Every place I look here in Bali I see a new thread to explore, a window into another time. This three-headed statue is the Hindu trinity or Trimurti. Each face represents an aspect of God in different forms: creation, protection, and destruction.
The Trimurti was described in the Puranas, sacred memorized Sanskrit verses possibly 9,000 years old. Stones endure, and sometimes we can read the language of art even better than words or concepts. Our origins are old and sacred. Just wondering, how were people’s thoughts different in past centuries?
Giant three-headed Shiva statues of Elefanta Caves near Mumbai are said to be from 5th – 6th century BC, very close to the time of Sakyamuni Buddha’s birth. The statues were badly damaged by Portuguese colonials who arrived in 1498, and they’ve been restored with valiant effort. There are three faces:
- The right half-face shows Shiva as a youth with sensuous lips, embodying life and vitality. He holds a rosebud, symbolizing life and creativity.
- The central face, gentle and meditative, is the preserver Vishnu, also Tatpurusha, “master of harmony and balance between positive and negative principles of existence”. It shows the face of a yogi in deep meditation for the preservation of humanity.
- The left half-face (east face) is that of a mustached angry young man. This is the terrifying Rudra-Shiva, the Destroyer, whose anger can engulf the entire world in flames, leaving total destruction, just ashes.
The Balinese Tripurusha, Siwa Siddhanta.
A very brilliant Vedic 16th-century priest was partly responsible for the preservation of Hindu traditions in Bali. His name was Nirartha. He had a spirit revelation that the Dharma, or sacred path, should cultivate worship of the perfect trinity of manifestation. He taught the concept of Siwa Siddhanta to describe the creation of the world. At the highest level, Truth has two parts: Consciousness (cetana) and Unconsciousness (acetana). Cetana, or Consciousness is further expressed as a trinity of three parts consisting of Parama Shiva, Sada Shiva, and Shiva. This is like a 3-part God.
- Parama Shiva is the almighty, immeasurable, inconceivable unimaginable supreme God, everywhere, everlasting, and eternal. Parama Shiva exists in a very rare level of existence that cannot be directly involved the physical or the astral worlds. This is the Lord Parama Shiva. When the great Parama Shiva began to be active, to enlighten, to form consciousness, He permeated all beings.
- Supreme God Paramahansa Shiva descended to the level of karma, matter, cause and effect, to carry out cosmic activities in the pure virtual world. He does this in the form of his Lord Sada Siwa, who began to rule the passage from one life to another.
- When later He began to structure and to support nature and the physical world, he worked as Lord Shiva, who possessed all of nature, infusing himself into it like butter melting in milk to become a unified whole. These three aspects of almighty God, Parama Shivare are the Tripurusha holy trinity.
Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, the Trimurti.
The Hindu Five Elements in Bali
The Hindu Five Elements are a doorway into Nature.
As we experience each element, we come into greater harmony with the Laws of Nature. And this allows us to find balance in our lives. Although each element is a physical idea, the elements are broad abstractions that contain multiple interrelationships forming a unity.
Balinese Five Elements: “Panca Maha Bhuta”
In Bali the Vedic five elements are Ether, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. These essential aspects of nature illustrate the forces of the seen and unseen worlds that function in the Universe and in ourselves. Simple awareness of how the five elements interact, helps us find harmony in our own lives.
- Ether describes space and connection to spirit. In physical terms it represents the space in our body, emptiness, and the consciousness of the mind.
- Air relates to motion, the activity inherent in our nerves, breath and limbs, the constant fluctuations of our thoughts. Air represents oxygen, breath, motion, and lightness.
- Fire is about heat, light and transformation, the agent of change. It is closely related to the perceptions of the mind, the nervous system, and digestion. Fire is associated with the eyes and body heat. Fire is also associated with thoughts, emotions, and obsessions.
- Water is about the natural laws of flow and the body liquids that cleanse and heal. Water also represents loving emotions and compassionate thoughts. Water is the protector of the body.
- Earth represents our physical body and the stability of our mind. This element is associated with our sense of smell, bones, nails, and teeth.
When all five elements are in harmony inside you, your experience in life will reflect that balance. Maybe things will magically fall into place. And maybe not. When perfection requires a radical change, the five elements will assist you toward a dissolution and positive transformation.
The Earth element is about food, physical body, and digestion. This is our dinner buffet at the Keramas Sacred River Village where we live.
Bali is an culture that reveres the water element. The Pura Tirta Empul, or Holy Spring water temple, is a place for water purification rituals. It is located 45 minutes from the Keramas Sacred River Village where we stay.
This suggestive statue on the path to our room expresses the joy of unity of all the five elements.
Lama D is VERY busy every day working on a book project, to write a complete Dzongkha language dictionary with a team of other professionals in Bhutan. Lama D is an expert in all three languages of Dzongkha, Tibetan, and Chokey (the sacred chanting tongue). This exciting project is happening on social networking, so he can do it from Bali.
The Keramas Sacred River Village Butterfly Farm protects the giant Attacus Atlas, one of the largest Lepidoptera species on earth, with a wingspan of 9-10 inches. These butterflies live for only 5 days and need to be protected. They do not have a mouth and must live off the energy stored as a ravenous caterpillar.
My favorite statue here at Keramas Sacred River Village. It shows The Hindu Trimurti, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.
Indonesians are primarily Muslim, and the island of Bali is Hindu. Bali was once the safe haven for Hindu elite that escaped Java in 1527 when a king converted to Islam. All religions in Indonesia (Hindu, Muslim, and Christian) are somewhat mixed with old shamanic practices of the islands . Check out my video that explores Bali’s most beautiful spots.
Duck eggs appeared magically on my plate for dinner tonight! Lama D gently boiled them to perfection. The flavor is beyond description! Rich and honest. Some of the duck eggs are being incubated to hatch in about 30 days. Surprisingly, each egg has a slightly different flavor!
Thanks for checking in!
Please be safe. We are transforming all stress and confusion into love.
Blessings! Sri Jana