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Directory Home> Bali Art and Culture> Cycle Of Life
 
CYCLE OF LIFE
 
According to the principles of cosmic harmony, man is expected to reach moksa. To do this he or she should strive to fulfill three other goals of life: desire-kama, wealth-artha and virtue-dharma. Each of these goals should be fulfilled in an order of priority depending on the stage reached in life, such as when young, becoming an adolescent, getting married and becoming old.

Desire must be exercised with caution and balanced by dharma. This control of desire is illustrated in the mesangih or metatah, a tooth-filing rite, which takes place during adolescence, a time when sexual desire has reached its peak. The teeth symbolize the animal, or the uncontrolled side of humans, and Balinese demons always have big canine teeth. By filing them, six enemies will be eliminated; namely, lust, greed, anger, intoxication, confusion and jealousy.

The Balinese marriage ceremony is no less complex. It is preceded by an engagement of mepadik during which the couple falsely elope, and are supported by a group of accomplices, who protect the couple during their honeymoon. After three days, they are considered man and wife. The ploy is a serious one as the girl's parents may be furious and refuse their blessing.
 
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