the son of Gunapriyadharmapatni, the queen of Bali. 3. Buddhism As regard the influence of Buddhism, Chinese records tell us of the prevalence of the cult of Hinayana Buddhism of the Mulasarvastivada school in Bali (Po’li). Even prior to the period described by Chinese records, there are evidences which suggest that the Buddhist faith was a flourishing religion in Bali in the fifth Century A.D. The Blanjong inscription mentions that the king sought the protection of the Buddha for the welfare of his country. The Buddhist faith in this period, particularly from the eight Century A.D., had a strong hold on the people of Bali.In that time Buddha was also called by various names such as Jina, Sakyamuni, Sugata, etc. 4. Tantrism The Indonesian Tantrism has unfortunately remained a neglected branch of study, in spite of the fact that it has a very significant number of texts, mostly on the “Tal-patra” manuscripts. The word “tantra” is derived from the root “tan”, which means to spread, but some writers claim it to be a derivative of the root “tantri” meaning “knowledge” or “origination”. Tantra means “the scripture by which knowledge is spread”. Kulluka Bhatta in his commentary on the Manusamhita has expressly stated that “sruti” admits or twofold classification, namely Vaidika and Tantrika. There are Vaidika Saiva or Vedic Saiva, Vedic Vaisnava and Vedic Sakta. Similarly there are Trantika Saiva or Saivagama or Saiva-tantra and Vaisnavagama and Saktagama. Tantra, here, has to be understood in a context which is different from its traditional concept. The Indonesian Trantism is a synthesis of the worship of Sakti (power) and of the five principal gods also known as "pancopasaka” or “pancopasan”. Tantras also denote the “Agama” such as Saivagama, Vaisnavagama, Saktagama, Sauragama, Ganapatyagama and Buddhagama. It also describes their respective religious practices (acaras) and disciplines (niyamas) and stands for the essential nature of being spiritual and gaining power of ascendecy towards “Absolute Fullness and Perfection” (Parambrahma). The expression, Tantra and Agama are synonyms. The term Agama is applied to Tantra while Nigama though not exclusively but generally came to denote Veda on the one hand and the Agamas ensure its sanctity like the Vedas on the other. The deity worshipped in accordance with Tantrism is often and always adored with offerings, known as “Pancatattva” or “Pancamakara” namely mamsa (meat), matsya (fish), mudra (grain), mada (wine) and what is called in Balinese as “Porosan” (betel leafs, arecanut, lime) as “maithuna”. a. Saivagama Saivagama in Indonesia is based on the Saiva-shiddhanta philosophy. The Saiva system, in general, is known as Saiva-sasana or Saivagama. The non-dualistic Siva system as prevalent in Indonesia is known as Saiva-shiddanta. Sasana or sastra means teaching as regards rules for discipline. The Indonesian Saiva-sasana, Nana–siddhanta and Vrhaspati-tattva provide us with a descriptive treatise about God. It expounds that there are three distinct forms in which God manifests Himself. The highest and the most abstract among these is the Paramasiva or the non-dual form. Sadasiva and Siva are dualistic-cum-non-dual (advaitaadvaita) and dual (dvaita) respectively. It is only one single God who assumes all these three forms without, at the same time, loosing His essential nature. According to Indonesian Saivite literature, all existing “sastra” are divided into five groups which,although believed to have been ultimately propounded by one of Sadasiva’s five faces (pancanana), are created through the mediations of Karanesvara of Panca-brahma who is one of five deities collectively called the “Panca-brahmas” (Five-Brahmas). The five faces of Sadasiva are Sadyojata (the Eastern face), Bamadeva (the Southern face), Tatpurusa (the Western face), Aghora (the Northern face) and Isana (the Middle face). From each of these faces came out Bhutagama, Vamagama, Garudagama, Bhairavagama and Siddhantagama respectively. b.Saiva-Bhairava Saiva-Bhairava sect came to Indonesia long before tenth Century A.D. The inscription of Java, dated 1296 A.D. mentions about the priest of Bhairava sect who was following of life of the Bhairavas. And the other inscription, dated 1360 A.D. says that Acarya Sivanatha was professing the sect of the Bhairavas, who worship Lord Siva as Mahabhairava. While the Indonesian Tantu-pangelaran (palm-leaf) mentions that the followers of the Bhairava sect ate the dead body of human being. c.Saktagama The Saktagamas believe in the Sakti or Power-aspect of the Supreme Being Nirguna which is manifested in the form of Sakti. So the Saktagama too claims a superior position for the Goddess in practice. However She (Bhairava, Durga or Laksmi) is not put above Siva or Visnu. d.Vaisnavagama Vaisnavism is one of the chief religious sects of the Hindus and the Pancaratra is the oldest surviving Holy Book of the Vaisnava. Among the vast number of Pancaratras, there are also Pancaratragamas, which teach about Vaisnavagama. The Vaisnavagama consider Laksmi – Narayana as the highest embodiment of God. III. Vedic Gods and Goddesses in Balinese Hinduism The Balinese Hindu worships the different manifestations of Supreme God. Rudra, Surya, Varuna, Brahma, Indra, Vayu, Sri Durga, Daksina, Prthivi, Ganga, Yamuna etc., naturally therefore, are regard as the manifestations of the Supreme deity, the Great Siva, who ultimately is without any form and any attribute and could be represented in the shapeless or invisible form of Paramasiva. According to the Balinese, the Supreme Being is Paramasiva, the Almighty God. The Balinese worship many different manifestations of God. They worship their gods in public temples as well as in their family or clan temples. Prof. H.R. Sarkar correctly says that all known gods of any importance's in the Hindu and Buddhist pantheon of India had heyday in Bali. Contd..