Balinese Hindu Gods: Learn about them in under 5 minutes.

by Nick on May 10, 2005

by Nick | May 10th, 2005  

Balinese Agama Hindu (Agama meaning religion) is really an amalgam of traditional animist beliefs with Hinduism overlaid, rather like how Christianity is superimposed on African beliefs in Latin America. Still the Balinese still do recognize and worship Hindu Gods and here is a run down of some of the most mentioned.

  • Sanghyang Widi Wasa:
  • Widely accepted as the Supreme being who is only ever alluded to. Most Balinese temples have stone throne for the Gods when they come down to Earth and Sanghyang Widi Wasa has a throne called a Padmasana located in the holiest part of the temple, the center of the inner compound. Three other gods, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva are the manifestations of Sanghyang Widi Wasa.

  • Brahma:
  • The Creator, has the color red and can be depicted by a bull.

  • Vishnu (Wisnu):
  • The Protector, responsible for life giving waters and has the color black. Wisnu ride a winged horse called Garuda and has several avatars including Buddha.

  • Shiva (Siwa):
  • The Destroyer or Dissolver, is associated with death / re-birth and has the color white. Some temples represent Shiva with a large phallic linggam.

  • Surya:
  • The Sun God, a manifestation of Shiva.

  • Durga:
  • The female consort of Shiva.

  • Rangda:
  • The Balinese manifestation of Durga who is seen in dances as the evil witch.

  • Ganesh:
  • The elephant like son of Shiva and Durga.

    There are many lesser deities in Bali who are associated with a particular place or thing. These are called dewi if female and dewa if male and include:

  • Dewi Sri:
  • Goddess of rice and who farmers worship at small temples in the rice fields.

  • Dewi Danu:
  • Goddess of the crater lakes. Annual pilgrimages are made to temple at the mountain lakes.
  • Dewa Baruna:
  • God of the sea.

  • Dewi Melanting:
  • Goddess of prosperity.

    { 1 comment }

    Da Wizard May 19, 2005 at 7:24 pm

    Very interesting. I have always found the fact that Indonesia’s most loved Pancasila is made a mockery of by the fact that they say there is only one god when the Hindus believe in many and also as they recognise Buddhism which is an atheist religion.

    Great site Nick keep up the good work!


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