Religion in Bali
The main religion practised in Bali is a form of Hinduism called Agama Hindu Dharma, a blend of elements from Hinduism and Buddhism. Hinduism in Bali is bit same like in India, like Mantra we have the same mantra with India just different how to say ( sing ) it. The main symbol of Balinese Hinduism is the Swastika, or wheel of the sun. The main purpose of life is to be released from the wheel of reincarnation. One's lot in one's present life is believed to be result of one's previous lifes or lives.
Religion in Bali varies according to three principles : Desa (place), Kala (time) and Patra (circumtances). Hinduism acknowledges five pillars of faith. They are belief in the one Supreme God of Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa (Brahman) ; belief in the soul of as the universal principle of life and conciousness (Atma); belief in the fruition of one's deeds (Karmapala); belief in the process of the birth and death (Samsara); and belief in the ultimate release (Moksa).
Believing that every soul is subjected to transmigration process (samsara), each incarnation binds the soul to a body and during that time the soul is in a "hellish" condition. It is this hellish-ness that strives to interrupt and achieve the ultimate level of enlightenment or moksa. This state allow the body and soul to join their cosmic equivalents for good. Failure to achieve moksa upon death means that the soul is still bound to the chain of incarnations.
These cosmic notions are manifested in the rites which accompany the soul during its journey through the cycle of life. The rites involved in the passage of the birth to death are an important part of Balinese ritual. They make up the human life rites (manusa yadnya) and the rites of the dead (pitra yadnya). There are a further three rites which are those of the Gods, mainly temple rites (dewa yadnya), rites of demonic forces (butha yadnya) and ordainment rites (rsi yadnya)
The principle Gods of Hinduism in Bali are: Brahma, the God of Creation; Wisnu, the God of Providence; and Siwa, the God of Dissolution. These three (Trimurti) move the world through an unending process of birth, balance and destruction.
Balinese rituals are ruled by a complex calender system, a combination of the Indian Saka calender and the Wuku calender. The first day of the saka year however usually in March is the day of Silence (dewa yadnya) and of profound importance throughout Bali.
Life cycle celebrations in Bali
Ceremonies are carried out at important points in an individual's life to purify them and make sure they have sufficient spiritual energy to remain healthy and calm. Following the birth of a baby, the parents and child are regarded as unclean (sebel). For the mother and baby this lasts 42 days, for the father it lasts until the baby's umbilical cord drops off, when in the 'kepus pungsed' ritual (manusa yadnya), the cord is wrapped in cloth, placed in an offering shaped like a dove and suspended over the baby's bed. The child's first birthday 'oton' (manusa yadnya), occurs after 210 days (a Balinese year) and is the first occasion that it is allowed contact with the ground.
The tooth-filling ritual 'mepandes' (manusa yadnya) takes place between six and eighteen years of age and is a hugely important celebration with guests, music and lavish offerings, the elderly and even the dead have been known to have their teeth filed. Desire, although one of the goals of life, must be exercised with caution and balanced by "dharma" or virtue. This control of desire is best illustrated in the mepandes toothfiling rite, which comes up at the time of adolescence, when sexual desire is reaching its peak; the teeth symbolising the animal - the uncontrolled aspect of the human being; Balinese demonic characters are always represented with big canine teeth. By filing them, one symbolises the victory over one's six "intimate enemies" (musuhing raga); kama - lust, lobha - greed, krodha - anger, mada - intoxication, moha - confusion and matsarya - jealously.
There are two options for marriage / pawiwahan or nganten (manusa yadnya). The most correct is 'mamadik', when the marriage is agreed between the two sets of parents. Much more common is 'ngerorod' or 'malaib', elopement the couple run off and spend the night together with sufficient subterfuge that the girl's parents can pretend to be outraged. The following morning, a private ceremony (makala-kalaan) is carried out and the couple are married. The girl's parent will not be invited as there is supposed to be bad feeling between the two sides. However, three days later both sets of parents meet at the 'ketipat bantal' ceremony and are reconciled.
The ceremony that visitors to Bali are most likely to witness is cremation /pengabenan or pelebonan (pitra yadnya), the most spectacular manifestation of religious observance on the island. Hindu Dharma believe that human body have the same element with the universe, such as water in the nature the same as blood and liquid in the body (Apah), soil and stone the same as flesh and bones (Pertiwi), sun heat the same as body temperature (Teja), gas and air the same as gas and breath (Bayu), and ether in the universe the same as ether in the body (Akasa). These 5 elements also known as Panca Maha Butha. Panca Maha Butha are begin from Panca Tan Mantra which consist of Ghanda (seed of scent) that will become Pertiwi, Rasa (seed of taste) that will become Apah, Rupa (seed of color) that will become Teja, Sparsa (seed of touch) that will become Bayu and Sabda (seed of sound) that will become Akasa.
Following death, the human body must be returned into those 5 elements. The cremation event itself is joyful, accompanied by the soft music of the bamboo gamelan angklung. At the cremation ground, the body is transferred from the tower into the sarcophagus, which is anointed with holy water and set alight. After burning, the ashes are carried to the sea or to a stream which will carry them to the ocean. This act represents the final purification and disposal of the material body, the ultimate returned into the 5 elements.