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The Balinese Hindu Offering Ceremony is a ritual process of worship performed according to the beliefs of the Balinese Hindu community. Hinduism in Bali originated in India, but in practice, Hinduism in Bali was adapted to local customs before Hinduism was accepted. This has resulted in noticeable differences in the way Balinese Hinduism and Indian Hinduism perform religious ceremonies. One of them is the process of offering to God Almighty, which is done by presenting various kinds of offerings according to local customs. In general, offerings are made every day such as Segehan and Canang Sari which are often found on the street, in front of the house, or in front of the shop. These offerings are a form of expression of gratitude to God for the blessings received, covering aspects such as life, safety, health, and prosperity. The offering procession involves the submission of offerings to God as a sign of gratitude for the gift of life and salvation that has been given so far.

All You Need to Know About Balinese Hindu Offering

  • What is Balinese Hindu Offering
  • Banten is Balinese Hindu Offerings
  • Type Daily Balinese Hindu Offerings
  • Offerings on the Great Ceremony
  • The Purpose of Balinese Hindu Offerings
  • Banten is a Symbol of Harmonyings

What is Balinese Hindu Offering

Balinese Hindu offerings are a form of respect or expression of gratitude to Ida Sang Hyang Widi Wasa as God Almighty who has given life, safety, health, and various other blessings, symbolised by Banten (Sesajen). This Banten has various types, so the term Banten covers a variety of offerings. Examples of Banten that are often offered daily are Banten Segehan or Banten Canang Sari. Balinese Hindu offerings have a variety of forms and means used depending on the purpose of the offering and the type of ceremony being held. For example, in daily life, we often make Sesajen Canang Sari. This is an offering made of coconut leaves shaped into a square, triangle, or round, filled with coloured flowers such as red, white, and yellow that symbolise the Tridharma of Balinese Hindus, namely Dewa Brahma, Dewa Vishnu, and Dewa Shiva. The flowers in Canang Sari symbolise sincerity and purity, while the potpourri of pandanus leaves sliced into small pieces adds a fragrant aroma as a symbol of wisdom. Canang Sari can also be filled with slices of sugar cane, bananas, and small Balinese snacks, some even filled with sweets. So, when in Bali, you will often find Canang Sari placed in front of houses or shops as a symbol of gratitude to God Almighty.

Banten is Balinese Hindu Offerings

Banten is one of the forms of offerings in Hindu religious practice, by offering fruits, flowers, and sometimes animals such as pigs, chickens, geese, and others. Banten offerings have a very symbolic and high philosophical meaning, which is combined with fine arts and makeup in the process of making offerings. These offerings are a form of Hindu gratitude to the Creator. The practice of making offerings with elements of art guides the mind towards inner beauty, creates an atmosphere of tranquillity, and provides self-satisfaction. This calmness is indispensable in concentrating on praying before God. Therefore, the art factor plays a role in supporting the positive dimension of religious practice, becoming a supporting element of the ceremony. Banten has various forms of art and appreciation in the process of making offerings, and consists of three important elements. The three elements are :

  1. Mataya: It is one of the offering whose made from plant materials such as leaves, flowers and fruits. These offerings are commonly found in everyday life, whether on the streets, in front of people’s houses, temples, or in front of shops. Typical forms of Mataya include Canang Sari offerings, Segehan offerings, and Sodaan offerings.
  2. Maharya: It is one of offering that uses animals such as pigs, goats, buffaloes, and cows. The use of these animals is an important complement in ceremonies, often seen in major religious ceremonies such as mecaru, ngusaba, and other Hindu religious practices.
  3. Mantiga: It is one of offering that involves the use of animals derived from eggs, such as chickens, ducks, geese, and chicken eggs. These birds are used as a complementary means in holding major religious ceremonies, such as piodalan ceremonies at local temples, Galungan and Kuningan celebrations, and other religious events.

Type of Daily Balinese Hindu Offerings

In the practice of Balinese Hinduism, offerings involve several types of offerings according to the purpose of the offering and following the customs and culture of the place where the offering is made. The form of offerings is also influenced by the profession of the local community, for example farmers who present offerings to Dewi Sri Sedana, who is the Goddess of Fertility, by offering agricultural products such as rice and fruits. Meanwhile, traders will make offerings in the form of canang sari with fruits to ask for blessings from Dewi Rambut Sedana, who is the Goddess of Prosperity. Thus, the form of offerings may vary depending on the purpose and cultural background. However, there are also similarities in the daily offerings made, namely through the making of Canang Sari offerings. Balinese Hindus routinely perform several Banten offerings every day, as an expression of their wish for safety, health, and prosperity in their daily lives.

