If you look more closely, even though they are both Hindu, there are many obvious differences between Hinduism in Bali and Hinduism in India.

On Saturday (11/14/2020) tomorrow, Hindus will celebrate the Deepavali, Dipawali, or Diwali Festival. In linguistic terms, 'Diwali' means the Festival of Lights which symbolizes the victory of good over bad. Candles and lights will be lit throughout the festival as a sign of the start of celebrations and hopes from mankind. Unlike the Balinese Hindus, this celebration is very important for Indian Hindus.

If you look more closely, even though they are both Hindu, there are many differences between Hinduism in Bali and Hinduism in India. In fact, this difference is very obvious, starting from the food consumed, the holy clothes for prayer, to the big days that are celebrated. Maybe what should be the question is “Why do these two different religions use the same Hindu name?”.

Hinduism in India is very diverse and has many sects, such as Hindu Rama, Hindu Shinta, and Hindu Hanoman. Each of these sects has a different place of worship. In contrast to India, Hinduism that has developed in Indonesia is synonymous with Bali, starting from the model of places of worship and ritual forms. Even outside Bali, the places and rituals of Hindu worship in Indonesia are always the same.

Overview of Hindus in Bali (indonesia.go.id).

Why are Hinduism in Bali and Hinduism in India different?

The main reason for differences in Hindu teachings in Bali and in India is that Hinduism has a more moderate nature and is able to adapt to the culture of the community. Hindu teachings easily acculturate without destroying the prevailing local wisdom values. In Hinduism, different perspectives are not questioned because they actually have the same goals and principles.

Different views must be accepted because diversity and freedom are forms of wealth. Hinduism in India takes the philosophy from the Vedas with the original traditions of the Indian people. Meanwhile, Hinduism in Bali is a form of combination of Vedic and Buddhist philosophy with Balinese ceremonies and culture. Even though they are different, what unites the two are sacred concepts in the Vedas.

Nyepi celebration of Hindus from the Sind Tribe in North India (quora.com).

What Distinguishes Hinduism in Bali and India

In plain view, there are many differences between Hinduism in Bali and Hinduism in India. The Hindu community in Bali pray three times a day which is called Tri Sandhya, while in India only twice in the morning and evening. Hindu in India is usually a vegetarian too, but Hindu Balinese are not. Balinese Hindu worship uses Padsamana and is done openly, in India it uses Lingga-Yoni and closed.

Hindus in Bali have more manners. When the ritual of worship begins, all worshipers will automatically be calm, do not talk much, and follow the course of the ritual solemnly. The Hindu community in India does not, they can calmly step over the offerings, even shouting when the priest is reciting prayers at the temple. So it seems that the worship procession feels less wisdom.

Nyepi Day is the biggest ritual in Balinese Hinduism. They will stay at home, leaving all world activities behind during the Saka New Year. Even the vital activity at the airport will stop for a day. It seems that Balinese Hindus will feel very surprised if they see the Saka New Year celebration in India. Thousands of pecalang will walk on the streets carrying a barrel on their head.

Source – 2020-11-13 07:00:00


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