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Flower and Balinese  

by on Friday, 15 June 2007No Comment | 3,481 views

Flower, for Balinese, is a primary need. Tons of various kinds of flowers are used for various purposes such as material for offerings, decorations for ceremonies, medium of praying, and accessories for Balinese traditional dress especially the headdress. Flowers are withered easily; it makes the need for flower is a constant need that has to be fulfilled everyday.

To fulfill this huge constant need, a typical Balinese yard or backyard is usually filled with flower plants and they are planted in one way or another, creating a garden of flower. But home planted flower are not enough to fulfill this massive need so Balinese open flower plantations especially for the flower that are needed for offering.


Not all kinds of flower are used, only ones. Sometimes bright colored flower are also used. Some flowers are forbidden to be used, for example flower that grows in the cemetery, or bad-smelled flower. Flower that is used for offering can only be used once since God has take away all their essence when they are offered.


Flower that is used for offering is always the fragrant or the bright colored one; for the decoration, a bright colored one is in demand; flower that is used for medium of praying should be the fragrant one; and for accessories, white colored flower is the preferred one.

Why flower are widely used as an offering in Bali? The reason for using flower is clearly stated by the personality of the Godhead in Bhagavad-Gita: 9:26

patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam asnami prayatatmanah

or in English:

when someone present leaf, flower, fruit, and water with love and devotion. I will accept it.

The beauty and the fragrant scent of the flowers that are used for offering, express the beauty and sweetness of Balinese’s love and devotion to God.


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