Offerings and Prayers

After the VIPs had received their offerings, prayers were said. I've never come across a more open and accepting religion than the Balinese form of Hindu-Buddhism. Although their rituals are mainly a form of Hindu, they see God in many forms - in the natural world around them, in their families and ancestors, in flowers, and incense. Anything to make the world more beautiful is an offering to their gods - it's been said that Bali is a place where every breath is a prayer. The Balinese delight in your own beliefs and will not try to convert you to theirs - on the contrary, your own beliefs are part of the beauty they see in everything, and they will encourage you to pray to whatever god you follow.

Here we are at the ceremony, feeling very privileged to be part of such an amazing celebration. From left to right: me, Astrid, Linda, Putu Sutiati standing at back, Julia and Dan.

After the ceremony, you put rice grains on your forehead to signify that you have prayed. This is Julia. Isn't she beautiful?

Astrid has the green blossom of the sacred Sekar Sandat flower behind her ear, as Linda beams on. You pray holding flowers between your fingers, and at the end of each prayer, you put the flower behind your ear, or in your hair.

Even our normally reticent son Dan was quite moved by the ceremony.

This is Putu Sutiati, Sumandhi's wife (left) with her offerings packed up ready to leave the temple, together with Komang (right) and his girlfriend, whose name is also Julia. They later married, but tragically Julia passed away some years later at a very early age. Komang has since remarried.

We stopped to take this picture of the sacred mountain Gunung Agung in the dusk as we drove home to Ubud. It had been another fascinating day...

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Photos: Astrid, Martin and Julia Randall
All content copyright (c) 2002, Astrid, Martin and Julia Randall