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Wrath of the Deity  

by on Sunday, 13 July 20083 Comments | 2,360 views

Thousands of religious ceremonies that are held by Balinese each year for centuries give the island of Bali a unique characteristic; bring visitors to the island; drain the resources and savings of them who perform the ceremonies; give income to the suppliers of materials that are use in the ceremonies; make the Balinese to take a short leave from offices; and sometimes make them work harder to earn enough money for holding the ceremonies. In short, these ceremonies make most of the activities on the island keep on going.


Why Balinese hold thousands of ceremonies every year? There are many reasons that underlie the holding of religious ceremonies. One of them is fear of deities and God wrath. Most Balinese believe that if negligence in holding religious ceremonies incites the wrath of the deities and God. The wrath of the deities will result on punishment. The punishment does not take the form of a judgment in the afterworld, but in the form of illness, misfortune or death. This idea deities wrath (kaduken, or kasalahang) is still feared by most of Balinese.

As single brief example should make this point clear. Consider the following passage from sacred manuscript Dewa Tatwa (History of God) the passage begins with a list of offerings that should be made at any Ulun Swi (Head of the Rice fields) temple. After the list comes following warning:

“if these ceremonies are not performed at the Ulun Swi temple, and the Masceti temple, and to Rambut Sedana, the rice terraces will not be productive, nothing will be sufficient, there will be short measures, not enough to eat or drink because the essence will be taken back by the deities of Mount Agung and Batur, so the realm will be consumed by drought, there will be plague and epidemics, human will be distressed, by the god who reign s in the Ulun Swi temple.

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