Why Do Balinese Hindu Give Daily Offerings?
I have recently returned from a trip to Bali.
Bali is a beautiful place to be able to connect to the people, culture and learn and understand the spirituality of the island. Over the years I have met many kindhearted people. Some, I now call family.
The last few times I have stayed in Bali, I have found I have made the most shifts in personal growth, in the mind, heart and spiritually. Everyone has their ups and downs on their journey through life.
Last year while I was in Bali, on advice from a friend, I visited a Spiritual Healer. (Bali Busy, Facebook)
On the lead up to my visit I was encouraged by several people to keep an open mind. I was not knowing what to expect on this healing experience.
Mr. Nyoman was a quietly spoken man and he carried a sense of calm and peace with him. No matter the noise, busyness and chaotic energy going on around him, Mr. Nyoman kept his grounding, energy and focus on me.
His guidance to me was to make daily offerings. Give cake, coffee and five crosses under the big gumtree in my backyard at home. Mr. Nyoman asked me to pray every day to the gods, my mum and dad and ancestors. Give thanks to them. Give gratitude, get your balance. Ask for forgiveness, happiness, healing, to be healthy, good luck and prosperity.
During my last trip to Bali, engaged in conversation with a very dear friend and spiritual soul, I was given a little advice. You need to cleanse your shop, make offerings and burn incense there every morning. Sit your offering at the front of the shop for everyone to see. It’s a gift to the gods and ancestors, to give thanks, for protection, balance of life between the good and the bad, good luck and prosperity. Always practise patience and never give up.
So, why do the Balinese Hindu give daily offerings?
The daily offerings are called “Canang Sari”. Ca meaning beautiful, Nang meaning purpose and Sari meaning, essence.
The small basket is hand woven from palm or banana leaves. it’s about 15cm by 15cm in size. There are numerous items that can be placed in the baskets, flowers, rice, cigarettes, biscuits, fruit, holy water, coins, money and incense (dupa).
There is a special placement and colours for the flowers used in the Canang Sari.
White flowers point East, a symbol of (God) Iswara (Shiva)
Red flowers point South, a symbol of (God) Brahma.
Yellow flowers point West, a symbol of (God) Mahadeva.
Blue or Green flowers point North, a symbol of (God) Vishnu.
It is tradition for the women to make the Canang Sari. (Maybe that is on the next trip to Bali. Learning how to make Canang Sari).
The offerings can be seen at the front of the shops, homes, on small shrines in Balinese homes and temples (pura). Many taxis and drivers have them sitting on the dashboard of their cars as well.
The daily offerings show gratitude and honour to Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa (God) in praise and prayer to maintain balance and peace on earth, good and evil, between gods and demons, between heaven and hell.
This is my very basic understanding. I hope I have given an accurate and mindful explanation while keeping the respect of the Balinese people and their culture.
I am blessed and grateful to have experienced and learned a little of the Balinese Hindu practice. I respect those Balinese souls and life long friends that have guided and shared their knowledge with me on part of my recent life journey. Yes, I have taken on their spiritual guidance with an open mind and the utmost respect for them and the Balinese Hindu culture.
Since returning home a few months ago I have embraced the daily offering practice at my business, (using a coconut bowl) along with my morning ritual, cleansing of my shop. I am by no means a Balinese Hindu but very thankful to have been encouraged to use these rituals as part of my healing and daily life.
Om Swasti Astu