The article title “Scholars call for new ritual interpretations” initially discusses about Kuningan celebration at
"Respect for nature, for land and water, is the core teaching of Balinese Hinduism. Yet, why do only a few people really care about ecological preservation? Why do most of us fellow Balinese believe that holding a religious ritual for (honoring) nature is more than enough to reverse the ecological disaster that is threatening the island?"However, the above statement makes me wonder, what’s wrong with
Once upon a time, I got one question, “Why the Balinese (Hindu) cover a big tree with that black-white-chess pattern cloth and pray against that tree?” When I asked that with my parents and relatives in
Someday, I found the answer from non-Bahasa
That argument become basis for answers that I always served to my non-Hindu friends when they asked me about similar cases. I always give some explanation about the reason and condition of ancient time of Hindu and add further explanation by connecting those traditional believe with today scientific arguments. For example, I used the relation between ghosts or magical power as native motivation with environmental conservation purposes as scientific motivation for question of why Balinese cover trees with cloth and pray against them. So far, I found that my friends who raised the question somehow accept that argument, in a sense that they did not continue debating the logic of that reason. Hopefully, they may understand that Hindu always covered by many symbols. It is not so straight and easy to interpret the symbols since those symbols already utilize for centuries (please remind them that Hindu is one of the oldest religion on earth!).
However, for Hindu followers per se, it is a must now that they face with a new century – a new era where ancient and old symbols or rituals need to revitalize to match with current condition. Just like the article said:
"Today's Hindu followers must have the courage to reinterpret those symbols, to make the ancient teachings relevant to the challenges we are currently facing"I could not agree more with that statement. All religions and civilizations all over the world now have been challenged by vast changes. Ignorance, fanaticism, or radicalism of religious teachings and rituals will only lead human race to stagnation of knowledge and spirituality. While combining faith with non-stop searching for universal knowledge and anticipate the dynamic of society will maintain the existence of ones religion and increase the human contribution for peace and welfare. Let's keep wishing and trying!