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Directory Home> Bali Art and Culture> Cycle Of Life
 
CYCLE OF LIFE
 
The process of incarnation is both human and cosmic, starting from love. The union of a man and a woman is that of purusa and pradana ( the male and female principle respectively) and the cosmic energy of Asmara, the god of love, and Ratih, the goddess of the moon. In their sexual love are united the red and white elements of desire (kama bang/kama petak), symbols of male sperm and female ovula. The eventual merging of the two kamas begets what is often called "The Godly Fetus" or sanghyang Jabang Bayi, as the soul originates from the heavenly world. A child is called "Dewa" or little god during his first year of life.

Balinese believe that the mountains are the home of the gods, deified ancestors and souls which did not attain moksa. The gods and deified ancestors will descend occasionally to earth during temple ceremonies to partake of offerings and enjoy entertainment. When souls are ready to re-incarnate on earth, they will come from the mountains above or straight from hell. That is why the mountains is revered as the Holy Place.

The religious rites of the Balinese consist of the human rites (manusa yadnya), the rites of the dead (pitra yadnya), rites of the gods or temple rites (dewa yadnya), rites of demonic forces (butha yadnya) and ordainment rites (rsi yadnya). Each phase of a person's life, from pregnancy to birth and birth to death, will be accompanied by rituals, which are performed on certain occasions or at any time whenever the need arises. Holy water, fire, ash, geese, ducks, eggs and leaves of dabdab tree are the purifying elements used in the rituals.
 
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