Pamurtian: The Raging God
Gods and goddesses in Balinese culture is not immune to the emotions, they can be happy sad or in rage, that is why Balinese strive in many ways to please them. Beautiful offerings, sacred ceremonies, delicate gamelan music, superb dances performance, and sweet singer voice when reciting ancient romances (kakawin) are just small parts of Balinese efforts to please the gods and goddesses.
When gods and goddesses are happy they will bestow prosperities and blessings to all inhabitants of the world. Balinese believe that when the gods and goddesses are happy they will appear in beautiful forms complete with all signs of good luck and protection, with sweet smiling faces and friendly gestures.
However, when gods and goddess are in rage, they will appear in “pamurtian” forms. The word “pemurtian” is derived from the word “murti” means “form”. The pemurtian is a terrifying forms of gods and goddesses, they will appear with demon faces, usually has more than five heads, twelve hands each caries a celestial weapon ready to strike the wrong-doers.
Pemurtian form of gods and goddesses has a special place in shadow puppet performance. In the shadow puppet performance, pamurtian form is associated with divine appearance of gods and goddesses to protect the universe from the evil force of raksasa (demon or giant). In the shadow puppet story, when the force of virtue appears in the verge of defeat, a god or goddesses will appear in his or her pemurtian form to help the force of virtue and conquer the force of evil.
The double role of gods and goddesses in pamurtian forms, as punishers and saviors makes the pemurtian is highly revered by Balinese, not just give them a sense of justice is always enforced but also the sense of security. The Pemurtian form though sometimes appear very frightening but it is not something that is out of control but an almighty force that is need to restore the balance between the positive and negative force.