History, Religion, and Philosophy of Balinese: A Brief View
Some general ideas / thoughts about history, religion, philosophy, and arts in the following sections are expected can throw some lights to understand Balinese people, life, and culture better than tourists who come just for a while leisure time taking snaps and traveling around. Having a deeper look at these fields of study, one learns and finds Bali as ideas not merely as a tangible entity; each domain grows and interacts each other in multifarious way forming what we called it as “Balinese culture”.
History looks it from time frame or chronological order of the past that can be described based on data available; and at the same time, shows development of ideas, life, and culture through the ages of people inhibited this island. Past, present, and future are time frames to which a Balinese always looks at; moreover in pursuing his ultimate goal of life. There has been a progressive development since pre historic to modern age, perhaps, similar in other parts of the world. The fact shows that such data is not complete in itself or fragmentary in nature; and reconstructing Balinese past especially in prehistoric and old period is a difficult job. Religion shows Balinese life expressing their religiosity centralizing in worshiping the Almighty God or divinities. Prior to the arrivals of foreign influences like from India, China, Middle East, Europe, etc. Balinese had already believed in the existence of the super natural powers, which they called it by various names and images. Philosophy looks at subtle ideas, religious in nature labored by Balinese stalwarts in past as depicted in its textual traditions. Philosophy developed when Balinese had got acquainted with foreign ideas and literary tradition commenced. They were interested in finding out the truth that can be used as the foundation of secular and religious practices. Arts in various forms or modes of expression produced by Balinese as a consequence of their efforts to reach the highest goal of life called moksa (liberation). Arts involves not only in secular but most importantly in religious life. Temple festivals or any holy sacrifices (yajnas) performed are not free from the existence of arts. Bali has wealth of artistic events fascinating visitors.
Further reading Hand Out.doc history religion and philosophy of balinese