Minggu, 08 April 2012

History and spiritualism of Bali

After the fall of great Bilvatikta, the Hindu Javanese
nobilities and Brahmin communities fled to Bali.
Bali before was an independent country, with
independent rulers, but in the reign of
Kritanagara of Singhasari and later Rajasanagara-
Gajamada of Bilvatikta, Bali was subdued. Bali has
her own ruling dynasties for centuries, apart from
Java, though there was a very deep connection
between the two islands.
While Tarumanagara was a Hindu kingdom in
West Java, there was also one kingdom of
Kalinganagara in Central Java. By the name we
could guess this was a kingdom built by certain
nobilities of Orissa. The kingdom ruled by
Maharani named Simha. This kingdom might be
shifted to East Java by the growing power of
Sailendras and Sanjayas. There in East Java we
found inscription about Kanjuruhan Kingdom of
Dinaya. Then in the reign of Sri
Isvarakesavotsavatunga or Balitung (Raka i
Watukura) of Sanjaya, both Central and East Java
was came under his control. Probably the
Kanjuruhan aristocracies again shifted to the
neighbour island of Bali. We found similarities
between Kanjuruhan and early kingdom of Bali.
After the growing maritime force of Srivijaya in
Sumatra, Bali was also come under their power.
And we found the ruling family of Bali has same
name as the rulers of Srivijaya i.e. The
Varmadevas. The Varmadevas then became the
sole rulers of Bali. The Mahayana-Vajrayana
Buddhism also introduced to Bali for the first
time. So Bali at that time was applying the same
religious practices as in Central Java, a religious
system similar to Jagannath culture of Kalinga.
Vedic in thought but Agamic or Tantric in practice,
in the form of Trinatha worship. The form of
Saivism at that time was in accordance with Vedic
Vaishnavism. They worshipped Lord Siva as direct
representation of Supreme God in material world.
Because the Vishnu worship at that time has a
concept of Niskala-Sakala, similar with
Vaikhanasas system today. The Vaikhanasas
worships Mula-bheram as Niskala aspect of
Narayana and Utsava-bheram as Sakala. Similarly,
the Balinese at that time worshipped Lord
Narayana as Niskala and Lord Siva as Sakala. So
this is very unique faith! Could you imagine Lord
Siva considered by them as Sakala aspect of
Narayana? Thus worship of Narayana and Siva
were not differentiated by them. They worshipped
Narayana as Paramatma of Siva and Sun as
enunciated in the Atharvaveda Sirah. These tenets
were believed as preached by the lineage of the
great sage Agasthiya of South, the mula-guru of
Nusantara and developed in Dihyang of Central
Java, by Siddha-rishis from Agasthiya’s lineage.
One of them called Markandeya (might not same
person with Markandeya Rishi of Puranas) came
to East Java and organized his hermitage in
Ravang. From this place he came to Bali and was
the origin of Brahmanic communities of ancient
Bali, the royal priesthood of the ruling
Varmadevas. Till this very day, his descendants
called themselves Vaishnava Brahmins and
continuing these spiritual thoughts. Their
practices and theological concepts remind me so
much with the Vaikhanasa Vaishnavas of South
India, rather than more widespread Pancaratrika
Vaishnavas. Other sects of Saivism, Buddhism, etc.
independently practised their teaching and
equally patronized by the same Varmadeva kings.
By the invasion of Singhasari under Kritanagara’s
troupe, the Kalachakrayana was introduced to
Bali. Then came the time of Bilvatikta’s invasion.
The Bilvatikta religion of Saiva-buddha-agama also
became widespread in Bali. By the coming of the
greatest Saiva high priest of Bilvatikta, Dvijendra,
after the fall of Javanese Hinduism, this new form
of Saivism attained its peak achievement. The
Bilvatikta nobilities tried to preserve everything
they have in Bali, to save them from Islamic
influence. The Balinese faith and spiritual culture
at present day was shaped by various form of
Vedic and Buddhist thoughts through a long
evolutionary process.
Bali and some remote parts of Java still preserved
their Hindu belief. Many literatures of Hindu and
Buddhist teaching from past centuries were
studied by priestly class of Bali and some
aristocratic family. But the whole religion of
Balinese, as I observed, was practices in two
different ways. The Tantric Saiva-buddha-agama
of Bilvatikta was limited to Brahminical lineages of
more recent Bilvatikta transmigration. As the last
Javanese origin peoples of Bali, they mainly
became today’s Balinese nobility and religious
elite. The practices of Saiva-buddha-agama in its
pure form only limited to them. The hereditary
Saiva Brahmin high priests and so called
hereditary “Buddhist” Brahmins, who practicing
Vajrayana and Saivite influenced Tantra, were
their leading authorities. In other part we have
common people’s religion. Similar with an older
form of Kalinga influenced Balinese-Javanese
Hinduism. They have priestly orders came from
common people, administering the temple affairs,
though considered lower than Saiva-buddha
ordained high priests, but actually more
influential in peoples religious life. The earlier
Javanese incomers were the Brahmanic
descendant of Markandeya and his follower. They
have become inseparable part of Balinese
common peoples, stay apart from the Bilvatikta
newcomers. Their high priests practicing Tantric
Vaishnavism and preserving their own unique
literatures. But they have influenced each other
so deeply for centuries. Finally just by superficial
observation, we could only see a whole unique
and distinct form of Balinese Hinduism.

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