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Balinese Hinduism

Balinese Hinduism

  • Balinese Hinduism is the type of Hinduism followed by most of the Balinese. This is particularly related to the people of Bali residing in the island and representing a peculiar type of Hindu worship including reverence, ancestor worship and local animism, for Buddhist saints. Even though Indonesia’s general population is mostly Muslim, about 90% of Balinese population is Hindu.


  • In Indonesia, Hinduism came from India in the 5th century CE. Buddhism was the major faith of Java and Sumatra. Buddhism gradually replaced Hinduism and in turn was replaced by Islam. Nevertheless, because of the cultural barriers, Balinese followed Hinduism.

Key beliefs

  • The basic principle of Hinduism is that there’s a sequence in the universe, called dharma. There’s also a disordering force called adharma. Hindus try to find harmony and balance between these 2 powers, thereby getting them freed from the never-ending spiral of rebirth, achieving a state known as moksa.
  • In Balinese Hinduism, the cosmos is divided into 3 layers. Heaven or suarga, the residence of the gods, is the highest level. Next layer is the planet of man or buwah. Hell or bhur is below this level, in which the devils reside and where spirits of peoples are reprimanded for wrong doings on earth. The human body (head, body and feet) as well as the shrines outside Balinese buildings are mirrored in this tripartite division.


  • Hindus in Bali worship a variety of gods exceptional to their part of the religion together with the customary Hindu gods like Brahma and Vishnu. In Balinese Hinduism, Sang Hyang Widhi (also called Sang Hyang Tunggal or Acintya) is the name for one God.
  • According to Hindus of Bali, their religion had one God as per the 1st principle of the Indonesian state philosophy Pancasila. The vacant chair at the peak of the padmasana temple is for Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa. A number of signs of gods such as Dewi Sri as well as numerous other gods are associated with lakes, mountains as well as the sea.

Balinese Hinduism