The Island Of Bali, Indonesia



Other holidays, or, rather, important days propitious for offerings and other activities, are: Kadjeng-klion, every 15 days; Tumpak (sanistjaraklion), every 35 days; Budda-klion, every 42 days; Anggara-kasih (anggaraklion), every 35; days; and Budda-wage, also every 35 days.

If one asks an ordinary Balinese for the number of days in a month, the answer is that it has 35 days, thus conflicting with the knowledge that saka months have 29 or 3o days and that there are no months in the wuku year. This confusion is perhaps because ro months of 35 days total almost the correct duration of one solar-lunar year- 35q days; then, ( months of 35 days make exactly 210 days: one wuku year. Furthermore, there are many holidays, like the important Tumpak, recurring every 35 days, or 6 times during a wuku year.

From this is deduced that in the original Balinese calendar there were probably only 10 months of 35 days and that the two extra months of the saka were added later when the calendar was modified and the Hindu calendar was adopted, leaving memory of a month of 35 days. We havc seen that there are only Balinese names for ten of the twelve months, and Dr. Korn mentions that in Tenganan they say that the last two months were given to them as a present by Begawan Seganin Ening. Thus it is easily possible that the Balinese compromised and divided their year of 210 days into 6 months of 35 days. They do not make astronomical observations to calculate the solar-lunar year, but use special tables and charts called pengalihan bulan.

Ancestors. It is interesting that after cremation a deified ancestor becomes a dews-yang, a word that bears a striking resemblance to the term wayang, over which there is a controversy. The wayang are the shadow-play puppets which are recognizedly related to the ancestors.


Other names for the ancestral souls are pitara, kawitan, and m'pu wayangan, and the " heaven " where the ancestors live is called langit gringsing wayang " the flaming heaven of the wayang." The local gods, also ancestors, are called Sanghyang, a word made of the old relative pronoun sang and hyang, or yang, a native term for divinity, from which the word wayang could easily be derived. Dewa is a Sanskrit synonym of yang. and dewa-yang could have become 'wa-yang.

The following are among the most important Balinese Gods:

SURYA - The Sun, chief of the Balinese pantheon. The only Hindu god actually worshipped in the temples.

BATARA GURU - The Supreme Teacher, master of Brahmanas. Most generally identified with Siwa. Represented as a bearded hermit seated on a lotus (padma). Batara Guru has four arms, two clasped in attitude of prayer and the other two holding a rosary on the right, a brush for swatting flies (petjut) on the left.

BRAHMANA - Who is the fire itself (AGNI), and who as lord of cremation is called PRADJAPATI. Brahma has no particular cult except as " fire." Represented in Bali with only one head; the deity with four faces, TJATUR MUKA, is, in the popular mind, a deity in itself, not identified with Brahma.

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