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Sin Can Kill  

by on Monday, 14 January 2008One Comment | 1,273 views

In Balinese’s point of view, sin can cause many kinds of illness to the Balinese, which cannot be cured before they realized their sin, perform necessary ritual as a sign of repentance or to appease the wrath of the deities. A concept of sickness as a punishment for one’s sin or mistake still prevails in Balinese minds and influences their daily life.

When a Balinese is sick, there are two options to consider for curing his illness, first, consult a doctor or a witch doctor for a remedy and the second option is to reevaluate his actions, whether he has committed a mistake to deities or ancestors, desecrating holy or sacred places, breaking a taboo, conducting improper or incomplete ceremony, etc. If he is not sure of what sin or mistake ails him (since can’t figure out his sin or mistake) or which one (since he made so many sins or mistakes), he can ask a shaman to summon a spirit of ancestors or a deities to tell him what his sin or mistake that cause his sickness, what should be done to repent his mistake, and what ceremony or offering is needed to cure his illness or show his repentance.

Negligence in paying a promise to the deities is a sin or mistake that can also be punished with various illnesses. A Balinese usually makes promise to the deities (masaudan) when a sickness or misfortune befalls on a Balinese, he promise something to the deity, for example, a student who is going to take an important examination is usually makes a promise to present a certain offering to the deity if he manages to pass examination. If he fails to fulfill this promise after he pass the examination, a misfortune or sickness is certainly close at his heel.

Refusing to obey the order of the deities can also result on sickness or even death. For example when a Balinese is chosen by the deities to serve in a certain temple as a priest, he has been given an offer that he cannot refuse. Refusal usually ends up with incurable sickness and when the chosen one shows his willingness to fill the priest post, his health will be restored immediately.

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