What should India learn from the small place named “Bali” in Indonesia?

It’s time for a Guru to learn from his student!

It is not a so-called secular nation but a secular nation in every aspect. And it’s name is Indonesia. In Indonesia, there is a small state named Bali. It is a state where a majority of the population are Hindus who account to 4.22 million. Those are the scions of the great ancestors who refused to get converted to Islam, no matter what may be its implications. They chose to die in their own religion rather than converting to other religion as per Lord Krishna Paramatma’s advice. So these ancestors had fled to Bali when their Hindu Empire Majapahit fell to ashes due to Islam invasion. No rulers are as noble as rulers from Hindustan who capture territories with great bravery and warfare tactics but when the opponent ruler is defeated,  people of his empire are treated with dignity and are allowed to follow the religion of their will. I repeat only rulers of Hindustan origin. Don’t mistake it to Tipu Sultan or the Mughals.

1) Once in every year Indonesia witness a very special day called as Nyepi day or a day of total silence or Mauna. This day is considered so important that even the Ngurah Rai International Airport of Denpasar is closed from 6 am to 6 pm. No vehicles of any brand, no televisions of any price range or no entertainment by any celebrity are allowed out to perform; that’s the importance this day carries. We will just see people sitting inside their house doing contemplation and prayers. Don’t even think of implementing this ritual on Indian soil where even commenting on Azan is a serious offense according to self-proclaimed seculars.

2) Indians are heading Google to Microsoft. So it’s not surprising to hear that even the present Bali culture was founded by the Rishis of Indian Origin. You may not find these rishis’ names in any of the Indian text books but definitely will find on Dawood funded Bollywood movies where these Rishis are mocked at. But these names are on the tip of the tongue of students of schools like Markandeya, Bharadwaja and Agasthya. We may hear these Rishis in some Puranas which are hardly read by normal Indians but Bali schools have carved their names in their history text books. Rig Veda says there are 402 rishis and are we able to name at least few? The answer is a big NO. Nothing to be ashamed of it because the credit goes to few of our leaders who chest thump that their father and grandfather have given India it’s independence from the British. These Rishis are the ones who founded a religion called Vaidhika Sanatana Dharma. Graduates of this religion had said the earth is spherical in shape when others claimed it is flat and sun revolves around the earth.

3) Dhotis are worn in Indian movies just to add a fun element but it is a National Balinese dress for both men and woman, boys and girls. It’s a strict no entry into the temples if they don’t wear this uniform. In India Dhoti is only seen in  South India but the youths are turning their face away when it comes to wearing it. Again it’s not their mistake. Credit goes to someone else. It’s depressing to see even how the priests change their Dhotis after offering prayers in temples to western outfits. Are we ashamed of our own dressing culture? Will our great Indian culture survive in the upcoming centuries if this trend continues?

4) The society is based on a main principle called as Tri-Hita-Karana. It is a mixture of three core segments i.e, the duty, relationship with God and human beings, and with nature. The result of these principles is clearly seen in their approach towards religion and life. Credit goes to Rishis. Bali acquired the principles taught by these Indian origin Rishis and improved their inner approach towards life but here are we Indians struggling to even remember the names of these Rishis. Wonderful, Isn’t it?

5) Indian religious gurus preach the benefits of Trikala Sandhya but this is practiced in every Balinese school. Here in India including a chapter of Ramayana or Mahabharatha is termed as saffronization of education but in Bali Gayatri Mantra is recited by every school child thrice a day. Are we Hindus even aware of the procedures of Trikala Sandhya? forget about practicing it. We see some Hindus who appreciate Muslims for performing namaz 5 times a day but are they ready for Trikala Sandhya?

6) In 1011 AD, Shaiva Agama, Bauddha Agama and Baliyaga, the three religions had organised the first Inter- religious conference in the present day named place Purasamantiga. It can be also called as All Religion Peace meet of where they sat down and decided how these three religions should shoulder each other for the upliftment of the society without any rift between them. This is the real religious harmony. In India can we conduct a religious head’s meet where religious heads from every religion will attend? Sounds impossible.

7) In India, we can call it as an appeasement politics when a political government announces monthly salary to a priest of particular religion or particular caste or Mutt. But Bali priests are treated as equal. We can better say as “One rank, One pension” where all the religious priests are treated as equal and are paid by the government. This scheme is implemented and carried out by trained personnel. So don’t even try to implement it in India. It’s dangerous to the health of the so-called secular country (India).

8) When India is busy quoting whether orange is intolerant or green is the colour of secularism; Indonesia has adopted a quote from an ancient Indonesian Hindu scripture which says “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika”(One is many, Many is one). When we dig deep the meaning says that though Buddha and Shiva are different and unique entities but it isn’t hard to say that the truth preached but Buddha and Shiva are one. In simple terms, a truth said by an individual in USA won’t become a lie when it is said by another individual in India. But an individual can interpret it in many ways for his survival or to benefit his society or religion. There is an awesome quote in Rig Veda which says “Ekam Sad Vipra Bahudha Vadanti” (Truth is one, but the wise express it in various ways). Can we have this as our national motto or will our seculars say that truth differs from religion to religion, people to people.

9) When we speak of leading rice producers, Bali has it’s place. People in Bali think that what they produce in their farm is due to the grace and blessing of Lord Lakshmi and Mother Earth. So due to devotion or a symbol of gratitude we can see a temple dedicated to these female deities. What a wonderful practice is this? There the Muslim population don’t prevent themselves from consuming rice saying that there was a temple where it was grown. This is secularism. When the Harvard or Oxford graduates from United Nations and World Bank formulated a plan for betterment of agriculture and irrigation and tried to demonstrate it to Bali people, they were shocked to see a far better plan used by Balinese and it was more shocking that this plan was formulated in the 9th century. Shall we give the credits to the Rishis?

If we go and visit a remote Indian village where there is severe drought we will find the village temple over flowing with fresh water; Shall we assume it as a miracle of Hindu God or a scientific approach followed by the people while constructing it? You may find some professors arguing it as just a coincidence. Okay, so a coincidence in each and every Indian temple?

10) In India when it’s Deepavali or Shivaratri or Ramanavami we go to local book shop and purchase some books of mantras to chant in the prayer room. But Bali people read it from Lontar (Scripted by hand on a palm leaf), sounds filmy but true. In Hinduism every activity is performed in a very special way, similarly, the prayer book of Ramayana Kakawin is lifted from the place where it is kept, carried on a procession, get it to a special place, worship the ground, declare it as sacred and then place the book there. After all these amazing rituals the priest will recite Ramayana. Here in India we just read Ramayana but they enter into the land of Ramayana.

Rajat Bhandary