Offerings and the Invisible

IMG_0019Offerings connect us with the invisible. Every Balinese knows that in addition to our concrete reality perceptible to the senses, there is the invisible reality. Though hidden and secret it can be sensed.

Tunggal, the unthinkable, the inconceivable, he who cannot be imagined is the supreme god of Indonesian Hinduism.  He is known to most modern Balinese as the “All-In-One God”. This divinity, who is emptiness, emanates countless bodies to provide an underlying order in the visible world, the dimensions of time, space, matter and energy

A simple daily household offering is presented to Tunggal every day as a form of thanks for the peace given to the world. The philosophy behind these offerings is self-sacrifice, they take time, effort and resources to prepare.bali offerings

Siwa with his consort Durga, Wisnu with his consort Sri and Brahma with his consort Saraswate are primary emanations.

Each local temple, each household shrine, has it’s own gods and goddesses. Many are deified ancestors. These numinous beings impinge on the visible world in peculiarly individualized and localized ways.

There are also demonic, malign or destructive aspects of the invisible world that require attention.

Spiritually infused objects mediate between the visible and invisible worlds. Sacred and magical, the artisan priest invokes invisible forces with mantras, purifying the objects to eliminate any harmful influences. They are then brought to life, inviting invisible forces of blessing to enter and make it useful.DSCF5025

These objects must be periodically cleaned, dressed and fed with offerings. Without such treatment the invisible forces within them vanish.IMG_0784

Positive invisible forces are drawn to fragrant smells, harmonious sounds, profusions of color. Power results from this kind of maintenance of connection with the invisible world. One must have firmness of purpose and a mastery of fear, maintain disciplined intent and inner calm.


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