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Directory Home> Bali Art and Culture> Balinese Hinduism
 
BALINESE HINDUISM
 
Being multiple and pervading, god has different names: the Ultimate Void or Sunya expanding in an infinity of murti of manifestations from which people select one as Istadewata or a personal god. Some of the names are indigenous: Sang Hayang Embang, and others of Indian origin, Sang Hyang Parama Kawi. They are all seen as emanating from a single source.

The principle gods are Brahma, the God of Creation, Wisnu, The God of Providence, and Siwa, the God of Dissolution. These three move the world through an unending process of birth, balance and destruction. Man, a microcosm of the world, is subjected to the same process until he achieves moksa, blending into the Cosmos and God. The cosmos and its movement is symbolized by the swastika.

Man should endeavor to maintain the harmony of the whole system, hence the role of ritual. Only by adhering to the proper rules of behavior can the proper balance be kept between the two sets of godly and demonic forces. Balinese religion is known to the world through the richness of its rituals. Gods and demons seem to be every where and the life of the Balinese is therefore rich with abundant rituals.
 
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