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Balinese Caste System

Balinese Caste System On Display

  • A Balinese lives in a complicated societal net. His 1st connection is decided by his ancestry class (wangsa) as well as caste (kasta); his 2nd, by his banjar, clan and village. Before Indonesia achieved freedom, a 3rd connection connected people to a prince or leige lord. In Bali these days, it's politically right to notice that just vestiges of the caste system are left, however anybody who resides in a community for some weeks will discover that caste remains profoundly ingrained in the societal fabric.
  • When they set up within Bali in 1343, the Javanese developed the caste system setting up a community for the Majapahit groups. Having its deified warrior kings, vassal princes, and ancestor worship, this societal establishment has got its origins in a Hindu origin belief created in India over 4,000 years back during which Brahman (god) was sacrificed as well as cut into pieces to make all objects in the world. According to the Hindu System Veda, the world's earliest liturgical text, god's mouth turns into the Brahman class, his feet the Sudra class, his thighs the Wesya class and his arms the Ksatriya class. Just like a human being requires his feet, thighs, arms, and head so does contemporary society require all 4 constituent parts to work.
  • This Vedic belief validated a rigid feudal splitting of community, but since Bali grew in almost seclusion from the remainder of the Hindu world, the societal stratification determined by the caste set up is more irregular and relaxed on the island compared to India.
  • Like India, nevertheless, the ancestors of Bali's upper class were believed to have great capabilities, approved authenticity and state sanction by the notable clergymen at the time. These types of men followed protocol and also their acts had full power of the legislation.
  • During the late 16th century, Javanese nobles methodically set up kingdoms in the whole island, ultimately ending in Bali's 8 rajadoms. Descendants of these nobles these days go by the name Ngurah and Gusti and still have positions of great wealth and power, although hereditary rule is officially prohibited in Indonesia.

Principle and Function of Caste


  • Each and every Balinese Hindu tries to get freedom, the unification of the soul (atman) with god or Brahman. Through thoughts (dharma) and actions, the Balinese carry on to incarnate till the spirit is pure sufficient to merge with Brahman. It is the responsibility of each caste to assist the other castes.
  • Each and every Balinese knows her or his place and is really desirous to work with it. Responsibility transcends self and should be followed with no consideration to personal desires or wishes. Each caste should adhere to its own detailed set of regulations, and every member understands how to act under virtually any set of conditions.
  • Caste isn't depending on profession or occupation, but on birth. However since one was born in a specific caste doesn't always have the skills, temperament and aptitudes, common of that caste. A Ksatriya doesn't cease being Ksatriya simply because he or she doesn't perform the work of a Ksatriya. And when a Brahmana doesn't work like a teacher or a priest, it does not mean that he or she isn't accorded the respect which is accorded to a Brahmin.
  • Caste entails little regarding community or wealth power. There's in fact an increasing difference between rank title and these types of economic indices like job and wealth. Ksatriyas and Brahmana work as bartenders, room boys, tourist guides, even bemo drivers, whereas Sudras achieve high government jobs and Wesya run hotels and restaurants.


  • Triwangsa means "Three Peoples." This is actually the upper category of Bali, the best 3 social classification of conventional Hinduism: the Brahman, Ksatriya, and Wesya classes . These types of blessed castes, making up about 10% of the human population, are greatly respected. Noticing small variations in ranks as well as a complicated system of manners, Triwangsa are addressed in a much more sophisticated language compared to that employed in daily conversation. Earlier Triwangsa resided in or nearby the puri.
  • The Dutch convinced these 3 upper categories to help them in governing Bali, however by the early 20th century nearly all had reduced their authority as well as social status. Having fallen on difficult times, they levied taxes on markets and cockfights to fund the functions of their symbolic authority.
  • A few families in Bali dedicate a lifetime of support to a Brahmana or Ksatriya family, for the opportunity of incorporating a grandparent like a follower during the complex cremation ritual of a great raja. Allegiance to a leige master honours the palace's lifetime services to the community like custodians of the temples, keepers of the belief, and, in the matter of Brahmans, the creation of sacred water.
  • Spiritually, the most essential function of the nobility is to manage the island's main temples. The deified forefathers of Bali's original palace people are integrated people in the group of gods in the community temples. Irrespective of all the defeudalising and democratizing in Bali, this link between worship and palace hasn't been disrupted. The link between Balinese and leige god is unshakable. It's stated the Balinese really "love their lords."