Balinese HinduismBalinese HinduismBalinese HinduismBalinese HinduismBalinese HinduismBalinese HinduismBalinese HinduismBalinese HinduismBalinese HinduismBalinese Hinduism

Balinese Hinduism

Despite the onslaught of mass-tourism and the fact that it is the sole Hindu island in the midst of the world's largest Muslim country, Bali has remained true to its traditional beliefs. It is estimated that there are up to 100,000 temples here that are dedicated to the island's unique form of Hinduism, Agama Hindu Dharma. The presence of Hinduism on Bali dates back to the 8th century AD, but became fully established when the rulers of Java's Majapahit dynasty fled the encroaching force of Islam and re-established their kingdom here in the 14th century. Their beliefs were blended with those of the original Balinese, the Bali Aga, to create the mix of Hinduism, animism and ancestor worship that is celebrated today. Unlike in India, an emphasis is placed not upon theology but on active demonstrations of good behavior and prolific ceremonies and rituals to appease the gods. Even the name Bali comes from the Sanskrit word wali, meaning ritual or offering.