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Home » Religion

Divine Rage versus Heaven and Hell  

by on Friday, 10 August 2007No Comment | 1,389 views

Divine rage is a belief in which deities and ancestors may punish one for one’s actions, especially in relation with religious ethic or ritual such as failure to perform a cremation, failure to fulfill a promise to the deities, forgetting a particular offering, entering temple while one is in spiritually unclean state, etc. The punishment does not take the form of a judgment in the afterworld, but in the form of illness, misfortune or death.

This idea divine rage (kaduken, or kasalahang) is still feared by most of Balinese. It is provides an effective social and moral controlling device which ensures the obedience of the Balinese to religious ethic and sometimes contribute to the continuity of the performance of the religious ritual and at the end fear of divine rage support directly to the preservation of Balinese culture though in uncomfortable way.

Balinese have long had ideas of heaven and hell (sorga, neraka) but this ideas do not understood clearly by the Balinese and do not have much influence on Balinese life, they are have been fairly muted concepts. Balinese do not invest much fear on their fate in after life nor do heaven and hell serve as consideration when Balinese take an action. The idea of direct punishment right in this world rather than in the afterlife gives more fear to the Balinese.

The concept of heaven and hell exist in the scripture and religious text, Balinese believe of their existence but do not give much consideration. Balinese put more faith on the idea of afterlife service. This “afterlife service” concept states that when a Balinese passes away his soul will work or serve in various temples all over Bali. The “afterlife service” is not conducted at random but in an ordered way. First the soul will serves in his village death temple then in the sea temple then in the six main temples of Bali, then in his clan temple in Besakih temple complex and finally in the soul serves in Penataran Agung temple, the main temple of Besakih temple complex.

Another afterlife concept that competes with the heaven and hell concept is the deification of ancestor. After the cremation ceremony of a deceased Balinese, a deification ceremony will be held to deify the soul of the deceased so it can be promote to the rank of ancestral deity which resides in family temple of the deceased.

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