Bali Hindu Dharma: Bringing order into the disorder … every day.

17 October 2015

God is everywhere and in every thing. Such is the way of daily life in Ubud, Bali. Dharma and adharma are in constant struggle to gain supremacy. Good against evil. Man's intervention brings about equilibrium … temporarily … and, hence, the rituals, prayers and offerings to the Gods continue everyday, everywhere. Through man, the beauty, peace and balance are maintained.

Holy water is sprinkled. Incense and flowers are flicked forward to carry the prayers to the Gods. Balance is brought about … for the moment. Order is brought into the disorder … for the time being. Temporary equilibrium is achieved.

Life swings in the balance.

"Some days are good; some days are bad. That's life," quotes my driver on our trip to the airport.

Chaotic traffic flows to a rhythm foreign to my eyes. We stop to let other vehicles in. We wait patiently in traffic bottlenecks. We stop to allow another motorist to reverse into and across the mayhem. We ease past thousands upon thousands of scooters. In the midst of madness, there is a strange calm.

Our horn is tooted to acknowledge a friend and to alert a scooter that we are about to pass. Our horn is not used in anger or as a threat. Karma is important. All life is valued. On an earlier day, we screeched almost to a halt to avoid a straying chicken. Its life as valuable as ours.

I like how this makes me feel. I like the humility, the strength of belief, the acceptance.

Life in Ubud, in all of Bali, is immersed in Bali Hindu Dharma.

Statues of animals and Gods abound. Each is given small offerings or delicate flowers throughout the day.

We form an affinity with this Ganesh whom we meet every day before breakfast.

Yes, that's the older and wiser sister. Not very alike, are we?

From early childhood, the making and giving of offerings is an intrinsic part of Balinese daily life.

Delicate offerings left to keep drivers safe, intersections free from accidents ...

Offerings in every shop to assist with prosperity.

On every shrine in every home, village,

even dotted throughout the rice fields. Shrines with offerings to the Gods to keep life in balance and, hopefully, ensure a healthy crop, a good harvest.

As we wander near the rail of a cafe balcony, we hear voices and laughter and see this.

Making offerings is part of the busyness of life.

As I open the door to a shop, I find its owner on the floor making offering baskets.

"One hundred, I must make for the temple today," she tells me. And, yes, she is using a stapler, as we longed for in our offerings workshop.

Karma and balance; the fundamentals of life.

My favourite encounters were these.

A shrine on the edge of a rice field near our accommodation

with a little visitor selecting the delicious bits.

But no one seems to mind. His life is valuable too.

And my number one favourite ...

who wouldn't want this much loved scooter to be safe on its day's travels?

Understanding the ways, lives and beliefs of others fascinates me. 
The depth and strength of the Hindu faith of the Balinese amazes me.
The serenity and calm it brings to their lives soothes me too.

Karma and balance.
Something to work on in my daily life.

Does Karma play a role in your life?
Are you a people and culture watcher?
Are you seeking balance and calm?

Food for thought: If cats eat the offerings to the Gods,
ergo … they are the Gods?
I'm sure Ralphie thinks so.

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