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Kala Boma Surrounded by Demons

In contrast to colorful Hindu temples in India or in other parts of Southeast Asia, in Bali there are no statues of the gods in the temples. Only horrible demons are carved in stone and the stone carvers revel in creating the most grotesque exaggerations.

The Hindu epic Ramayana and Mahabarata, contain Balinese myths und fables, which are full heroes and brave princes on one hand and mighty despots and demons on the other. In numerous wars and individual combat the power of good and evil is measured.

Kumbakarna
Kumbakarna

But the demons do not only live in literatue. They dominate the island and the people's daily lives. It is very important for the Balinese to soothe the passing demons all 15 days at Kajeng Kliwon with offerings of blossoms.

These small daily blossom offerings placed at various locations in and around the house will protect the house against the bad and invite the good.

Durga
Durga

Poetry personifies the bad with the witch of the underworld in her different apperances such as Rangda, Durga and Kalika. She presents the black magic and just touching her dance costume by outsiders will bring sickness or death to them. On the other hand people say that contact with the costume of her conterpart, the Barong, heals one from illness. During the trance dance Calon Arang these two are struggling in heavy combat and, at its end, there is no single winner. In this way the powers of good and bad are kept in balance.

Barong
Barong

The importance of passages from one stage in Balinese life to the next is also represented by decorations of temples on this island. Most of the temples, which normally are spread over three courts, are dominated by richly ornamented passageways. The first two courts can be reached by passing through two open portals, the Candi Bendar. At some very old temples you still can see that the passage to the last and most holy court for all prayers is only possible through the open mouth of the earth goddess Kala Boma. This step is meant as symbolic death and as cleansing supposition for anyone wishing to get closer to the gods. Today we still find a small relief carving of that goddess above the last portal of more modern temples.

Kala Boma
Kala Boma
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BALI - THE ISLAND:     Balinese Landscape     Temples of von Bali
Island of the Gods     Surrounded by Demons     Galungan Holiday
Exotic Flora     Tropical Flowers     Fruits of Bali
Balinese Recipes

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