  1. Segehan: Segehan is a type of offering that is offered to bhutakala so as not to disturb and confuse the human mind with evil temptations from evil spirits. By offering segehan, it is expected to eliminate and neutralise any negative influences that may arise. Segehan is also a symbol of the harmonious relationship between humans and all of God’s creations, including those that are invisible to the human eye. These offerings are generally presented every day and can be found in various places such as in front of shops or houses. The giving of segehan is based on the level and day of the ceremony. On ordinary days, segehan is usually served with white kepel, a leaf filled with a pinch of rice, placed in the yard of a house or shop. However, on special days such as the full moon, the rice in segehan can be coloured white, yellow, red, and brumbun (a mixture of colours), referred to as segehan manca warna.
  2. Canang Sari: Canang Sari is a daily offering to Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa, who is considered the creator of human beings. This offering is an expression of gratitude for the gift of life, safety, prosperity, happiness, and various other blessings. This gratitude is symbolised by the presentation of canang sari, which consists of a flower bud placed inside a coconut leaf shaped into a rectangle, triangle, or round. Canang sari can often be found in front of houses, on the street, in temples, in front of shops, and other places. The meaning of the name “Canang Sari” comes from the word “Can” which means beautiful, and “Nang” which means purpose or intention (in Kawi / Old Javanese). Meanwhile, “Sari” means core or source. Thus, Canang Sari can be interpreted as an effort to invoke the power of Widya (spiritual knowledge) to Sang Hyang Widhi and Prabhawa (its manifestation) both in the real world and in the spiritual world. Canang Sari is a sacred offering made as an expression of respect to God as the creator of mankind.
  3. Pejati: Pejati is an offering made on a particular day or in the context of a religious ceremony that requires this special offering. Pejati belongs to a very complete group of offerings, consisting of canang sari, fruits, wajik, and others. This Pejati offering is a complete form of offering offered to Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa, reflecting the sincerity of the heart to carry out a ceremony and asking to be cared for for safety. Pejati is considered the main offering that is always used in various religious ceremonies. The practice is limited to special days or occasions, not done every day. The giving of Pejati is closely related to the need for a complete offering, presented specifically in the context of religious ceremonies that require Pejati to convey respect to God Almighty.

Offerings on the Great Ceremony

Offerings made in a big ceremony have differences compared to everyday offerings. The difference lies in the completeness of the offerings prepared. On major holidays, it is believed that the gods descend to the world and reside in temples that are holding ceremonies. Therefore, in order to welcome and celebrate these holidays, Hindus offer complete offerings as an expression of gratitude to God for the life, prosperity, and health He provides. On holidays such as Galungan and Kuningan, many Hindus go to the temple to pray, and some of them bring offerings that may be different from the usual offerings seen daily. The main offerings are as follows

  1. Banten Sodaan Banten Sodaan is a complete offering consisting of holy daksina, containing fruits, and canang sari offered to the ancestors. Usually, the sodaan is placed at each temple in the house, and if the house has several temples, it is necessary to make enough sodaan to be placed at each temple. On major holidays, such as Galungan, Kuningan, and Pagerwesi, as well as other major celebrations, sodaan can be found in every temple throughout Bali. Sodaan is offered as an expression of respect to the ancestors during these sacred moments. Apart from at home, sodaan is also often offered when Hindus pray at large temples such as Besakih, Lempuyang, Tanah Lot, Uluwatu, and other large temples.
  2. Banten Gebogan: Banten Gebogan is an offering that is often found during major religious holidays, in the form of an arrangement of fruits placed in a container that upholds. The height of the gebogan structure varies from 50 cm to 100 cm, depending on taste, with no specific rules regarding the height of the gebogan. In Bali, during major holidays, you can see women carrying gebogan on their heads, creating a very beautiful sight. Gebogans are commonly offered at religious ceremonies in temples, especially on holidays such as Galungan and Kuningan, as well as at various other religious events that are part of the major Hindu celebrations in Bali.
  3. Babi Guling: Babi Guling is a form of offering or ceremonial tool that symbolises fertility and prosperity. Often, at large religious ceremonies, suckling pig is used as one of the offerings or complementary means, making it an important symbol in the performance of certain ceremonies. The use of suckling pigs as offerings is based on the level and type of ceremony. There are situations where some religious ceremonies do not require the presence of a suckling pig, and other alternatives such as roasted chicken or eggs can be chosen as offerings.

The Purpose of Balinese Hindu Offerings

The purpose of these offerings has enormous benefits for the lives around us. In a Hindu ceremony celebration on the island of Bali, offerings consisting of fruit and flowers are known as Banten and Canang. While on holiday and walking around town in Bali, you will often see offerings placed in front of shops, houses, or small shrines, which are the work of Balinese Hindus. These types of offerings have various functions according to the purpose for which they are made. The positive purposes of making offerings that also provide benefits to the surrounding community and the environment can be described as follows :

  1. For God: Balinese Hinduism teaches that one of the ways to worship God is by giving offerings in the form of fruits and flowers, this is stated in the Bhagavadgita, Chapter IX, verse 26 which reads “Whoever respectfully offers Me leaves, flowers, fruits or water, offerings that are based on love and come from a pure heart, I accept them.”
  2. For yourself: Offerings can also be for yourself where one of the religious rituals is to achieve inner satisfaction. when humans have ideals, they will dedicate themselves to divinity by showing love and devotion to God. So, doing these worship and offerings is a form of self-satisfaction and will make your day full of happiness in this life.
  3. For the General Public: The ingredients for offerings consist of fruits and flowers, so that with the existence of these offerings, agricultural products and plantations are growing because fruit and flower materials are needed as one of the means in making offerings that make agricultural products sell well and also prosper the community.
  4. For the Environment: The ingredients of banten and canang are very helpful for farmers and plantation owners who indirectly maintain the fertility and sustainability of the land. It helps create favourable conditions for pollen-producing insects and flowers, promotes photosynthesis which converts carbon dioxide into oxygen, and thus maintains environmental balance.

Banten is a Symbol of Harmonyings

Banten, also known as Sesajen, is a form of offering that symbolises the gratitude of Hindus to Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa as God Almighty and its manifestations that provide life, grace, and overall protection to the universe, as well as maintaining harmony and balance of nature. In addition, Sesajen serves to balance the real and supernatural worlds, so that the supernatural world inhabited by bhutakala (spirits) does not interfere with life in the real world. As the world is created based on the philosophy of cause and effect, where balance is depicted through good and bad, black and white, as a form of maintaining that balance. It is a procession that is meant to allow us to live a very harmonious life. This mesmerising Balinese Hindu offering ceremony is a fascinating sight, which only exists on the island of Bali which is largely inhabited by a majority Hindu population.

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